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Star5141 08-03-2013 01:37 PM

Getting a horse to bend
My friend has a horse that she wants me to ride I hav ridden it only once and it seems to find it very hard to bend I think it is just because it is a baby and has never bin schooled properly to a decent level before it is quite a big horse 16.2hh to be exact so finds it very hard in a small mange very nice natured has had his back and everything checked its just his balance is bad. His owners don't school him they just suddenly expect him to b an expert hunter ( i think this is very unfair and hav spoken to the owner about it) and they hav given up hunting him because he isn't very gd so it's my job to train him
I hav ridden along time and I am quite experienced so that's not a problem at all I was just hoping maby someone could give me some suggestions to get him starting on his bending I always love to here people's advice ;)
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Shoebox 08-03-2013 01:52 PM

I have no idea if this is a correct method or not but it works with both of my horses.

I stand on the ground at their shoulder about where I want their head to end up, and I grab their halter. I give directly sideways pressure (100% sideways so they don't think I want them to back or drop their head) - gently, because if I try to go to fast they think I want to turn them around. They'll usually start giving to the pressure, and if I keep the pressure (again gently, if I rush it they'll turn their whole bodies) eventually their head is at my shoulder. I wait until they relax (aren't pulling back against the halter) and then I let go and give lots of pets and praise.

I do this many times until they've got it down on their good side before moving to their bad, because then at least they get what they're supposed to be doing a bit!

Star5141 08-03-2013 01:55 PM

Thnx but for him it's more about like when your riding him in trot and in canter he can find it difficult around the corners :)
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Shoebox 08-03-2013 01:59 PM


Originally Posted by Star5141 (Post 3245986)
Thnx but for him it's more about like when your riding him in trot and in canter he can find it difficult around the corners :)
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I know. But if you get it 100% solid on the ground he won't have as much trouble in the saddle. Get it rock solid on ground, then sitting in saddle, THEN start trying it around the corners again

Star5141 08-03-2013 02:01 PM

Ok thnx I will give it a go but he doesn't live with me so I am unsure how well it will work with out being done regular enough
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tinyliny 08-03-2013 02:15 PM

What Shoebox is saying is that the flexion needed for a bend starts in his ability to flex to the bridle, at the poll. So, if you horse is tight at the poll, he will be tight in his hindquarters, too. Bend requires him to be softer in the poll, flex to the inside a little bit, and be able to step under himself with his rear leg.

The exersizes Shoebox is talking about are a basic step to teach the horse to flex to the bridle, and to manipulate his head to help stretch out the muscles in the neck. I would add to that getting him to leg yield on a straight line, then to leg yield on a circle (spiral out).

look at a basic book of dressage foundational exersizes for some ideas on what to do.

Star5141 08-03-2013 03:17 PM

Thanks found that really useful ;)
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