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Is she getting off the forehand? *Pics

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    07-06-2013, 12:21 AM
  #11
Trained
All I've known a chambon to do is cause neuro and neck damage.

Honestly, your best bet is to find a good dressage instructor, and if you can't find one or can't afford one, then just ride for fun. Sometimes trying to do too much without qualified supervision can end up doing far more damage to the horse than good. Chambon usage is my case in point. They are quite dangerous...

Before you get the horse moving uphill you have to yourself learn to sit properly and effectively use your aids, then figure out how to translate that to the horse.

Good luck!
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    07-09-2013, 02:39 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by commandolover    
Draw reins are fine if used correctly. People say they "spoil" a horses gaits. Well, I own the number one hunter under saddle horse and the number one First level dressage horse in the state and needless to say they are gorgeous lovers. Your horse is quite a nice mover, try giving and taking with both hands(like you are squeezing a sponge) and get her to come back vertical. Then while gently holding her vertical, add leg until she lengthens her stride, stop and redo if she falls forward, pops her head up or out. Hope this helps, I know it helped me!:)
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You should never "squeeze like a sponge" on both reins. The outside rein should remain a steady contact and the inside rein to direct the horses head position along with inside leg for bend.

Anyone who uses draw reins to get a horse on the vertical should have them removed and burned. Draw reins can have a place, but only in very very experienced hands.

The OP needs to allow the horse to gain contact from the bit, but working from behind and long and low to help build top line. Working on the verticle will come once the muscles have built from this.
     
    07-09-2013, 06:11 PM
  #13
Trained
Commandolover, altering the paces is not the issue with draw reins. It is false connection which they generate - it is an enormous PITA to retrain a horse who has been taught to rely on draw reins. Trying to establish some kind of genuine contact on these horses is a nightmare.
They may move beautifully still as far as paces go, but their is no true connection between hind legs, back and hand so the horse is actually stiff and stilted in how it moved its body as opposed to a horse ridden up to a true contact.
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    07-09-2013, 06:15 PM
  #14
Showing
It's literally like one of those tyraps. You set it and they are locked to that angle. Any they are not there because they want to be, but because they can't really go anywhere else except maybe curl.
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    07-09-2013, 06:55 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Let me share with you how I got my boy to sit more and engage that hind end... TRANSITIONS!!!!!!! A billion. Carry sugar with you. You can do so many exercises with transitions figure eights, spiraling in and out, transitions within the gait that your in, asking for more power and then bringing it back to dancing steps to pushing out with power again.

The other thing to remember, the headset will come on its own when the horse is ridden correctly, straight with power and relaxed rider. After the horse and rider have formed a pattern in the past for tention and bracing its a long road to over come more mentally then ever.

I just had a lesson on getting Oliver to SIT more and lift his front end. The relization I came too in the lesson is that you have to let go, let them go forward and it will feel so scary at first up by us holing on and constiantly fidling with the face for what you call a head set all we are doing is restricting the aid to go forward with your seat and leg.

So let the head be up, when it goes up just add insde leg to your STEADY outside contact. Doing this through circles going from walk to trot, spiriling the circle in and out to get the horse listening to that inside leg and going into that outside contact is what you want.

Now another thing for transitions. Hold your horse responsible to continue through the transition. I suggest using your voice and if you carry a dressage whip, tap the horse up and in the trantion. You should think of ALL transitions, especially the downward ones as upward, your sitting the hi end to lighten and lift the front end up.

Now remeber the "fastest" way to get through this phase in training is praise. Work on this for 10 minuets and really hold the horse responsible for doing work. Then make a huge fuss and give a reward. Then work on somthing else and come back to it.

Also know you can you do this anywhere. In hand, on the trails in the arena, in the pasture (should it be safe)

Keep in mind that when you really start getting this down your horses back muscles will be sore. This is a new way of traveling for him/her and takes a lot of back muscle so lots of walking and don't over do it. Short work periods on this with lots of walk breaks on a long rein for him/her to stretch down.

