Teaching horse to bend through her body? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching horse to bend through her body?

Okay. Thanks to the help of some members here, I finally understand that my mare isn't a bad turner, but that she cannot "arc" or bend through her body. She has a stiff body. How should I go about teaching her to bend her ribcage? Thanks in advance for all the advice!
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 04:09 PM
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I train my horse according the Bent Branderup method/Academic Riding Art. He is from Denmark.

You start to bend the horse standing, then in walk on the volte. The horse is lead by a cavesson (no bit) and the main purposes in the start of the training is:

Head lowered (to strech the back and make the underline (belly) muscles strong)
Looking in the right direction
Stepping under the body mass with the inner hind leg (under bellybutton)

You start training in walk and on a circle. You walk next to the horses head.

Here is one short movie with the results of that particular method:

THis is her channal on You Tube PaardenBegrijpen - YouTube

I knwo there are also movies about starting the horse this method.

Her website is only in Dutch, but her movies are in English. If you have any questions, let me know.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Hippo. Any more advice would be great anyone!
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 08:03 PM
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That's a nice video. If you dont' have that good of a connection to have the horse go around you at liberty, the same can be done on a lungline.
The point being to have the horse turn , put an ear and an eye on you, walk such that he tracks with the inside hind reaching well under the belly, and that he does not drop the inside shoulder (the last horse in the video, the chestnut, was dropping his inside shoulder and crowding her a bit, IMO).

The horse cannot really bend his rib cage, per se. What happens is that when the inside leg steps under and acroll the belly , it pushed the ribcage to the outside , making the horse's body a bit "shorter" on the inside. so, in effect, there is a bend in the whole boy, supported by the inside hind taking a lot more weight onto it. it's that taking on of weight that characterizes "engagement".
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-22-2012, 10:37 PM
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My horse does the same thing! In fact, I just put up a new thread about it. Haha 😃
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