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  1. #1
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    Jan. 7, 2005
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    Southern Ohio
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    Default Your Fav. Suppling exercises?

    Suppling. Thats doesn't look like its spelled right..
    Anyways
    Whats your favorite suppling exercise and why? What does it accomplish?
    How do you know when your doing it right?

    I'm just trying to find things to do this winter in our little leaky indoor..
    -Chelsie
    "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"



  2. #2
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    Sep. 5, 2003
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    NY
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    Default

    Favorite is walk, leg yield, canter. Love it because it easier for me to monitor the quality of the leg yield at the walk then the trot. If I get the leg yield right I get him pushing into the outside hand and soft on the inside rein. If I get the canter transition right it is much easier for me to maintain a decent canter then to build a good one from a crappy start. I have actually become addicted to this exercise

    Oh and I can figure out that I am at least fairly correct if I keep a rhythm thru the walk and walk leg yield, he does not brace against me and I get that Bada Bing transition to the canter, no trot steps and his back feels like it is coming up thru my saddle and I can really feel the push!



  3. #3
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    Feb. 13, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Oh lets see. With Bob its the walk - canter firgure eights. Simple change through walk at x. Halt if he is bad. Then the canter pirouette circles squares. Make the circle into a square by doing semi-pirouettes in the corners. He hates that one. He has a very tanky canter, and if you just try and fix the canter on a 20m circle you will ultimately lose. Trick him into it, you must. Also, when I work on canter lengthenings, I like to do a 5m circle on the downward transition, just in case. That way he never gets a chance to blow through my half halt.

    With AJ I like the spirals. Leg yield out, half pass in, yadda yadda yadda. And also any transition into and out of halt. He is good at not using his butt without my realizing it, he just never feels on the forehand even when he is. Cheeky boy. Unlike Captain Freight Train where its very very obvious if you dont have a quality gait, especially the canter.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 8, 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
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    707

    Default

    Question on exercise: leg yield to the left (bend to the right) - canter which lead? Probably a really stupid question, but. . . .



  5. #5
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    Sep. 5, 2003
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    NY
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    Default

    I am no expert, nor do I play one at the barn So take this with a big grain of salt! Here is what I TRY to do: lets say we are tracking left, I will turn down the quarter line and ask for the leg yield off of my inside leg (left), ideally keeping him straight and over, forward, over forward, etc. Once I hit the track I take one stride, making sure he is straight, round and reaching for the bit………then I ask for the canter, hold in my back and if I did my homework my left lead canter is right there. One of the most important leg yield lessons I learned this year was to make sure I slowed down his front end if that was leading or slow down his hind end if that was leading. Much easier to slow the part that is excelling and ask it to wait until the problem part could be sorted. I used to hurry up the problem part and screw it all up. My other huge sin is holding or over using the inside rein and giving him something to brace on. Hope that does not make it more confusing!!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2006
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    156

    Default

    Head to wall leg yields.... Bc they are good for the propreoception (sp?) teaching the horse where his feet are, good for the back as well as the adductors (the inner thigh muscle) as well as general co-ordination of putting the front and hind ends together (what? they can work at the same time and cross over?) It also requires focus on their part. I teach this from the ground at first and then from the saddle.

    I say head to wall bc I turn the horses head into the wall or fence so there is not really a place for the to go but to the side. Sometime they try to go back, but I make sure to stand towards the horses hip and keep the dressage whip at the ready to tap them 6 inches behind their hip to let them know thats not an option. I start the green beans just doing one or two correct steps at a time or even correct half steps, woking on getting a cross over on at least one end, be it front or back. In a couple of weeks the horse can usually produce between 6 to 12 steps (mostly in a row)

    Also, STREEEETTTCHHHIIINGGG!!!!! I love the book stretch exercises for your horse complete with pix! and an explanation in of all the muscles invovled that people without a degree in Physical Therapy can understand. But start slow, don't over do it!!! I gurantee you will see a difference in two weeks if you two them up to three times a week consitently. A light stretch before the workout and more deep longer stretch after. My chiropractor was impressed on his last visit. He noticed a dif from last time he was there (3 months ago) Though I'm sure the regular work helped too!
    "A horse!!! A horse!!! my Kingdom for a horse!
    _____________________________________________
    Proud founder of the "Plain Little Brown Mare-nothing Plain or Little 'bout her!" clique



  7. #7
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    Default

    I guess it depends on what you are trying to get more supple....


