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Suppling Exercises

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  • Suppling Exercises

    What exercises do you use to supple the ribcage area? I have a horse that is always stuck in this area; we do lots of serpentines, leg yields, haunches-in. Every day it's the same, it seems like we're not progressing and I'm always working on this to the same degree. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Any advice would be appreciated.
    "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

  • #2
    Getting that lazy feeling in the steps at the walk and then upward transitions keeping the energy in the response but less quickness if leg letting the horse down the rein when he/she offers to start.

    If you find tension start over or just stand a moment asking for gentle sumbission and back to forward.

    Make sure you dont hold or use the inside to turn as this will stop the shoulder as this will back up traffic.

    Try slowing down your posting and if you are sitting try posting.


    At canter try a litte straight then tiny zig zag then straight. Just so you can feel it not really obvious maybe a step or two or even just think it and if the horse gives a little then straighten again.

    Smaller circl to straight ot small again without using your hands hardly.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      On a circle, shoulder-in a couple steps, back on the circle a couple steps, shoulder-in a couple steps, back on the circle a couple steps.

      Don't do more than one or two laps, when you cross centerline the second time pick up canter in the other direction and leave the circle and go forward and large a bit so that you don't get all Verklemmt On The Endless Circle.
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      • #4
        I like to do big, slow walking turns on the forehand.



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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
          Verklemmt On The Endless Circle.
          LOL What does this mean? Shoulder In on a circle never thought of this. Thanks for all the suggestion; I have tried turn on the forehand, it helps, but not a solution in our case.

          NOMIOMI1, not sure what you mean by canter zig zag, can you explain further?
          "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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          • #6
            You could do some cavaletti on a large circle - getting the horse to pick up his feet and engage his abs as he bends through the ribcage.

            I love cavaletti exercises for suppling my horses - I use them regularly, especially for my older TB. Gets his head in the game, as well as his body.
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            • #7
              Yes cavaletti!

              Or ground poles to strart.


              Just on rail think move to the inside slightly of the track then outside but think leasurely and relaxed while you do it. Dont push hard just try and use your seat with your leg on. I had this reco in a lesson once and it helped with tension in canter
              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
              http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Watch that the shoulders are where they should be-outside popping or inside falling in will create stiffness in the ribcage.

                If the horse is really resistant, maybe it would be a good idea to check saddle fit and/or have a chiro out for a look? I like to think all things can and should be solved with proper training, but I had my horse adjusted a few months ago, and many of the issues I thought I had to fix with training (like reluctance to carry on the right hind) went away in 1 30 minute adjustment session.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Beckzert, you're so right on having the body checked; the horse receives chiro/massage care every 6 weeks.

                  Today had my first try at shoulder-in on a circle just at the walk. This could be a magic bullet for us. After warm up went on a 20m circle and rode shoulder in 3-4 steps then straight 3-4 steps both directions. The first 15 minutes was met with resistance such as throwing head in the air, trying to trot, jigging and a few times jumped into the canter . . . anything to get out of the shoulder in. The horse eventually came around quite nicely, although better to the right then the left. The connection also improved nicely. I could tell he was releasing a lot of body tension, lots of blowing through the nose. Tomorrow will repeat and possibly try the trot if he remains obedient, do not want to overwhelm. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
                  "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Calhoun View Post
                    LOL What does this mean?
                    When you get so wrapped up in one circle that you do 1,001 laps, by the end of which you have a constipatedly trotting horse and a deep circular groove in the footing.

                    (Not that I would know about this from personal experience, or anything.)
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