Today I wanted to share some footage which we filmed on Thursday. It was a hot day but with a slight breeze and sun behind the clouds so we had less flies (and they can be massive!) to deal with. That was just as well seeing we had quite a few horses scheduled to film…
The footage in this post shows an older mare whose previous job was having babies and her breeder now wants her prepared for sale. She has good jumping papers and had been used for breeding show-jumpers.
I will call her Grey Mare. As you will see from the video below, her natural way of going is tense, hollow and crooked. The 6 min video footage shows clips from about 30 minutes in total and I hope it shows how with a little patience, feel and will you can start to achieve results which immediately make riding a horse much more pleasant for both the horse and rider.
Teaching your horse to move well on a circle can help with keeping him/her sound because it decreases the stress on spine, joints, muscles and ligaments the crookedly moving horse exerts on those structures. It will also save you many frustrating hours of “more inside leg, kick kick!” which is pretty pointless to any horse. Thanks to intelligent lunging your horse will already know how to initiate the bend and you will be able to be much more subtle with your aids and seat.
If you have a horse that “motorbikes” around the corners and leans on one or the other shoulder struggling to bend, these sort of exercises can help a lot.
Here are two photos showing the shape of the Grey Mare on the circle before and after the exercises.
She is not in any way forced into the bend on the bottom photo, she is still on just a headcollar but she adjusts her body due to the body language of the trainer in the middle of the circle and her own feeling of comfort. She is able to respond to certain signals of her young trainer because she learnt the meaning of the movements earlier working in-hand. As a result, Magda is able to direct signals to her shoulders if she wants more weight on the mare’s outside shoulder, to her ribcage is she sees there is not enough bend in the mare’s body or to the inside hind leg is she needs more balance and self-carriage.
If you are not sure how to “read” the above photos please comment below with questions and I am happy to describe what is happening there 🙂
Here is the Grey Mare’s footage. Any comments welcome and I hope this sort of videos are interesting to watch, any feedback appreciated.
P.S. In the background you can see Estima being gotten ready for her session. Her videos will come up as soon as I have the time to upload the large amount of video minutes!