Is this normal?
 
 

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Is this normal?

This is a discussion on Is this normal? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Do you seesaw snaffle

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  • 2 Post By katdressagegirl
  • 1 Post By Kayty

 
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    11-14-2012, 05:45 PM
  #1
Banned
Is this normal?

Dressage folk....want your opinions.....I am quite familiar with dressage, even though I'm a Reiner, I spent quite a while in the English world and did a stint at a Holstein stud/training facility......however, not having the 'back-up' required in terms of experience please pray do tell: Is it normal or accepted to see-saw on a snaffle while riding/training dressage, and I mean noticeable back and forth hand movements of 4-5" at a time? There is a long back story behind this, which I may elaborate on further on in the thread......oh and some of you will be pleased, I put my reining horse in a loose ring snaffle the other day just for the hell of it....(he usually works in a medium port correction and shows in a cathedral bitGasp!) haha he worked great, a little 'up' nose out at times, but certainly ok, ...but I sure as heck am not going to show him in one!
     
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    11-14-2012, 05:54 PM
  #2
Weanling
I have seen many people "see-saw", even coaches that train it.
IMO, I disagree and think it is improper. Many people get into the habit of moving their hands back and forth harshly, therefore, not using any leg what so ever, and also a horse ending up with a sore mouth. I believe in supple and softening. By "supply and soften" I mean using your ring fingers, squeezing while using your leg to help your horse become supple on the bit, gets the job done properly and no one can notice it!
     
    11-14-2012, 06:00 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
Its not something I like to see as its forcing the horse into outline rather than riding it from behind into a light hand. Opening and closing your fingers on the reins and doing a 'piano playing' thing on them should be enough if the horse has been schooled right and has good impulsion
Nice to hear you've gotten into the snaffle - maybe you will show him in it!!! Never say never
     
    11-14-2012, 06:06 PM
  #4
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Its not something I like to see as its forcing the horse into outline rather than riding it from behind into a light hand. Opening and closing your fingers on the reins and doing a 'piano playing' thing on them should be enough if the horse has been schooled right and has good impulsion
Nice to hear you've gotten into the snaffle - maybe you will show him in it!!! Never say never
Haha well, he was trained up to the cathedral, was started in a snaffle, I was really just testing my seat and leg aids to see if it was 'all bit' or not....seems its not, but I'm going to have to bring out the heavy artillery for a show I'm afraid, he works well in it all as far as I can see, but the snaffle requires a little more hand play than what the judges like to see....however in saying that, I will ride him in a snaffle every so often now and rotate between different bits......

As for the see-sawing.....ok, yes I can just wiggle my fingers a little and get a response, what I saw was almost anger from the rider.....no, it was anger.
     
    11-14-2012, 06:06 PM
  #5
Foal
I agree with Fulford15. See-sawing is not acceptable, neither is it correct. It doesn't encourage connection over the back, or do anything besides create a false head-set. Many people are happy as long as their horse's head is down, because they think that's all dressage is. Usually it's beginners who do this...people who haven't had the education necessary to realize this is not correct.

If my horse's head is getting to high, I probably would ask him to move with more energy while using small motions with my inside rein, asking him to flex to the inside and releasing when he does. (depending on situation) And if I was having a consistent problem with this, then I would go back to basics with him, because obviously his back is not engaged.


So yeah all in all, it's a no from me.
Kayty and Fulford15 like this.
     
    11-14-2012, 06:25 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
Haha well, he was trained up to the cathedral, was started in a snaffle, I was really just testing my seat and leg aids to see if it was 'all bit' or not....seems its not, but I'm going to have to bring out the heavy artillery for a show I'm afraid, he works well in it all as far as I can see, but the snaffle requires a little more hand play than what the judges like to see....however in saying that, I will ride him in a snaffle every so often now and rotate between different bits......

As for the see-sawing.....ok, yes I can just wiggle my fingers a little and get a response, what I saw was almost anger from the rider.....no, it was anger.
You might find him more responsive in the show bit when you use the snaffle the rest of the time. I bought a horse that was like a runaway train in the jumping ring - we were known to go round the course twice on occasions as I just couldnt stop him and he loved jumping, I found a stronger bit that worked for us and when I rode him the rest of the time in a thin snaffle he was a lot more aware of the stronger bit in the ring otherwise I think he would have just got used to it. Does that make sense?
     
    11-14-2012, 06:38 PM
  #7
Trained
As far the cathedral bit, it Muppet's horse is over age he has to be shown up in the bridle. Only young horses can be shown in snaffles.

I gently tense my hand, and untense my hands, to ask for the backup in a snaffle on a horse note broke to my leg cues. More as an aid to them in the learning process than the cue itself.. Back in the day, the warmblood I briefly ventured into english with was trained with just a slight seat movement back and wiggling your feet (Right foot pressure, left foot pressure, right, left) as his backup cue so there was no pulling on the mouth besides the contact. I teach all my reiners and barrel horses like this too. I teach them "whoa" and wiggling my feet means back, so I can get that nice butt-tucking action into a stop and a backup where I can throw away my reins if I need it.
     
    11-14-2012, 07:08 PM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
As far the cathedral bit, it Muppet's horse is over age he has to be shown up in the bridle. Only young horses can be shown in snaffles.

I gently tense my hand, and untense my hands, to ask for the backup in a snaffle on a horse note broke to my leg cues. More as an aid to them in the learning process than the cue itself.. Back in the day, the warmblood I briefly ventured into english with was trained with just a slight seat movement back and wiggling your feet (Right foot pressure, left foot pressure, right, left) as his backup cue so there was no pulling on the mouth besides the contact. I teach all my reiners and barrel horses like this too. I teach them "whoa" and wiggling my feet means back, so I can get that nice butt-tucking action into a stop and a backup where I can throw away my reins if I need it.
Haha yeah I forgot mention my horses age and that I can't show him in a snaffle! Yes, I just brace my legs forward for the back up.....and start bumping his shoulders if he doesn't back up how I'd like.....
     
    11-14-2012, 07:11 PM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
You might find him more responsive in the show bit when you use the snaffle the rest of the time. I bought a horse that was like a runaway train in the jumping ring - we were known to go round the course twice on occasions as I just couldnt stop him and he loved jumping, I found a stronger bit that worked for us and when I rode him the rest of the time in a thin snaffle he was a lot more aware of the stronger bit in the ring otherwise I think he would have just got used to it. Does that make sense?
Yeah, as Sorrel said, I can't show my guy in a snaffle anyway, but yes, I'm reserving the cathedral for shows.....yes, it's about awareness....I don't want to lose that
     
    11-14-2012, 07:50 PM
  #10
Trained
See-sawing is definitely not what you want to be doing.
It is not going a horse any kind of contact to work into, so all it achieves is scaring a horse into backing off the bit, to excape the pressure on it's mouth.
As Kat said, it tends to be used by those who are under the impression that Dressage is about a tucked in head - and see-sawing is an easy way to achieve that arched neck appearance.
Though yes, I have also seen it used in anger when the rider could not get her horse to soften it's topline. In those cases, I tend to ride my horse quite deep and low, juggling off my legs until the topline releases, then ride the horse back up to the bridle. No see-sawing and yanking on the mouth required!!
Lateral work is also a good one for releasing a tense topline - if I feel that there is a slight blockage along the topline, I'll ride shoulder in- travers - shoulder in - revers all around the arena, on the straight and circles, caying degrees of bend, until I feel that release of the topline.

There is no place for see-sawing.

Frustration/anger begins, where ones skill ends.
Muppetgirl likes this.
     

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