Imo, a tie-down, however loose, is to be rendered obsolete by horse accepting the bit. Imo again, a horse needs to accept a snaffle (non-pinching of lips, non-poking of palate by joint) as the first bit. Then a tie-down won't be needed. After a horse accepts the snaffle, whatever the horse prefers is fine, imo.
The tie-down is intended only to get her when she flings her head exceptionally high. I really probably should adjust it tighter, though its presence does remind her that she can just jump over the top of the bit and run off. It's more for barrel racing than anything else, once again to keep her from getting completely over the bit.
Very astute and insightful observations; thank you. I would have said "bitch" myself if I'd known the word filter was so lax here! Though in her case, "brat" might really be more appropriate.
She is attentive in the sense that she's listening to me at all times, but inattentive in the sense that she's just as soon find something to spook over or an excuse to run off, but none has yet presented itself.
I think part of the problem with my seat is that I've got baggage from a bad former coach/trainer (a person I blame for a lot of Bones' issues--she didn't fling her head like that until the woman had me put, against my screaming better judgment, a chain gag combination curb bit and a training fork martingale on her at the same time) who made my adjust my stirrups so short my knees where practically at my hips. Because of all that, I still prefer to ride with an exceedingly short stirrup, which makes sitting down deeply difficult. I'd rather stand up in my stirrups, which of course only serves to push the horse farther forward. And then the stiffness of my lower back and poor posture only exacerbate the problem. Couple that with a rough-riding, uncomfortable horse and...yeah. Problem city.
Her teeth are floated religiously every 10 months. She's always been bracey with the bit, even when I was first breaking her to ride. She's got a very resistant, defiant temperament. And you're right, she's fighting herself, not me or my hands.
I don't even necessarily want to bring her head down. It's at a comfortable level for her, and it certainly works for barrel racing (if you missed the video, she actually is a highly competitive and talented 1D horse). Softening her up would be great, though, as would getting her to ride while carrying herself more correctly. That can only help to keep her from re-injuring herself, something I am paranoid about....
We'll probably never get a dressage queen and a barrel princess to agree on bit construction and use; that's fine. Let's suffice it to say that I have thoroughly researched bit mechanics and action and am quite confident in the suitability of what I have put in my horse's mouth. Broken-mouthed, loose-jawed curbs are perfectly suitable for two-handed riding in educated hands.
Yes, as aforementioned, her teeth are floated by a veterinary equine dentist every 10 months.
Are you suggesting that snaffles do not pinch lips and poke palates, while curbs do? If so, I'm afraid I'd have to disagree on both counts. A poorly constructed bit of any type can pinch, but a well-made curb or snaffle will not. Either can place considerable pressure on the bars and tongue when ridden with insensitive hands. The poking palates part is more controversial, as current research actually suggests that the "nutcracker effect" of a broken mouthpiece is simply a myth. This is not to say that it cannot cruelly pinch the tongue, but the mouthpiece will not (according to radiographic evidence) actually fold to the point of reaching the roof of the mouth.
She was broke and trained in a snaffle. She will still ride in one, but there's a lot more fighting and head-tossing than even you see here, and a lot more bracing of the neck.
The tie-down is not intended to create any sort of headset or frame (false or otherwise). It's simply there as a reminder to not get over the bit, which she has a tendency to want to do when hyperexcited. Practicing barrel slow work would be...interesting without the tie-down. As you can see, though, it is very loose.
Are you suggesting that snaffles do not pinch lips and poke palates, while curbs do? NO! I meant make sure the snaffle doesn't do either! A poorly constructed bit of any type can pinch, but a well-made curb or snaffle will not. Agreed! The poking palates part is more controversial, as current research actually suggests that the "nutcracker effect" of a broken mouthpiece is simply a myth. I can't tell you what good news this is to me! It never made sense to me & I researched this myself/wrote to bitting "experts" asking the question, & no solid evidence/answers appeared, except the same claims that so many horses had bruised palates, (that's common knowledge, idjit!) So, I just always say, on bitting threads, to make sure palate's not poked, just in case. The tie-down is not intended to create any sort of headset or frame (false or otherwise)..
I know it's not intended to create a headset, but to prevent the other stuff, but imo, the other stuff needs to be corrected by her accepting the bit.
