How to improve my horse’s vertical balance

Balance

If your horse needs to hold his head to the side in order to stay balanced while working, he probably lacks balance. It can cause a lot of frustration with some horses to have to work while constantly feeling out of balance. But you can help your horse improve!

Lunge in squares to improve your horse’s vertical balance.

You can place four cones in a square with ten steps between all of them. First you can just lunge around them to get your horse used tot he cones. Once that goes well on both sides, you can challenge your horse more to really go around the cones and walk straight lines from each cone tot he next. You can help your horse by bowing away from him when he needs to make a turn around a cone and by walking with him on the straight lines. If your horse falls towards you with his shoulder, you can tap the shoulder with your whip until he goes straight forward again. If your horse falls away from you with his shoulder, you can tap his hind end to help him to straight forward again. You can check if your horse is going on a straight line by looking at the prints his front hoofs make in the sand. If his hind hoofs land in that print, your horse is going straight.

Once your horse understands this exercise, you can do it in all gates. You can also do it without the cones and use the entire arena. Have fun with your horse and challenge him with different sizes of squares and rectangles you can make.

Of course, it’s never fun to do the same kind of training every day. Going for a walk on a straight path can also help your horse find and improve his balance. And working in hand might be a great challenge for him as well. But don’t forget about all the other kinds of training that you both love!

Do you have questions or would you like to see how I do this exercise with Aslan?

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