Question Time :)

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Question Time :)

This is a discussion on Question Time :) within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        08-29-2010, 05:04 AM
    Green Broke
    Question Time :)

    I have some questions I want to ask, if it wasn't already obviously by the title :P

    Ok first one isnt really a question but I didn't really want to do another thead just for it.
    At pony club the instructors say Buzz is really stiff in the head and to get him to work properly I need to get his head soft, so workiing from the front back, well not technically they said to see push him forward but have a real good contact and nudge with my inside hand so I am always able to see his eye lashes on the way Im going..
    Does that sound right, I mean I trust their opinion but I don't want to do something that will ruin my horse but I guess they have been doing it with theres so it can't be that bad...
    I just wanted more opinions on that.

    Ok next one will be shorter :)
    Exteension collection, how do you teach this?

    Haha and that's it. I'm pretty sure lol
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        08-29-2010, 08:20 AM
    While your description of riding "from the front back" is incorrect, you want to be riding from the back froward, seat into leg into hands, it sounds like your PC instructors are otherwise correct. To get him bending and flexing, pick up a conversational contact (i.e. Elbows at hips but elastic, soft following wrists, thumbs on top, and a closed grip) with his mouth, only enough contact to keep any slack out of the reins... NO PULLING BACK. You are holding hands with him. Don't worry about where his headset is, ever.

    Maintain that feel of contact with your outside rein through your turns and circles (You'll need to allow that hand to follow the bend or you'll be too much in his face ), but allow your inside rein to give a little when he flexes and bends through the turn. As you're turning, be aware of your upper body - Don't drop your shoulder or collapse through your in-side or he will as well. Horses always mirror us. Use your legs as well to guide him through the turn - inside at the girth, outside slightly behind to control the hindquarters.

    As he loosens and softens through his jaw, poll, and neck, you'll see "white lipstick" foam forming around his lips. This is a fair indicator that you're on the right track and that he's relaxing and loosening up, accepting the bit.


    As far as the extension and collection question, that's actually rather higher level stuff, and I'll let someone more knowledgeable than myself go into the details. However, if you're just working on getting Buzz relaxed and supple, as your previous question indicates, you can work on lengthening and shortening his stride, or transitions within a gait. Use more of a driving seat, close your legs, and allow with your hands to ask Buzz to take a bigger stride at the same tempo at his normal working gait. Reverse to shorten - More of a holding seat, still closing legs, and hold slightly with hands (still no pulling, just a hold). Using a half halt to rebalance him for each lengthening and shortening helps oodles.

    Best of luck!
        08-30-2010, 06:31 AM
    Green Broke
    Okay I think what your saying makes sense :)

    And that is what I ment lengthing and shortning not extension collection.
    Can I ask whats the difference??
    I though they were the same thing...
        08-30-2010, 07:36 AM
    Lengthenings and shortenings are exercises that put you a little further down the road to collection, in the dressage sense. The basic idea applies no matter what the discipline. If you can lengthen and shorten the stride within a given gait without changing tempo, you're starting to get the horse closer and closer to the top of the training scale: true collection, defined most simply as the even loading of all four legs (i.e. Carrying more weight on the hind legs, "sitting" in back, etc.). A true extension requires collection to attain. The horse physically can't extend if he isn't collected. A bit counterintuitive, I know. A horse can lengthen and shorten his stride without being truly collected... and the exercise gets him more relaxed, supple, etc.
        08-31-2010, 08:22 AM
    Green Broke
    Ok thanks for that :)

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