core and back exercises
   

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core and back exercises

This is a discussion on core and back exercises within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Ridden exercises to strengthen horse's core and back
  • How to perform belly lifts on horses

 
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    02-03-2012, 09:44 PM
  #1
Yearling
core and back exercises

My girl drops her back and doesnt engage her core! I am getting worried because I don't want her to start being in pain. What are some exercises I can do to strengthen these or get her to engage them?
     
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    02-04-2012, 08:38 AM
  #2
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl928    
My girl drops her back and doesnt engage her core! I am getting worried because I don't want her to start being in pain. What are some exercises I can do to strengthen these or get her to engage them?
Hey, :)
To work the muscles over the top over the horse and have them stretch it, I find the best thing to do is to work long and low.
So just practice getting the horse travelling with his head low to the ground. It is important that when you do this, that you maintain softness and lightness. If he becomes heavy in the hand pick his head back up and ask it down again.
This is so he uses all his muscles.
If he doesnt have good posture at the moment, it may be hard to get his head down.
So just practice softness and flection and encourage his head down when he gives. Oh and also have the horse travel forward at the same time, so he is able to fully stretch over his back...



I do this everytime I warmup and cooldown. That is mainly what it is for. And it helps alot with posture and core strength.

Hope that answers your question :)
     
    02-04-2012, 08:55 AM
  #3
Banned
Kevupton, I will have to agree with that. But there are many different ways, then just put the horse's head down. Sometimes horses just won't do it. Another way is to, do lots of turns. Do serpentine's, circles at a trot or walk, Pivot's. Those all can help with this.
     
    02-04-2012, 11:45 AM
  #4
Showing
Does your horse know belly lifts?

Stretches (and muscle building) for your horse

HorseHelp: Building up your horses back, In-hand and Under Saddle

That should help you out.

Once your horse knows belly stretches, under saddle all you need to do is use your leg and sat to get impulsion and then work on softening the horse up from tip to tail. This means flexion of the poll, release the jaw, soften the neck, stretch the front legs, loosen the shoulders, soften the spine, stretch and engage the hind end, and have a nice relaxed tail.

Do lots of figures, backing up from time to time, transitions, w/t/c on a loose rein, w/t/c on a shorter rein but with the same UMPH from behind meaning leg leg leg.

If you ride English, soften the bit in the mouth and push the horse forward. When your horse is stretching down, he/she may begin to round her spine and tuck in his/her tummy.

It will take awhile, especially if the horse is used to having head and nose up to the sky and tummy hanging down like a banana hammock.
     
    02-04-2012, 01:11 PM
  #5
Yearling
She rides with her neck in a neutral position and her head relaxed. I don't know how to teach her to pull her head in so it's where it's supposed to be. Will poll flexing exercises help with this? What I'm trying to say is that she doesn't tuck in her nose. When I let her out to play, she trots and gaits around like a little hellion with her head and nose up to the sky, since this is how she moves herself naturally, will it be more difficult for me to teach her to use her back and core?
     
    02-04-2012, 01:33 PM
  #6
Weanling
Tucking her nose in isn't getting her to work correctly. To get her moving correctly her whole body has to be engaged, not just her head. To avoid getting a 'false' contact, you need to do what the others on here have said.

Encourage your horse to drop their head down and reach into the bit. Keep your rein contact consistent so your horse wants to seek this contact. Push your horse into your hands with your seat and legs and keep her moving forwards with impulsion to encourage the lifting of the back. Pole work, hills, circles, lunging with side reins and longreining all encourage the buildup of the correct muscles in the back and stomach.

Alli flies round the field with her nose to the heavans when she is excited, but she is starting to learn how to drop into an outline now- only backed this spring so baby steps!

It can be fustrating when a horse seems to refuse to drop into an outline and engage the back end, but as the muscles build up it becomes easier and the horse will also learn working properly gets reward.

Also make sure the horse is relaxed and the saddle not nipping. Talk to your horse about whatever pops into your mind. A relaxed horse will work into a contact with the correct riding.
     
    02-04-2012, 10:12 PM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl928    
She rides with her neck in a neutral position and her head relaxed. I don't know how to teach her to pull her head in so it's where it's supposed to be. Will poll flexing exercises help with this? What I'm trying to say is that she doesn't tuck in her nose. When I let her out to play, she trots and gaits around like a little hellion with her head and nose up to the sky, since this is how she moves herself naturally, will it be more difficult for me to teach her to use her back and core?
You don't want her to pull her head in.. you want to PUSH from the hind, INTO the bridle (English or Western)

It'll take at least 5 months for the topline to start happening and the muscling on the top of the neck versus the bottom.
     
    02-14-2012, 08:18 PM
  #8
Weanling
I am working on this right now too...i have seen EVERYWHERE to use that technique where you have the horse go with its head low but I can't for the life of me get my horse to put her head below level...I think that may just be how she is...any tips to help with building topline and getting her to lift her back without doing the long and low technique?? I have like a large round pen worth of space to work with right now, a little bit of uneven grass/dirt space. So, not the best area but its what I've got lol
     
    02-14-2012, 10:12 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumper12    
...any tips to help with building topline and getting her to lift her back without doing the long and low technique??
Try combing the reins? It'll take awhile till she starts responding but it works really well to get the horse seeking the bit.

Here's an article: http://www.dharmahorse.com/Articles/...0Sept%2088.pdf

Also combing the reins palms up, rather than down, encourages a horse to bring their head UP.

Good luck.
     
    02-14-2012, 10:16 PM
  #10
Weanling
Thanks for your advice!!
     

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