Lateral Flexion Help!
 
 

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Lateral Flexion Help!

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  • Correct overflexing horse head not body
  • Lateral flexion horse

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    10-19-2011, 06:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Lateral Flexion Help!

Whenever I try to flex my pony's neck, he always just turns in a circle or moves his feet. (no matter if I'm doing it with a leadrope or a bit/bridle.) How can I get him to do it standing still?
     
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    10-19-2011, 06:14 PM
  #2
Weanling
I always thought it was a good thing when the horses feet & body followed it's nose.

Though if you must do it at the standstill, take his head slower. Oftentimes if you take the head quickly it throws the weight of the horses head and shoulders in the direction you want, so it can't help but rebalance by sending its feet.

If he still moves and you want him to stop just keep him going in small circles. He'll figure out that it's easier to stop than move.
tinyliny and LauraRose like this.
     
    10-19-2011, 06:14 PM
  #3
Trained
Make sure you are not accidentally touching him with your legs. You may be cuing him to keep turning without knowing it. If that's not the case, you just have to hold the pressure until the horse stops moving and then release the rein the split second he stops so he knows he did the right thing.

Before anyone jumps on you, know that lateral flexion has two very different meanings. At least in the english world, what you're doing is not lateral flexion. Bottom line, I get what you're trying to do so I offered my suggestions.
     
    10-19-2011, 08:29 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher    
i always thought it was a good thing when the horses feet & body followed it's nose.

Though if you must do it at the standstill, take his head slower. Oftentimes if you take the head quickly it throws the weight of the horses head and shoulders in the direction you want, so it can't help but rebalance by sending its feet.

If he still moves and you want him to stop just keep him going in small circles. He'll figure out that it's easier to stop than move.

I especially agree with this statement. Horse should follow his nose.

But, it's possible that when you are asking him to flex laterally, and you want him to start this with poll and neck flexion, that he is bracing his neck and just turning his body around , like a swinging gate?

If that is the case, he is either resistant to bending at the neck and poll or doesn't understand that you want him to do this.

Stand on the ground next to him facing forward, at his shoulder. Pick up the rein or lead rope and bring it back and up , as if you were in the saddle and lifting the rein to creat a bend. Put on some soft but steady pressure. If he gives to that, you give back but not all the way. You give back 75%, and then take up the pressure again, 'til he gives/ you give, then again and again until he brings his head around freely, when you give him a huge bunch of slack.

If he boards up his neck, but starts to move his feet to turn toward you, then you maintain your position right next to his shoulder (watch your feet!) and turn with him But DO NOT release the pull on the rein or leadline. Keep a sharp eye on his face, and if he bends toward you with his neck, give release right then, regardless of what his feet are doing. Do this enough and he'll realize that it's the bending of his neck that you want, not the pivoting around.

Eventually, you will WANT him to turn, but only after he has followed the rope with his nose, his face, his neck and then his feet.
     
    10-19-2011, 09:54 PM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher    
i always thought it was a good thing when the horses feet & body followed it's nose.

.

It is unless they are caught up in the must flex to the riderīs knee idea.
     
    10-19-2011, 10:04 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder    
It is unless they are caught up in the must flex to the riderīs knee idea.
Exactly! What Christopher meant (I do hope I am making a correct assumption here, Christopher) is that not only does the horse move with his nose/head to follow the rein, but his FEET, too.

This is one of the problems that I see with the commonly used technique of holding a horse's head way over to its' side, in a static position; it may flex the neck some but there is little value of this as pertains to riding. The better idea is to flex the neck over with the goal of having the horse follow with his mind /nose and neck AND bring the body along with it. Isn't that what taking up the rein is ultimately about: speaking to the feet! So, keep the feet in the equation. This is what my trainer keeps reminding me. That the rein must talk to the feet, especially the back feet. But to start with, the hrose must learn to follow the rein, and that starts with a flexion of the poll and neck but to NOT disconnect this from the feet by hauling the head around to the rider's toe and expect the hrose to stand stock still, frozen.

I bet a lot of people will disagree with me. This is one of the things I dislike most about Clinton Anderson training. But now I am going to catch ####, I bet.
     
    10-19-2011, 10:40 PM
  #7
Weanling
Correct assumption tiny. Too much emphasis is put on flexing the horse from head to wither, not enough is put on flexing the horse from wither to tail - the important part of the horse.
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    10-19-2011, 10:55 PM
  #8
Showing
I'd think as long as you sit tall and quiet and no leg/seat action the horse should stand too and flex the neck and turn the nose towards your boot. Both my mares know how to do it (although I don't do it anymore).

I basically asked them to flex and didn't soften till the horse stopped and "gave" (and I have to say it took almost no time for them to realize what is asked).
     
    10-19-2011, 11:33 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher    
correct assumption tiny. Too much emphasis is put on flexing the horse from head to wither, not enough is put on flexing the horse from wither to tail - the important part of the horse.
I wish I could double like this statement! The assumption that if you can make a horse kiss your boot under saddle and is therefore super supple... it does drive me a little crazy. Usually can be seen combined with the 'leg mover' variety of riding, with no back movement whatsoever :)
     
    10-20-2011, 12:02 AM
  #10
Super Moderator
It's not only that, but you disconnect the head form the legs and the horse learns to just kind of "pause" when his head is pulled around to his shoulder, but he still is mentally going forward, no change in his body, he's leaning forward , waiting for you to release the rein so he can go on. Now some horses don't lean like that, that's true, but some get so "rubbery" soft in the neck that you lose your connection to their mouth, and thus the connection to their feet VIA the rein.
My friend started doing this all the time; shutting her horse down this way, but now the horse just flexes his neck and keeps going . OR, he stops but he gets stiffer and stiffer through the body and more and more agitated. He never gives up his thought to run off with her.
     

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