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LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 03:58 PM

new horse...won't flex laterally under saddle
I have a new horse. He is 13ish and green broke. When I brought him home I spent close to 2 months desensitizing him. I chose to use Clinton Anderson's method and worked with my horse atleast 5 days a week. He yields hindquarters and front end, backs, sends, squeezes between me and objects calmly and with confidence, self loads and circles. I started working on one rein stops and lateral flexion before I ever thought about getting on him. This is where the challenge begins. I started riding him too soon. We walked, trotted and canter without issue. He would stop when I picked up one rein but will not yield his head for a one rein stop. After I realized that this was an issue for him, I spent an entire week with him working on lateral flexion. After the week spent, he would yield both left and right with 2 fingers consistently, so I went back to work on yielding while in saddle. I was sitting on him, after saddling and desensitizing him, and had his head pulled 3/4 way around to the right. I was waiting for him to yield so I could release the pressure and he exploded. I was thrown off and will be out of the saddle for a while. Before putting him up that night, I did stand in each stirrup and ask for a yield but was too sore to get back on. Today, he yielded both ways on the ground with no issue. Any suggestions on how I accomplish this in the saddle?? I can't ride him with confidence until he is confident with lateral flexion!!

tinyliny 07-13-2013 04:10 PM

that sounds like pain caused by the saddle, and your weight in it.

LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 04:20 PM

It seems to fit well. Fits nicely over his withers, but he is kinda short backed. He hasn't offered a buck when we've been moving. I feel like he couldn't find the right answer, got frustrated and let loose on me.

Weezilla 07-13-2013 04:33 PM

I agree with tinyliny. Sounds like shooting pain, possibly associated with weight and/or saddle.I wouldn't keep repeating the pain-causing flexion in case you create a pattern. (I'm afraid I don't understand why this extreme flexion is necessary in the first place-)

LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 04:39 PM

It's the start of one rein stop and teaching steering. It allows rider to gain control physically and mentally of the horse. It may be pain since he does it perfectly w no saddle or rider

LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 04:42 PM

Lateral flexion is also the basis for vertical flexion ie collection

tinyliny 07-13-2013 04:44 PM

one of the things I dislike about the CA methods , as I've seen them practised by horse owners (have not fully watched his training DVD's. Can't get past the flashing lights and ego), is that he focusses so much on having the horse tolerate things while standing still, but seems to neglect asking the horse to tolerate things WHILE moving. A horse can often stuff down inside his discomfort about something, like a snapping whip or flag, stand still and "take it" because he knows he's supposed to. But, once he is asked to do that AND walk forward, he falls apart.
This isn't necessarily what happened to you, but it's just something that came to mind in your talk about desensitizing and all.

I don't do the deep flexs at a stand still either. I mean, if I flex the horse that far, it's only becuase I have been asking him to both flex through his poll (laterally, not vertically) AND step his hind leg inside and over, and he is bracing against that, so it becomes necessary to go "deeper" to get him to flex throughout the whole body and step under. having him bring his nose to my knee has no purpose that I can see, especially if he is rotating his head (avoiding a correct flexion at the poll) in an attempt to reach that far.

LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 04:49 PM

How do you teach stopping tiny? One rein or no? I started one rein stops on my other 14 year old gelding when his brakes were rusty and it's made a huge difference. I'm just trying to achieve good brakes on my new guy too. And yes I agree about desensitizing when moving. That's a whole new ball game. I'm just trying to get all the things he does great on the ground to cross over to the saddle!

tinyliny 07-13-2013 04:56 PM

I use one rein stop, if necessary, and I always stop the horse with (seat first , of course) one rein more firm than the other, thus encouraging some softness to one side with the jaw. Softness in the jaw helps with softness in the body.

If you teach the stop with just asking the horse to put it's head over to one side and stop, usually the horse is stopping with it;s weight still on it's forehand, kind of like it is hanging over a cliff. you want him to stop softly and to gather his weight back a wee bit over his hind legs. if he stops leaning forward , over his front legs, the second you give him the rein, he will fall forward. in fact, he never really stops, he just "pauses".
he has never GIVEN to the rein through his whole body, he has just broken at the neck, hauled his head to the side, and waited for you to quit this silly stopping and pulling so he can go back to the direction his mind is still fixed on.

So, having him give to the rein AND step under with his hind and disengage is part of teaching a one rein stop, IMO. you wont' always need to go that far, the full disengagement, but you do this to teach him to connect the rein with his "engine" (the hind legs), and to learn to give through his whole body, and not just the neck.

LoveMyToby 07-13-2013 05:09 PM

That helps a lot. So I was doing ok when he would trot/stop and lope/stop with using just slight pressure on one rein and my seat? He was stopping just not yielding his head. So stopping with one rein and not disengaging hind end allows him to stop on his hind end since that is the motor!?

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