Its a lot of hard for but I would say if you stick to the exercises and really commit to riding this way for the next couple weeks in 2-3 weeks you should feel a big difference!!

Here is a video that you can see the difference of the horse dying and quitting in the transitions down and then getting the horse to keep fallowing through with that hind leg all through the transition.
Hope this helps. If you need any further help or want any video footage watched let me know!

Stick with it!!!
     
    07-09-2013, 09:27 PM
  #16
Weanling
^ loved this post!
     
    07-10-2013, 11:07 AM
  #17
Foal
Thanks, guys.

I went back to my trainer finally, and.... I've been shattered and rebuilt all in the same moment, haha... He trained me and her up from scratch, when he got her, she was a stringy little thing around 7yo, and she had some riding vices--- yanking reins, bucking, speeding, and slamming on the brakes when asked for a little downward shift. He used her as part of a foursome of lessons horses for his school--- so they worked her up to be a suitable horse for that work, not herself to go compete. I told him about our issues, and he knew it, he said when they tried getting her into Dressage work, she would walk up the next day with a very sore back. She's built like little bit leaner Quarter horse; with a badly set head and thick jaw. There's barely any room between her cheek and her throatlatch. Croup's a bit higher than the wither, too, which doesn't help.

Because they only needed her to meet demands for schooling, and running a business you don't quite have time to set aside just for that lesson horse when it would be OK to let intermediates ride her as is. The rest of her is good, she can be energetic and quick-responsive, even raising her back, the topline just isn't going to round like another horse would. I really didn't want the *squished* frame of the poll high up and the nose tucked, I wanted her to go long and low, and even that's not easy, because she tries her best to go on the vertical when I ask her to stretch down and out, if she goes down and out with her nose ifv, she's good.

When I brought her to him for the lesson, he said she looked fantastic (my efforts of going extremely slow with her and treating the soreness HAVE paid off) and he doesn't sugar-coat things like that xD. What he ultimately told me was, I need to work on bending her to get her to strengthen her back and then she will be able to carry her whole body better, don't be picky about the topline because it will have to come very slowly for this horse and will not reflect the usual training efforts, small circles on occasion are good but I can't do them often or she will get sore again, and that I need to practice putting my leg on and asking her to be "collected" or "organized", having a slower pace but feeling the energy in her movement, I won't get the "true" collection with her, it's basically her best effort at it. For me, I need to wait for the jump to come to me, and be tall with my upper body with my heels down and absolutely staying where they are. For the contact, we can't get the classical "correct" contact, so all to be asked for there is that I should keep my reins shorter... since I tend to be loose and don't follow her >_<
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    07-11-2013, 09:08 PM
  #18
Foal
I few months ago I bought a horse who was quite out of shape and appeared to have a bit of a sway back. I worked slowly to build up his stamina, but he still hollowed out in his back constantly. Then I went to a dressage clinic and practiced what the guy said, and my horse improved dramatically within just a few weeks. Here is what the clinic instructor said:

Walk the horse across the width of the arena. Before you get too close to the wall, slow him and do a turn on the forehand. As he finishes the turn, ask him to trot off with LOOSE reins. After 4 or 5 strides, gently bring him back to a walk and repeat.

If this is done correctly, the turn will bend the horse, and asking for the trot while he is in this bend, will encourage him to bring his back up and his hind legs under him (collection), and this collection with greatly strengthen his back.

At first, when asked to trot, he will lift his head and hollow his back. But, after just a few repeats of this exercise in a row, and he will figure out that it's easier to stay rounded up and drop his head. This is how the clinician said it would work, and it did just that for me. My horse very soon began rounding up and curling his head down into a beautiful shape without any help from me. My emphasis was just "relax, relax, relax". I think he also began recognizing how I felt as I asked him to trot and his walk trot transitions (I've been careful to give with the reins - I actually throw them away when I'm practicing this) have improve dramatically whether I'm doing this exercise or not.

