Red and Squiggy are the same in the way they do their body movements.
Red does: (if I do not do my job of keeping him correct)
--shoulder in or cut into the circle
--swing hip out and not engage it
--have head high and nose out
--sometimes ignore my direct rein and inside leg cue to bend
I see Squiggy doing the same thing to you in your video. So that's how they are the same.
Who pays for Squiggy? Whose truck/trailer do you use? If your parents are footing the bill for any of it, I can understand that they have a say in what you do because my parents (okay, well my dad) were the same exact way. Horses didn't go the vet unless they were dying, and they certainly didn't go to the trainer.
But if you are paying your own way for Squiggy, well then I'd take their "advice" with a grain of salt and go do what I know I need to do.
Does this roping guy who knows his stuff give one or two lessons? It's sometimes amazing how helpful it can be to have another person watch you and/or hop on your horse for themselves.
I know I've said it before, but I still really think you need to quit working her on barrels for the time being. Put the barrels away, and use your dirt area to work on TONS of circles, figure 8's, diagonals, roll backs, etc.
1) Never let her cut into a circle. If she does, she's gotta go around it again all the way until it's perfect.
2) Make sure you give her RELEASE. If she drops her head for you, let the pressure off the reins. If you never give her release, she'll learn to never give.
3) Always keep that hip in .... unless you you want to work on counter canter in a circle (quite a beneficial exercise) then you will force them to uncomfortably keep that hip out while on the wrong lead for a couple laps. You can then make a straight-away in a diagonal, or act like you are going down the long end of an arena, break down to the trot, and ask for the correct lead. They will love the opportunity to keep their hip inward after that!
4) Keep her collected. Right now, she's got a pretty hollow back. With the bending exercises in lots of circles, her head should naturally start to drop to find that release from YOU. When that happens, her gaits should slow down and her back should round. Bending leads to good things.
5) If she speeds up faster than you want her to go, bend her into a small circle so she has to slow down, then carry on. If she speeds up again, bend her into a small circle again. You may have to do this over and over again, but stick with it. She should stay at the pace and speed you ask her to stay at, without speeding up (or slowing down).
6) Your end goal should be self-carriage. She should start to always carry her head lower and she should start to always travel collected (and not hollowed out) because she knows the instant she doesn't, you are going to correct her. This is why I think you need to not think about barrels right now; simply get her riding better.
Curious .... have you ever had her in a shanked bit? I used to say that if you can't teach a horse something in a snaffle, then you shouldn't be doing it ...... until I took Red to that trainer. I had been trying to get him good in a snaffle. Wasn't working. She put a high port correction bit on him and almost instant results. Yes, harsher bit, one would say, but I do believe in using the bit that works. And the bit that works might be a stronger one. But if you can touch their mouth less in the stronger bit, rather than hauling on them in a snaffle, then maybe that "harsher" bit is actually softer than the snaffle. Because you are leaving them alone and applying less pressure. I only ride him in that high port bit on occasion, but it really keeps him soft.
Something to think about anyway.
Yes, I do see improvement in this video, but Squiggy still has a long way to go. Get her riding better over the next month with no barrels. You'll be happily surprised at how much better she'll turn and handle when you re-introduce it.
Where are you QH? I know last spring Sandy Stewart did a bunch of clinics around the province. She is great, in two days had my TB listening and turning barrels better then I had working her very inconsistently the last year. She just was such a hard case for me to crack, I knew I needed some help. There were others too, I think even getting in to a clinic for a weekend you will notice a difference in how you two work.
I use a german martingale on a lot of my horses. Slowly progress them into a running martingale and then nothing. I can always slap that sucker on if someone tries pulling something and refuses to listen to the aids it has listened to for the past 6 years...(my old gelding sometimes decided he was going to run around like a racehorse in his WP bit.) Two minutes is all I need it on for and I can pull it off and work no issues.
Okay. So heres the thing.
I've spent many many hours riding like that, hands low, asking for her to be soft and blah blah blah. And all she does is gets bunched up like an accordion. I slide her rein and give her leg, but she just grabs the rein and the head goes UP. You have no idea how long I've spent on her back trying to get that to work, and its a fight every step of the way. I will maybe get a little of what I'm asking for at the end of a ride, but when I ask for it the next ride, its like starting over from square one.
