Flexing is an exercise I really focus on at clinics. I tell folks to flex every time they stop. It teaches the horse to not only stop but to relax and wait for you to tell him what to do. I will do this with any horse I own for the first year of his life with me. It becomes a habit for him and in time he will start to flex on his own. It becomes his way of checking in with you. It’s his way of telling you everything is ok down here.
Most people will never do this exercise enough in the life of their horse. When we get boarded with anything we want to move on to something else. We never give the horse a chance to really understand an exercise and so our horses are never really were we want them to be, a broke horse if you will.
When you start this exercise I start it from the ground. Asking the horse to flex back to his girth area. I don’t ask for all of that at once. I will ask him to just look in my direction at first, and the build on that till I have him reaching all the way back. If you try to get him to give all of that flex the very first try, your probably going to get in a pulling match with your horse, and you will lose.
Take your time, teach this skill well, and it will make all the difference in how your horse behaves down the road.
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