Lateral flexion question
I have recently started riding again and have a 7 yr old mare (just acquired her this past year) that hasn't been ridden much the last couple of years. I know, not a good choice, but the price was right. Her previous owner had gone through the Parelli level one stuff with her and she seems to be real respectful. I'm trying to get more consistant with working with her several times a week. Have been working on lateral flexion and on the ground she is getting really soft, bends her head over with the slightest pressure. However, when I'm in the saddle (or bareback) I have to literally drag her head from side to side. I don't seem to be making any progress. I'm using a rope halter in both cases. Do I just need to keep practicing in the saddle?
Use a carrot.
Maybe you could try getting her attention with a good bump with the leg on the side your trying to flex. Works for me when my horse is tuning me out
Thanks, I'll give that a try. Any other suggestions?
Use a bridle or sidepull. Lateral pressure from on top isn't very clear when using a rope halter.
What are you doing differently? Sounds like you are not giving with the off hand.
Pick up the reins--slide the hand on the side you want the flexion down the rein and then pull with that hand while giving with the other.
Remember when she gives release like RIGHT NOW!! It does feel different because of the weight of the other rein.
Give with the off rein and release as soon as she gives. Build until she will touch her belley and break at the poll AND KEEP HER HEAD THERE UNTIL YOU CUE HER TO PUT IT BACK--by pulling on the off rein.
I don't feel like I'm doing anything differently. Just pulling from a higher angle... And I was paying attention to make sure my off rein was loose. I tried the bump on the side and more of a side pull and both seemed to help some. Actually, when it comes down to it, I think what we need is just more time in the saddle and more repetition. Thanks everyone for your responses.
Use a snaffle and hold and wait instead of dragging her head around. Bump a little with the rein if you need to but if you pick up the rein and wait for her to give you will get better results than dragging her head around.
You just need to wait on it. Bumping and pulling isn't going to do you any good in the long run, that's forcing it to happen, not setting it up to truly work. She needs to find the release herself and to LEARN to give to pressure.
Wait on it? For how long? Days? Months? Years? It's not forcing anything. It's getting a result and showing the horse what you want since she's either stubborn or unsure of what's being asked of her. The OP can then go back and ask again with lighter aids to re-enforce the training. Horse's can only learn from their trainers. If their trainers just sit there until the horse decides to make a decision on its own, that's not training and it's not even safe. Let a horse make a decision in one area and it will start making decisions in others.
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