Am I being ridiculous? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-19-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Am I being ridiculous?

So we've already switched my lease mare's bit from a single jointed D ring copper roller snaffle to a french link D ring and we really didn't see any change for long, she did seems to like the change for the first few FLAT rides we had. But jumping is a whole new story.

So my question, the mare's owner always jumped her in a rubber coated jointed pelham (I'm pretty sure it was jointed) and she went really well in that bit. Now comes to me, I started leasing her in june and I'm not going to sugar coat things and say I have the softest hands ever, I know I need to use my leg more but that's different. She COMPLETELY refuses my half halts, 100%. In my last lesson she was so forward we had to WALK into our jumps and she'd still come peeling off the other side in a full on gallop, and usually a bucking fit. We've had the vet out and there are absolutely no problems with her other than lacking a little muscle.

These jumps aren't huge and demanding, usually a course from crossrail to 2'3 oxer and then a 2' vertical 2 jump line. My coach saw how forward she was being and told me to walk into the crossrail (Desy would still pick up her trot one stride before just to get enough impulsion for the jump) and told me to halt as soon as we came down, staying in a straight line. There was only about 4-5 strides room after so I was on her with the half halts and sitting back litterally screaming to myself in my head ' YOU ARE A SIDEWALK PIECE, BE CONCRETE AND SIT LOW' glad i didnt say it out loud....

Anyways she didn't stop, ever, she'd throw her head and pull into a stupid canter that was impossible to sit and felt like she was literally prancing on the spot.

Wow, I can really rant. ANYWHO her old leaser (sp?) rode her in a standing, but after asking Destiny's owner she said she didnt think it'd help. She said she'd put her in the pelham, something my trainer hates in Desy's mouth. It's like she thinks I'll only ride on the curb rein, which I won't, I'm smarter than that. Even when I was a beginner I rode my lesson horse Milo in a kimberwicke....and now my trainer wont even let me try a pelham. Really I just want to try it, see how Desy goes.

Goodness that's gonna be confusing for everyone. Cookies to everyone who read all of it. If that confused you, I'm really asking, do you think I'm being ridiculous in thinking my horse really doesn't want to listen to the bit, or is my coach being too careful with what we put in her mouth..?

Free Destiny.
Registered 15hh Thoroughbred Mare.
Love of my life. <3
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-19-2011, 05:45 PM
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Well, my trainer is usually right when it comes to bits! And it's not "different" that you need to use your legs more and have lighter hands. That is an important piece of the equation. I'm not all that knowledgable, but I'd guess something is seriously bothering her about jumping, if she is listening to your bit on the flat. So maybe more flat work without stirrups, on the longe line with no reins, etc., would help more than changing to a more severe bit.

I do know the right bit can make all the difference, but if it really is a matter of her just not listening to you, then it would be happening on the flat, too.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-19-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Her owner says it might be her training as she was only trained on the bit, no leg pressure, when I do my flat work I almost always take my stirrups right off my saddle to work on my balance and muscles. I'll start lunging her and maybe flatting without even touching the rreins at all. Thanks :)
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-20-2011, 02:18 PM
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Your trainer has a hard job! He has to decide, moment by moment, who has priority: does he train you, or does he train the horse? His decision about the bit seems to be in the horse's favor; but if things get too difficult, something will have to be done to help you, even if it means the horse's training will have to take a back seat.

p.s. When you try to stop, don't sit too heavy and low on her, which can make her hollow her back, and (like my own horse) make him throw up his head, which makes it easy to lose all control. I like to think UP and imagine lifting the horse's belly up with my legs. Try it at the walk and see how your horse responds.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 04:33 PM
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This sounds just like my TB! I havent jumped him yet since I started leasing him, but the girl I am leasing him from still jumps him and he goes crazy after the jumps. Little bucks and cantering/galloping away from the landing. He is ridden in a pelham. Does it help yes and no. TBs are TBs and thats how they are gonna be. Everyone at my barn jokes about how good or bad they can be from day to day. Training and training oh and more training is about all you can do. Did you ask the girl you lease her from what she suggested? Maybe she might only want a certain bit in her mouth. The pelham also could be the way to go because of the pressure that it allows.

Your horse is an extension of you.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-25-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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We lunged her before our last lesson and she was leaps and bounds better. :) We were finally gonna put her back in the pelham and standing martingale but with the way she performed it might not be needed.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 09:05 AM
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Let me see if I got the story straight before I comment.

You lease a mare.
Mare is a freight train for you but not so bad for owner or previous leaser.
You want to use a harsher bit.
Trainer says no.

Did I get that right?
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-26-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, but recently I started lunging her before lessons and she's been behaving way better. We think she just knew she could take advantage of me. :S
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-28-2011, 11:37 PM
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My TB was very "rude". I considered changing his bit to a harsher bit and instead went down to soft happy mouth bit and he is a completely different horse. He is now responsive and incredibly easy to ride. It turns out the pressure from the bit was causing him anxiety and possibly pain. Please consider trying to soften your hands and the bit. If you are applying great pressure to her and she is reacting negatively, be more gentle! You sound like a very consciencious rider, maybe you need to fine tune your riding skills and at the same time help school your horse.
Also, horses that rush jumps and rush out of them tend not to have confidence. Try starting from scratch with trotting poles and reschool her until she is confident. I know this can be a long and frustrating process, but it is worth it. If you try and conquer your horse instead of taking the time to build your skills and hers you will ultimately loose because you will end up with an adversary instead of a partner (not to mention that I have never seen a truly good rider with that philosophy).
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-28-2011, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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It can't be a confidence issue because she jumped with her previous leaser no problem, it's with me where I'm starting to wonder if she knows she can take advantage of me, I'm jumping her in a standing martingale for our lesson wednesday to help with the head-throwing but I'm scared it'll just make her bucking feel bigger. It also happens more when we jump outside.....we're not to sure why but we do know she barn rushes.
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