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Module 1/4, Lesson 3/14
Warm Up

Lesson 1 Warm Up

going forward500
check mark (1)
Why: This course "Foundation" ties in all the bridle cues and aids that you taught your horse from the ground to saddle. Since this lesson is a continuation of "Bridle Work", We will use all eight of the ground exercises to warm up and remind the horse of the cues before we mount. If you have done your homework, this should be easy and relaxing to the horse.

What are the eight exercise that you taught from Bridle Work?
Check markGoing Forward
Check markSuppling

Check markDisengaging Haunches

Check markOne-rein Stop

Check markOne-rein Back up
Check markOne-rein Shoulders Over

Check markTurn on Haunches

Check markOne-rein Side-pass

Check mark Warm up and prepare the horse for the day's riding lesson.
Check mark This will get the horse listening to you.
Check mark Remind the horse of all eight cues.
Check mark Softening the nose and neck to the bridle before the lesson.
Check mark Getting the horse into a work ethic and lengthening his attention span.                                              

Make sure you position your hands and foot fall correctly.

.going forward500All eight of these explanations are covered in detail in the "In-Hand Bridle Work Course". These are just brief explanations of all eight ground exercises to remind you how they are done.

. Going Forward:
Do whatever it takes to encourage the horse to move forward. Get the feet un-stuck from the ground and get them moving, then redirect the feet into a circle. Every horse is different, so get good at reading how much pressure you will need to get the horse to respond to your aid. If the horse has too much go, just wait until he relaxes, then try again with less pressure. If the horse is a little lazy, use as much pressure as needed to un-stick the feet. Start Soft and increase the pressure until you get a reply, then reward when appropriate. See troubleshooting if needed.

. Softening the Nose:softening 3
Once the horse is consistently going forward in a circle around you, start asking the horse's nose to move laterally to start the softening process. Your "Foot-Fall" should be with the horse moving parallel. Make sure your bridle hand is just an inch off the mouth. The closer you have your hand to the mouth, the easier the horse will understand the aid or cue. Soften the head, neck, poll and rib cage by holding the inside rein firm and diving the hind end forward so that the nose closer to the point of shoulder while moving forward, and waiting for the horse to give and soften. Reward the horse by relaxing your hand. If you are having issues, see troubleshooting

. Disengaging Haunches:

hip over bridle work500Always start out working with step 1 and 2. When the horse is soft and not pulling on your hand, bring the rein back towards the hip to disengage the haunches. Ask for a few steps, then release. Many times this exercise will help increase the degree of softness. Be careful not to disconnect the the inside rein from the feet. Keep the feet moving and do not release until the horse has done what you asked. If you are having troubles, see troubleshooting.

One-rein Stop:

stopping trainer

Start out with step 1,2, and 3. When the horse is disengaging the haunches nicely without resistance, ask for the stop by not disengaging the haunches. If you are having troubles, see troubleshooting.

. One-rein Back up:
backing trainer3Once the horse completes steps 1-4 and is relaxed and supple, ask for a one-rein back up. Make sure before you release, that the nose is not rooting out. This exercise will create suppleness. If you are having troubles, see troubleshooting.

Shoulders Over:shouldersOverGround
Start with step 1 and 2, and then cue the horse's shoulders with the bridle to step to the 1 or 11 O'clock direction. Ask the horse to just take a few cross-over diagonal steps then reward the horse by releasing the diagonal pressure and stop. Be mindful of your foot fall or the horse may take a step in the wrong direction. If you are having issues, see troubleshooting.

Turn on Haunches:
Start out with steps 1, 2, and 6. Now take the shouldersOvershoulders all the way around the haunches in a circle. The key to this exercise is to make sure you have completed the last step. If you are having issues, see troubleshooting.

. Side-pass:
Make sure that you start out with steps 1 and 2. Now combine steps 3 and 6. (shoulders over and disengaging haunches) to get a nice side-pass. If you are having issues, see troubleshooting.


This is just a brief overview of the eight prerequisites and exercises that are required to succeed in "Foundation". Before you start riding, make sure the horse understands all the bridle cues and is soft, supple, and relaxed.


Don't forget about "Lungeing for Control". If your horse is a little too fresh and acting a little disrespectful, you can always use the sending exercise to work him until he sees the light.

 . 2 horsesThe horse should display rhythm, relaxation, acceptance of the aids, balance, and be willfully guided without resistance. Do not advance to the next exercise if the poll is not quiet. You need a smooth transition without the nose rooting out and the poll bobbing up and down in the transition. Horses that root out there nose are also hollowing out their backs. Do not advance to the next exercise until you have mastered this one. Work both sides of the horse until both sides are equally perfected.


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