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This is a discussion on suppling/bending within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        06-23-2009, 10:51 PM

    Today I was riding a horse that is still new-ish to the whole being ridden and bending/suppling/loosening/giving idea. He is hard as a board on the right side. I did little circles to the right, allowing lots of give with my right hand (as recommended by my instructor) and I was wondering if any had any other ideas. Thanks!
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        06-23-2009, 11:07 PM
    Does your saddle fit? Try a few carrot stretches before you ride as well as a short lunge at the walk and slow trot.. it has really helped my new pony mare.
        06-23-2009, 11:56 PM
    Leg yielding is a great way to loosen up their backs. Are you doing any of that? Also stretching forward and downward - are you riding dressage? Stretching circles are a great way to promote loosening and suppleness. Good luck!
        06-24-2009, 08:44 AM
    I would keep him on a 20 meter circle for most of the ride whenever you are on him, after you warm up. That will encourage the bend and help you to really notice whenever he's counterbent, so you can correct it. You just have to really push him off of the inside leg, into a steady outside rein. You can also wiggle the inside rein (no see-sawing) to help him get the idea.

    Only give your inside hand AFTER he gives in to the pressure - that's his reward: he gives into your pressure, then you leave his mouth alone. It's not even really giving your hand forward, it's more just softening your fingers on the rein to release a little pressure.

    Other exercises such as shoulder-in, legyields and turn on the haunches/forehand will help him learn to move off of leg pressure. Which will make him easier to bend once he's more responsive to your aids.

    Just keep chipping away at it, he'll get it :)
        06-24-2009, 12:55 PM
    Hey all.
    I am with my Beau on this one.
    My horse has not been ridden in a long time. (he has lived at parents ranch because I have been injured for 4-5 yrs.getting better)
    So he was sent during that time to a woman to retrain him from the track...Something I would normally do myself.
    Anyway I got on him once or twice in betweeen injuries and had aske for a little bending to see what the woman had done with him...
    I did not get any bend at all...
    So I applied the methods that My Beau has just suggested and he dis soften into the bend (Not Muc) but a I think if you continue to apply the same cues consistenty you can get this horse to bend...
    I used to do things like put a orange cones in corners to bend around so I applied the pressure when coming to the cone and bend the into the corner between the cone and the area's corner...Just a way to mix it up.
    It just takes time.
    I am sure I will be dealing with this issue soon as my horse has not been ridden now for at least 2-3 yrs...Sad that I was too injured and broken myself to ride but I am getting better and almost ready to ride.
    No I won't be getting on him Not yet..
    Good luck and everyone has given great advice...
    Half Pass

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