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Self-Carriage: Flexing the Poll is a Key to Good Balance

The body of a horse can move in ways that promote soundness or in ways that increase the risk of lameness and injury. This is why I believe in developing horses from a platform of self-carriage, as it is only in a state of self-carriage that a horse can use himself correctly. If a horse is not moving in self-carriage, the rider will need to hold the horse in whatever “frame” the rider is aiming for. Attempting to hold a horse in a certain position will always be problematic to some degree, for as I have discussed in previous articles, self-carriage is something that has to come from the horse, starting in the mind and manifesting throughout the entire body. One of the best ways to test whether you are holding your horse in a forced frame is to ask yourself the following three simple questions: 1. Do you use…

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