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post #41 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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that seems like pretty fair advice. I can do that. I was actually thinking of only riding him once or twice a week through the winter, kind of a break to grow and be a baby? and start back in the spring...

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
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post #42 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:04 PM
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Actually - though I haven't started mine as young, that's what I like to do! Think it makes it a more gentle introduction!
Perhaps - and this is only a suggestion - you let him go a bit more naturally in the meantime... then he starts to like the idea of this riding malarky and the rest will come more naturally!

Looks like the weather with you is much better than Britain!! That's a very British thing to say....
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post #43 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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virginia weather is ... special... to say the least... It can be 70 today and 20 tomorrow.... We go from summer to winter with very little spring or fall...

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #44 of 48 Old 11-11-2008, 09:15 PM
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Altogether I disagree with starting to ride before they reach 3 1/2. What I've learned is leading (real leading-not like pulling the horse around) and bonding for the first two years. Then start tacking and once 2 and a half start ground work such as lunging.

But again its just the way I see it. I'm not attacking you. I think you have done an amazing job with him.

As for the curb and draw reigns I would do some research for yourself to really learn the physics of it to determine more for yourself what you think.

"Can't teach something to love, but you can show them how."
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post #45 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 03:04 AM
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Alllrighty. Heres what I have. :)

With the draw rein/curb debate (as I'm sure you've heard enough already! :P) --it is very, very hard to give a 'release' when you use the Draw reins with the curb--That's why it's a no-no. It takes a LOT less pressure to earn a response with a curb (because of the leverage) then it does a true snaffle, and that's why they are supposed to be ridden with loose reins. Draw reins don't really get 'loose'--when they're loose, they get dangerous (the horse could put a foot through, ack!). Curb bits were NEVER meant to be used with two hands (except for maybe a rare correction), and it bothers me that they are so main stream with people two-handing horses in them. They are not meant for lateral motion of the head, because they were designed to just pull backwards (for a stop). Ergo, they are to be used on finished horses, aka, horses that will neck rein and not on green babies. I'm sure your trainers are wonderful people, but please please please try not to use the curb until he's finished. There's metal in his mouth, on his gums--ouchie.
However, I completely agree that a horse should be 'versatile' in his bits--he should be able to change from one to the next with little to no fuss. But just as it doesn't make sense to put a kid in basic arithmetic into geometry, it doesn't make sense to put a greenie in a 'baby bit', like a snaffle, into something with a curb--he will not understand, at this point in time, what is being asked of him and the lifting effect of the curb is completely lost. He needs to 'graduate' to it. :)

Second thing--totally ditch the draw reins. You are driving his chest right into the ground the more you pull to 'collect' him. Collection isn't achieved by slowing him down and 'pushing' him into your hands (especially with draw reins, because he'll just curl his neck and tuck his chin.. and low and behold it becomes instant rollkur! Ack.). Collection is achieved by teaching him first that you need him to engage and use his body, and THEN showing him how to do it slowly. To me his jog looks very mechanical and 'ouchy'--I believe he has the ability to make it look pretty, but right now he's just being pulled into it with draw reins. Just remember--if collection was just about where the head was, why would there be all of this talk about the hind end? A horse can have his head in the perfect position and be less collected then a three-legged broodmare. The draw reins are also really making his canter look more like a scramble, where there's no moment of suspension. I don't think that's a knock at his talent, I think he just needs his training schedule altered. ;)

First thing I would do is bring his head up. You have to teach him how to collect and use his body first; I'm not talking up like a dressage horse but past horizontal. His body structure is to have his head low, so don't worry about trying to get it back down in the future. It won't be hard (This is how I train mine ;) . Second thing to do is push him ooout. Have him move like a HUS horse--you're not trying to get a fast choppy trot, you want a ground-covering, long-strided trot. You're telling him 'I want you to wake up and use those back legs and your back, mr.!' At the canter, you're just looking for a 'stride with purpose'; let his head come up, and with your seat, try to feel the moment of suspension. Again, long, purposeful strides here.
I would start this kind of work in Dec. or Jan., keep him there for two months, and then start to take a gentle hold of his face and tell him, 'I want you to be engaged! ...but I would also like you to move slowly :)' and you will be AMAZED at the difference. He'll stop looking so mechanical, and his canter won't be a scramble any more. And if you ditch the draw reins, he'll stop learning to tuck his nose away from contact.

I know this sounded like a blast, but I DO really enjoy him. :) He's trying so hard for you and he's just a little baby! I do enjoy your seat, too--just loosen up your hips and you'll stop the slight pump you have at the canter. It's not bad by any means. And for AQHA classes, I don't think you're 'too far back' at all. :)

Last edited by mayfieldk; 11-13-2008 at 03:07 AM. Reason: typos, ack.
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post #46 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 03:29 PM
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Okay, so I didn't read what everyone else said because there's way too much, so I'm sorry if I repeat one anyone said.

First on the curb and draw reins thing. I, personally, am opposed to them. I was made to use them on my poor Ronnie and he seemed to find them extremely uncomfortable. But you aren't yanking on your horse's mouth so that's good. I would suggest a snaffle at that age because it gives you more side to side movement so you can flex and move him more to warm up as well as school (but not meanly).

He is very, very good for being two! He is a bit messy to the right, but if he broke his pelvis you should just give it time. He seems to have a good head-set, so I wouldn't worry about that. Ignoring that he's two for a minute, there are some things that could be imroved as he matures. He needs to slow his legs down just a bit and could get a bit more up under himself to the right. But give that time because of the injury and age. I'm just saying what to slowly improve.

And this is just an opinion, but I've always preferred a horse with a little more movement at the jog. Just a LITTLE, he looks close to breaking to the walk.

As for your seat, Farmpony, I definately don't think you sit to far back. In the WP it seems to be the style to sit back a bit more. I saw you lean forwars a couple times, so just work on it. I do that too! Haha

I want to say again that he is WONDEFUL for his age! You have very little that you need to majorly worry about. Good job and good luck in the future :)

There's something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
--Winston Churchill

Last edited by confetti; 11-14-2008 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Can't figure out how to spell preferred... preffered?
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post #47 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 07:50 PM
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Riley is....uh...uh..uhmazing! lol For a 2 year old, that is awesome! Of course it's not perfect, but he has tons of room to grow! Good luck with him!

If you want a stable friendship, get a horse.
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post #48 of 48 Old 11-16-2008, 04:07 AM
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For the jog, he is doing really well for a two year old. Needs more consistency, but the basics are there.

For the lope - he needs to be pushed out. Don't be afraid to hand gallop him, it will really help. Make him move out, get him comfortable doing that, then while you are hand galloping, sit up and deep in the saddle, lift your hands up and drive, drive, DRIVE with your legs (outside more than inside) to get him to go into your hands. Also ask for a small amount of tipping his hip to the inside. Let that movement collect him and slow his speed down. After he stays in that position for a few stides, slowly let your aids lighten until he either a. holds it on his own, or b. messes up, at which time you correct him. Remember, for a lope you have to have lots, lots, and lots of power from the hind end; don't be afraid of it, just figure out how to control that power.

You mentioned draw reins - get rid of them. They aren't going to help you with him. They'll just keep putting him on the forhand at the lope, which is the exact opposite of what you want now. And please never use them with a curb bit. As far as curbs go, you could start introducing it to him for the jog, but he's not ready for it at the lope yet.

Best of luck with him. He's really cute and has lots of potential to do great things with some more finishing!
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