Training with Tristen Baroni: Flexions, pt. 2

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training

In this video we are once again working on our flexions as we’ve made progress with our horses. Hopefully you had the same success with your horse(s). 


In this video what I’m trying to express isn’t only about flexions it’s also about understanding pressure and release, enabling the horse to search for peace. What I’m trying to demonstrate is the manner in which you can apply pressure to the horse, which in turn leads him to search for a solution to this pressure. You might be asking yourself – why does it work and why is it important? I’m going to give you a couple of things to think about that may seem very abstract, but they are actually one in the same, so please think about them with an open mind as well as a critical perspective on yourself.

In this first example I’m going to assume we all know horse owners who have a horse that rushes back to the barn or has a hard time leaving his buddies. Why is that relevant? His buddies or the barn are pressure for the horse and they are weighing on his mind/his thoughts. This is something truly important about the horses nature which we must understand if our goal is to ride a horse who is at peace. The horse likes to be left alone, have rest, that’s why he seeks the barn and the other horses as he has yet to find a place of peace with that particular human. Instead the horse in this particular example gets peace when he is turned out or tied up at the barn. 

 Now that we are thinking along those lines there’s one more concept I need to cover which is: Too much pressure used in any fashion will revert the horse to the sympathetic nervous system AKA fight or flight and decrease or completely inhibit his ability to think rationally and search for or retain information. Since he is a prey animal first and foremost, living is a serious concern for the horse  – do not underestimate this. This is why it’s paramount that you gently take the slack out of the rein as you wait for some sign that the horse acknowledges this pressure. By acknowledge, I mean any movement even if it’s opposing your desired direction. That movement means it’s an effective dose and you must wait, not increase pressure, for this is the key that many people struggle with. Wait until he comes off of that pressure even the slightest bit and release. Minimal necessary force is what is consistently required and that takes practice. All of you that are pursuing fine horsemanship know that you can’t always see what you are looking at, but if you look long enough and think about it a most phenomenal view will surface. 


I hope this helps with your horses and this is relevant to so much more than just your reins, think of teaching the horse this way with all of your aids.

Flexions Part One:


Posted in: Featured, Horse Training

About Tristen Baroni

I enjoy working with horses and people. It affords me the opportunity to constantly learn and improve my horsemanship skills and also grow as an individual. Horses are truly remarkable in the way they are and what they are capable of. I’m trying to get these...

View all posts by Tristen Baroni