Where to start: Use a rope halter or a bridle. First teach your horse to stand in vertical flexion. Ask your horse to hold vertical flexion and lighten its jaw. When this happens, it will feel soft. If your horse holds this position after you have released, that’s a bonus. If you can feel a brace, your horse is not ‘carrying itself’ but leaning on you. Wait until your horse finds lightness in vertical flexion and then release. Sometimes horses find this really hard, so you may have to actually back your horse up to help it with this.
Backing up: Ask your horse to find light vertical flexion and then back them up. Ideally, they will hold the light frame but more likely will lean on you initially during the exercise. Wait until the horse finds a light step, then release.
Progression: Build this up to 10 steps of lightness. Back your horse up a slope to make the exercise harder. Do this every day, on the way to the field, down the length of the yard, it doesn’t matter where.
Note: This website is for informational purposes only. Consult a vet before performing this or any exercise program. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own horse's medical and physical condition, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this website. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this website, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.