    A good basic one is at the trot turn down the center line, and do a figure 8's with 10 meter circles at each letter on the center line....so that the cross of the figure 8 is on the center line, and the circle.

    This one just gets them basically more supple laterally...the changing of the bend I believe is what does it most but they start to really get into the pattern.

    I tend to believe in keeping it simple....
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
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    Washington, DC
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    Default

    We've been playing with counter canter exercises -- a simple one is shoulder in around the short side to starting the long side (come out of the short side off the track a hair, not quite quarter line); then counter canter down the long side, back to trot, repeat, when you have it straight and pushing, come off the straight and across the diagonal onto the true lead, keeping the balance the same.

    Then do a trot circle on the short end, pick up counter canter on the long side, downward transition to the trot, thinking shoulder in, before the end, small circle, repeat. Then counter canter just to about mid point on the long side, downward transition, thinking shoulder in, to short diagonal, little medium trot, downward to working in corner, 10 m circle.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

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  9. #9
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    After a long, stretchy walk warmup, I try the trot. If Bonnie's happy to keep on stretching at the trot, we proceed, and then even try a long and low canter. If she can't bring herself to do the long-'n-low, we default to a set of suppling exercises which usually runs something like:

    From halt, turn on the forehand both ways 1-2x
    Then turn on the haunches both ways 1-2x
    Side pass 6-8 steps each direction
    Then walk an 8 meter square, all of the outside aids
    Then do some leg yield followed by shoulder-in and haunches-in (travers??) at the walk, just little bits here and there in a normal, active walk. Lots of 10m circles thrown in just to make sure we're not too crooked.

    After that, we're usually good to go.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2008
    Location
    CA
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    Default

    shoulder in to haunches out to shoulder in (pretty much doing transitions between the two down the long side).

    Also shoulder in, lenghthen (or medium), and when making the transition back down to shoulder in. This TRANSFORMED my geldings lengthenings.
    "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton



  11. #11
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    Aug. 26, 2006
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    North Central Florida
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tlw View Post
    Question on exercise: leg yield to the left (bend to the right) - canter which lead? Probably a really stupid question, but. . . .
    That's a good question...I'd like to know the correct answer also.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by foxhavenfarm View Post
    That's a good question...I'd like to know the correct answer also.

    correct lead for the direction you are going. So if you are tracking to the right, turn down the centerline or quarterline and leg yield moving off your right leg back to the rail, when you get to the rail, you ask for the right canter. Basically, it forces you to ride inside leg to out side rein, gets the horse onto the outside aids (and not leaning on their inside shoulder) for a cleaner/straighter transition. I use similar exercise for a green horse on a circle. Spiral out on the circle, when you get them really moving off your inside leg onto the larger circle, shift your out side leg back and ask for the canter.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  13. #13
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    Oct. 12, 2004
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    I use a lot of shoulder in to straight to travers to half pass and start again an each rein.
    With younger horses I use shoulder fore to straight with spiral in and out. I don't use leg yield ever, and start lateral work very early on.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 15, 2003
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
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    Default

    Ooh - Wish there was a notepad or chalkboard function on the BB so we could draw pictures of patterns!!

    I'm a real fan of quarter-line to outside track leg yielding exercises.

    For collection and suppleness - I like to work from the rail to the quarter line doing 3-4 zig zags back and forth between the rail and quarter line ending on the long side of the ring in the corner at the rail. Ask for collection and shortening of stride and really focus on balance working on outside aids. Then change rein at the end of the long line by asking for a 5-10m 1/2 circle turn to the 1/4 line (same side of ring you just came from) and yield back to the rail. Then work a diagonal line across the ring going from collected trot to extended trot across the center - changing rein and going back to collected trot for the corner. Then repeat exercise on the other side of the ring. Zig zag etc.

