***Can you lead your horse around with his nose near the ground?
It's not as easy as you might think! Give it a try! If your horse can't or won't do this, he is resisting in his neck/core/back.
This is one of the fundamentals that I teach in my training - your horse needs to be able to 'let go' of his neck and back, it's really important.
They really are one of the BEST exercises that you can do with your horses! They are super effective at getting your horse to crunch his stomach muscles!! If you do them daily, you will notice that your horse is able to stretch further and lift their core and back more easily!
In non ridden exercise we can teach our horses masses! Swapping 1 or 2 days a week from riding to non ridden exercise can really let your horse work in a better posture and strengthen up quicker than in ridden exercise!
Do you encourage your horse to work long and low...in ridden schooling, out hacking, while lunging?
Long and low is a great position for horses to work in sometimes, as he gets to stretch his topline, which encourages the core and back to lift.
Pole work is really popular right now with lots of clinics on offer! Pole work can be really beneficial for our horses, in the following ways:
The horse has to look down to navigate the poles!! Simple but true - when he looks down to the poles, he has to lower his neck, therefore this enables him to lift his core and back!
Also we get increased limb flexion and lift, so the horse has to work harder, and therefore needs to be using more of his body to get across the poles!
I hope these tips are useful? If you would like to learn more about engaging your horses core, I have developed a new online training course 'Engage your horses core' - you can take it totally at your own pace, via a secure login to my website, and join my private members group for support along the way, and have your questions answered by me!
Here is a link to my Training page: Training