Working in an outline?

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Working in an outline?

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  • How to ride a horse into an outline
  • How to get horse working in an outline

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    11-26-2010, 06:36 PM
Question Working in an outline?

I've been riding a pony at our yard for a couple of months now, and I have just had a lesson on him.
In the lesson, my instructor told me to do a load of stuff, and towards the end of the lesson (after falling off 3 times), she was working really well.

Now, I feel like I haven't acheived anything. My instructor said that I have a good length for my reins, but not enough contact.

So, when I get that contact, or try to, she just leans her head out at much as she can,
And instead of arching her neck down, she arches up.

I don't know what I can do to make her work in an outline!
She's very lazy and is loads of work!
And when I ride her, I feel like I can't make her work properly!

Can anyone give me any tips on how to get her working in an outline?
And accept my contact?
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    11-26-2010, 08:17 PM
Don't worry about where her head is. Take up the length of rein you feel will be adequate and focus on getting her to work forward from her hindquarters. When she is working properly from behind and has a consistent rhythm the rest will begin to come into place.
    11-27-2010, 12:01 AM
Sounds like you had quite a lesson; falling off THREE times! You are pretty plucky to keep at it. And you should , I mean keep at just riding for a while and not worrying aobut contact. I can imagine what your teacher is trying for and I am guessing that she feels you would have better control if you had more contact on the horse, and thus maybe not fall off as much.

I might have you do just plain riding, even on a lunge line, before I had you take up more contact.

Anyway, something to work on would be to take enough contact with the pony that you can feel it's mouth. Take up this contact gradaully, as you are walking. You have to be able to feel the mouth in order to be able to follow the mouth. That's why too loose contact isn't good. If it's neither really, really loose, like draping, nor tight enough to feel the mouth well, then every time your pony takes a step the rein will tighten, then go slack in the next step as the head bobs up and down. That would cause it to pop her in the mouth with each step.

You want enought contact that when her head goes up and down you can move your arms (from the bent elbow) to keep the same tension in the rein, no matter where it is.

If the pony barges downward, you just hold tight. YOu don't pull back, you just make your arms like concrete and the pony pushes herself painfully against the bit. She will bounce off the bit and you give her a small reward of a TINY bit softer rein and go on about your business.

If the pony throws up her head to protest the contact, you raise your hands too and don't give up the contact. The milisecond she lowers her head a little, you give that tiny bit of lessening of the rein pressure.
It takes focus because you need to be ready to reward her when she does give to the bit, but you don't want to give away so much rein that you don't have contact.

To start with I would just walk around and practise following her mouth. That'sl all. Once you get good at that you can start modifying it abit to get an "outline".
    11-27-2010, 01:00 AM
I agree with most of what has been said except for this:

If the pony barges downward, you just hold tight. YOu don't pull back, you just make your arms like concrete and the pony pushes herself painfully against the bit. She will bounce off the bit and you give her a small reward of a TINY bit softer rein and go on about your business.
I would say that in my experience, hardening your arms against the pony's movement would only encourage the pony to tug harder. Initiating a tug of war with any horse, no matter the size, is asking for trouble because they are so much stronger.

I would say, maintain your contact, keep your hands and arms soft, and nudge forward with your leg. If you keep the forward movement in an even rhythm, the pony is less likely to fight with you, because you're keeping her focus on the movement you're asking for rather than arguing against something she doesn't want to do.

As Strange said, the frame will come only once you've engaged the hind quarters. You can't have the former without the latter.
Remember to breathe! When you're breathing, your body is more relaxed. When you're relaxed, your seat automatically deepens and becomes more effective. With an effective seat, you're in more of a position to use your legs to drive the movement from behind. Once *that* comes, your pony should start to develop the frame. Another thing I remember my mom teaching to alot of kids, imagine your reins are sponges filled with water and with every stride you're squeezing a little of that water out of them. This keeps your hands steady, but soft, playing the bit just very gently across the tongue to keep the pony's attention focused on what you're asking. A focused brain can't misbehave.
    11-27-2010, 06:35 AM
Thanks everyone!
I'll give it ago!
But because she's lazy, and Im used to kicking and kicking and kicking her on,
I think she's like comming a bit imune to leg : / (thats also what my instructor said aswell, so now I have to squeeze and use a whip)

I'll try and give it a go :)

When his owner ride her, she straight away goes in an outline for her.
He has his reins really lose, and he's normally texting when ever he rides her!

I let my very experiance friend ride her, and she struggeled to get him in an outline! After about half an hour, she eventually did, but it wasnt even properly.

I would like to go and compete in showing with her too, but I wont bother unless I can get her working nicely : /
    11-27-2010, 11:59 AM
When you get the hind end going at the right speed and keep your soft connection up front, the horse will naturally round into the contact.

Good exercises are transitions (my favorite torture exercise is from the trot, do 3 steps of walk every 10 or so meters). Another good thing to do is leg yields using ONLY your inside leg and outside rein, and spiral in, spiral out, again on the spiral out focus on using only your inside leg and outside rein.

Good luck!
    11-27-2010, 04:21 PM
Thank you!
    11-27-2010, 05:42 PM
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    

Good exercises are transitions (my favorite torture exercise is from the trot, do 3 steps of walk every 10 or so meters).
Good luck!

That is my favorite exercise to do. XD Willie hates it, but only because that really makes him work!

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