Lateral Flexion-Help!
   

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Lateral Flexion-Help!

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        03-07-2014, 11:20 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Lateral Flexion-Help!

    I bought Les Vogt's cowhorseU training program and am stuck on the lateral flexion part of the training.

    I'm suppose to get lateral flexion down at the walk, trot and canter.

    I started on the canter and my horse kept dropping its shoulder and ducking out of the circle.

    I found out later I was leaning back and to the inside of the circle alot. Does it make sense that this could be the reason she was dropping her shoulder and ducking out of the circle?

    If so, do you have any riding tips for me to keep me "upright" when we're working on lateral flexion in circles?

    Thanks!
         
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        03-12-2014, 09:58 AM
      #2
    Foal
    First of all, what do you mean by "ducking out of the circle"? If the horse is dropping it's inside shoulder going to the right, then bringing it's face more to the right should tend to help pick up that shoulder. Leaning to the inside makes this more physically difficult for the horse because they have to pick up your weight in addition to the already dropped shoulder.
    You really want to be sitting balanced, but if you had to pick a spot to lean for this issue, it would be a little bit back, and to the outside.
    I'd also advise that while you are working on lateral flexion here that your legs play a large roll as well. Giving your horse an inside leg to guide him and help lift his inside shoulder will help tremendously.
         
        03-12-2014, 10:08 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielDauphin    
    First of all, what do you mean by "ducking out of the circle"? If the horse is dropping it's inside shoulder going to the right, then bringing it's face more to the right should tend to help pick up that shoulder. Leaning to the inside makes this more physically difficult for the horse because they have to pick up your weight in addition to the already dropped shoulder.
    You really want to be sitting balanced, but if you had to pick a spot to lean for this issue, it would be a little bit back, and to the outside.
    I'd also advise that while you are working on lateral flexion here that your legs play a large roll as well. Giving your horse an inside leg to guide him and help lift his inside shoulder will help tremendously.
    Thanks for the reply!

    When I said "she ducks out of the circle". I'll be going to the left, my inside leg asking for bend and inside rein, but she just brings her head and neck almost to me knee, doesn't turn, and I feel like we're going to fall over. When I straighten her out she twice turned and ran the other way.
         
        03-12-2014, 10:56 AM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Try less rein and more seat/leg. Sounds like you're moving her head and neck but not her body. When my horse does that it's because I'm riding too much with my hands and need to use more seat and leg.
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        03-12-2014, 11:02 AM
      #5
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
    Try less rein and more seat/leg. Sounds like you're moving her head and neck but not her body. When my horse does that it's because I'm riding too much with my hands and need to use more seat and leg.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Thanks!

    What do you mean by "use more seat"?
         
        03-13-2014, 10:12 PM
      #6
    Foal
    You asked about lateral flexion, but what you describe her doing sounds more like a shoulder yielding problem to me. I'm still not 100% sure about what you are describing.
    If you mean that you bend her left and apply inside (left) leg and she doesn't turn left, but instead wants to go right, and does so when you release her, you need less left leg and some right leg introduced to hold her shoulder from leaking out.
    I'm also not clear on one other thing. Is this horse doing this exercise pretty darn well at the walk and trot, but going nuts at the canter, or did you skip the walk and trot, and "start" at the canter. I'd sure be doing the majority of this work at the trot. It is the most underutilized gait IMO.
    Since DancingArabian hasn't chimed back in, I'll suggest that they probably mean using your pelvis position to ask her to slow down and come to you rather than over pulling on the reins. You certainly can, and indeed most people do, pull way too hard and way too much for way too long.
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        03-13-2014, 10:14 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Also, remember that you conquer or gain lateral flexion by degrees. Many many people try for WAY TOO MUCH flexion WAY TOO SOON. You want to ask for all that you can get without her starting to untrack the hindquarters. If you are allowing her to travel around with untracked hindquarters frequently, you are about to train her to do one of my absolute least favorite problems to fix. Flexion exists through the entire spine, not just in the neck. Ask for what you can get, but no more.
         
        03-13-2014, 10:43 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Use more seat = use more of your seat aids (your torso and your behind) and leg aids to cue your horse and rely less on tugging her head around.

    Use more inside leg to keep the horse on the circle. If you're riding english your focus would be inside leg and outside rein
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        03-13-2014, 11:42 PM
      #9
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanielDauphin    
    Also, remember that you conquer or gain lateral flexion by degrees. Many many people try for WAY TOO MUCH flexion WAY TOO SOON. You want to ask for all that you can get without her starting to untrack the hindquarters. If you are allowing her to travel around with untracked hindquarters frequently, you are about to train her to do one of my absolute least favorite problems to fix. Flexion exists through the entire spine, not just in the neck. Ask for what you can get, but no more.
    What problem is that? And what do you do to fix it?
         
        03-14-2014, 06:46 AM
      #10
    Foal
    The problem is the horse traveling around, in any lateral situation anyway, with his hindquarters untracked. So, if we were to be making a circle to the left, his front feet would be on one circle, and his hind would be traveling a slightly larger circle. This would be the absolute enemy of collection as it takes away all of his power from the hind, and also puts a bit of a twist in his back instead of him being balanced. Two things are needed to fix it.
    First, the lateral flexion must be conquered, but much more slowly because you can't afford to let him practice doing it wrong anymore.
    Secondly, you'll have to use a lot more outside leg in the rearward position to continually put his hips back underneath him.
    Both of these things would be done anyway, but they tend to be needed sooner and have to be done because of something the rider caused. There's a bit more to it than this, but these are the main reasons for my dislike.
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