Go to FastAd#:
Be Sociable, Share!

The Five Easy Pieces: Exercises to take control of your horse’s body zones

By LES VOGT / Horsetrader columnist - January 7th, 2010 - More with Les

Last in a Series
This time, we finish up this ongoing topic series and discuss: Putting The Five Easy Pieces Together. In the last several installments, Les Vogt has taken you through exercises of his Five Easy Pieces. When you’ve mastered them, you should be able to put any part of your horse’s body where you want it, without resistance.

Putting The Five Easy Pieces Together: It’s a great warm-up to be able to go through the Five Easy Pieces in sequence. As you’re going through the exercises you should never have to change the lateral posture of your horse. In fact, you hands should barely move as you do through the whole sequence.

Exercise No. 5: You will back your horse in a circle, with his spine matching the circumference of the circle. You need to control every part of your horse’s body to make this work, so it's a great test to see if all the parts are functioning correctly.

Exercise No. 5: You will back your horse in a circle, with his spine matching the circumference of the circle. You need to control every part of your horse’s body to make this work, so it's a great test to see if all the parts are functioning correctly.

The great part about these exercises is not only is the horse learning, but you’re learning to be a more effective and subtle rider too. And as you practice your reactions and cues will start coming so naturally you won’t even have to think about them. When you can do all five fluidly in sequence, you’ll know you’ve really accomplished something!

As you start to do this exercise, don’t forget to watch your horse’s poll. If you can’t keep it soft and supple while you do Exercise No. 5–ABORT! You need to backtrack to your basics and start again. If you try to do any of the exercises while the horse is resisting, you can actually be harming your program. You need to be training yourself and the horse to keep his poll soft and supple in everything you do.

Exercise No. 5 allows you to find out if the zones work together. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, if they don’t you have to fix it. It also develops muscles, tendons, and ligaments for stopping on one side at a time.

The Zones of Our Horse: You’ll hear me speak about our horse’s zones and the zones correspond to the part of the body that the exercise controls. Exercise No. 1 controls zone 1; exercise No. 2 controls zone 2, and so forth.

The Zones of Our Horse: You’ll hear me speak about our horse’s zones and the zones correspond to the part of the body that the exercise controls. Exercise No. 1 controls zone 1; exercise No. 2 controls zone 2, and so forth.

When you have control of all four zones, especially the head and neck, you can use this maneuver to take any tension out of the horse. How much should you use this? 20-30 times a day is not unreasonable. If you’re getting stuck, identify the problem part and then work on it by itself, then sneak back into Exercise No. 5. Remember that horses don’t have egos; they love understanding what you want and being rewarded.

This issue’s column concludes the on-going topic about “The Five Easy Pieces.” Next time, we’ll start a new topic. If you missed any of the previous articles, or want to refresh your memory, you can read previous More with Les columns at the Web site: http://news.horsetrader.com

Editor’s Note: More with Les is a regular California Horsetrader column. Les Vogt has won more than 15 World Championships, including two wins at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Although Les still rides and occasionally shows, his focus is giving clinics around the world and developing products for the performance horseman. To learn more about Les and to see his clinic schedule, visit the Web site: www.lesvogt.com

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

All fields must be filled in to leave a message.