Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas
First, I would rule out any physical issues. My friend's horse had a twisted and compacted vertibrae near her poll that was making it difficult and painful to flex to the left. A good chiropractor can evaluate.
If there are no physical issues, I would start as White Foot has suggested asking for the flex on the ground. If your horse is OK with this, you can loosen him up before a ride by tying the reins to the saddle and letting your horse circle for a little bit in his stall. Only do this if he can easily flex from the ground and also take it very slowly !! You tie one rein (with some slack) to the horn and tie the other rein to the back cinch D ring so it requires your horse to bend his nose in that direction. Ask him to walk in his stall and the bend caused from his rein will promote walking in a circle. As he gets better and more supple, ask for a little more bend each time you warm up. Make sure to ask for the bend in both directions. When you get in the arena to warm up, ask for a lot of flexing and bending. Lastly, when you work the barrel pattern, walk around the barrel to the left and exaggerate the flex. Once your horse gets looser and more balanced in circles, he should have not problem getting flexed around the barrel.
Last edited by Ridehorses99; 07-30-2010 at 04:16 PM.