Working 'On The Bit'

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Working 'On The Bit'

This is a discussion on Working 'On The Bit' within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        10-30-2008, 12:04 AM
    Question Working 'On The Bit'

    I'm leasing a quarter horse mare named Candy, she will be 4 next month. Recently I have been working her on the bit. She has the correct head set but I realise flexing at the poll should be the last action when a horse comes 'onto the bit'. I feel like she's stiff and not lifting her back or engaging her hind. I try to acheive more impulsion but I feel like she just rushes forward.

    How do I achieve impulsion and allow her to step under herself and lift her back?
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        10-30-2008, 01:03 AM
    Originally Posted by SallyRC123    
    How do I achieve impulsion and allow her to step under herself and lift her back?
    Allow her to go forward and forget about the headset so much. Certainly don't just drop the reins but lighten up on them.

    If your reply is that she will rush then don't give her a straight line to rush on. The bend and turn is your best friend and if you kept in the back of your mind that "reward" to the horse is a straight line and "punishment" is a turn or curved line you be surprised just how fast you will progress.
        10-30-2008, 03:06 PM
    Head set should be worried about last. Simply because if you want the horse to move off its hind quarters, they have to hold their head up until they are muscularly correct. What I did with Lizzy was I would get her going say, at a jog, and what I would do was ask for the jog and AS SOON as she picked it up, I would half-halt. Do that with ever transition, it reminds your horse to stay on their haunches.
        10-30-2008, 03:07 PM
    Don't mean to double post...
    But, do a ton of stopping and going, that will have her listening to you and keep her on her hind because she's expecting to stop. Do some backing like after you stop, keeps them on their hinds also...
        10-30-2008, 08:25 PM
    Thanks for the help. I will use circles and lots of half halts and see how she goes. Cheers
        11-02-2008, 04:44 PM
    Serpentines work well, also helps with her suppleness, set up everything else and it should all come together. Good luck tell us how she feels now.
        11-03-2008, 02:45 AM
    I had a lesson on her today, and my instructor told me that a 3 year old horse will not collect and stay on the bit for long periods of time, which makes sense. She got me to do 'spirals' which involved riding a 20m circle, then leg yeilding onto a 15m circle then onto a 12m then 10m circle. By the end of the lesson she was offering the bit to me and was going well, although she is still a little stiff. Working on the circles was good because she had no where to run away and by the smallest circle was really pushing her self up wards and flexing her neck. I'm going out tomorrow and I will try her on serpentines. Hopefully all goes well!

    Thanks guys
        11-03-2008, 03:21 PM
    Hope so, i'd glad she offerd it to you.
        11-10-2008, 05:59 PM
    Green Broke
    I agree with your instructor - - don't want to overdo it at such a young age. Glad you had a good lesson!
        11-18-2008, 09:00 PM
    Absolutely do not worry about headset at this stage.
    Work things gradually. Also, along with your ring training, take your horse out for easy (and safe<---the horse is a 3 year old???) hacks.
    It keeps their minds fresh and keeps them from getting ring-sour. (You wouldn't want to work all the time, would you?)
    A happy horse makes a much more willing dressage horse!

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