Suppling exercises for your horse with Bobby Hayler

Is your horse as stiff as a board on one rein, but as agile as an acrobat on the other? Follow dressage rider Bobby Hayler's tips to even him out.

Exercise one

Step 1

Go large around the outside of your school in trot

Step 2

At one end of your school, ride a 20m circle, maintaining your rhythm in the trot. 

Step 3

Once you've been round a couple of times, start to push your horse towards the centre of the circle, until you're trotting round a 10m circle. 

Step 4

Trot round the 10m circle twice, before pushing your horse back out to the 20m circle.

Step 5

Go large and change the rein

The next level

Once you've mastered this, repeat the exercise, but when you come out of your 10m, ask your horse to leg yield back out to the 20m circle. 


horse-leg-yield

Exercise two 

Step 1

Go large in trot

Step 2

At the top end of your school, perform a serpentine

Step 3

Once you've ridden one serpentine, repeat.

Step 4

The next time you ride your horse into the new bend on the serpentine, push  and leg yield him into the new bend. 

Step 5

Change the rein and repeat on the opposite side. 

Why bother?

This exercise encourages your horse to bring his inside hind leg beneath him, encourage him to bend his body and suppling him in the process.