Think I overdid it
 
 

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Think I overdid it

This is a discussion on Think I overdid it within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • When riding my horse he just goes from side to side

 
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    02-22-2010, 10:39 PM
  #1
Trained
Think I overdid it

So I've spent the last 3 frozen months riding my horse mostly at the walk due to the ground conditions. Since the cold weather and lack of consistent exercise has resulted in a "goofy" horse to put it nicely, (more like a ticking bomb ready to go off at the slightest sign of movement) I've been doing lots of lateral work and suppling at the walk to keep his attention on me instead on all the monsters in the woods. We've done leg yeild, shoulder-in, haunches-in, reinback and turn on haunches to death. Today I attempted to ride the poor boy around the ring on the rail and he just couldn't walk straight. He's become so sensitive to my lateral aids, the slightest shift of my seat or unintended leg cue sends a shoulder left or a butt right. While I'm happy he's so responsive, I need some exercises for dead straight. I tried riding to a fixed point and taking my legs completely off his sides, but he still scoots around like he's expecting me to ask for a lateral movement at some point. He rides more like a slinky than a horse. Any ideas? We've got some early dressage shows coming up and the trot down the centerline will currently score us a -1.
     
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    02-24-2010, 11:06 PM
  #2
Weanling
Wow, my horse would respond like that if I had huge spurs on!! Hhaahah
Try setting up a runway, tyres with poles ina straigh line that's narrow together so that you have something to focus on, use both legs evenly and alot of legs, have him in frame of course. Use a fence like if you need to but it seems you need a guide set out to concentract on :)
     
    02-25-2010, 10:09 AM
  #3
Banned
Your problem is that he's not forward.
     
    02-25-2010, 07:33 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercedes    
Your problem is that he's not forward.
Fair enough, but care to offer a suggestion on how to fix it? For now, when I ask for forward, every time I apply my legs on each side to ask for more walk, he goes side to side instead. He's not doing it to be a butt. He just seems confused of what I want. How do I get "sideways" back out of his head? I swear they should call it a training see-saw instead of training scale. Whenever you teach them one thing, they forget something else.

I will try to guide poles. Never even thought of that and it's so simple!
     
    02-25-2010, 08:31 PM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Fair enough, but care to offer a suggestion on how to fix it? For now, when I ask for forward, every time I apply my legs on each side to ask for more walk, he goes side to side instead.

Take a look at the thread I started here on just this subject and the basic flaws most commonly done.
     
    02-25-2010, 10:20 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Fair enough, but care to offer a suggestion on how to fix it? For now, when I ask for forward, every time I apply my legs on each side to ask for more walk, he goes side to side instead.
He can't go sideways if you block with the opposing rein and/or leg.

It sounds as if you changed the meaning of the 'go forward' aids, into 'go sideways aids', instead of creating *new* aids for 'go sideways'. Just putting your leg at the girth shouldn't tell the horse leg yield for example.

That leg at the girth is only ONE component of the aids for leg yield. Or ONE component of the aids for canter depart. Or ONE component of the aids for shoulder-in.

So the error lies in not being sophisticated enough in your training.

Regardless of that, to fix it I'd advise you work mainly in trot and canter and reintroduce a ton of transition work, getting him back in front of the leg and responsive to that. Then get him back on the circle and confirm inside leg to outside rein. If you can't drop that inside rein and ride him on a circle with just the outside rein, he's not ready for lateral work, imo.

Quote:
I swear they should call it a training see-saw instead of training scale. Whenever you teach them one thing, they forget something else.
I don't believe he's forgotten anything. He's doing exactly what you've taught him to do with your body.
     
    02-26-2010, 10:34 AM
  #7
Weanling
Lots of trot and canter work. Like someone already said, this is a forward problem. Think forward, forward, forward, even if it feels like he's going a little faster than you would like, that's ok. Sometimes you need to exaggerate to teach. Variety with consistency is the key to training a horse. That was your problem during the cold months, you had a ton of consistency but not enough variety. Now he thinks that all you want him to do is lateral work. I know you said you have already done post to post, but keep with it, it can be a big help. Also do a lot of riding along the fence. It's important that you don't abandon lateral work at this point though. Work on straightness, then do some bending circles or leg yields and then go back to straightness. If your horse gives you the wrong answer then just keep asking till he gets it right. Carry a whip if you have to. Use more opposing aids if he keeps giving you lateral work. But trust me, going forward is the key to this problem. Now that he has learned the lateral work he is trying to use it as an avoidance method to get out of work (that's my best guess without having seen him in person).

Good luck, keep us posted.

Jubilee
     
    02-26-2010, 04:07 PM
  #8
Foal
I had this problem with my andalusian stallion but I fixed it - first to get things straight [ hehe small joke] , may I ask what bit you ride him in .
     
    02-27-2010, 12:13 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleo    
I had this problem with my andalusian stallion but I fixed it - first to get things straight [ hehe small joke] , may I ask what bit you ride him in .
We're using a D-ring french link.

Trust me everyone, I can't wait to go forward. I've been wanting to do anything but walk around in little patterns for the past 4 months. If the weather would just cooperate, I'd be happy to ask for forward, and at this point, I'm sure Puck wants to go forward too. He isn't a lazy horse, but he will use new things he's learned to mess with my head and get out of working. He's a bit silly that way. Guess we have one of those rider/horse "conversations" coming up. (hee hee).
     
    02-27-2010, 10:09 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
We're using a D-ring french link.

Trust me everyone, I can't wait to go forward. I've been wanting to do anything but walk around in little patterns for the past 4 months. If the weather would just cooperate, I'd be happy to ask for forward, and at this point, I'm sure Puck wants to go forward too. He isn't a lazy horse, but he will use new things he's learned to mess with my head and get out of working. He's a bit silly that way. Guess we have one of those rider/horse "conversations" coming up. (hee hee).
I'll say it again... LAZY. All horses are essentially lazy animals, that doesn't mean they are slow pokes, it means they want to get out of work and will express this fact in different ways. I'm saying this not to get onto your horse, I'm saying this because you need to be aware of it when you are working with him. Once the weather gets better and you can work with him more consistently them I am sure that things will get much better.

Good luck,

Jubilee
     

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