    I like complicated patterns and change of rein exercises because my guy suffers from boredom and laziness



  15. #15
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    Jun. 29, 2008
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    San Diego
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    Default

    With my horse, we work on lots of circles and figure-8's. First at the walk, then the jog/trot, then lope/canter. We start big, get smaller, then get bigger again. Lots of changes of direction keeps her attentive to me and gets her soft and supple. I do the same thing if she starts to act up and not listen, it works wonderfully for getting her mind back on me and not on what's going on outside the arena.
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA Mare
    In Loving Memory of Tally, April 15, 1983 - June 2, 2010



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2008
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    28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ss3777 View Post
    Favorite is walk, leg yield, canter. Love it because it easier for me to monitor the quality of the leg yield at the walk then the trot. If I get the leg yield right I get him pushing into the outside hand and soft on the inside rein. If I get the canter transition right it is much easier for me to maintain a decent canter then to build a good one from a crappy start. I have actually become addicted to this exercise

    Oh and I can figure out that I am at least fairly correct if I keep a rhythm thru the walk and walk leg yield, he does not brace against me and I get that Bada Bing transition to the canter, no trot steps and his back feels like it is coming up thru my saddle and I can really feel the push!

    My trainer had me do this one today...except after the canter trans in the corner turn down the quarterline, trans down to walk, then leg yield the other way and do it again..really made my boy sit down on his hiney and use himself...

    I'm always a fan of spiral cicrcles at the trot and canter as well....



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    650

    Default

    I'm learning that my mare loves to get soft at the walk, then canter before I can get a nice even tempo to do trot work. So I'm loving all these great suggestions to do leg yields into canter! Lots of transitions too. This gets her more uphill and really pushing from the hindend.

    Once I get my trot I like to do shallow serpentines to really get the subtle bend and focus on inside leg to outside rein. It has taken me a long time to get my mare to work correctly and soft and for some reason this always gets her "thinking." It forces me to make little rein tweaks while keeping a soft steady hand. When I do this and remember to keep it that way she always gives so nicely. I can thank my very patient trainer for that one!



  18. #18
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    Jun. 20, 2005
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    Tennessee and Kentucky
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    Default

    The best thing is when my horse gets a bit spooked or excited. I think that is why we always have some of our best dressage rides away from home. He isn't necessarily lazy or slow off my aids, but he isn't super senstive either so I like it when he has a bit of an edge. Not too much spooks him though or generates more than a snort.

    At the walk I try to get my horse stretching at first. Then some of my favorite things do are turns on the forehand, turns on the haunches, and head to wall leg yields.

    At the trot I like to do serpentines and walk/trot transitions. I will do serpentines and across the centerline walk, change the bend, and trot again. We do ten meter circles, and I try to make sure he is getting the same number of strides around the entire circle. I guess my two favorite probably are...trot down the long side and turn at E or B and ride back to the corner. It is simple, but it works well for my horse! And I like doing a ten meter circle, stopping at the rail and asking my horse to step over a few steps off my outside leg, and then I trot and turn the other direction.

    And I try to do a lot of counter canter. That almost always improves my horse! I do some shortening and lengthening within the canter, then some shallow serpentines, then serpentines, and finally I will do some larger circles at counter canter.

    He has a very good lengthening in him when he is working correctly, but it is very easy for me not to have him totally together and end up just having him flatten and fall on his forehand.
    T3DE Pact



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2006
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    97

    Default

    I have fallen in love with two exercises while working two horses that think they are 2x4's... the last one is my TB's favorite choice...

    1.) BIG figure 8's going from counter-bent canter to true? canter? My friend's horse used to be really stiff cantering to the left and he would get heavy on his inside shoulder, the counter-bend let him stretch it out so his whole left side was a lot free-er.

    2.) Trot poles across the diagonal that are offset so they have to be leg-yielded to... My friend's pony who I am working with has a bad habit of rushing when jumping so we are taking him back to basics and doing lots and lots of cavaletti and leg yielding, I usually do 3 trot poles coming on the diagonal, three at X with the middle one raised, and three more going off the diagonal to the corner.

    3.) SQUARE CORNERS with jump on each side for my gelding, usually we just use raised cavaletti but he gets so excited he feels the need to jump them like he's still in the 3' division. Really good for working on the canter and getting more control of the shoulders.



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