Friday, July 22, 2011

Soft In the Face

One of the key areas where a horse is trained to be light, supple, and responsive is what is called being 'Soft In the Face'.

Other Terminology

Breaking at the Poll,  'Broke Loose'~ Shawn Flarida
Giving to bit pressure.  Giving at the poll.

"Lateral Flexion is the key to vertical flexion." ~Clinton Anderson  

"There are 3 key components in the (horse's) body that you have to have broke. 1. being the poll; the jaw area. The horse has to be really soft  in that area and give his head." Shawn Flarida (Personal Training Video Series, Episode 1 - Spin).  He is referring to 'breaking loose' those areas to make the spin more efficient. (I highly recommend these eVideos for those interested in reining. Please contact for more information.)

Flex to Stop, Flex to Slow Down, E1RS, using softness in the face for transitions and safety.

For all horses past their initial starting under saddle would progress to being trained to attain softness in their face, shoulders and then rib cage.

This is often what is referred to as controlling the 3 main body parts (from shoulders forward, shoulders to hip, from the hip back) Some trainers like Clinton Anderson call it the 5 main body parts: head (poll) and neck, shoulders, rib cage & hip.

As I've mentioned in many of my articles, this is a basic component of body control, body control foundation, western performance horse development that deals with suppleness. (Please use the Search box for more articles. It is what I love to train.)

Horses are much better able to perform the tasks you require of them while being ridden. Especially in those areas such as the show pen that require a high degree of functionality.

It keeps them healthy and improves longevity. Can a horse be retro-fitted? YES they can! :) You can certainly put this training on your horse at any time.

I will speak again on the other components in other articles to come.  I would refer you to my articles about lateral flexion, flexing in general, collection, groundwork, body control. (Please use Search box on the top of the right side bar.)

Putting My Spin on Softness of the Face
@KISS Reiners

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