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February 26, 2018
Understanding straightness

Bit late on my weekly update but I wanted to share a few things with you that had popped up this week, in particular about having your horse going forwards and being straight.

The first relates to a client who was riding a weave pattern - working on the feel on each side being even in relation to the other side. She said she could feel that the right rein had more brace in it than the left. I asked her to ride the pony forwards more before she asked for the turn as I could see the pony's left should falling out through the other direction. This had the effect that the pony had to put more effort into stepping forwards with her left shoulder rather than sideways (falling out) and the turn to the right suddenly improved.

The second incident was when I was playing with a horse on the ground. She was trotting through a line of five poles set up for canter, meaning she would get two trot strides in between each pole. On the right rein, she made the distance perfectly but on the left rein, she had to add an extra stride somewhere in the set of poles. This obviously suggested she was losing forwards somewhere in the set up and her stride wasn't as long/even. When I repeated the pattern again, and the same thing happened, I noticed that each time she moved over to the right of the poles and went along the fence line. I figured that her right shoulder was then 'drawing' to the fence, meaning again she was loosing forwards. So the next time, I made sure she started to the left of the poles and held her line and she did them perfectly.

These are just two examples. I could name loads but I'd be here all day 

Here's a little video of Hugo playing with a shoulder in exercise, which helps build straightness and strengthen the horse evenly.

 

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