Ground Driving Question

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Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2003
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OH Boy I have 2 geldings that are sooo stiff in the one direction, I have been trying so many excercises for them but is there anything else I can do to get them supple??

Right now we are working on getting his body to bend not just his head, Tanner is really fighting me to the point of rearing,
am I not giving enough in the rein? but I really don't want to loose that inside bend and the outside rein which helps support him. AHHHH! I hope this made sense.

I always had a hard time with this when I was in dressage, it takes cordination ( I am not good at that).

Any advice Thanks
I am working on this with my mare right now too. I bought some sets of colored cones and move them around so that they make patters and I have to make lots of turns and such. We ground drive through them and other "obstacles". My mare seems to do better on these than plain figure 8s becuase she sees a point to it and is always looking up to see where we are going next. With her focus forward she isn't as likely to worry with testing me as we bend. This mare has never been hooked to the cart yet and is still green at ground driving so I am getting a double benefit out of it.

I think figure eights would be good.

I'm not sure if you can do this in a harness, but an exercise for suppling I used to do with my arab x qh gelding was to twitch his rein on the left side until he would bend his neck around. Then after awhile (couple weeks? I forget.) of that, I would turn him in small circles. That was about 10 years ago, though... I was still just learning myself but that was what the lady I took lessons from told me to do.
If he is rearing, that tells me that you are simply trying to force him into the proper bend. Unfortunately force will not get a horse to bend properly.

I'm not sure I can explain in writing what you need to do and how you need to do it...but I will try later--I'm just off outside now but I'll be back!
I only drive occassionally and just for fun, so I really haven't had to address this issue, but if it were a riding type horse I know I would suggest that you do a lot of ground work. Asking the horse to flex and bend and walk slow circles gradually getting smaller all while on the lead. Also, you might try looking into one of the books on equine message. Sometimes it a simple matter of one side being sore or weaker in muscle tone so that it's harder for the horse to feel balanced going that direction. I include myself in this statement when I say that sometimes we forget that just because our horse KNOWS how to do something doesn't mean he CAN (physically) do that thing. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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