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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone i always like to flex my horses necks to the sides slightly before ridning as it help warm them up and in cancioneras case calms her down. but lately furia wont let me! as soon as i move her head to the side she wil try and walk off!! :shock: how can i get her to stay still and simply turn her neck??
thanks
 

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Keep the flex in her neck (or pressure on the bit) until she stops moving her feet and relaxes. Then release the rein pressure immediately as her "reward" for doing it right. Even if she walks around for 15 seconds, if you keep the pressure on the bit, she will realize that what she is doing is not the right answer. She may try other things such as backing up, throwing her head, etc. but do not release until you get the correct response. She will quickly realize what you are asking and respond with the right answer.
 

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I would definitely suggest getting her used to it from the ground before you attempt it in the saddle. Stand next to the saddle facing forward and pull the rein back on the side you are standing. Make sure you loosen the other rein so she can bend. If she starts moving her hind end, just move along with her until she stops and relaxes and then immediately relieve the pressure on the rein. Do this on both sides. Also keep in mind that she probably won't be able to flex all the way bringing her nose to the stirrup for quite a while. Start out slow asking for a small amount of flex and gradually increase with each session.

If your mare really fights it, put her in a round pen and tie the rein back to a saddle or surcingle on one side (leaving the other rein loose enough so she can flex) and let her walk around and figure it out. Once again, start slow and only tie it back a little bit. She will soon figure out that she gets relief from the pressure when she "gives" and flexes her neck.

Oh yeah. Also make sure you are not trying this with any bit other than a snaffle in her mouth.
 

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I call this In-Hand Flexion, and I use the same lateral stretch practice (along with others) with my horses.
What we are essentially doing is hyperflexing the neck, but we must understand the effects of it and know that we only need very little of it, for no longer than ten seconds at the halt and even less at the walk. Everything must be adjusted in accordance to the horse's conformities, fitness level, and comfort zone.
And it must never be forced. Everything must be achieved with softness.
If your mare is green, then I would only suggest bringing her head around as far as normal inside bend. She needs to be able to learn how to give to pressure out of her own accord, she needs the basic muscle built for lateral flexion, and she needs to be taken along at a pace where she doesn't feel pushed. Especially if she is a rescue.

But, this is all assuming that she is perfectly sound. If she is suddenly resisting something that she is normally okay with, she may have something locked in her neck or poll. Getting her checked by a massage therapist and temporarily going back to very basic stretches would be best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes she is a rscue but flexing is one of teh first things i started on (6months ago) and she put up a fight at 1st but in the end got the hang of it. but just lately she wilol do it while im on the ground, but as soon as im up on her back she wants to go go go even if i lunge her 1st i know she really enjoys hacking out you can just tell by the way she is. lol she was never ridden or even cuddled before(she used to try bite me when i tryed to put my arm anywhere near her lol)
 

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If she was doing it, and is not doing it now...then you have a physical problem. As I'm also understanding you...you've got a behavior change...again, that's indicative often of a physical ailment.

Have her examined by a chiropractor.
 

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I agree with Mercedes. Maybe you should get her checked out. Usually a horse that was willing before, and suddenly doesn't want to do it, something is wrong with her. If it is not anything physically wrong with her, start from scratch again, because then maybe something happened that caused her to stop responding to something.

Keep us posted on what happens. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi as i state on here quite often i am in a really rural part of spain and am very lucky to even have a vet so a chiropractor is impossible but im pretty sure nothing hurts her as she will do it fine when im on theground its as soon as im on her.
 

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Hi as i state on here quite often i am in a really rural part of spain and am very lucky to even have a vet so a chiropractor is impossible but im pretty sure nothing hurts her as she will do it fine when im on theground its as soon as im on her.
As I'm newer here, I wouldn't know where you live, REGARDLESS, that is no excuse. Buy a book and video off the internet (Amazon.com is an excellent place to start) and learn about chiropractic yourself. Off the top of my head, Dr Daniel Kamen offers a pretty in depth video on chiropractic. If that's too much of a leap for your current abilities, then start by picking up a book about conformation and biomechanics and learn about the equine body, how it works and so on. Dr. Deb Bennett has an excellant 3 volume series that will tell you all you need to know about the equine skeleton and how it works. Then revisit chiropractic and tackle the situation yourself, OR educate your local vet and get them to help you.

Having said that, if she has an issue once a rider is aboard then it can only be one of two things:

1) Since groundwork translates directly to under saddle work, you aren't asking her correctly when aboard, or

2) Your added weight, or the saddle itself with your added weight is pressing on a nerve, soft tissue, whatever, and not allowing her to respond.

She isn't being obtuse just for the sake of it. She's trying to communicate with you, you only need to listen.

One is only helpless when they no longer believe in themselves.
 
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