flexing - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-01-2010, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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flexing

alright so I have started working on flextion with fury and she's good on her left side but on her right she acts dead and will actually start falling asleep even when I pop her she goes right back and I know they don't usualy give right away but she takes atleast 10mins to give on that side and 5 on her left
What is a good way to make her wake up and pay more attention instead of falling asleep and bracing against me??

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-02-2010, 08:31 AM
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What do you mean by "flexion"? Are you in the saddle, doing circles, loops, etc. and flexing the whole horse, or are you on the ground flexing her neck laterally?

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-02-2010, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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ground flexing her neck laterally right now I just got her here so I am just working slow with her.

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-02-2010, 12:27 PM
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All righty. Assuming that your position is correct, I would say that you just back up to looking for the smallest give that she's willing to give you. Don't start out asking her to bring her nose all the way to the girth. Pick up a contact, brace your holding hand on her withers, and if she moves her nose toward you even a bit, drop the rope like it burned you. Instant Release. The release is what's telling her that she did good, so the faster and easier it is for her to feel, the quicker she'll associate the release with the give.

If she does start falling asleep hanging on your hand, I would bump the rope a little to wake her up and remind her that you're still there. If she holds for over a minute with her neck still straight, bump the rope a couple of times, but don't let slack into the hold. Slack = release, and she hasn't earned it if she's bracing. If her neck is curved and she's bracing, just not coming any farther, you missed your window to release. Next flex, recognize her best effort and release then instead of holding out for a bigger bend. In the words of Dennis Reis, reward the smallest change and the slightest try. If she's new to the flexion, she's going to be stiff, and hence not going to be "good" at the flexion until she learns the aids and stretches her neck muscles out.

Even what you describe as her good side, 5 minutes to get a bend, is far too long. There should be a pick-up, a following give (in the case of a stiff or confused horse, some resistance and eventually a give), and an instant release of contact. There might be >5 minutes of "discussion" over the flexion, but 5 minutes of everyone standing still and bracing is too long. Personally, I generally fill 5 minutes time with 10+ flexes, 2 ways, taking my time.

Another thing that might wake her up a bit is to disengage her hindquarters while you're asking for the neck flex, but that can get tricky to coordinate.

Glad to hear that you're taking it slow and working on solid basics with her. Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-02-2010, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for that
It helped
And I want to get her basics down before I get to doing any training for barrel racing,pole bending and other speed events as I want that understanding and training already in place so I don't struggle to get her to pay attention to me as my friends have done in the past competing to early in the horses training hasn't helped anyone I know of.

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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