Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sweden - the land of carrots and apples
How to get him off the forehand? *long post*
Ok..I know Crow wasn't collected, but yesterday I realized just how much w was walking on his forehand. And gaiting, and probably everything altho we only checked the gait and walk.
He's a very willing and sensetive horse, easily moves both hindquarters and shoulders when asked, trained with the shoulder in already before he had a rider (trained it from the grund), I often move him sideways across the roads when I'm out, I walk and in gait, as well as doing those shoulder ins at least in walk, havn't tried doing it faster. When I find an arena or a place where I can ride a circle, I practice using my seat and legs to move him in and out of the circle without changing the bend or frame. I also work on slowing his walk or gait or canter down with seat, speeding up, slowing down etc. and I try to always be careful not letting him fall in through a tun (he usually lean heavily on the inner foreleg when he turns). He's giving to the bit but not following it down-forward at all times, at the trails he usually have the headset in my avatar; not very low but no stargazer, bracing the bit or just hollowing out either. When he gaits he raise the head but still keeps a nice rounded neck, nose dropped perhaps a little before the vertical. He can take the nose down more as well if I ask him, but actually I havn't cared much for it as long as he doesn't stiffen up and brace aginst the reins. I try not to bother him at the head at all as long as he's just doing as he should and relaxing ok. We usehills and so to climb and in all I think it's quite varied work..
The canter is a weak point; he canters nicely and comfortably, takes the cues easily and stops easily. If I ask him to go too slow he'll break off to a mix between canter and rack, but we're getting better on that and it's ok now. Problem is that he doesn't know anything about getting the right canter lead, he just takes the same all the time (well, I think so at least..Havn't remembered to check which canter it is all the time). I don't think this will be a problem to fix later on when I have access to an arena.
Now last time I went and saw some vids with my fiend after the ride and talked a bit. The result was that I brought a whip on the ride today, trying from the ground first of course, and used it by laying it on his chest in front of him, to get the point ''stop means stop now immediatly, so be ready for it'' as he often slows down and stops gradually. He did well, and just feeling the stick at his chest (or front of his shoulder really) got him to stop in a heartbeat. I didn't have to smack him or anything (wouldn't have tried either way but rather went back to enforce it on the ground if necessary) I think I tapped once lightly when he didn't react fast enough. So, now I've taught my horse to stop dead immediatly at my cue from both walk and a fast gait.. on the forehand. He pretty much buried his poor frontlegs in the ground..poor thing. Well, after a few times he did seem to realize that I could ask for it and that it was better to stop by ''burying'' his hindlegs rather than his frontlegs.. :3 I also noticed that tapping the top of his butt with the whip, not painfully, just ''tap-tap-tap'' as if I'd drummed my fingers there or something, did - something. I don't know exactly what but it felt as if he pulled the butt under himself just a bit..I won't know untill I've tried that and got it on tape or had someone watch it. He didn't tense up or brace or feel stiff in anyway, and didn't speed up either, so maybe.. I used the whip a little to move his hindquarter and fore too, he knows it very well without it so it didn't make a differense.
Anyway..if you've read all this Ill owe you a cookie.. now..what do you think I could work more on to get his butt under himself and get all that weight off his forehand? Some new excercise?
I don't have acess to any arena at the moment, only trails. I can walk on our field but it's too slippery to gait or trot there.. Our neighbours seem to be done with their arena so there's chances I can get some kind of deal from that.
Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.
Last edited by Zab; 10-21-2009 at 04:08 PM.