I know everyone is going to say, "Oooh go get a trainer then."
Whats a trainer going to do? Try all of the things I've been told to try and have been working on over the past 3 years? Maybe strap some gadgets to her face and try then?
I'm at the point where I ask for a little, take what I get in terms of roundness and so on, and just go out and ride my horse.
I spend every other ride or so working on such things.
I realize my hands got a little UP and BUSY today, but I made the stupid mistake of trying to do my warm up out in the hay field and she was so intent on eating the hay that nothing was going to be working, so we started the whole ride over back at my "dirt" and by then, she was all hot and bothered and being a witch. Just another one of those days.
I don't even know. I can't get anything right lol.
I don't ride western however this is something familiar to me.
Sky learned how to accept the bit first with side reins. He controls how much give and take there is, depending on the setting. Side reins are consistent in their give and take and I guarantee if you lunge her with them at a walk, eventually she'll start reaching down into them. Brilliant, then you take them off and put her away. Maybe work on this after your rides or on "off days"
Then build onto it. Next time she gets walk, try some trot. Then take them off and leave it for another day.
If she has trot down fine, then go to canter. Canter took forever to get Sky to relax into it because canter was fairly new to him. But I'm guessing Squiggy will be fine.
Squiggy seems to have a lot of tension. I honestly think trying to make her look like a pretty round english pony isn't helping either. I feel you need to go back and really work on getting her relaxed. Once she is relaxed at the walk, move up to the trot. Once she is relaxed at the trot, let her canter and don't stop until she has given you some nice relaxed canter (or lope, my bad)
Don't worry about where her head is, or the length of your rein, or if you're on the correct diagonal... just rider her until she is nice and relaxed and keep going for a little bit more.
Once she is relaxed, then you can start "fixing" things.
QH, we all love you and Squiggy as you know. I understand you're frustrated but what's going on isn't working, we're trying to help you get better results but we've been saying the same things to almost every video and at this point some of us (Or at least me...) are reaching a loss. I go through the video and point out the same things, but it would be so much better if you could find somebody...ANYBODY...who could help you. Ask the roper guy straight out, don't hint about it. I think that Squiggy is a great little mare (as I'm sure you know from being with her) who could do really well but if you wanna be serious about this, you need to get her going like a broke, relaxed horse and not a trigger happy three year old. Even if means driving a long ways and working it off cleaning stalls. You've made incredible leaps and bounds getting her better, but now you gotta keep going until you finish it. I worked off my training by riding four horses a day and cleaning twenty stalls afterwards, as well as oiling bridles, spreading manure, cleaning pastures, saddling and lunging horses, turning out horses, etc. It's an hour drive to my trainer and she's the very closest with any credentials. The next one is a long ways off from even that.
For what it's worth, this is how I bit a horse up who won't soften. This horse was head in the air like Squiggy and a bolter. Look how relaxed she is now. I did this for three or four days before a ride and she's never had a problem since.
Reins between the two front legs and tied to the saddle horn. She tried to run backwards and flip herself around but she calmed down and went right to going relaxed as soon as she found it. Not only does the head down create a softer look, but it almost physically makes the horse relax. If their head is up their body is tight. If they are down, they have to loosen up otherwise they can't go anywhere. Some of them have to find that feel.
Take a deep breath, we all know you can do it, you just gotta find that solution that works, or decide you don't want to do it. Maybe it's something we suggested, maybe it's not. It's up to you, whatever makes you happy, and whatever you think is best.
I will warn you not to tie Squiggy as tight as the picture to start. They can and will flip thepmselves over if you tie them too tight. Start with just a bit of pressure and slowly over the course of half an hour work down to tightening up. I have had colts try to flip when their head is barely tied, once they learn to go forward in it,it is usually ok. Posted via Mobile Device
I'm just going to start with them loose so when she goes to morph into a giraffe she will just hit them and realize they are there. And then pull em a bit tighter.
Would it be ok to let her free walk around the pen woth them loose for 20 minutes while I ride my 3 year old?