Bit help? Horse doesn't like to turn! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Bit help? Horse doesn't like to turn!

As some may know, I got a Fjord mare just over a week ago now.
She's ten years old but only green broke. Her owners told me she was still learning to turn so I was prepared when I brought her home but I think we need some help!
I've only ridden her 3 times so far, first time in a D-ring and then in a full cheek snaffle. She doesn't respond any better to the full cheek, but I don't know of another bit that will really help encourage her to turn.
She's not a bolter but if she wants to go in a different direction I have to use both hands pretty much to pull on one rein and get her going where I want her and she's got no clue when it comes to leg signals.
(She also likes to lay down in the middle of a ride, but that's a totally different story)

She also has a really hard mouth for a horse that doesn't have much work on her. If she gets going she doesn't respond well when asked to stop & of course doesn't like to turn. I don't want to move up to a leverage bit, though until I get her turning propery and moving off the leg.
Frustrating!
I guess the good thing about her is she's so laid back that she doesn't get mad or jumpy, just stubborn!
Do any of you know what might work? I'm way open to suggestions.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 08:27 PM
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I know that this may not work in all cases, but it did for me; I had a horse with a similar problem, so I used just a halter and snap-on reins. I don't like having to yank on their mouths, but pulling on their face to start with sort of helps. At least, it did for me. Then I transitioned into a snaffle and it went well.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseOfCourse View Post
I know that this may not work in all cases, but it did for me; I had a horse with a similar problem, so I used just a halter and snap-on reins. I don't like having to yank on their mouths, but pulling on their face to start with sort of helps. At least, it did for me. Then I transitioned into a snaffle and it went well.
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I was considering this, at least around in the field. I don't think id take her out on the trails with just a halter. Not at the moment anyhow.
Thanks

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 08:33 PM
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Lol, I don't go anywhere outside of the field most of the time, so I forgot to mmention that part. Sorry! But yeah, I would only stay in an enclosed area until you can trust her more.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 08:41 PM
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If you can't turn her in a snaffle then you won't even get a bend in her neck with a halter. There is NO bit that is going to magically get her to turn. Your going to have to use ;your brain. You need to get her to yield her head to the left and right. To do this you put a little pressure on the rein and wait for her to yield her head around and put slack in the rein. As soon as she does release the rein. If she yields her head but is moving her feet then wait for her feet to stop before releasing. It also wouldn't hurt to teach her to yeild her hindquarters as well. I would also work on her ground manners because I have seen very few horses that ignore a person on thier back but not on the ground.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 10:21 PM
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Kevinshorses' advice is right on the money! One of the first things you should teach a horse is to yield to pressure. Work on the exercise he suggested every day until she gives her head willingly, with only the slightest touch. Some horses get it after the first day, some you have to remind before every ride. Not only will this help with turning, but I would also suggest using it to teach your horse a one rein stop. I have a green horse and the one rein stop has saved my butt a few times when he got a little out of hand. The one rein stop disengages the hind end, making it difficult for your horse to run off or buck.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 10:32 PM
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Kevinshorses is right on. My mare, when she was originally just being broken, was very "hard mouthed." I did exactly as suggested above and now, even with just minimal training, she will turn very easily with just the pickin up of the reins.

One thing, if you don't like the bit or want to try something else, I would suggest a side pull, that's what I used on my mare before I moved her back up to the bit. I felt better using that instead of a halter.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-15-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Thanks guys, yes we're working on it slowly. Hopefully the weather will get a bit better so that I can work with her more. She's really good on the ground (a bit lazy, but oh well lol) She knows how to yield on the ground but it seems she's got a stubborn streak when you're trying to direct her with the reins.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-16-2010, 12:25 AM
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Often a stubborn horse is one that is lacking clear understanding and/or direction. One thing to remember if you want to teach your horse a one rein stop is that you have to TEACH them to yield thier hindquarters. If you just pull on the horses head when they try to run off or buck your just taking them off balance and making a bad situation worse.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-16-2010, 12:44 AM
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I agree with Kevin. I have a dumber than average horse that I could not teach to leg yield it took someone on the ground pushing while I gave the signal in the saddle. You could try this, as a last resort.
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