Stiff neck.

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Stiff neck.

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    12-13-2008, 03:38 PM
Stiff neck.

My mare has never had a very flexable neck so the farthest I can get her to turn her head is pretty much just enough to turn a circle nose first. If I ever need to do a tight circle with her I can get her head to my knee but only if I'm pulling her head farely hard. I would like for her to be able to stand still and be able to turn her head around to my knee without feeling like she has to move that direction. I have tried to do this by standing on the ground and slowly asking her to give her head a bit at a time and she will up until a point then she turns a circle.
I don't have much room to ride her but I know I can work on little stuff like this but I'm not sure what the correct way to teach her this would be.
If any of this makes sense I congratulate you.
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    12-13-2008, 06:58 PM
If you are a person that gives treats then you could try having your horse 'work' for the treat. You can have the horse bend its neck towards its shoulder and this should help with the bending.
    12-13-2008, 07:39 PM
My mare only likes oats so I guess I could try that. But knowing her she will just turn a circle.
My biggest problem is that her solution is always to move her bum around if her head is to the side.
    12-13-2008, 08:07 PM
Have you had a chiro look at her? Maybe she can only go a certain point until she's in some pain or discomfort because something is out of line.

You could always put her up against a fence and ask her to turn. She won't be able to turn in a circle because the fence in there.
    12-13-2008, 08:57 PM
I agree with checking to see if she is in pain before going farther. Once that is ruled out, I would work on getting her more supple on the bit before I try to get her to stand. Take up one rein and ask her to turn her head. Don't worry about her feet moving. When she turns her head and the rein goes slack (she is no longer leaning on it) then release the pressure immediately. Lots of time working on this will get her to be softer on the bit. After she does that well, then you can start working on getting her to stand with her neck flexed to the side.
    12-13-2008, 10:13 PM
TO begin this training you only ask for a slight give. Then you need to release as soon as you get it. This teaches with lightness. As the horse learns to give a little at a time you can ask for a bit more until you get the full range, ie to your knee. This also allows the horses neck to be supple enough to give "to" the knee. Make sense? And don't worry at first about the feet moving. It doesn't matter if they move or not as at some point you will want the give while moving as well as standing still.
    12-13-2008, 10:23 PM
Thank you for elaborating appyt. :)
    12-13-2008, 10:48 PM
I have nothing new to say but I say it anyway :P
When you're sure she's ok.

Bribe her with a carrot or something to make her bend her neck. Use a fence or a wall to keep her from turning. See how far she can go, and work slowly (let it take weeks or months if it has to) to make her take it at her hip.

Also stretch her back by bribing her to take the carrot between hr front legs :P

This is the only time I think bribing and using treats are good.
    12-13-2008, 11:01 PM
Smrobs, your post got my juices flowing so thank you. Lol

Zab, I like the carrot stretches for loosening up stiff horses so they aren't forced to go farther or holding longer than they are comfortable with. Good thoughts.
    12-14-2008, 01:00 AM
Thanks for all the replies.
I will definitely work with getting her to respond a bit at a time even if she moves to start off with. And I will also try the treat between the front legs to stretch her back.
As for the chiropractor I really doubt that the problem is because she can't or because of pain. She just doesn't know what I am asking her to do. I also can't get a chiropractor or vet out cause my dad owns the horses and he wouldn't think that there is a point because she is fine otherwise so then its not a big deal. But like I said I am 99% sure its not a health problem so much as she is confused.
Thanks again for the advice. I really appreciate being able to ask a question and get lots of responces in such a short time.

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