When you go to a faster gait, always go back to the first step and re-teach the exercise to the horse. Keep in mind that whenever a horse goes faster, he automatically becomes stiffer and more resistant. So if he’s not very good at the walk, you know he’s going to be twice as bad at the trot. Usually, when a horse is being resistant in your hands, it’s because his body is stiff. Horses don’t have hard mouths; they have hard stiff bodies. The mouth is just the messenger. So when he feels stiff in your hands, use your leg more assertively to move his body and loosen up his feet. If he really leans on your hands you may have to use driving pressure with the reins to bump him off the bit. As soon as he gives, release the pressure and reward him. Author note: Clinton Anderson is a clinician, horse trainer and competitor. He’s dedicated his life to helping others realize their horsemanship dreams. Learn more about the Downunder Horsemanship Method at www. downunderhorsemanship.com. 6) When the horse can complete half a circle, ask him to do ¾ of a circle, and eventually, a whole circle. 7) Continue to practice counterbending in the same direction until the horse is comfortable with it. Then switch directions and teach the other side of his body the exercise following the same steps. 8) When the horse can do the exercise well at the walk, try it at the trot. Follow us on all your favorite Social Media Sites @HorseDigest Visit Us online at PerformanceHorseDigest.com or HorseDigests.com Horse Digest www.PerformanceHorseDigest.com 43