*Sigh* Selling her =( - Page 3
 
 

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*Sigh* Selling her =(

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        04-08-2011, 04:19 PM
      #21
    Weanling
    So I rode her today..In a full cheek snaffle, Single jointed and no flash. I rode her in the smaller arena. Her trotting was less rushed but of course that could have been because the arena is not so big. But she still had her head in the air while trotting. I cantered her once and well nearly ended up on the ground. She put her head down so low and then decided to cut corners and left me hanging on her neck. I have now noticed she seems to raise her head a tiny bit going straight but once we get to the corner she pulls it right down. And it really feels like she is going to buck but she doesn't =/

    Her saddle is also slipping back a lot. I put it at the top of her withers and before I even got on it had slipped off of her withers altogether.

    And well mounting her is a big pain. When I go near the mounting block she swings her butt away from it so I cannot get on. Then she walks forwards and backwards etc. I pretty much have to stretch to get on. Today she decided to walk off before I even had my leg over. She is awful ignorant. And before I get on when I go to tighten the girth she walks away. I dunno why...even when I go to pull the stirrups down she walks away. It is so frustrating. But if she tries it tomorrow I am going to lunge the legs off of her and she if she will still do it.

    But overall I am happy with how today went. I was alot more relaxed while trotting because she was slower. And she actually managed to trot a few laps without attempting to stop. I am going to forget about cantering for a while because I don't want to end up on the ground
         
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        04-08-2011, 04:28 PM
      #22
    Trained
    Have you tried either a french link or bitless? I'm not a bitless fanatic, but most of my mare's current problems popped up when I tried to ride her with a bit (two link snaffle). Just got a french link this week - my gelding does better in it, but I haven't tried our mare with it yet. Trooper dislikes bitless bridles, but some horses respond well to them...Mia can get really worked up over a bit!

    Saddle slipping: have you read this book? I thought it was well worth $22...

    Http://www.amazon.com/Horses-Pain-Free-Back-Saddle-Fit-Book/dp/1570762929/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302291028&sr=1-1
         
        04-08-2011, 04:35 PM
      #23
    Weanling
    I have had her in a french link for a few months now. And I have never tried bitless. I don't really want to XD

    Nope never read the book. Her saddle did fit extremely well when I bought it. But she has lost some weight and muscle so I will have to get that built up again. Another reason the saddle is slipping is because she blows out so much when I tighten the girth it ends up really lose by the time we get going.
         
        04-08-2011, 06:07 PM
      #24
    Started
    Few things - first, it sounds to me like she isn't yet ready for cantering at all. Trot trot and more trot. A better canter doesn't come from working at the canter. A better canter comes from a better trot. Which means that until she is soft and balanced at the trot, her canter will be even worse.

    Next - you mention the saddle is slipping and you started with it on the withers. Saddles should NEVER be placed on the withers as that can cause back pain, chiropractic issues, and also restrict the shoulder movement making it hard for the horse to engage their hind end and back muscles, resulting in a stiff, hollow horse (which you have). The saddle should be back off the withers by 3 - 6" and that will vary by horse. You don't want the saddle on the scapula interfering with the movement of the shoulders, and you don't want the saddle so far back that it is on the kidneys. I'd suggest in this case having a professional evaluate your saddle placement as well as saddle fit, because if the saddle is on her withers, there is part of your problem right there.

    In my honest opinion it sounds like this horse needs a few good solid months of trot work on a long rein in a simple single or double jointed snaffle. When she has muscled evenly, will accept you changing posting diagonals without changing rein every few strides (as in no ear pinning, no back tenseness) that to me is a good sign that she is ready to canter. Cantering before then will just yield more of the same which you are already used to.

    If you are going to rebuild her training in a simpler bit, as I said before, don't expect miracles in one workout. She seems to have quite a few holes in her training and the first step should be teaching her to learn to accept the bit rather than fight it. Everything else until she learns that is secondary. That should again imo be the #1 focus. If it means she trots for an hour on a long rein with her head up in the air with NO other signals from you until she relaxes enough to bring her head down and soften and seek a contact, so be it. It may take several rides. But as long as to her bit=brace/fight/evade, the rest is just going to be a struggle. Once you and she both realize that bit does not equal breaks, but is simply a telephone line to communicate with your horse, things will start to flow better. Just think - if someone always yells at you (translate to harsh bit, stiff hands, etc.) and then FORCES you to listen (tying the mouth with a flash or fig-8), what are you going to do? Probably get annoyed, drown them out and ignore them. If they suddenly change their tone, it still will likely take a little while for you to believe they REALLY changed and start to pay good honest attention and decide this is someone you want as your partner. Why should we expect any different from our horses?
         
