If a horse is very sensitive and prone to explosive energy, I would ace before rides. Dosage talk to your vet because I think of it as a safety precaution to prevent the horse from hurting itself and a lot of horses when on rest. Even a perfect saint of a horse can be naughty or wild when they dont have a work load. The ace can also be a good tool for re-training the mind to be more relaxed about work and not get too intensive.
My dressage horse is very hot and intense and when I had PRP done on his stifles he had one month of lighter work. He could walk and trot but had to ace him and no collected work and minimal laterals. He was ridden on the bit but more like a training-1st or 2nd level frame vs in more collection. Depending on where the injury is located you dont want to over load the hind end. No small circles or one rein stops. I did a lot of in hand work with him and that was when I taught him spanish walk. Leg lifts are good and a lot of desensitization. It took months to be able to ride him with a whip. Why ride with a whip? quite honestly to improve the quality of collected work like half steps, piaffe, passage and laterals and to show the horse the expectation. Helps a lot with half pass, shoulder in, haunches in, walk pirouettes, etc. I worked a lot to get him to accept the aids, as Charlotte Dujardin says hot horses need to learn to be ridden with the legs on and lazy horses need to be ridden legs off. Over reaction is not a correct reaction or true acceptance or obedience of the aids. Mine is very stallion-like and so it is always coming back to listen to me, don't take control, take a breath dont anticipate, listen. Breathe, faster isnt better. And teaching him to react in a relaxed, balanced way rather than a tense, anxious hot way. Sometimes long, low and through leg yields or shoulder in or haunches in. I dont have to have him in collection for those things, what I need is relaxation, suppleness and elastic acceptance of the aids and reaching through in a relaxed way vs being tense and horses like this always seem to carry tension. So it's always working for a balanced brain.
If the injury is front end, I'd work on transitions walk-halt and work on developing a decent collected walk and try to get her really true on the aids and understanding them. The aids can always be made clearer. Play with collected walk a few strides to the maximum level she can bring the hind end under to long and low stretching, gathering back up and making sure she has correct responses meaning balanced mind, not too sensitive or anxious about what is asked and listening to you. Not assuming. Use patterns like shallow loops, clover patterns, even just using your body and saying here follow my weight. When I warm up, I often ask for quite little and still have the horse working into the contact but for steering I make it super simple and say just follow my weight. If I sit lighter in the saddle and shorten my rein, I can put my leg on and get more collection. Sit lighter in collection and invite the horse's back up into your pelvis. And play with how sitting heavier or lighter influences the horse and how you can put your weight and ask for leg yield, etc and receive basic acceptance and understanding of the aids.
You can do a lot in the walk. When mine is too much into his head I go back to the walk and try to help him take a breath, else it's mediums and explosions all over the place. Always sit light in the walk, more weight down your stirrup irons to take the weight off the back. A lot of people sit too deep or grind in the walk. It is best to sit light and think of opening up and getting them more relaxed by rocking their barrel inbetween your legs. Follow the rib cage and encourage that rib cage to have a bit more swing.
Turns on the forehand, Turns on the haunches, walk pirouette. Haunches in into the pirouette can make it wide or make a square where at each corner walk pirouette or turn on the forehand or haunches in. Sometimes just standing at the halt. Yes boring but important.
I also agree with not lunging if she is a horse that challenges and plays games when she is restricted in what she can do. It isn't worth it but in hand is very good.
Last edited by DanteDressageNerd; 12-13-2018 at 05:23 AM.