Any tips? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Arrow Any tips?

Hi guys!

I just have a few questions on our latest problems

So my horse is built down hill...not seriously, but a little bit. I know this contributes to the fact that he can't tuck his legs perfectly, but he has done this before. I have plenty of pics of him where his legs are tightly tucked and he is jumping beautifully, but recently, he is being lazy with his legs and sometimes doing the dangerous habit of hanging a leg. When he does that, it's usually when we don't have a whole lot of impulsion, or the jumps are smaller. But my point is, if he has tucked before and has gotten over safely for the past four years, this shouldn't be a problem now. Maybe he is just being lazy with his legs?

Other problem: We are working on collection, and my horse is starting to hang on my hands. My trainer says he can deaden his mouth by hanging on my hands, due to the constant pressure.

Soo, my two questions are - 1. Is there anything I can do to get my horse to pick up his legs better? I am talking about something OTHER than jumping. I can't jump when I'm not in a lesson, so I was looking for something along the lines of a pole pattern, maybe trot poles?

2. What do I do to get my horse lighter so he isn't hanging on my hands? My trainer says if I squeeze my legs and lift my inside rein, then put it back down, he should lif his head, do you agree?

I think I will be calling my trainer later on about having her ride him once a week for a bit so she can help with some of these problems we are having...

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Smile

Sorry to post again, but just wanted to say I got off the phone with my trainer, and she is going to ride him once a week, and she told me a lot of things I can work on, along with the following encouraging words, "Don't worry, we'll get everything worked out." I love her =] She also told me that we might just have to do jumpers, but I would love to! All those crazy fun jumps! But along with that, if I feel too deprived from hunters I don't see why we couldn't do a division or two ;)

Oh, and I would still love to hear your advice! =]
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 07:37 PM
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My horse is same as yours, every so slightly built downhill. It's much easier for him to jump flat than collect himself and use his back. When my horse gets lazy about using himself properly, we play the ground pole games. There's about 6 zillion things you can do with them. My favorite is the bounce. 4 poles 9' apart. Canter them. Stay balanced in your half seat, focus on a distant object and let him find the stride. Most horses' canter stride is between 11 & 12 feet so he will have to collect his stride a bit to do this exercise properly. The other one I like is to put two poles 55' apart. Canter them in 5 strides and then try to get 6 strides in that same space by collecting him a bit.

As for the hanging on the hands thing, I'm guessing he's behind your leg and wanting you to hold him up rather than do it himself. First, make sure you have the proper flexion for the direction you're traveling. You want just enough inside flexion to where you can see his inside eyelashes. If his head is dead straight, that's just asking for him to brace against the bit. After that, I think the best way to address it is transitions. The very first stride he starts hanging on the bit, come back to a walk for a stride or two, then transition right back up again. Don't come down to walk long enough for him to get comfy. If he doesn't respond immediately to your upward transition, there's your answer about being behind your leg too. Make sure he transitions back up to trot the split second you ask for it. Use a flick of you whip if necessary to get your point across. Always re-ask with minimal aids to make sure he understands what you want.

Horse's with conformations like ours can collect themselves and use themselves properly with a little effort, but they also know it's easier to just run around strung out. It sounds like your horse is trying to talk you out of working. Hopefully those suggestions help.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Great reply! You just described my horse to a T...usually when I ask him for something I start out nicely and increase harshness/or pressure for as long as it takes to get him to listen. And yes, he tries to talk me out of work ;]
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 07:51 PM
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Yeah, you gotta experience it to peg it. Puck talked me out of working for 2 years before I caught on!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-28-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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LOL! Such tricky ponies
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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bump =]
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