Step Five – Flexing
Flexion is an important key to a well-trained horse and it should be taught on the ground first so that flexion under saddle is a natural extension of what the horse has already learned. Your horse needs to be able to flex for you to achieve total control in problem situations.
Learning to flex will improve your horses response to leg aids, bending through their neck and back and relaxing their back muscles. Your horse will become more supple for work under saddle. Flexing also encourages your horse to reach out to smell you and communicate.
By nature, a horse will turn away from a situation they are uncomfortable with. We want to change that mind-set and encourage them to flex towards us. Learning flexion gives us control not only of the horse’s body, but also his mind.
I teach five separate flexion exercises, which you are all clearly explained in my book and displayed in my video. If you are a person who learns best by seeing rather than reading, I really recommend my videos to teach you any of my ten steps.
The five flexion lessons are:
- Flexing the whole side
- Flexing toward you
- Flexing away
- Flexing from behind
- Flexing from the lead-rope