Horse pulls on reins, makes it hard to post - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 07:54 PM
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Get yourself out of the mentality that it's not your fault. 99% of horse behavioural issues are due to the people riding or handling them. There are no perfect riders, and a problem like this is classic of a rider that is not effective as they could be. A nice, tidy position does not prove that a rider is effective.
Once you've got that notion out of your head, think about what has been suggested above. Think about the hind legs, not her nose. When you can ride her hind legs, then start looking at the contact and what you can do to improve it.

It may be worth putting a more experienced rider on her, to prove to you that your horse is capable of doing it.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #12 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Squaw's training goes just basic training to be a trail horse when she was 2. Then she was a pasture horse for nearly 6 years. I know this because she was our family friend's horse since she was two. I just acquired her last summer.
Incase this sets anything into perspective, although we're pretty bonded, she's had difficulty realizing I'm in charge and she isn't. So if I had to guess, I'd say makin tracks is right. And the tack/pain issue, all her tack fits properly. I've had my equine knowledge team coach and trainer look at my tack and bits. All is well. My trainer actually told me which bit to buy, and what size saddle. So, on this note, any other advice? I've read all your submissions. Thank you so very much!
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post #13 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 10:11 PM
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Well there you go! She's green, you need to teach her. She doesn't know that she's a hunter and has to 'tuck her nose in' as you say. Like I said, 99% of the time it's a rider issue not the horse misbehaving for no reason.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #14 of 31 Old 08-11-2013, 06:41 PM
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"Collection" isn't about the head. You can't expect a horse to just put their head where you want it and stay balanced all the time. This requires lots of work.

To me her extending her neck isn't really the problem. The real concern is that you aren't staying balance and that your balance is effected by your hands.

I'm riding two green horses at the moment and I'm not even asking for contact. I'm working on getting them to move forward, be straight, good transitions and circles.

With your horse I wouldn't worry about her head right now. I'd do lots of loose rein work. Once she's moving forward she'll lift her head up anyway to maintain her balance. Same with circling. If she wants to stretch down let her, just push her on.

If she pulls on the reins the response isn't pulling back. She's already applying the pressure, you increasing it isn't the right response. Instead drive her forward. Collection will come later. Don't worry too much about her head yet.
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-11-2013, 06:58 PM
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I suggest that you read the caption to jumper photo posted by bsms, if you haven't already: George Morris is a master, & he says it's just human ego who wants to tuck horse's noses in or down! Don't mess with her nose ever, but bring her along from the rear as all have advised. Since she's so green, I'd gymnasticize & educate her without a bit, also: bosals, knotted halters, etc. save horses' mouths & give you an independent seat, which is needed by every rider. Start riding her in an enclosed space with one rein in a knotted halter, & be a passenger at all three gaits before you start using rein.
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post #16 of 31 Old 08-17-2013, 02:54 PM
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I need to amend my "ever" to "till you're advanced to the point that you can constructively help the horse with his head position". After you've achieved relaxation, rhythm, & an independent seat, thus are able to lift the horse's belly/round him up, he'll naturally lower his head & find that that's the most comfortable way to carry you. If you need to use some rein to help a horse find that, it's fine, because when he finds it, he'll want to do it, so he won't need rein anymore.
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-17-2013, 03:38 PM
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It sounds like the issue is the horse being unbalanced, which is probably due to the fact that she is a green horse that has not been ridden in a while.

Re-training her should start on the ground and try to get her collected and balanced without rider interference (because although you think that you may be doing everything correctly, you may not be). You said that the horse has difficulty recognizing that you're the one in charge, which leads me to believe that ground training is the way to go for now.

When a horse is properly balanced, they naturally collect to what is comfortable for them. Certain tucked-in noses or extended low-top line is the "look" of a discipline and not the horse - work on getting the correct form of the horse before anything else.
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-17-2013, 03:38 PM
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The fact that your mare even wants to stretch down is better than carrying herself too high.

I personally disagree with the people who said to work her on a circle. I would work her on a long rein with contact. THat is, she feels the contact but you're not forcing her to carry herself in a way she is not capable of yet.
I would work at just walk for a while and ask her the contact but again on a LONG rein. Ask her to give you a bigger walk and then slow down again. If she can do this with out stumbling then I she is ready to trot. If not, do the same thing and even try doing a leg yield but keeping the same steady contact on a long Rein. This helped my mare tremendously with her balance. In my opinion, leg yielding also help them lift their shoulder on a circle. I think people underestimate the difficulty riding a circle actually is for a horse.

As for your position, I know this helped me: Think to yourself 'boobs up, shoulders down'.

anyway, good luck
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post #19 of 31 Old 08-17-2013, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by srcosticov View Post
It sounds like the issue is the horse being unbalanced, which is probably due to the fact that she is a green horse that has not been ridden in a while . . . You said that the horse has difficulty recognizing that you're the one in charge, which leads me to believe that ground training is the way to go for now.
Totally agree with this^

Make her walk/trot with you on the ground. practice halting SQUARELY. Walk her over poles. Turning her on her hind quarters.

I recommend you watch these videos from ArtToRide. Very educational.

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post #20 of 31 Old 08-17-2013, 03:58 PM
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What bit are you using? It sounds like your mare has a hard mouth and yanks back on you when you try to pull up. If she keeps being behind the bit, that will result in future back and neck problems and possibly arthritis.
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