help with my very strong horse! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-27-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation help with my very strong horse!

I have a 15.2hh throughbred who is now 15 and still thinks shes 5! When on the flat she is hard on my hands but i can manage her and she wont do off with me. When jumping she is very strong which isnt too bad when shes actually jumping, its usually after a couple of jumps when, if shes in a stronger bit like a pelham I have more control but she jumps off all fours and canters at the speed of a walk with her head very high. She is a very strong horse but is very sensitive in her mouth. Anyone got any ideas how to have control over jumps but without the jumping around inbetween. Please help!
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-27-2011, 03:46 PM
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What bit do you currently ride her in? Do you use any 'gadgets' i.e grackle, martingale etc? Don't want to suggest something your already doing!
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-27-2011, 03:56 PM
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I have a Tb who was VERY heavy on the hands and just didnt like the bits, so i tried a few hackamores and found one he really liked and hes going great!
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-27-2011, 09:22 PM
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Your horse sounds very much like my horse used to be. What I did with him was flatwork. Tons and tons of flatwork. Because you say she is hard on your hands on the flat, you probably want to go back to flatwork and get her soft and responsive. Transitions, lateral work, lengthening and collecting her gaits, will all help to improve both your riding and your horse.

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post #5 of 9 Old 02-28-2011, 09:15 AM
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i agree with arnz. rushing even in a hot horse often comes from a lack of balance to be able to go slower. remember slow takes more muscles and effort than rushing. you mention that your horse goes around with her head in the air which also confirms for me her lack of balance that she is travelling on the fore and not using her back and hind end.

go back to trot work in the basics of the basics - the simplest snaffle bit you can find, be it a mullen, three piece of sorts, or basic snaffle. and to tons of trot with a soft hand until your horse is soft, balanced, and accepting the aids including the bit.

if a horse changes how they go and they need things like martingales, stronger bits, etc. that tells me there is a hole in the basics of their training that needs to be fixed. sure i use a running martingale on my hot TB when we are out hunter pacing and what not for safety reasons, but not because he needs them. i rode him for an hour yest in just a mullen snaffle, no noseband, no martingale, and work through him being strong with lots of trot, give and release on the reins to soften him, half halt with seat and abs, and deep breathing and sinking my weight into my seat and my heels. did he still have some bucking fits? yes but when he settled he was lovely! and i know that as he gets in more work and more shape, he will need less and less amounts of time before he softens and relaxes.

i always ask riders (including myself) why do you use the tack you use? if you take it all away can you still ride your horse? if not, why not? what does that tell you about your riding? what does that tell you about your horse's training? and what can you do to fill in those gaps for a better, more productive ride with better communication between yourself and your horse? (hint: additional tack and/or training gadgets are never the answer) ;)

good luck!

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-28-2011, 10:04 AM
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Hi.. Take your TB for a long walk miles of miles of a long walk
take her up to the hill and down hills on with walk. All my TB was an ex race,I have to
Retrained them, change their diet and do a lot of walk. But to me it is depends of horse temperament of behaviour.
You need a strong horse to do the work on the other hand not too strong.
Or may be you need to be a stronger alpha male or female while to taking charge on your rides.
Agreed with types of bits.. Try other bits which your horse preffered. Gud luck !
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-28-2011, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ive got her in a french link snaffle for flatwork as she doesnt like any other link in her mouth, this is the only bit she doesnt jump around like an idiot in but is no where near strong enough for when im jumping her. I tried my friends bridle on her the other day, which was a happy mouth pelham which seemed ideal but she really didnt like this and this was with a grackle on too, which she may not of liked.
I usually do a lot of flatwork, competing in dressage but it still frys her head when she spots a jump lol, even after not going near one for a while. Sometimes she will jump perfectly, being calm, but most the time she runs at them and jumps around.
Ive tried, mylers combination, dr.bristols, pelhams, french link snaffles and a bubble bit and she doesnt like any of them for jumping!
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-28-2011, 12:06 PM
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I don't know how much she's out, grazing, etc, but my friend's horse used to be very hard to control (on flat and in the saddle), because she wasn't spending enough time out. I also recomend you lot of work with your horse, like they said already, when you're doing easy exercises put the bit away and try riding like that. Good luck! :)
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-28-2011, 05:59 PM
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If you are already doing a lot of flatwork, then you may want to look at your riding- are you changing anything when you see a fence that is different from your riding on the flat? Are you snatching at the reins instead of half-halting with your body? Perhaps you are expecting her to run at the fence and are tensing up or grabbing at the reins, etc. Even if she rushes, you have to remain relaxed with no negative tension. It's difficult, but sometimes you may be tightening up or sitting hard without realizing it and by focusing on this you can pinpoint what you may need to fix. When I relaxed, my horse became so soft and responsive, not tense and rushing everything, bracing against the bit as he used to.
I really don't think bits are your solution. Instead of adding harsher tack, look at your riding and see if anything you are doing may be causing or adding to the problem.

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