over bending the neck and falling through outside shoulder... advice on stopping?

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over bending the neck and falling through outside shoulder... advice on stopping?

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    02-01-2011, 11:58 AM
Question over bending the neck and falling through outside shoulder... advice on stopping?

Hey guys!

Last time I posted on here was a while ago now! Gosh!

If you remember buck and how he was youll be suprised at how far we have come! We are really improving at behaving, and not rushing off at all! Our balance together is so much better, just he has decided to evade I think is the word, by falling through the outside shoulder and wayyyyyyy overbending his neck and not listening to leg aids from me so much! This is on both reins but worse on his less stiff rein.. right one I think!

I have tried an extra big kick when he does it, and I've tried using my whip on his shoulder, but it doesnt seems to work, I've got a firm contact on the outside rein too and that doesnt seem to block him..

Any idea's guys?! Much appreciated!!

Leanne and Buck xx
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    02-01-2011, 06:46 PM
he has decided to evade I think is the word, by falling through the outside shoulder and wayyyyyyy overbending his neck and not listening to leg aids from me so much! This is on both reins but worse on his less stiff rein.. right one I think!

I have tried an extra big kick when he does it, and I've tried using my whip on his shoulder, but it doesnt seems to work, I've got a firm contact on the outside rein too and that doesnt seem to block him..

any idea's guys?! Much appreciated!!

I think it works out better, people don't get as anxious or frustrated, if they think of it not as an evasion, but as he's doing what you've taught him to do, he's going the way you ride him, just change your riding, the horse will change.

The best thing is that a person there, an instructor, someone more experienced, looks and watches what is going on. People on the internet can only guess - they aren't there.

So here is a guess. You feel a firm contact on the outside rein, and even so, the horse overbends his neck.

To which side does he overbend his neck, the inside? And then his outside shoulder pops out? And he doesn't seem to respond to your leg aids, you try 'a big kick', but that doesn't fix it. Which leg are you kicking with, your inside or outside?

Here are some ideas, based on what I've seen and done...if you have a good contact, connection, you can control your horse's neck. Many people do not have enough contact, connection. They are 'setting the horse's head', by using one rein then the other, so the horse 'drops' the bit and 'sets his head' -- the result is that they cannot control or steer their horse.

The energy the horse is moving forward and meeting the bit with, is what makes his neck not overbend. If you have forward energy, your horse's neck is stable, if you do not, you have a noodly neck. So does the rider's steady hand, accepting the contact the horse offers, help.

YOu say he doesn't respond to your leg aids. When your horse does not respond to your leg aids, it is incorrect to respond by giving 'a great big kick'. Use your leg, if there is no reaction, use your whip, tap the horse with the whip, however firmly is needed, to teach him that when you use your leg, he should respond to your leg.

What does your instructor say is the problem? Don't have an instructor? That's going to make it tough. Internet advice is not based on seeing the horse and rider.
    02-01-2011, 06:56 PM
Hi slc

I don't get anxious or frustrated with him as he's been doing so well with everything this is just another road block we must pass

I don't have an instructor there, and the people who say they can help just can't see anything so they just make me nervous as I don't really like riding in front of people,and buck picks up on that.

He over bends to the inside and his outside shoulder goes out and he drifts out instead of doing a circle properly. When I give the "big kick" its with the outside leg to try and bring him away from the pressure, I didnt mention that I do use the stick too just didnt write it down, I have also tried down his shoulder to tell him that it is incorrect.

He is a generally lazy horse, so getting the correct impulsion going from his hind end through the reins takes a bit of effort on mine and his part and most of the time he goes down on his own, I give him half halts to stop him leaning on my hand so much but I don't saw at his mouth at all.

It isnt so much steering just drifting. Anything useful I could do apart from what I've already tried??
    02-01-2011, 07:23 PM
If the problem is really drifting, which way is he drifting? In toward the center, so the circle is too small, or out, so the circle is too large?

Other suggestions? Have you tried the leg yield on the wall already? I suggested riding a leg yield along the wall. You could try that. Similarly, you could try counter bending on the circle - bend to the outside. To get at the more basic problem, you could try correcting him when he doesn't respond to your leg - use your leg once lightly, then use your whip. In other words, getting your horse more obedient, so when you use your leg he goes forward more energetically, would help to keep your horse 'between your aids'.
    02-01-2011, 07:31 PM
Out, like stated above.

