I need tips! :)

Anyone have good ideas on getting a horse to round their back nicely and collect themselves better? That’s my next project with Red…need some ideas!

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3 thoughts on “I need tips! :)”

  1. Lateral work is your best key to vertical flexion and roundness, as well as a good forward button. Lots of lateral bend to create softness overall (think softly pulling face to help Red bend towards your foot, and holding and waiting for him to give with his nose). Over and over and over. Once he starts to soften lateral, you can take both hands and ask for vertical flexion (just hold, but with leg on so he doesn’t think backwards) and as soon as he gives, release the pressure immediately. Lots of love and pats. Soon, you will be able to ride at the walk and trot, and ask for him to be round with that vertical flexion, have him be soft for several seconds, and then release. And build on that. Make sure you have a supportive leg and try to push that energy through your legs and seat through his back and out through the nose. Good luck!

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  2. The first thing to keep in mind is that roundness comes from the whole body, and not just the neck. You don’t want to pull the horse’s head down and force them into a frame. Roundness first requires the horse to be forward and in front of your leg. Once he is forward, gently flex his head at the poll by slightly lifting your inside hand gently squeezing the inside rein. Don’t pull your hand backā€“just give a light squeeze. Hold it until he gives in his neck, then release by moving your hand slightly forward. Reward him with pats and praise. You may only get a stride or two at first, but he will get better as you work. You can also work with it while lungeing him with a lunge line and bridle or even just a halter and rope. Squeeze the rope to get him to turn his head to the inside, release, and squeeze again if he turns his head out. With her I sometimes point the whip at her rib cage to encourage her bend her body(fold the rope part of the whip over and hold the end of it in the whip hand so she doesn’t get tangled in it). Pointing the whip acts like an inside leg the helps the horse to bend. I have done this with Lucky, and after a while she starts to lower her and become round for a few moments. I found it helpful working on roundness on the ground in addition to under saddle because I could see if it was right, and then learn to feel it. I hope that helps! This is what I have learned and I have achieved successful results by doing this. I hope you do too!

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  3. Think leg to hand. Lots and lots of leg! I take my hands wide and wiggle my reins to get Miles to take more contact with the bit and really try to push him forward. As soon as he rounds even a little bit, I let the pressure go from my hands and just keep my leg on. Patience is key, because it happens slowly with a horse who doesn’t really know what you’re wanting.

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