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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work my horse in a rope halter on the ground and under saddle.

When I apply pressure to the lead rope, she breaks at the withers and drops her head. She is soft laterally on the ground and under saddle, so I would like to work on vertical flexion. How do you teach vertical flexion on the ground? When I pick on up the reins, she breaks at the withers (instead of the poll) and drops her head. I wonder if it is due to poll pain or training.
 

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Its rare that a horse that is loose and able to flex laterally near the poll cannot also flex vertically from the poll. are you sure that your lateral flexion is at the poll (well, actually it's the second neck vertebrae, if I remember correctly)? when you ask for lateral flexion, is she 'tilting' her head first in order to get around to the side? meaning the ears go one direction, and the nose the other so the line of the face is not longer straight up ad down but rather at an angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't understand.

When I pick up on a rein, she brings her head around to touch the point of her shoulder or my foot or knee, depending on where I ask.
 

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I think it’s easier to teach from the saddle, but from the ground… hmm. Stand at her shoulder and back her, release when she flexes even a little correctly. Moving will make her more likely to keep it correct. If she tries to put her head down don’t let her. She’s trying to do what she thinks you want I know, but she’s confused about what that is and you have to explain it.
 
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