*Sniff* Need some encouragement :( - Page 3

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*Sniff* Need some encouragement :(

This is a discussion on *Sniff* Need some encouragement :( within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        11-27-2013, 12:28 PM
    Are you teachers explaining HOW to have a horse first 'accept the bit' and then gradually go 'on the bit' (with a degree of flexion suiting his age and training). Are they explain the effect of your aids. Remember 'chewing the reins from the hand' aka forward down out aka stretching is a TEST of proper training not something that comes first. Long and low can mean low flat neck or a closed postured or dangling the reins, it is rather meaningless statement imho.

    So, how does the rider present the bit to the horse? First, is there a straight line from elbow to horse's mouth (no matter HOW high they are), so that the bit does not act on the bars, but on the corners of the mouth. Secondly, the horse must be ridden with a smidge of lateral flexibility (for this carrying the inside hand a smidge higher can help form the basis (for working into the outside rein). All this should be being explained to you by teachers. It is NOT about making the horse low or closed (remember the mouth should be about the level of the point of the hip), it is about MAINTAINING a light connection and lateral flexibility (hence riding of MANY circles/curved lines/serpentines/etc) and PULSING the leg aids.

    For what it is worth, 'resistances' in the horse are ALWAYS we riders. (Maybe 1% is something else). We act, the horse reacts. If the horse misunderstands out tact/timing/alignment/etc it is UP to us to understand why and change our tact/timing/duraction/etc. That is why riding methodologies are so necessary in training, and something that must be addressed in every ride.

    A horse just coming 5 is a teenager. Testing the limits/learning to understand. If the rider becomes the reaction to his actions instead of visa versa then you will always be chasing the escapes.

    Horses 'raise their backs' when they work into the hand (in a lightly open posture with active hind legs) with a mobile jaw and wiling keep the connection, then the half halts can create more more folded hind leg joints. Create too much (precipitous) longitudinal flexion and the connection with the hind legs is lost, and the horse struggles against the pain on the bars and the effect of the hand.

    Think more about riding 'in position' (can you see the inside eyelashes), and keeping the straight line to the mouth (no resting the hands on the withers), pulse the (leg) aids.
    CandyCanes likes this.
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        11-27-2013, 02:58 PM
    Heh... Jaydee... We seem to have the same horse. Diddly goes bouncy when jumping too :P

    Thanks a million equitate for that post... All this is really helping me to understand things better. I'm doing lots and lots of circles and spirals... He tends to drop his head a little if I really make him bend. I am also strengthening his back muscles on the ground, by running the pen under his belly 3 times before I ride. He really arches his back up... And I'm already seeing a difference in his top line :)... Which should help him raise his back a little easier whilst riding (I hope!)
        11-27-2013, 04:44 PM
    Doing belly lifts really does not do much, it is the BELLY muscles which support the entire top line. But they work as the horse moves (extensor/flexors) and as the horse stays up/open/with a mobile jaw). What builds the 'bridge' between the hind legs and the hand? Riding with lateral flexibility, and having the horse out to the hand. (Do you realize that the chest hangs in a sling of muscle, and what lifts it is being active and out to the hand.) Work in hand standing (for mobilizing the jaw/etc) as well as toF/shoulder in/etc have far more effect, the horse learns to move from touches of the whip, and that morphs to listening to the leg.

    But it should be the teacher which is clarifying this for you, and showing you how to pulse the aids/use them to 'funnel the horse' into a proper connection, and bringing it to flexion over time.
    CandyCanes likes this.
        11-29-2013, 03:58 PM
    Everyone else has pretty much said it all. Inside leg to outside hand. Lots of leg but keep the same rythem. Half halts and transitions and I would say just try and keep him busy so that he is focused on you rather than that funny looking piece of grass or the lion that is definitely hiding behind that tree! But getting him to focus will be no easy task I know all about it with my many phsycopaths (they're lovely really just a few mental issues) but just try not to give them those few seconds to think but also you should plan ahead so that your not tootling around then saying oh crap I should do a circle and doing sudden motor bike turns if that makes sense! Good luck and I'll be watching you
        11-29-2013, 04:08 PM
    For some apparent reason, that made me laugh :P
    I'm a little hysterical tonight!
    Anyway, I did tonnes of transitions yesterday, and after a while, instead of raising his head with each transition, he dropped it. He tends t do that if I make him do transitions for long enough. Progress progress progress. Tum te tum te tum. :)
        11-29-2013, 04:17 PM
    I think you may find it is actually tum te tum tum tum :) That was a quote of Winnie the Pooh as far as I can remember :)

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