08-28-2008, 10:43 AM
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It sounds like he's off to a good start. I would keep doing what you're doing, just make sure in the suppling exercises you are keeping the base of his neck coming straight out of his shoulders and not letting his neck lead his movement. With an unbalanced horse the first thing you need to establish is straightness from two legs into two reins. You want to have equal contact in both reins and don't worry so much about bending him or leg yeilding. Keep doing circles, serpentines and nice long straight lines so he can find his balance. Another great thing to work on is transitions. Do a million in one ride, you can either do them from one gait to another (walk-trot) or in the gait (working trot-lengthen trot). These will really help him to find his balance and hlp with a multitude of other things.
Another thing that is really useful in training any horse is lunging. It allows the horse to find it's balance without a rider. I always suggest that you use his normal bridle, a surcingle/roller and side reins with the little rubber doughnuts. Adjust the side reins so they are holding his head higher (so tie them onto the middle ring of the surcingle, not the bottom one) and tight enough so they aren't bouncing. Then you can teach him voice commands more easily (which are a godsend in the saddle too when you are training the horse to do something else, or perfecting your transitions). I would introduce him slowly to lunging, and maybe just put the equipment on loosly and lead him around with it on and praise him a lot the first few times. I would also continue doing a lot of ground work with him. Walking and trotting in hand, practice squaring up and pivoting and sidepassing just so he's used to these ideas when similar ones are introduced undersaddle.
Good luck! And have fun!