Hot, pushy mare...

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Hot, pushy mare...

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    09-13-2012, 01:08 AM
Hot, pushy mare...

My mare is hotter than hades, always has been, and probably always will be. I had always ridden her in a low port kimberwicke, as she would just rip through my hands in anything less, but I'm trying to be able to school her (at home, at least) in a lozenge mouth ring snaffle, and its not going so well. She COMPLETELY ignores the darn thing. I've been trying to get her to keep her head down, not a 'headset' exactly, just not in my face with it and I get no response at all, or sometimes, she even brings it up. In a stronger bit, she will collect nicely, has fabulous impulsion, and is generally a (hot) joy to ride, with very little contact other than at the canter. But I would really like to be able to work down to a lesser bit....

What I need is exercises to help me to slow her down (she likes to gradually ramp up the speed) without using the bit, and some ideas from people who ride energetic horses on how to correct her for speeding up. I've tried tight circles, you'd be amazed that she can canter a circle with barely any forward movement, doesn't slow her trot with her nose at my toe, etc, so circles don't work. I've tried direction changes, but that doesn't work either... I've tried stopping and backing, and that DOES work, but I have to literally haul her to a stop, and that's not what I'm looking for, and it seems counter productive to apply that much pressure when what I'm looking for is lightness.

Today I tried riding her with a crop used on her shoulder when she gave the wrong response, and though it worked, I wasn't really satisfied with our ride. She responds very well to voice commands, and by the end of our ride, she would walk, halt, back, halt etc. solely with seat and leg, but her trot kept gaining speed. We didn't work on canter, because our trot needs work. But I can't always use voice commands, so I need to figure out what I'm doing wrong, or what will work for her. She WAS stopping from a trot with only my seat by the end, but I feel like the means I used to get there weren't what I would have liked....

Any suggestions for simple exercises that would help with this?

Oh, and her groundwork is going really great, she stops so hard from the fastest trot I can run with that she slides, moves shoulder and hip as fast as I can possibly approach, backs much better than she used to (still working on it though) and is a dream to lunge... with voice commands.
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    09-13-2012, 02:11 AM
Lots of transistions. Hundreds per ride. Most rushing a horse does is not because they want to work harder, but because they want to get out of hard work. It is harder to carry themselves properly than it is to let the energy rush forward. Make the time between transitions very short - 5 or so strides per gait. The constant change of pace will help with the rushing.
    09-13-2012, 03:38 AM
^^ What Chiila said.

Also, along with the transitions, have you tried some counter arc circles? My little mare is also hot as hades these days, and she used to randomly exploded because she was thinking about finding something to work rather than working her own darned brain. I started doing the coutner arc circles and amazing differance, she actually thinks now. It just makes them think about where their feet are, and which way they have to move...And if they rush, just keep half-halting, sitting, breathing, make them realize you're not asking for their life...Just a little circle with your face pointing the opposite way it'd normally go. And mix it up...Two circles counter arc, one circle normaly arc. Then take up the inside rein and move the shoulders in a circle the other way but keep the bend the original way, then go back to bent the same was you're circling...Does that make sense? I may be able to get a video if it doesn't. XD
    09-13-2012, 11:52 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've got something to work on today!

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