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Lack of balance affects

  • circle shape and size
  • straight lines
  • speed consistency

Hi there, I'm Trish Hyatt and I love to help people learn from their horse.
I'm really glad that you're interested in how to improve your horse's lateral flexion, bend and balance.

Below are videos showing some of the effects of incorrect bend and lack of strength or suppleness on your horse's balance.

I've also included tips you can apply to your horse today.

I’ve seen the one riding video you included before but never really paid attention to it. With your demonstration video first, watching the other video again made way more sense to me.

I’ve also had trainers discuss flexion with me many times before but I’ve never really absorbed the degree of necessity to achieve this first in an effort to obtain correct bend. Thank you for that clarification.

I need to back up in my work with Buddy and truly pay attention to this minute detail. The timing of this course is going to be perfect to work on during the winter off season, when I do have time to pay attention. :)

Pat Melton

Problems that affect balance can cause the horse to either speed up (run-away),
 or slow down (too lazy), to preserve their balance (not die!).

Falling onto the inside or outside shoulder
Causes the horse to get closer to or further away from objects.

  • Puts undo strain on one front leg and hoof.
  • Made worse by the horse's bend not matching the line of travel.
  • Can indicate not carrying as much weight on the opposite hind leg.

We will correct shoulder issues by riding exercises that help us identify the best choices for our horse.

If it is a bend issue, we need to make sure we are also getting a true flexion. And that we don't bend the neck more than the spine.
Key takeaways: Falling onto or drifting through a shoulder, is usually not a shoulder issue. The solution depends on the cause.

Feedback to the Rider: Wrong bend on approach. Didn't get right flexion before turn and is falling on to right shoulder. Horse stayed on left flexion throughout. Focus on The Key to Unlocking Your Horse's Bend workshop and lesson.

As a dressage rider, I'm very concerned with flexion vs. bend.  

Even though I've been riding for 57 years, I find too much knowledge, is never enough.

Always happy to possibly learn something new, or simply refresh, or  reinforce my current knowledge.

Suzanne Senser

Losing the hindquarters
The hind feet do not correctly follow the tracks of the front feet.

We will identify the cause which could be

  • inconsistent bend
  • a weak hindleg that needs strengthening
  • a change in the riders balance or aids

Feedback to the Rider: Notice how the horse steps to the right with the hind, on the left turns. This indicates a lack of bend in the ribs or not wanting or not able to carry as much weight on the right hind. This also causes the weight to fall to the left shoulder as you turn left, being pushed there from the right hind.

The Single Slalom, Flexion, Balance & Bend courses will provide:

  • Flexion before bend workshop recording. Fix this #1 missing element.
  • Exercises: With Short instruction videos (about 10 minutes).
  • Printable pdfs showing the patterns for the exercises.
  • A worksheet with legend suggesting the best way to track your improvements.

TRY THIS:

The next time your horse is drifting sideways, try this on the side the horse is drifting to.
Either one (both) of you may be unbalanced and this will help while you work on correcting the imbalance in your horse.

Imagine you are sitting (seatbone), and standing (stirrup), on a thumbtack.
To not get poked, you need to slightly lift your weight off the thumbtack. It is very subtle. No one should see you make a change. Just don't let that thumbtack poke you.

See if that helps your horse to not drift as much.

Bonus tip: If you want the horse to move sideways (leg-yield). Imagine the thumbtack is on the opposite side of where you want to go. The increase of weight in the direction of travel will help the horse move that way to get back underneath you.

In both cases, if you don't notice a difference don't make the movement bigger. It means there are other things you need to identify and correct. That is what we're going to work on in this course.

Being unbalanced is stressful.
Especially when you don't have control of your own feet.

At a Ranch Cattle day on the weekend, I put my horse to the test in the Lateral Flexion (1 inch bend ), as i have been working on it for several days .   Things went really well.  

I am finding that he will shift his weight off the left shoulder, as he prepares his body a bit more even to his other  legs to carry himself better.    

Many of the other riders commented and were quite impressed on how well he was moving and working the cows. And when on mechanical Flag he was moving at his  best.

