Improve your horse’s flexibility in walk

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If the hard ground and frosty mornings mean you're unable to do much in the colder weather, then a simple flexibility workout in walk could help. 

Incorporating small circles and leg-yields into your schooling will improve your horse's flexibility.

If you've ever noticed that he's stiffer on one side than the other then lateral exercises such as leg-yielding can provide the ideal opportunity to bring balance to both sides of his body. 

Hedge lines make great markers to leg-yield to, so try it in your paddock at home or when you get a moment to hack out. 

How to ride it

Setting it up: Go large around the school. The steps below are for when you're riding on the left rein. 

a) Halfway down the long side of the school, walk a 10m circle to help boost his suppleness. 

b) After your circle, continue on the long side of the school, riding towards the top of it. 

c) Off the short side of the school, turn your horse down the three-quarter line and begin to leg-yield left towards the quarter line.

d) At the quarter-line ride straight for a few steps then continue to leg-yield back to the track.

Ride it a couple of times on each rein, or until you're happy with his improvement. 

Top tip: When leg-yielding, keep his body parallel with the side of the arena, with only a slight inside flexion in his body and his shoulders slightly leading to the way you're going. Push him sideways with your right leg and keep him straight and balanced on your left rein. Use your left leg to keep him moving forwards and prevents him from running sideways. 

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