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hannah23881 04-21-2013 09:37 PM

Very stiff horse!
I have a 10 year old QH mare. She is a left brain introvert and is very lazy. She is also very stiff. I have been trying to do lateral and vertical flexsion on the ground and in the saddle but she is still always stiff. Because of this when I get on her and make her go forward she will turn left and when I pick up the right rein to direct her to the right she doesnt give her head and therefore does not turn right. Any exercises that help with making a horse supple or responding better to the direct and indirect rein would be appreciated!

Sharpie 04-21-2013 09:51 PM

Assuming that your horse is healthy, your tack fits, and there's not a severe need for some chiropractic work (more likely than you think, and worth getting checked out if you have someone in your area), then...

Keep at it! As a stiff 10 year old, I'll bet she's had years of practicing being stiff that you're going to have to overcome. It will take lots of patience, and lots and lots of practice! I would feel reasonably certain we're talking on the scale of months here- not weeks or days.

So practice, practice, practice both on the ground and in the saddle! I'm still working on getting and keeping my horse soft and flexible- it's a never ending work in progress. :)

hannah23881 04-22-2013 06:54 AM

Thanks! yea i definintly will be consistently working on flexing. Also, do you think it is better to tilt their head and hold the pressure until they give their head(flex) then release or tilt their head and if they dont give bump it then release?


Sharpie 04-22-2013 01:31 PM

Only release when they give you what you want. Be prepared to hold pressure for a LONG time if they don't understand the idea yet and are still learning what you want of them. If they do get it/know the routine and are just being ornery, ask, tell then DEMAND what you want and don't fart around and feel like 'okay, maybe this time I'll let you get away with it.' The closer you can be to 100% consistent, the quicker and better a horse will respond to you and your teaching.

Saddlebag 04-27-2013 07:50 AM

Is she stiff when turned out? I'll bet she isn't. Stand by her withers facing forward and hold a carrot a little to the outside of your left shoulder. You might find she has plenty of flex in her neck. Do both sides as the right side is usually more resistant. I suspect this horse is compliant (survival mode) yet not really trusting.

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