How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit?

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How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit?

This is a discussion on How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    01-21-2010, 05:25 PM
How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit?

I've heard quite a couple ways but I havent found one that exactly works yet. O.o

I've heard of gently sea sawing.

Closing your outside hand and vibrating your inside rein.

And taking and releasing your inside while holding with the outside.

I wanna hear how YOU do it..?

How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit...?

Any tips on how to do it?

Now for some people ON the bit means different things.

I beleive what I mean is ON the bit is getting the horse to listen and go hm.. 'round' for you.
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    01-21-2010, 05:39 PM
I don't 'get him' on the bit, I just ride him foward and when he's relaxed it just happens..Sometimes if he's not paying attention and needs a little encouragement i'll half halt.
Theres so many threads on this forum about collection/on the bit, how to achieve it, what not to do etc...
    01-21-2010, 05:40 PM
Oh is there..? I havent found any..
    01-21-2010, 05:49 PM
A few incase you wanted to have a look :)
REALLY understanding collection.
Achieving Collection? Hmm...
    01-21-2010, 06:12 PM
I get my horse 'on the bit' by riding correctly:

Legs/seat and THEN hands.

See-sawing is NOT an effective way to round your horse. He may hold his head 'nicely', but only because he's probably evading the bit. See-sawing creates hard mouths.

Honestly, you're not going to achieve a true collection by JUST doing any of the methods you listed. First and formost it is forward motion from your seat.

ThatNinja posted great links, check them out!!
    01-21-2010, 06:33 PM

XD I found out its not called seesawing.. its called like... sponging or something. Lol.
    01-21-2010, 09:19 PM
I ride with as little inside rein as I can get away with and use leg yeilding as a warmup to establish the inside leg to outside rein connection. Leg yeilding also brings the horse's hind end up under him a bit to help start shifting his balance to his back end. After that, I use shallow serpentines, stretchy circles and frequent transitions to further our warmup. "On the bit" ironically has nothing to do with the head. It's all about the shoulders and hind end.
    01-21-2010, 11:13 PM
I'm trying to get out of my horrid habit of see-sawing. X_x

To get my horse working in a frame, I simply drive her, using my seat and legs, into the contact. When she gives to the contact, I give to her.
    01-21-2010, 11:20 PM
^ Exactly. And you do have to play with it a bit and see what your horse responds to the best. Some horses respond to you taking the contact, and others need to seek it our on their own, that's what I've discovered at least. Also, a lot of the time my horse will give once I release, rather then when I take.

But I do not recommend "see-sawing" or really even too much "sponging" of the reins. Note, I said too much, not never. Every once in a while taking a feel of each rein for a moment can refocus my horse when he's getting distracted and strung out. However, it's MUCH more about your legs, your seat, and your upper body then your reins. Hands come last.
    01-21-2010, 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by Unwoven    

XD I found out its not called seesawing.. its called like... sponging or something. Lol.

Even this "sponging" that so many trainers teach is wrong.

While the concept has merits just squeezing and giving over and over will be ineffective for rarely does the "teacher" have a clue or fails to include that without proper timing of any aid it actually is worse than giving no aid at all. The hand must follow but also encourage and the horse just does not walk or trot or canter in the same beat as the rider doing the "sponging". As a result most of the time the "sponging" is out of sequence and the horse ends up just moving its head in and out in time with the "sponging".

Just as the term "on the bit" became a phrase commonly used...the term "sponging" is the same thing.

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