Exercises for a Lazy Gelding
Q. What do you suggest for exercises? I have a gelding that tends to be lazy and is resistant in his rib cage. Currently I am doing a lot of bending and moving off my leg at all gaits. I work him over poles and longe line him. I get the lift for the transitions but have a hard time maintaining. I use a third of the arena, with stops and roll backs. Any suggestions would be welcome. Also, he is excellent at showmanship, except when he gets nervous or bored when he becomes lippy. Obviously, I don’t want to constantly be at him about the face.
Thank you in advance,
A. Terri, It sounds like you’re on the right track with a lot of what you’re doing. I would suggest doing the same exercises but use the whole arena. When you start to lose the lift and rhythm after your first few strides you can ‘peel off’ or go into a small circle. You want to make sure you use your inside rein and wrap your horse around your inside leg while still applying outside leg. You want to think about your circles like you’re wrapping around a large barrel. The circles will help your horse slow down and achieve more lift. Remember not to chase your horse into the circle. Use the whole arena and anytime you feel your horse ‘lay down,’ go to a circle. You can go to a half or even quarter circle at times, especially as he gets better. Incorporate this with your stops and roll backs. Be sure to not always do the same maneuvers…change things up. Sometimes you might break down to a trot and push his shoulder around using your inside foot forward, just behind the girth. Always stay a step ahead of your horse and keep him waiting and listening to you. As far as showmanship goes, if he’s a little anxious I would work your transitions, spin and back before moving on to the set up which takes more focus. Get the edge off first or even lunge for a few minutes if he is overly anxious. This way you are encouraging a relaxed attitude which will help with the patience factor.
Best of luck,
Troy Green is a firm believer in the importance of a good foundation for every horse with balance, rhythm, and self-carriage being key. A good foundation equals longevity in the show pen. Troy has won over two dozen All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships in western pleasure, versatility, reining, halter and western riding, and has coached clients to over 50 Congress championships. Troy has three AQHA World Championships and two National Championships under his belt, and has won at all major futurities. He spent three years on the national board of the NSBA.
Troy Green has an extensive background working with youth and amateurs at all levels and of various disciplines. He specializes in pleasure futurity and all around horses.
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