Having trouble flexing him to the right....
 
 

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Having trouble flexing him to the right....

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  • Horse having problem flexing one direction
  • Having trouble flexing my horse

 
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    02-04-2008, 09:43 PM
  #1
Yearling
Having trouble flexing him to the right....

Hey,

My daughter has been riding Billy alot lately getting him ready for the up coming show season.
I was giving her a lesson, and she said he was really hard to flex to the right.. Me automatically thinking it was to do with his teeth (he was due) or soreness I got the vet out to do a overall check up. He said he only had one sharp up the top left, but he reckons it was not enough to cause his to be resistant going around to the right. And he wasnt sore any where.
All our tack is professionally fitted to the horse, so I have no problem with the tack...

So the problem is, when she was riding in a 20m circle, her position was good, she had her inside rein slightly open, squeezing her inside leg on the girth, and the outside leg behind the girth, holding the outside rein... and he just wont flex that way... he does at the walk, and canta, but the trot is the main problem.

After a 10min walk warm up, I always make her do a excercise with him, to flex his neck around to her toe each way, and he does that without any problem...

This one has got me puzzeled....any ideas??
Thanks in advance
     
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    02-04-2008, 09:54 PM
  #2
Foal
When I deal with horses that have trouble flexing to one direction, I just practise, practise, practise bending!!!

What you said about the whole bending to each direction is what I do with a case like this.

So, my warm-up would look something like this:

First 5 minutes, walk both directions, on each direction ask him to bend to the inside for... 4-6 strides, then switch the bend to an outside bend for 4-6, etc and then change direction at the walk, do the same thing and it should make him alot softer to work with.

After walking, go into the trot and practise alot of the same things mostly going down the long sides of the arena.

If he's still really stiff and not wanting to bend to the inside, spiral in on a 20 meter circle. From a 20m, spiral in to a 15m, then spiral in to a 10m and stay on the 10m circle until you start to feel him listening more and then spiral back out to the 20m.

Just do alot of stuff to make him stronger on that side. After awhile he will get it.
     
    02-04-2008, 10:05 PM
  #3
Yearling
Thanks for that, yeh sounds similar to my work out... In 10m and 15m circles he acually works pretty good, its just on the 20m and half the arena. I do alot of shoulder ins, shoulder outs as well, after acouple of times he does eventually get it, takes time, but slowly he does become supple... I just don't understand why he is really stiff to start off with, when he is supple to the left...

Any more suggestions??
     
    02-04-2008, 11:15 PM
  #4
Showing
Most horses have a "good" way and a "bad" way - just like I'm right handed and so if I haven't trained much to write with my left hand I'm not going to be too happy about using it.. so it's a matter of practise.
Most horses will be really stiff to one way, and it takes a long time to make them supple both ways, and chances are they'll still be tougher on one side than another.
Exercises I would recommend:

- counterbending to the right when going left
- doing a 20m circle to the right, spiral down to a 10 and leg yield back out to a 20
- leg yields! This helps with suppleness both ways
- figure eights and intermittent circles either way
- start your first half of the figure eight , and when you get to the top of the circle where you would normally turn the other direction, instead do a small 10-m circle in the same direction, then you can go on towards the other half... just to a smaller circle inside of each loop before moving on to the other direction

All of these exercises will just increase flexibility and suppleness either direction... I'll try and come up with more soon :)
     
    02-05-2008, 09:49 PM
  #5
Yearling
Hey thanks alot for that!! I will try that
     
    02-05-2008, 11:27 PM
  #6
Showing
No problem!! Let me know how it goes!
     
    02-06-2008, 06:42 PM
  #7
Yearling
Hey, my daughter rode him yesterday afternoon... he is acually improving. He is starting to become very supple... Thanks for your help 8)
     
    02-20-2008, 08:01 PM
  #8
Deb
Foal
Another thing that you should consider is that he might have a muscle knot somewhere. I used to be an equine massage therapist and as well, I have had to avail myself of the a massage therapist occasionally as well. A knot can suddenly happen because the muscle fibres get their "cues" mixed up and they sort of become tangled. This can cause a great deal of discomfort and your horse will be reluctant to perform whatever movement causes pain. Given enough time anyone can learn to work through the pain, but in that area you now have stiffening fibres and so there will be a minute loss of flexibility. And as the months and years go by, the stiffness builds.

Since it sounds like you compete, you could look up a massage therapist for your horse. You would be amazed at how it can sometimes free them up. It might be necessary to have a therapist out a few times because muscle tissue has a memory and tends to want to go back to the "injured" position for a bit until it has been properly loosened. Just a suggestion.
     
    02-20-2008, 08:25 PM
  #9
Showing
That's great to hear, Delregans Way! What exercises worked best?
     
    02-20-2008, 09:59 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Another thing that you should consider is that he might have a muscle knot somewhere. I used to be an equine massage therapist and as well, I have had to avail myself of the a massage therapist occasionally as well. A knot can suddenly happen because the muscle fibres get their "cues" mixed up and they sort of become tangled. This can cause a great deal of discomfort and your horse will be reluctant to perform whatever movement causes pain. Given enough time anyone can learn to work through the pain, but in that area you now have stiffening fibres and so there will be a minute loss of flexibility. And as the months and years go by, the stiffness builds.

Since it sounds like you compete, you could look up a massage therapist for your horse. You would be amazed at how it can sometimes free them up. It might be necessary to have a therapist out a few times because muscle tissue has a memory and tends to want to go back to the "injured" position for a bit until it has been properly loosened. Just a suggestion.
Deb that does make alot of sense. The bottom and crest of his neck is sore, if you try to massage it. You can see it hurts him... I will defintally inquire about that... thank you. I do however have my horses to see a bowen theripist once a year, and she has never said anything about that.

JDI, my daughter is doing alot of Shoulder in's, and leg yeilds...working on a 20m circle. The figure of eights are working, and he is starting to quickly pick it up, and changes his flextion automatically!! :P

Thanks heaps
     

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