Framing/ being on the bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-06-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Framing/ being on the bit

I know this question probably gets asked all the time and is easier to teach in person when Im on a horse but try your best to answer! Could some one please give me any advice on how to get a horse to get on the bit with nice contact or how to "frame" a horse please! I can do it a bit some of the time, but am really trying to learn how to do it well so if you have anything to say please do! Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-06-2013, 03:09 PM
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The term "On the bit" Means the horse is moving forward with out fear and worry while brining his strength from the hindend. It takes a long time for a horse to learn how to be on the bit. You need him to look for contact with your hands and push off with his hindend and bring himself under himself.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-08-2013, 11:25 PM
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Learning to ride a horse in the bridle, or on the bit, is a really important step in the education of the horse and the rider. It is challenging. Prerequisite for riding in the bridle is having an independent seat (check out my blog if you are interested in further info on this If you have an independent seat, then basically you encourage your horse forward, when he feels the pressure of the bit he learns to find release when he engages his back and hind end and collects up into the bridle. You have to remember that your horse may be in the learning phase of this process. If so, teaching the horse to lunge with side reins or working with an instructor can be extremely helpful in this process. If your horse is already familiar with this process, then common rider errors include not having enough forward momentum or "pulling" with the reins. If you are not sure what the problem is, I recommend taking a video and watching yourself, or consulting with a top notch dressage or reining training in your vicinity. Ask them for an assessment of your horse and an outline of what they would recommend to assist you. Hope this helps!
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-08-2013, 11:28 PM
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Search "head set" or "how do I get a frame?" on here and you'll find a ton of discussions about this.

Forget the head. The body is not working correctly. The head will naturally fall into place when the body is working correctly. You need the horse (and yourself) to learn how to drive from the hind end up.
Forget "headset" or "framing."
Seriously, search the forums here.

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-08-2013, 11:32 PM
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The head is the last thing you worry about. It all about YOUR seat, legs, and weight encouraging your horse to drive from behind, lift his back muscles to meet yours and seek guidance from the bit. It's oh so simple to explain but oh so difficult to get there without on hands instruction.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-09-2013, 12:15 AM
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Here's a way of understanding it. Think of a horse being on the bit like a person using correct posture. You don't put yourself in good posture by fussing with your head, do you? starts with the back. Same with the horse. He has to be working through his back and his head will want to be a certain way when he's going right.

It's not an exact comparison but I think its kinda close.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-13-2013, 01:42 AM
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Without having already felt a horse that is working 'on the bit' it is extremely difficult to teach yourself and a green horse. If you can get some lessons on a schoolmaster that would be ideal.
Developing a contact, roundness etc. is all about rider feel and timing. It is not a case of see-saw the reins until the horse gets uncomfortable enough to drop its head and duck behind the bit. It is not something that is easily explained online, especially to a rider who has never felt a horse working 'correctly' and does not have the theoretical knowledge of how a horse's body works towards collection.

If you seriously want to learn to do this, the BEST thing you can do is find a good trainer, preferably Dressage if you are riding English, Reining if riding Western.
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