Monday, April 7, 2014

Crooked Business

A few months ago, I came across an interesting article about using the shoulder-fore to help straighten the natural asymmetries in the horse.

I know a lot about being crooked.  I am a crooked person (in posture, not ethics!).  Multiple sports injuries have left me extremely strong on my right side and prone to slouching and losing control over my left.

My horse is also crooked.  The poor SFM has had several traumatic injuries just to her left side, so basically, our left circles often look more like ovals or eggs or basically any shape, but round.

Tonight, the SFM was being good and on the spot as usual (and walked up to me in the pasture, leaving her dinner.  What??) so I decided to go back and try introducing a bit of the shoulder fore.

Basically the premise of this exercise is to have the circle bent on the circle and then go straight, but using the circle to form the shoulder fore and continuing that on the rail. 

I never thought about it, but the article talks about the horse's natural predisposition to sag and be crooked on the rail, having their head closer to the rail (and subsequently, the rest of the body will be crooked as well).  By exercising and asking a horse to do the opposite, the goal will to have a horse that can be straight on the rail.

I will tell you that tonight, it is far more difficult than it first appears for the SFM.  I had to keep myself correct and block her from trying to travel to the center of the arena.  But I feel that she took a lot away from the exercise as well.  We even confidently traveled to the "scary" end of the arena near where the hay loft is and the random attack cats lurk.  I think that it kept her mind so busy that she wasn't able to find other things to focus on.  ;)

So what do you think?  Check out the article and share your thoughts!



  1. I too am quite crooked, thanks for sharing!

  2. Straight is always so hard, which to a normal person prob seems easy but there is SO much that goes into it!! Great post :)


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