Bending help, please. x.x

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Bending help, please. x.x

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        08-30-2008, 11:35 PM
    Bending help, please. x.x

    God, I'm pissed at my horse (well, y'know.. the horse I lease).
    She's really intelligent, but she's difficult, especially as far as bending goes. And I'm not a novice: I know how to get horses to bend, know how to ask for the canter properly. It's not a problem.

    But with Hope, I've been having major issues with picking up the correct lead-- of all things, right? Yeah. We'll get warmed up at the trot, and she does the obnoxious thing she always does where she looks to the outside down the long ends of the ring, but she'll bend when I tell her to, even if she doesn't do it all that cooperatively.
    And as soon as she gets the idea that we're cantering, she goes entirely wonky, and will refuse to pick up the correct lead from the walk. Usually, it's not so bad from the trot-- she runs into her gait changes, but we're working on that and all. But from the walk, she simply refuses to work with me.

    At first, it'll just be typical idiocy. I say canter; she trots. I bring her back down again, bending like crazy to the outside. And I force her back to the inside again, but she won't canter until she can get the wrong lead, and after a few shots she's gotten so worked up that she won't walk for me. I try to convince her to settle down and LISTEN, for godssake, and we end up getting into ridiculous tug-of-wars, then she'll not want to go because I've been reprimanding her so hard for pulling, and I'll be keeping the reins short to get her facing the direction I want, but then she just pulls MORE, and it's all very aggravating, firstly because at this point, we can't do anything but argue with each other, and secondly because I know my riding's no good when she's acting like this, and we'd look like total fools in a show ring.

    I'm getting a harsher bit, to work with the pulling and whatnot, but as far as the motivation behind the leads go.. I'm totally stumped. My instructor and I have been trying different things, but nothing's worked in the long-term so far, and I'm out of ideas and patience.
    Hence the coming here (yes, I joined to post this rant, but I'll probably stick around once I get everything resolved. We'll see). I dunno what you can say that'll make a difference, but if I knew that I wouldn't need anyone's help, so if you have any thoughts, I'd love you for them.
    Actually, I'll love you if you managed to read all this without getting bored and leaving.

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        08-31-2008, 11:31 AM
    Do you carry a crop??

    My horse did that too sorta Until I shouted no and tapped her with a whip

    I no it isnt nice but it sorted out my mare.

    X x x
        08-31-2008, 06:42 PM
    Yes, I do.
    I really dislike using it, but it's necessary sometimes, like you say, so... yeah.
    Yelling doesn't help either. Believe me, I've tried.
        08-31-2008, 07:18 PM
    First off you don't need a harsher bit. That's a big no no. Pulling as you have figured out is getting you no where. In a harsher bit she might listen for a while but if you continue to pull, she is going to continue to run through the bit.

    Winnie use to bolt all the time, and I was yanking on her mouth, and neither of us were happy. I went through the same stage- and yes its frustrating and at times seems impossiable to work through. But winnie went from bolting in her kimberwicke and me never being able to let go of the reins to happily going on a loose rein in a french link snaffle.

    First off it sounds like a balance issue form what you are saying. Drop the canter completely for a while and just work on getting her to walk and trot circles and other simple moves get her loose and listening to your leg aids, make sure she is soft on the bit and accepting contact.

    Your probably going to have to backtrack a bit and make your hands "quieter". Work on getting her responsive to your seat- not just your hands. Pulling on a horses mouth can do alot of damage to them confidence wise and its not a pretty habit to have to correct. It takes work and time.

    Once you get to the point where she is bending willingly and schooling well at the walk and trot you can begin to add the canter back in. Start on a circle then work your way out. By doing a circle it will be harder for her to pick up the wrong lead, and you will have more control over where she goes. Try to stay light through your hands and if she doesn't get the lead just bring her back down and ask again. It sounds almost as if she's anticipating, so go back to trotting circles and doing leg yields before asking again.

    If you really are getting frustrated just walk and drop the reins, take a deep breath and look at the situation. How are you asking her to canter? Is there any explanation for the way she's acting? There might be something that other wise you wouldn't think of.

    And lastly just do stuff to keep her mind working, circles changing directions, transitions, turn on the forehand. I've found that its the easiest way to calm a horse down, because most the time the forget what they were upset about if you give them something to do.

    Good luck with her!
        08-31-2008, 10:43 PM
    Hmm.. thanks for the advice. Some of it's new, and I'll definitely try it. =)
    We've been working from smaller circles. That's our newest method; they're working with varying amounts of success, but more than anything they just get her more worked up, not because of me or because she's being difficult purposely, but because putting her weight all forward through her head makes it hard on her. It's best doing that from the trot, we've found (just like you said-- working from slower gaits), so hopfully it'll pay off in the long run.

    As for the bit, I'm not looking for more leverage so that I can pull her harder-- I'm looking for more leverage so that she'll quit pulling me. I know it sounds really counter-productive, but she's got some nasty habits that I'd really like to work on, but that I can't without getting a stronger message across. I mean, she's stronger than me, and she knows it.
    My plan (if it works out) is to switch to a softer one as soon as she starts listening. She's pretty sensitive, if pig-headed, so I don't want to put the kimberwicke on her for too long.

    Thanks again for the help.
        09-03-2008, 04:12 AM
    I reallu advise against not putting a harsher bit on her. It'll hide the problem, not fix it. And you'll find once she listens to the harsh one so you put the normal one back on, coz it'll be less extreme, she's even more likely to ignore it.

    Do some straight lines, cricle work, leg yeilding and lots of transitions. Go back to basics and be CLEAR to her with what you want. It sounds like everyone gets all muddled and throws a hissy fit! If she pulls on you, don't pull her back, put your legs on her, drive her forwards..if she ignores that put loops in your reins, then take them back once she's raised her head a little again.. don't give her anything to lean on. It works!

    Do some work with her on the lunge.. trot and cantering on the lunge so she can sort herself out without having to worry about you too.
    Is she sore? Is her back or hinds out of place?
        09-03-2008, 06:00 AM
    By the sounds of your post, you are getting quite worked up and possibly even angry with her. Calm down and think through it logically - I highly doubt she's doing this for no reason. Perhaps she's never been trained properly and honestly has no idea what she's doing wrong. Keep calm because if you get worked up, so will she and this will only add to the problem.
        09-03-2008, 06:20 AM
    Originally Posted by sempre_cantando
    By the sounds of your post, you are getting quite worked up and possibly even angry with her. Calm down and think through it logically - I highly doubt she's doing this for no reason. Perhaps she's never been trained properly and honestly has no idea what she's doing wrong. Keep calm because if you get worked up, so will she and this will only add to the problem.
    are you talking about my post? Because I have no idea how you interpreted that as coming across angry. If it did I has no intention of that, it's just the way to speak/write
        09-03-2008, 08:23 PM
    No, sorry Jeddah! I was meaning Twig - the one who created this topic. I must not have made it clear! Sorry!

    I just thought that Twig was sounding like she was getting rather annoyed with her horse.

    God, I'm pissed at my horse
    I try to convince her to settle down and LISTEN, for godssake, and we end up getting into ridiculous tug-of-wars...
    I'm out of ideas and patience
    I honestly believe you can't train a horse if you are at all worked up. You need to keep calm and thinking, as soon as you get afraid/mad/annoyed, you are a less effective trainer, you'll possibly do more harm than good. I know horses can be frustrating at times, but you as the human need to think why the horse is acting in that way. There is always a reason.

    For example, my horse does a similar thing to Twig's horse and its because she is very unbalanced. My mare likes to canter with her head stuck to the outside because she feels unbalanced and that is her way of tryiny to balance herself. Getting mad or annoyed wont help here - only patience and perserverence. My mare is a standardbred and not really meant for cantering but that doesn't mean we can't work on it! Same with Twig's horse.

    EDIT: I just read my previous post again and I see how it can be misread sorry guys!
        09-03-2008, 11:55 PM
    Bahaha ok thankyou for clearing that up! I paniced there for a minute!

    Your exactly right sempre..
    Sometime's I get frustrated with my mare, and I start fighing her. I literally yell at myself "OLIVIA WHAT ARE YOU DOING" I bring jeddah back to walk and just breathe for a minute considering the options and thinking about what I am doing.
    Maybe have a lesson with an instructor, or try to get us some videos so we can seee what's going on

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