This was Jacob’s first ride at my farm and I was testing out all of his buttons. Come to find out he has a lot of knowledge in there just not much muscle yet. He has a lovely soft mouth and seemed to understand that me pushing him forward into a soft contact meant for him to soften his back. I am really pushing him forward to get him to keep the softness as it is very physically difficult for a horse that is super slow and behind the leg to soften the back. You slow it all down once they understand what you are asking and have the muscle to maintain it.
You can see Shoes has no idea how to use is body so instead he is moving up and down and his back is tight which makes everything feel yucky. I am trying to push him forward but when they don’t understand how to soften the back it is often hard to even get them to come forward. I think I am going to go ahead and start him on the lunge line with some side reins and start to introduce the concept of conact and softening to him. I don’t want/need them on the bit at all. That is not the goal. Instead the goal is to just come forward and be a bit softer over the back.
I was tempted to edit the video but the point of this blog is to show what the truly look like. He can’t hold the canter and wants to switch off behind and do a bit of butt lifting (ha, casual term for a buck) to find a comfortable spot. He did have the chiro work on him and everything is fine but when they are this tight there is just no comfortable place for them. You have to show them how to use their body.
I absolutely love this part of bringing horses along!