I wanted to share one of my most favorite exercises for suppling a horse.
I also use it to help them make the right choices by offering it as a more difficult alternative to their current “choice”, if that choice is not what I want them to be doing.
Let’s say for instance your horse doesn’t want to stand still. Every time he moves a foot, you softly pick up the reins and back him in a circle (as the videos below show) with his nose and butt to the inside.
This is very difficult for them, it’s hard work.
After you back a few circles, stop, pat him and drop the reins, giving him the “opportunity” to move his feet again. When he does, quietly pick up the reins, soften his face and back him around some more.
The beauty of this exercise is that it’s a lot of work and as soon as they put it together that every time they move their feet, they have to work, pretty soon they don’t want to move their feet.
It’s their choice and that’s why it works. You’ve stacked the deck in your favor and the house always wins!
And meanwhile, he’s gotten much softer and more supple and thoughtful.
So, it’s a win-win-win, which is the best kind of win.
So, here it is: