Critique? Me and my 4 year old

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Critique? Me and my 4 year old

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    04-04-2012, 10:50 PM
Green Broke
Critique? Me and my 4 year old

I'm so proud of her, you have no idea.

Critique away.
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    04-05-2012, 12:31 AM
For the first portion: I would definitely say to give her her head a bit more. You seem to release a bit and then accidently pop her in the mouth causing her to raise her head up quickly and then you fight her trying to correct her. Keep light contact to avoid getting jerky with the bit. Also apply some pressure with your lower legs to keep them more steady. You don't have to be pushing her forward with them, just enough to keep your leg from swinging around as I think this is causing you to get off balance which is causing the issue above with the contact on the bit.

Her lead changes are very smooth and centered but again it seems like you're getting in her way a bit. She's looking like she's fighting you the entire time with her head up that high pulling on the bit. Take some time to work on some more suppling exercises and you guys are going to be terrific!
    04-05-2012, 12:57 AM
Since you are direct reining, I can give these suggestions;

Try riding her with asking her to lengthen her neck and reach downward, then follow her mouth and then without her changing her trot rythm, have her bring her head up. It's a kind of lengthening and compacting the body at an unchanged tempo. YOu would probably want to enlarge the circle to try that. Working on following her mouth down will help you to be able to maintain a soft but giving contact and avoid what Poco was talking about with the accidental bopping of her mouth. This would help her accept bit contact and hopefully soften in her jaw and poll.

The other thing you can work on is spiral in and spiral out, but don't overdo this. It sometimes looks like your mare is kind of "holding back" a bit, and if you work too much on lateral stuff or anthing with head set, and don't do plenty of just "go forward with no sucking back" then you will lose her natural forward tendency.
When the horse is young, one should do lots of work on just moving forward, learning to stretch down and come back up and to develop a relaxed, rythmic trot under saddle.
    04-05-2012, 01:08 AM
Green Broke
Alrighty. I had her reaching down like you said nicely last year, I think we're just getting back into the groove...
    04-05-2012, 05:16 PM
Green Broke
Also, she does have a naturally high headset, so I just let her go with it, I can be riding on loose rein and her head will be high like that, even when she's playing in the pasture, her head is up, never ever down.
She just that kind of horse I think :P but working the right muscles will most likely help her

Comments on the lead changes? I know I was looking down, but I was careful not to lean, I wanted to see if she picked up the lead when I gave the cue.
    04-08-2012, 10:49 PM
I would say make her drop her head low and long so she is more relaxed in the saddle.

I would also say do not lean your upper body forward.

She seems tense in the canter as well with the high head.
    04-09-2012, 05:04 PM
Green Broke
She is naturally high headed, and will never really be a "long and low" horse, and I don't want to be one of those people who forces their horse into a frame that's unnatural for the horse. I can get her to round up, (Her headset is more that of a "round" dressage or jumping horse) but even then, she doesn't have the muscles yet to be in that frame for very long, much less spend an entire riding session in it.
    04-10-2012, 04:33 PM
I would like to see her stretchiing downmore, maybe try to keep your hands down a little more, and try to quiet your cues a little. You have the forward which is very good, also nice changes. Just need to work on head set, once you get her stretching, her gait will lenghthen and become bigger and she will use her hind end more
    04-10-2012, 05:52 PM
My horse has a higher head set as well and she can still stretch down, it just takes some work.
    04-16-2012, 09:22 AM
She needs more rein and I wouldn't move up gaits until she is more relaxed. You should teach her to take that bit and relax into the slight contact. You looked a little bit tight but much better than usual :)

Except madam that diagonal was perfect at first but you switched direction and picked up the incorrect one! Watch that.. the reason there are diagonals is so you can help your horse stretch those muscles properly and so we stay off of their back and help stay out of their way around turns.

But I'm being overly critical.. you did a wonderful job and continue to progress beautifully. Just give your mare a little slack and teach her how to relax. She doesn't need to be a peanut roller but head should be level to her back over time as that is where she can engage those back muscles and find her balance.

Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
Also, she does have a naturally high headset, so I just let her go with it, I can be riding on loose rein and her head will be high like that, even when she's playing in the pasture, her head is up, never ever down.
She just that kind of horse I think :P but working the right muscles will most likely help her
If you let her "go with it" she's going to bulk up the underside of her neck and it'll be harder for her to keep that neck down and relaxed. But she has to learn how to do that. I would practice "giving" to the bit on the ground.

My horse is like this also.. but they never learn until you teach them how. Out in pasture doesn't mean they're comfortable with hollow backs and giraffe necks. I've noticed as my horse has learned to use his back more, he has begun to lose the giraffe headset out in the field :P

Kind of like how some people hunch and when you straighten them.. oh it feels weird but ahhh it feels better for their spine than how they were before. Yes it's more work but it's much nicer.

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