I think this sounds kind of harsh, but the problems of your horse throwing her head up and hollowing out and going against your hand, braced and stiff ARE due to the rider. Such problems always are rider problems. Either created by a former rider building in a bad habititual way of going, and the horse coninues this way into the new rider. OR, just the way the existing rider rides.
If you say, well, she hollows out and is high strung and just goes this way, then the responsibility is still in your lap because you are not riding in such a way as to CHANGE this incorrect way of going.
If, you don't care, and you like her way of going, then it isn't a problem and do not say it is nor ask for advice.
What I saw in both videos (and I was a bit chagrined to see that you had not been forthright about identifying yourself as the rider at the outset. NO NO)
Is a horse that is very tense, phyiscally and mentally and trying to run out from under the rider. The rider is leaning forward (signalling "go forward" ) with the body, but saying "slow down" with the reins. The hrose is compressed onto the forhand and has it's neck up and braced against the pull. This DOES build the under neck muscles and develops the "ewe neck" you hear about. It makes the muscles on the upper side of the neck very tight and it becomes harder and harder for the horse to stretch downward and forward, even if they are correctly asked to do so.
It is obvious that she is high strung and likes to GO! And that isn't the issue. It's nt that she needs to slow down, but that she needs to stretch out. In fact, I would let her go, at least at first, . Sit back and let her go a little.
After she had done this for abit she might be more able to relax.
I heard you say that you had lower back pain (man, do I feel for you. I have same trouble) and it's hard to move with the canter if you sit down. But if you can, if you can and can do it with letting her have some head, she may go through the tight place into a softer place. There is will be easier for you to sit her canter.
A lot could be done to change her way of going that will keep her smoother and more sound in the long run. I kind of get the feeling that you are happy with her the way she is and have no real interest in changing anything. So, maybe I should just shut my gob now.
You asked for critique so take it kindly or don't ask for it at all. Therefore, when you get critique you can't start an argument over every little thing. I don't agree with everything on this thread said by other people, but they are doing EXACTLY what you asked them to do - critique the video that you posted. I read your previous post also. You said you wouldn't "use any tricks up your sleeve" this time, but you are doing exactly that if I am understanding your term correctly. Now, of course, I am not trying to critique you, but your first post was defensive, showing you are ready for an argument. Just be open to others' opinions, especially when you ask for them.
I'm not sure how you think I should go about getting her to accept the bit. She does give and listen, albeit certainly not as much as is ideal, and I can ride her in either a snaffle or a halter, though I get the best response with a curb. Actually, what she rides the absolute best in is a Myler ported Pelham:
She LOVES this bit. Which isn't to say that she doesn't still try to pull and fight on occasion, but she's very respectful and gives the most to it. So I save it for barrel racing so as not to desensitize her to its action. I use the Argentine snaffle on trails to try to keep her in a fairly mild bit so that she doesn't get even harder-mouthed and more bracey. I do have a long-shanked Myler with a different mouthpiece I could ride her in and that she also gives to, but I prefer to stick with the shorter shanks whenever possible.
Some issues are due to the rider, some are due to the horse's natural way of going and temperament, some are due to past training, some are due to ground conditions, some are due to equipment, some are due to "old habits die hard." She is braced and stiff even when being trotted by hand for veterinary evaluation, with ears pinned, neck stiff, and head high. I'll take the blame where necessary, but no more than my fair share.
I ride her as softly and quietly as I can. Is there room for improvement? Absofrigginlutely. I know I need to soften, and that's something I'm striving to accomplish. But it's not exactly an easy thing to do.
She's not trying to "run out" from under me. She's more than capable of bolting on a hell-bent course if she so chooses. She wants to go faster, and is frustrated that I won't let her, but despite her discontent she still chooses to listen and respond.
Even when I lean forward I do not push with my legs to encourage speed. My horse is accustomed enough to me (I'm the only person who has ridden her for years and years, and I was the one to break and train her) that she certainly knows what my body movements mean, and knows when I am and am not asking for speed.
When she braces, it is against herself and our combined tension in general, not against my hands at any point, in either video.
I do not *like* her way of going; I tolerate her way of going. While less than ideal for sure, it is apparently quite effective for her barrel racing. That is the only reason that I am not horribly concerned about it--she still works and wins. But I do wish to correct her for the simple reason that I want to minimize her chances of getting hurt again.