*Sniff* Need some encouragement :( - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-25-2013, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Weezilla View Post
CC, if I remember correctly, Diddley was pictured in a double bridle in the ad when you found him, right? And he is young, isn't he? Like 5 or 6? Riding in a double certainly did not help teach him correct contact, and you must be feeling the effects from that poor start - I'm sorry :(

I'm wondering if you are compressing/condensing your aids with enough
intensity when you ask for contact. Meaning the application of leg (calf) and squeezing/holding of hand-rein for more than a moment--applying those aids in slightly increasing intensity (but NOT pulling backwards) until he connects (rounds), at which time you soften your hand (but keep leg on ;)) Perhaps try MORE leg and MORE rein (increase tension on reins)on a 30 M circle?
He's four, rising five ;)
I have to agree... I don't even own a double bridle, so no fear of me putting that contraption on him :P I must try what you said... I have a tendency to be far to kind to him!

existential: I will be trying that tomorrow when I ride him. Thanks a mill for the kind words :)

Ninamebo: I'll be putting a video up for critique, most likely this weekend, because I know absolutely it's my fault. Maybe once a month, I will video myself and look for some improvements.

jaydee: I don't think (I say think because, I may be unaware I'm doing it) that I am... I am a very sympathetic rider (again, I think!) I'm concentrating on pushing him on up into the bridle, rather than sawing him down.

tinylily: I am aware of that, and I am actually going to shoot myself some day if I don't get the hang of this dressage lark... I need the dressage whip after me I do! I know what you mean about lessons... I crave direction and instruction... Otherwise I end up riding around aimlessly saying oh lets do a bit of this, then a bit of that :P.
Thank you all so much... You've given me some direction to keep me busy, and maybe hope for the future! some
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post #12 of 26 Old 11-25-2013, 03:50 PM
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Do other people actually get him working and collected on the bit, or just get his head down?

If there is a dramatic change between you and others riding him then you probably should look at your riding.
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-25-2013, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well they seem to have a much stronger leg than me... He is the first horse I've ever actually tried to get engaging the hind quarters. I'm doing it now as I'm really getting into dressage and eventing. I've also only ever ridden atomic bombs (aka whizzy ponies) before, so haven't really needed the use of my legs!

I've been told that as soon as I can use my legs more efficiently I should be able to ride him up into the bridle so much more.
To answer your question, no I think they got him engaging... from what I could see. His back was raising up, and he was powering forward. He didn't seem tense at all. Both my trainers hoped up on him and had a quick spin. He, at first went along with his nose in the air for oh I don't know.. a minute, then he just gradually dropped down slowly. Which would indicate to me that they were pushing in on up into the bridle and he then slowly submitted and came in :)
My biggest achievement was when I was in one of my lessons, and he suddenly dropped down for me, and stayed there for ten minutes. I did not change my riding, and during the time that he stayed put, I did not do anything with my hands. What broke the spell was that we came back to a walk, and I gave him a free walk on long rein. When I re took the connect, poof! Right back to giraffe impressions.
Strange horse.
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-25-2013, 06:17 PM
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Ten minutes is a long time to be working on raising his back muscles, as he's still learning and developing those muscles it can be a tiring feat, probably explaining the lack of connection after his walk break.

Try thinking back to what you did with your body and aids to get him there and recreate it- that's a good start. Good luck!

Also, it's good to be critical of yourself and your riding, but don't need to be super hard on yourself constantly as you are trying and learning and that's a great thing! Riding is fun, not a chore ;)
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-26-2013, 09:39 AM
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If he responded correctly after the free walk then it does sound as if you're being a little too forceful with your hands - his heads going up because it has no where else to go and its really a resistance - he's trying to get above the bit to avoid the pressure
You need to be riding him into a LIGHT resisting hand with the emphasis on the light. Start off in small bites so don't ask for too much at once - he has to learn to use and develop new muscles for this
Once he's dropped his head and come down to where he should be (don't expect too much too soon) you should be able to release the pressure so you're not locking him there with a vice like grip on his head
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-26-2013, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice :)
I rode him to today and he dropped for a stride every now and then, and mouthed the bit. Such a good boy
Jaydee, I utterly get what you are saying. I'm trying to be really light with my hands so lets hope it works :)
(Wow... I use way to many smileys.)
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post #17 of 26 Old 11-26-2013, 03:13 PM
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And be SURE that you are using leg when asking for contact. Imagine being able to literally lift your horse's back up with your calves. I have posted this before; maybe it will help a bit.

Buy a cuppa coffee or tea. Drink it dry. Remove any lid. Holding the cup, turn it as if you were emptying it-with your thumbs and fingers pointed straight down, perpendicular to the ground.

Now, imagine that your thumb and index finger are your legs, and the cup is the horse's barrel. Squeeze the cup with your "lower legs"--the finger joints closest to your fingertips. The cup narrows at the bottom and fills your hand (seat) at the top. You have a secure hold on the cup. The cup's "back" is lifted.

Now squeeze the cup using only your upper finger joints (your thighs), closest to your palms-no "lower legs". The cup pops out and falls to the ground.

Visualize this when you ride. The lower legs LIFTing the back. If you sit heavy and use no leg/only upper leg-tension, you will drop his back to the ground. The amount of leg isn't a ton-what it IS is consistent.

Then address the reins. The application of your lower legs plus a consistent yet feeling-forward contact should invite Diddly to seek the bit.
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post #18 of 26 Old 11-26-2013, 03:40 PM
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I do sympathise with you on the not so forward horse Candycanes - after always riding very fizzy ponies and very willing horses I was totally lost when I was put on an idle 'b' for a lesson - I have never worked so hard in my entire life as I did to keep that horse moving forward enough to get into collection. I was exhausted at the end of it - but it really did make me a stronger more energetic rider after a few months of it
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-27-2013, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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I can totally get my head around that weezilla... It's a very logical way of thinking. I like how you described that :) I will be attempting to do that whilst riding.
I know jaydee.... In all honesty, Diddly is an absolute sweety pie... But he never will be the wizzy variey!!!
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-27-2013, 12:10 PM
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I find Willow exactly the same - the only time she gets whizzy is when she has a jump in front of her - though she was always very keen (understatement) out hunting. She just finds schooling really dull so doesn't put any effort into it
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