Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Hmmm... I have many questions for you!
1) What is the exact mouthpiece you're using? Is it a single or double joint?
2) Have you tried a double joint bit?
3) What is your horse's mouth conformation? Low palate? High palate? Thin tongue? Thick tongue?
If your horse is evading the bit, it can be a bit issue or it could be a training issue. Some horses are never taught correctly to accept the bit, therefore it's a training issue. Some horses have the wrong bit in; i.e. they don't like tongue pressure and would really enjoy a tongue-relief bit, or they're in a single joint and they'd prefer a double joint.
One thing I would suggest NOT using is anything with curb or gag-type action on a horse that is prone to rear. Generally speaking, the extra pressure makes them go berserk and actually rear or worse.
Mmk, on to my speech:
Horses that don't work back to front cannot be collected. Horses that don't have hind-end impulsion cannot be collected. So when you say you can't engage the hind end or back, but you're able to collect her sometimes, I want to presume that she is just slowing her steps, possibly tucking her head, and letting you think that she's collected, when in truth, she is not.
Impulsion takes precedent. If you don't have impulsion, most other things aren't going to be correct. I want to say as well that perhaps you are riding too much with your hands, and not enough with your leg, so here are my suggestions:
Ready? Here goes:
Switch to a double joint bit if your horse isn't already in one and see how she reacts. Actually... you won't know really because I'm going to throw more stuff at you: IMPULSION. You need it. Talk to your trainer about it, because that's the basis of all your riding. Forget about her head being up in the air, you should be more concerned with her lack of impulsion. Get your trainer to teach you how to ride back to front, forget the head. The head is unimportant. The head is decoration. The headset (frame) will come when the horse learns to use itself properly. Ditch the draw reins; I'm sure that's just inhibiting her gait. If you need suggestions on how to achieve impulsion and working back to front, please ask away or PM me if you'd rather.
I'm sorry.. I have to run right now so I hope my post makes sense... I will re-visit it in the AM.
Clear as mud?
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