When riders start to get enthusiastic about Straightness Training, the most common questions are:
- Can I do it?
- Isn’t it too difficult?
- Where do I start?
- How often do I need to train?
- How many days a week?
- How many minutes a day?
To give you the answer to the first question:
A serious issue for many riders is to ride perfectly round circles. The natural asymmetry of the horse doesn’t make circles easy.
Most horses are bend to one side in the body, so if they are left bend, it’s difficult to turn to the right and if they are right bend, it’s difficult to turn to the left.
Instead of ‘turning’ they often choose to ‘fall’; they choose to lean on the inside shoulder or fall over the outside shoulder.
Now there’s a huge difference between ‘falling’ and ‘turning’ whilst riding on a circle and we need to prevent a horse from falling in or over his shoulders.
To do so we need to teach a horse to turn.
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Before we dive into this question, let’s speak about the use of tools in general first:
The benefits of using tack, tools and equipment is, that we can enhance our ways to communicate with the horse, so we can help him the best we can in getting symmetrical in body and limbs.
Of course this is only if the tack is used correctly.
- Does your horse have an unequal pelvis?
- Is the exercise haunches-in much easier to perform to the left than to the right?
- Is it impossible to make a square halt?
This may have its roots in the inequality in the horse’s hind legs!
Horses have unequal hind legs, but it’s easier to see in a dog. So if you have a dog, that’s a great opportunity to discover more about how our four legged friends use their hind legs.
Just walk behind him and see what he’s doing with his hind legs:
- How does he position his hind legs in relation to the body?
- How is he tracking with the feet?
- Some fox terriers even walk on three legs when they move fast, so they have a very strong leg and a more weak leg.
Also horses have a more pushy hind leg and a more carrying one. If you don’t ride a horse, the inequality is not a problem, but if you start riding, you need to equalize both hind legs in order to avoid the problems as outlined above.
Click HERE for more information about the inequality in the horse’s hind legs and how to equalize them>>