Softening of the jaw at the walk.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:21 PM
With most horses it is much easier to obtain softening of the jaw and giving to the bit in the walk. However, walk must be forward and has a marching quality. Reins must be long enough. The aim is not to put a horse in a frame, but to keep neck long and low and ask for the give in the poll and to the bit. The trick is not to demand it by prolonging hold, pull or see-sawing. Keeping your hand yielding and soft, following the movement of the neck in walk, asking with your fingers with one hand or another, not both hands at the same time. And catch the moment of softening in your hands and soften and quiet your hands instantly. The best way to work like this is on the circle. However, you can ride changes of direction, circles of different size (but not very small ones), spirals and etc. Intersperse this work with walking on a free rein, asking your horse to walk even more forward without losing the rhythm of the walk. Your horse will start foaming nicely creating a white "lipstick" around her mouth.
Happy riding...
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