In Hand Work

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In Hand Work

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  • 1 Post By Bagheera

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    05-07-2013, 11:44 PM
In Hand Work

What are some good in hand exercises to help a stiff horse loosen up? I have done minimal ground work with horses other than lunging and would like to learn some things I can do with just a halter, lead rope, and a whip.
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    05-08-2013, 12:22 AM
Lateral exercises such as side passing or leg yields.

Disengaging the hindquarters or the forehand.

Carrot stretches to help unlock the back and neck. Flexing to unlock the poll.

Teach him shoulder in and haunches in too.. that really loosens them up.
    05-08-2013, 08:33 PM
I've been doing the carrot exercises and they've really been helping him. I've also been working on teaching him to halt and to walk on in hand. He knows walk on but is still learning the word halt. He's a quick learner, so I know he'll have it down pat in no time. He is pretty good laterally under saddle. How do I replicate that on the ground? Also, how do I get him to disengage his hindquarters or forehand on the ground?
    05-08-2013, 08:40 PM
It's very easy on the ground. You ask for the sideways movement by asking certain parts of the horse to yield. As soon as they yield, then you release pressure. They may go backwards, they may go forward. But as soon as they go sideways, release pressure. To get them to turn on the forehand, you ask them to yield their hind over by asking their hips to yield. Be careful about not getting kicked. To do turn on the quarters, you make them yield their shoulder. The easiest way to do this is flex their neck so their nose is tipped inward and them ask him to yield via applying pressure until they move.

Now for a sidepass: you yield the shoulder, yield the hind. Little by little

Obviously best to work on yielding certain bodyparts before you do full out lateral yielding.

Does that make sense?

Now you ask for that yield either with an even pressure (flat hand is less noticeable than say one or two fingers) or with motion (if they are good at reading your body language)
    05-08-2013, 08:58 PM
Yes. That does make sense. I do all of that under saddle with him regularly. I'll start doing it in hand as well. He is in full training under saddle four days a week. I like to do in hand work with him at least twice a week. I'll start incorporating these exercises as well. Thanks for the help! :)
    05-08-2013, 09:04 PM
Of course :)

Now more advanced movements like shoulder in or haunches in are taught inhand in a different way. I haven't figured it out yet but I believe you can look up an "Working Inhand" book with tips and methods.

But I'd think of it as asking them to move forwards in a straight line while yielding their shoulder or hips either in or out, depending.
    05-08-2013, 09:24 PM
Bagheera can do shoulder in and a few steps of haunches in at the walk under saddle. I'd love to learn to do it in hand as well. I think you've got it right. The hard part, I imagine, is teaching them to not move laterally like with the leg yield, but to step straight forward with their shoulder/haunches in/out.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-08-2013, 11:00 PM
Yep those in hand books will walk you and your horse through it :)
    05-09-2013, 03:50 AM
First do in hand exercises to mobilise the jaw, flex laterally at the atlas/axis, and chew fdo at halt. Then start with mobile turns on the forehand, and over time shoulder fore/shoulder in. Half pass is done with the handler on the outside. Rein back as well.
    05-10-2013, 12:58 AM
Thanks guys! I super appreciate it! :)

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