Steve Cormick

Having the Wrong Flexion
Is your horse looking where he's going?

Try this now to see how it affects your own balance.
Walk a left circle looking left. Then continue left, but look right.
Most people will notice they start to land harder on the left foot and may even drift that way.
Imagine the result if you were going faster!
Looking where you are going helps you to stay in balance.

  • Strain to the horses back is caused by a wrong flexion. The increased head elevation causes the back to lower and the hind legs to not step under the body enough that they can support the weight.
  • Any tension in this joint will cause tension elsewhere in the body. We need to learn to identify and correct the flexion, which we'll also start to do in this course.

This video clip shows a little bit of everything we've discussed.  The tempo is rushing due to poor balance, and the balance is affected by the rushing. Her left hind tends to be carried to the left which means the right hind is the stronger one. Riding the horse in a left shoulder-in can help to strengthen this leg. It stepped out on the way back even though the horse was left bent at the time so it's not just slipping out because the horse is avoiding right bend.
Coming back the horse misses some flexion changes which contributes to her leaning towards the post with her shoulders. This is just part of the feedback this rider received on her ride to help her identify what to focus on in the exercises provided.

Not able to ride?  No problem.

  • These exercises can also be done from the ground, and in walk.

Grab your spot now.

  • Joining now gives you instant access to The Key To Unlocking Your Horse's Bend workshop with both a groundwork and a ridden exercise.
  • And the Single Slalom Balance and Bend course which includes 5 exercises to help you troubleshoot your horse's weaknesses so you know what to focus on.

Single Slalom, Flexion, Bend & Balance Bundle

To improve your horse's flexion, which should come first, start with the 2 exercises in The Key To Unlocking Your Horse's Bend.  Then continue with the 5 exercises in the Single Slalom, Bend & Balance, to help your horse become more equally balanced.

The Key To Unlocking Your Horse's Bend
$19

$57 

One-time fee, USD


  • Lifetime 24/7 access
  • Save $9

Single Slalom, Bend & Balance
$47

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will I need?

The Key to unlocking your horse's bend workshop is 40 minutes and the other 5 lesson videos are around 10 minutes each.

What if I can't ride?

You can do the lesson as groundwork, on lead line or driving lines so you're ready for when you can ride.

How do I access the course?

You can access the lessons online 24/7. The more often you practice, the faster you'll progress.

KRIS BLACKLOCK

Wisconsin, USA

Whether your new to Working Equitation or a seasoned competitor
The lessons heighten rider awareness, improve equine balance capabilities
 Provides tips to boost your confidence as you progress thru the levels.

BETH RUDY

USA

Everything to gain, Nothing to lose!

Gain small details/awareness that add up incrementally.
Motivation to spend time in the saddle, build human-horse partnership
ALLISON MAZURKIEWICZ

Tall Grass Horsemanship

 It works for all levels and all horses.

It addressed the main weaknesses in execution of an obstacle and gave me tools to help myself as well as my horse. I was able to improve my obstacle work by following the clear directions.

About Trish Hyatt

International Coach and Clinician
National and International Top 10 Competitor
Technical Delegate and Judge of Working Equitation
Trish Hyatt puts her many skills to use introducing the international discipline of Working Equitation to riders eager to improve their partnership with their horse, with a focus on fun, classical horsemanship and use of the horse for practical work or as cross-training for other disciplines.
Creating courses and teaching online for 5+ years.

Trish's superpower is the ability to give you and your horse what you need in a way that you understand so each horse and rider makes progress and knows what they need to work on.

Single Slalom, Flexion, Bend & Balance Bundle

To improve your horse's flexion, which should come first, start with the 2 exercises in The Key To Unlocking Your Horse's Bend.  Then continue with the 5 exercises in the Single Slalom, Bend & Balance, to help your horse become more equally balanced.

The Key To Unlocking Your Horse's Bend
$19

$57 

One-time fee, USD


  • Lifetime 24/7 access
  • Save $9

Single Slalom, Bend & Balance
$47