After just a couple of weeks of practicing this exercise (maybe 6 repeats per session), I began to encourage him to maintain his new lifted back pose as we did other things, by doing the exercise, then instead of going back to the walk, continuing to trot, doing a circle or two before starting over or doing whatever else I wanted to do.

NOTE: Be careful how you to the turn on the forehand. First flex him opposite the way you want his haunches to move. Then rotate your inside hand so your fingernails are up, and with your inside leg at the girth and your outside leg back a little, try to coax him to make a small (one meter) circle with his front legs and a larger circle with his hind legs as he turns 180 degrees. NO FORCE. Sweet talk him with your legs, hands, seat. VERY SUBTLE. He weight should not be on his front legs with them just pivoting in one spot. Keep your own weight back on his haunches so he attempts to bring them under and use them to support you. Once he's turned, drop the reins and chirp or otherwise ask him cheerfully to trot. Don't ask for speed. Let it be a happy game. Slowly retake the reins but keep him totally relaxed in the head and neck. Now that I've done this enough times, I can give a little reminder squeeze and release with the rein if he pops his head up after he's gone a few strides, but it's better to do a relaxed circle.

Again, I can not emphasis how much this one little exercise has done for my formerly "sway backed" horse. It's been less than 2 months and he is going with his back up virtually ALL the time, unless he totally thinks we are done and just wandering about. He actually has muscles there behind the saddle instead of a hollow.
     
    07-11-2013, 09:20 PM
  #19
Foal
If your horse were mine, I would stop your usual hunt seat work and focus only on relaxation and classical dressage until your horse learns a new rounded shape that strengthens his back and lifts it. When he lifts his back, he will automatically drop his head into a better position and then gentle giving and taking with tiny squeeze/releases of the rein, will bring his nose in and encourage comfortable collection even more.

Another thing you can do is teach your horse to drop his head (and reach forward) when you give with your rein. Constantly practice a good, soft and steady following hand, and be aware that each time you "give" in your reins momentarily, your horse will begin dropping his head and reaching for that soft steady contact again. Use this "give" to your advantage anytime you need it. Let your horse see it as a little relaxing reward. Do it often as you ride.
     
    07-12-2013, 05:04 PM
  #20
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myya    
If your horse were mine, I would stop your usual hunt seat work and focus only on relaxation and classical dressage until your horse learns a new rounded shape that strengthens his back and lifts it. When he lifts his back, he will automatically drop his head into a better position and then gentle giving and taking with tiny squeeze/releases of the rein, will bring his nose in and encourage comfortable collection even more.

Another thing you can do is teach your horse to drop his head (and reach forward) when you give with your rein. Constantly practice a good, soft and steady following hand, and be aware that each time you "give" in your reins momentarily, your horse will begin dropping his head and reaching for that soft steady contact again. Use this "give" to your advantage anytime you need it. Let your horse see it as a little relaxing reward. Do it often as you ride.
Thanks.

I do Equitation over fences and Stadium jumping--- sorry to any hunters out there, but I hate hunt seat ;)

She's much better on one side than the other; she's stiff on the right so she finds contracting that side easy but extending it difficult, since seeing my trainer I've modified the carrot stretches a bit so that she holds a leftward bend longer. In-hand work is coming along too. She's very used to holding her neck incorrectly and has a bad poll, so sometimes with little persuasion she does lower her head to where her ears are two inches above her withers, but at this point at least I can't expect her to make any real improvement with her neck and head. (Same thing in pasture; she goes around with a high head.) Completely ignoring the neck and just going to follow her and hold the contact for her, aside from the few sessions where I practice putting pressure on the reins and release when she lowers her nose a smidge, just to remind her that rein pressure is not going to kill her.

Things are looking good, I'm happy.... besides that I haven't finished clipping her this week and she's a completely different color on one side and white on the other xD
     

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