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If the horse is stiff, lacks straightness, or is hollow, the best pace in which to train him out of these habits is the walk.

If you use the walk with cavaletti, the horse’s body has more time to adjust to a new way of going without interference from the larger muscles that work during paces with more impulsion.

In the walk, you can teach the horse’s body to respond to new motor and sensory nerves,

release areas that are restricted and tight, and increase the range of joint mobility in his joints.

As your horse develops more flexion in the hock joints and stifle, his flexor and quadriceps muscles will engage more, leading to an improved balance between the bottom and topline muscle chains, a more supple back, and longer, more elastic strides.

Exercise 1:

Take up a light contact and walk your horse through two cavaletti spaced about two feet seven inches apart. Add more cavaletti so that you have three and then four. As you negotiate the cavaletti, allow your horse to stretch down the rein.

Exercise 2:

Place 4 poles into a square.

Keep riding through the center of the square, turning either left or right, to ride a complete four-leaf-clover pattern.

Exercise 3:

Lay several poles in a line and ride a tight serpentine over the poles.

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