I think ill try counter bending, I've tried leg yeilding he doesnt seem to know how to do it and im not 100% sure how to get him to do that either.

I always correct him with a light leg then leg + whip so he understands

Thanks for helping here
    02-01-2011, 07:47 PM
Sounds like he is drifting to the outside of the circle. He overbends to the inside, with a lot of that bend happening right at the base of the neck where it meets the shoulder. This forces him to put more weight onto his outiside shoulder and the heavier that gets, the more he must drift that way inorder to maintain his balance. Chances are this banana shape bend and drift is pushing you to onto YOUR outside seatbone which contributes to the whole process.

You can approach it two differenent ways;
One . . . YOu get him to lift up that outside shoulder and put it back onto the circle track by using counter bend. You would tighten the outside rein, loosen the inside, put your outside leg on (not a kick, but a pulse with each step forward of his outside hind leg) and kind of push him back up onto both shoulders evenly. It may even go so far as to actually bend his head and upper neck to the OUTSIDE, and you may feel him take a step slightyy angled toward the inside of the circle.
Then, you gently change him back to an inside bend and proceed around the circle. The inside bend isn't really more than the horse giving enough in his jaw and poll that his jowl (the round part of the jaw) kind of tucks under his throatlatch area. Optimal is to maintain his face perfectly vertical, put the first joint of the neck rotating inward, no tilt of the face.

The other way is totally different.

When the horse is drifting through the outside shoulder he is not following the soft indication of the inside rein to give the jaw in that direction and step on a circle in the direction with his body following the rein on a curve, around the cirlce. His neck "breaks" down near the shoulder area instead of forming a very soft curve to the jaw (even amount of curve, no sharp breaks). So, you reedutcate him as to the meaning of the inside rein. YOu raise it until he gives enough in the neck and jaw on the inside (and yes he will drift out the shoulder to the oustide at first), his front legs will eventually stop moving he will step under with his inside hind and disengage the rear legs. He will follow the inside rein, and connect it to the hind foot. Then you have to restart your circle, from whereever you happen to be, and when he doesn't followthe soft inside rein, you take up that rein enough that he is forced to follow it into a disengagement. Eventually, when you pick up a soft contact on the inside reine, he will flex and follow it with his whole neck and be "thinking" go left and step under with the inside hind, which is the ultimate goal when having a horse moving correctly on a circle.
This way of training is much harder to do correctly and looks very confusing to outsiders. Dressage people frown on it but I have seen knowledgeable trainers really get a horse connected ' rein to hind feet using this method.
However, since the first method is more common and easier to understand without seeing it, may I suggest you give it a go?
    02-01-2011, 07:49 PM
If that is the case, try using less inside rein and use your outside leg and rein, if he keeps drifting out, your main corrector is your outside leg and rein.
    02-01-2011, 08:32 PM
I would suggest changing the way you think about a circle. As tiny said, if you think of things differently, it will translate to your horse as well. Instead of one continuous circle, think of it as an octagon. Ride a few steps dead straight, ask for slight turn to establish next part of octagon, ride those steps straight, etc. The reasoning here is to break is down for the horse. It makes it more clear what is being asked in terms on direction and takes away the desire to fall out.

The other exercise you can do with him is leg yield. The only piece of the horse that should not be dead straight is the head which will have a slight inside flexion. If your horse still evades at a leg yield, try the more western version of sidepass. The goal is to get what you ask for. The way to get there is to escalate your aids until you reach that goal. If he won't move sideways off your leg pressure, try a leg tap. If a tap doesn't work, kick. Kick no work, good smack of the crop, etc. You get the idea.

Good luck.
    02-01-2011, 09:15 PM
Ok - what I was always taught was

- Our seat rides the hind
- Our legs ride the ribs
- Our hands ride shoulders

I was having issues with Nelson popping that left shoulder - he loves to pop tha shoulder, and that quote was given to me while I was in a Dressage Clinic - and that has stuck with me since! I still use that today, when I ride.

So whenever nelson pops that outside shoulder and drifts to the outside - I support with my outside rein and ask that shoulder to come, under him.

Jane Savoie talks about this often, she talks about using a Shoulder Fore to straiten the horse. More support on the outside rein, with putting your horse into a shoulder fore position.


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