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A round horse is meant to evoke an image of a horse that has balance, meaning that it has a good frame, it accepts a bit and it's accepting of the leg. Find out how horses need to be relaxed and comfortable to become round horses with help from a horse riding trainer in this free video on round horses.
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This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables and I want to take a minute to talk to you about the concept of a round horse and why a round horse and what exactly does round mean? I go around to horse shows and I hear a lot, I hear people shouting out you know put your horse on a frame and I really want to take a moment to talk about round as an encompassing term because it is a frame, yes but not just a frame. It's balance, it's forward, it's frame, it's accepting of a bit, it's accepting of the leg, it's truly a horse that is flexible and adjustable and moving forward and can be manipulated into doing what it is that you're asking the horse to do, i.e., dressage maneuvers or jumping. So in order to have a round horse or to obtain a round horse number one we need a comfortable horse and we've talked on a lot of those assessing pain or assessing areas of discomfort. You need to have a relaxed comfortable horse in order to obtain a round horse so if you're having a hard time getting a horse round through your feel then there could be areas of pain or aggravation in your horse. So how we truly get a horse round is number one we need forward as we talked about, we need the gas pedal, we need that going and then we need to create balance. We need to create the balance and the feel between the leg and the hand. So how we do that is we have to have a horse that number one is accepting the bit. If your horse is not accepting the bit the horse isn't going to move into the bridal and allow you to make those maneuvers or those adjustments with your rein. So we talked about that with teeth and with bitting. We want a horse that accepts the bit. We want a horse that will actually come through. So the concept of round really encompasses the horse's entire body. It starts with the engine going and it starts with the horse's ability to adjust both forward and adjust head to tail. It also involves the horse standing up and having equal pressure in both its left side of its body and the right side of its body. It also involves the horse's front end and hind end. A horse maintains and holds 65 to 70 percent of its body weight in its front end. This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables.