Does Anyone Know - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-25-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Does Anyone Know

Does anyone know how I could get my 6 year old Thoroughbred go on the bit more? At the moment she is putting her head down to make her outline softer but her nose still sticks out! I have tried lungeing her with side reins and she was really good but as soon as I took them off to ride her nose went out again. Any tips?

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-25-2009, 06:05 PM
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maybe try pushing her moe into the bridle with your legs, while keeping your hands soft but firm. You could also try draw reins, which I would recoment you talk to someone with mroe experience about.

I have heard of some throughbreds having a hook or something at the very back of there jaw making it painful for them to go round... but im not sure if that's jsut a myth or not. But if she goes round nicely in side reins then that shoudlt ne the problem.

And also when you do get her round don't excpect her to be able to hold that for a long time...it takes quite a bit of back and neck muscle to hold that.

Hope this helped :)

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-25-2009, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Now that's its coming into Summer I will be able to start getting lessons again, so im looking forward to that. I will try doing what you suggested. She had the dentist out just a couple of weeks ago and he didn't say anything about her having a hook. =)

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-25-2009, 07:42 PM
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left right with your reins gently till she gives, even if it is just a little and release the SECOND that she gives ... start at the walk and when you start only ask for her nose 4 or 5 times and then stop .. next ride ask for it one more time and then stop. Once you get it good at the walk then start in the trot ... don't expect your horse to be able to hold this for a long time or more then a quick second cause they have to build up the muscle.

Let me know if you need me to explain more :)

:: Karley ::
Tucker WB/TB- 11 yr
Speedy QH/TB- 22 yr
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-25-2009, 09:17 PM
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Yes.. put draw reins on and see-saw! It will work really well until she finds another way to evade contact, like say tucking behind the bit and backing entirely off.
I would continue what you are doing, lunging with side reins. When you are riding, work on shortening your reins, keeping your elbows on your hips, your hands down, soft and quiet and getting her to connect more "over the back" into your contact. Remember that the leg must always support anything done with the hand, and for the love of Pete be grateful that you have a horse that seeks the contact!! So so so so many horses are so backed off of the contact from people see sawing, putting horses in draw reins and ramming them in the mouth whenever they stretch towards the contact that it is no wonder we are starting to see this as the norm. In dressage, we want the head on the vertical, or slightly in front!!! This shows that the horse accepts the bit and stretches towards it.
Lessons are also a good investment. A pair of experienced eyes on the ground are so valuable. Good luck!
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-26-2009, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I tried your ideas today while I rode her and they seemed to work =)

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-26-2009, 07:40 PM
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Definitely don't try to force things. I'm still working on the same thing with my 7 year old OTTB. The mechanics of proper riding certainly have to be there, but ultimately it's a matter of when the horse has the proper conditioning and muscling to do what is being asked of them.

Lots of suppling exercises, half halts, and lateral work has worked for me. If I can't get the desired result at the trot, we go back to the walk and work on our communication before trying at the trot again. Definitely reward with a softening of the reins whenever she softens, even if it's only for a stride.
If your TB is cold backed like mine, nothing's better than a brisk canter to get him warmed up and more willing to work on connection.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-26-2009, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
Definitely don't try to force things. I'm still working on the same thing with my 7 year old OTTB. The mechanics of proper riding certainly have to be there, but ultimately it's a matter of when the horse has the proper conditioning and muscling to do what is being asked of them.

Lots of suppling exercises, half halts, and lateral work has worked for me. If I can't get the desired result at the trot, we go back to the walk and work on our communication before trying at the trot again. Definitely reward with a softening of the reins whenever she softens, even if it's only for a stride.
If your TB is cold backed like mine, nothing's better than a brisk canter to get him warmed up and more willing to work on connection.
Thanks, =) At them moment she is just doing 10 minutes on the lunge with side reins to try get more muscle. She isn't cold backed however, so that isn't a problem.

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-27-2009, 07:28 PM
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Once your horse is coming into contact and reaching forward, make sure you are not "letting go" of your driving aids. Instead, ask for more forward, which will bring your horse into your recieving hands and on the bit. Mirrors really help also. This is something I think everyone has to "play with" a little bit until it feels right.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-27-2009, 08:18 PM
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I just read the latest issue of Practical Horseman. There's a Jim Wofford artical in there about preparing for a classic. Even though very few of us will probably ever do one, he had a very simple theory for conditioning horses.

"Walk for muscle, trot for balance and canter for wind". If you want more muscle and topline on her, it sounds like the best thing you can do is march her around uneven terrain for a good 30 minutes a day. In the article he clarified that it must be an energtic on the bit type of walk, parade marching style. Sounds like usually the rider comes home more tired than the horse, but he seems to swear by it for building topline. I'm going start doing it more with my TB. Nothing bad can come from more muscle!
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