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          3 flat work exercises to strengthen your young horse

          Friday, 4 March, 2022

          As all riders know, the work of the young horse is totally different from that of the older horse. Do you own a young horse? Are you planning to acquire one? Or maybe you just want to learn about the different methods of working a young horse? Then this article is for you.

          Seaver presents today 3 exercises to strengthen your young horse on the flat.

          1) Levelling

          Level of difficulty: 1*.

          It is very important for young horses to get out of the arena and become all-terrain horses. Taking them out of their routine will only be positive: they will have seen different environments, been confronted with many scary situations, and will be used to all kinds of terrain. But that's not all!

          How to do it?

          Find a gradient near you, or take him to a trek or CCE course that has one. The aim is for your horse to stay at a good walk and get his hindquarters under the weight to get up the hill. Horses will tend to trot or speed up the walk to make less effort and solve their problem faster. Care should be taken to keep the pace steady and slow.

          The advice?

          Your horse should not overturn his neck and dig his back in the ascent. He should extend his neck downwards and roundly to stretch his back muscles, and keep his hindquarters well engaged. This will develop the muscles of the hindquarters.

          2) Close transitions

          Level of difficulty: 2*.

          This work is essential to obtain a horse that responds quickly to the rider's requests.

          There are two variations: on the circle, and on the straight line.

          We advise you to start with the transitions on the circle.

          The installation?

          Set up gates of studs at the 4 "corners" of a 20m circle (more or less depending on the level of your horse).

          How to do it?

          Start by performing step-stop transitions every two doors. Then move on to trot-stop transitions every other gate. Once your horse understands the exercise and his responsiveness improves, you can then move on to one transition per gate.

          The advice?

          Pace is everything. Think about your position and keep your gaits even. Your horse will need some time to adjust to the exercise. Let your horse understand your requests, without pushing him. If you feel that you have skipped a step too quickly, don't hesitate to go back.

          3) Ground poles

          Level of difficulty: 2*.

          We said work on the flat, yes, but not work without poles! This exercise can be quite difficult for young horses who don't know what to do with their four feet. However, it is very interesting because the poles on the ground 

          The installation?

          For a horse, count 1m50 between each bar on the ground. For a D pony, 1m40 etc 

          How to do it?

          You will need to focus on two things: cadence and straightness. Come straight and in the middle of your bars. Let your horse do it and don't get angry if he stumbles at first. Give your horse time to analyse the situation so that he can find the solution on his own.

          The advice?

          Take care that he does not dig into his back, but rather that he raises his withers. Let him take care of himself and do not assist him. This is very important for a young horse, it will allow you to make him a resourceful person who does not need the rider to balance himself

          The three areas of work on the flat for the young horse are, in order :

          • taking care of himself,
          • commitment,
          • Reactivity to the rider's commands.

          The three exercises in this article will each allow you to work on two of these three aspects.

          Remember that effective work is work that is varied and that remains fun for your young person. You mustn't blitz him from the beginning of his career, don't hesitate to diversify the exercises to give him the desire to discover the mounted work in more depth! For this, we have a complete library of exercises available free of charge on theSeaver app.

          See you soon for a new article.

          The Seaver Team

          On the pictures, Clara is wearing the black SAFEFIT airbag. To get it, click on the button below.