• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Your Fav. Suppling exercises?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Your Fav. Suppling exercises?

    Suppling. Thats doesn't look like its spelled right..
    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..
    "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"

  • #2
    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
      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
        Question on exercise: leg yield to the left (bend to the right) - canter which lead? Probably a really stupid question, but. . . .


        • #5
          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
            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
              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....
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #8
                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 -- my lost prince

                The little brother, now my main man


                • #9
                  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
                    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
                      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.
                      Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                      Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                      Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


                      • #12
                        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.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                        • #13
                          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
                            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
                              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.


                              • #16
                                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
                                  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
                                    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
                                      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.