        04-08-2011, 06:08 PM
      #25
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sarahandlola    
    I have had her in a french link for a few months now. And I have never tried bitless. I don't really want to XD

    Nope never read the book. Her saddle did fit extremely well when I bought it. But she has lost some weight and muscle so I will have to get that built up again. Another reason the saddle is slipping is because she blows out so much when I tighten the girth it ends up really lose by the time we get going.
    a properly fitting saddle will fit without pads or girth - something any good saddle fitter will do is check the saddle on the horse with nothing else. My guess is your saddle doesn't fit and is inhibiting her shoulder and back muscle movement.
         
        04-08-2011, 06:17 PM
      #26
    Weanling
    Thank you =D I am going to do a lot of trot work with her. I didn't realise the saddle should not be on the withers =/ I bought a saddle when I first got her. The shop I bought it out of has a professional fitter. She told me it might pinch her withers. I never thought anything of it. Then she started bucking, backing up, pulling head down etc. I then realised it was the saddle. So I went to buy a new one. This one I have now was a perfect fit for her. It was fitted on it's own without the girth etc.

    Maybe I am justing thinking it is too far back because I always had it on her withers. I will check it out properly tomorrow.

    So I pretty much trot her around and around on a loose rein until she relaxes? What do I do when she does relax? Like how do I reward her..just a pat? Or a break? Should I trot around the edge of the arena or should I add in circles every now and then?
         
        04-08-2011, 06:27 PM
      #27
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sarahandlola    
    Thank you =D I am going to do a lot of trot work with her. I didn't realise the saddle should not be on the withers =/ I bought a saddle when I first got her. The shop I bought it out of has a professional fitter. She told me it might pinch her withers. I never thought anything of it. Then she started bucking, backing up, pulling head down etc. I then realised it was the saddle. So I went to buy a new one. This one I have now was a perfect fit for her. It was fitted on it's own without the girth etc.

    Maybe I am justing thinking it is too far back because I always had it on her withers. I will check it out properly tomorrow.

    So I pretty much trot her around and around on a loose rein until she relaxes? What do I do when she does relax? Like how do I reward her..just a pat? Or a break? Should I trot around the edge of the arena or should I add in circles every now and then?
    yeah my chiro and saddle fitter always say that the biggest mistake they say people make is having the saddle too far forward.

    As for trot, literally trot ad nauseum. Change posting diagonals randomly (this encourages her to stay balanced regardless of the diagonal you are on), change directions, circles, fig 8s all on a long rein. This will force you to use your leg more and her to listen to leg and not rely on the bit for balance or steering.

    When she starts to reach for the bit tell her good girl and give her a pat, and go another few min and after she does it again then you can sit and walk (without using the bit for the transition!).

    Over time she will start to seek out the contact - when she does and it doesn't take an entire ride to get her to seek the bit, but just a few min of stretching on a long rein, then gradually shorten your reins to a more traditional length. A big issue I see is people pick up a rein contact and worry about headset and forget all the work they just put into the trunk ;). So soft rein contact that follows her movement and encourages her to use her hind and back.

    Above all - BE PATIENT. You are asking her to completely change how she moves, how she responds to the bit, how she balances, how she uses herself and asking her to entirely remuscle her body. This takes time. Just as if you wanted to get in shape for bikini season you would't diet the week or two before you went to the beach expecting to drop 3 sizes lol! After 3-4d a week of trotting for about a month you'll really start to see a difference. Be patient and stick with it - it works. Most people get bored with the first few weeks of trotting and give up bc well it IS boring. Hence the change of directions using leg aids, etc. also try thinking the direction you want to go and see if she starts to pick up on it. Feel what your body does in response to your horse. Do you get tense? Brace? Lean? Collapse your rib cage? Stop and really FEEL are you even in both stirrups? Is your pelvis even? Hips? Shoulders? Listen to your horse's feedback she gives you as you work with her - all that trot work will allow you to start to notice how if you have a bad knee, or a weak lower back, how that affects your horse. Horses are the best trainers we have.... I love quiet rides where I work with my horses and feel their body feedback to me when I ask for transitions or lengthenings, or OF, and can feel - oh okay, I shifted, let me ask you again staying more centered this time and see how it goes. Ooh that went better! See? Sometimes we need to just trot around all day long and listen to what our horse is telling us that we are REALLY telling them.

    When it all comes together it's a beautiful thing!
         

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