Lateral Work for Saddleat Horses



I was wondering if there were any riders or trainers out there who could tell me if lateral work is used when training and schooling saddleseat horses? If not, what is the reasoning?


Thank you!

4 Responses to Lateral Work for Saddleat Horses

  1. Scottfield03 says:

    I am wondering if it wouldn’t help if you could define your definition of lateral work.

    If you mean in the dressage sense of truly crossing over and moving sideways in adition to forwrad, then I would say no, I don’t do lateral work with my Saddleseat horses. With that said, I do do a lot of suppling and bending with them, and am particularly interested in having the ability to move my horses’ shoulders around their hips. It is very important to me that my horse understand that when I put my leg on their barell at the girth, I want them to move their rib cage over/away. Farther back on the barrel means to move your hips over. But I don’t encourage my horses to cross over much– with the type of shoeing most of my saddleseat horses wear, I wouldn’t want to risk them smacking their legs together while learning to cross over.

    My hunter and western horses absolutely do lateral work in the crossing over and moving laterally side-wise sense.

    Everyone is different in their approach, and there are a million ways to train a horse well.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Carley says:

    i agree completely with scottfield… with the ss horses… doing too much crossing over work riska pulling shoes and popping splints with those shoe packages. as young horses, they learn it all. but once we start to specialize them then it all depends on what discipline. my western and hunter horses most definitely learn to do lateral work very well.

  3. windsofeternity says:

    Thank you! Yes, I did mean truly crossing over. My guy is shod for classic and I didn’t even think of the shoe package and the problems it would cause in moving laterally. Not to mention the stress it would put on their legs!

    Thanks again!

  4. Jrchloe says:

    I believe WGC Saddlebred trainer Rob Byers (along with others) uses lateral work to train horses. Now this is probably used in the beginning training and in the off season when the horses don’t have their show shoes on. I have also been told in the old days these exercises where used a lot in the basic training of SS horses. So to answer your question yes for basic training or going back to work but no to everyday schooling :-D.

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