Help with "Ladderstitch" for zebra in World of Knitted Toys

I’m making the zebra in Kath Dalmeny’s [U]World of Knitted Toys[/U] and am having trouble with the ladderstitch which is supposed to keep the neck bent. The head and body is knit as a long tube then bent downward for the head and upward at the neck. I’m following the directions for the laderstitch, but it is not working to keep the tube bent into an angle. Can anyone help with either this stitch or another way to bend a tube and keep it bent?

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