On the bit?...How? - Page 2
 
 

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On the bit?...How?

This is a discussion on On the bit?...How? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        10-16-2013, 11:33 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haflinger    
    Without being there it is sure hard to tell why you can't achieve or try to achieve this. Sounds like you for sure are lacking the first two of the pyramid. Regardless of the level of training the horse has received, it needs to have the relaxation( which means a whole lot more than just being relaxed ....
    You need to bring calmness into the horse. Seems like the horse will not give you the opportunity to even try to ride into the hands, because she may not be ready for it.
    How does she work bending exercises, volte, circles slightly 'tilting' the head or yielding ? Is she equally nervous there
    Posted via Mobile Device
    She bends and yields well (and maybe goes on the bit?) at the walk. It's once I ask for any gait faster than a walk that she become so incredibly sensitive to the leg that I can't bend, yield, or ask for more impulsion, even after I bring her back down to the walk.
         
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        10-16-2013, 11:46 PM
      #12
    Foal
    If she gives and yields at all when you are walking there is indeed a chance that she goes to the bit and if so you may have the chance to ride her into your hands.
    As for any faster speeds, achieve rhythm first and this in basic arena exercises , when she is able to be similar responsive to your aids on trot then you can try there also . Anything before that will not be beneficial
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        10-17-2013, 12:00 AM
      #13
    Trained
    "Driving a horse to the bit" actually shortens the frame. That is the idea we are getting at. On the bit is a starting point, and eventually in collection - the horse shortens it's frame immensely.
    Think of the horse's body as a slinky toy. One end is the head, the other is the hind legs. When you put leg on, you are driving one end towards the other (the head). By applying gentle restraining aids (bit, seat), you can contain the energy so the slinky condenses, and doesn't flip down the stairs loosing all of it's energy ;)
    The shorter/more condensed the slinky is, the more energy it has to use.
    That is how we get a Dressage horse to perform movements such as the Piaffe. We have condensed the 'slinky' so effectively, that the energy created can be used to created such a spectacularly collected movement. It is impossible to get such a movement out of a horse that is strong out - they just do not have the pent up energy to hold it.


    Reading your posts, I don't think you should even be thinking about putting your horse 'on the bit' at this point.
    She needs better basic education, and you will be surprised that her way of going will improve simply with better reactions to the aids.
    If she shoots off every time you put your leg on, get her used to leg. Yes you want a sharp reaction to the leg, but not running away from it. Squeeze your calf at halt to ask for walk. If she shoots off, bring her back to halt, and repeat. Rinse, lather, repeat, until she realises that she just has to step off quietly and the pressure will come off. Same process for other transitions.
    Get the basics right before you start fussing about anything else.
         
        10-17-2013, 02:12 AM
      #14
    Super Moderator
    The problem you are explaining seems one even more suitable for riding as much as possible with your seat. I didn't mention that a lot because for a beginner, it is easier to first try to work out the connection via the bit, and later come back and refine the seat, even though the seat is more important.

    Your horse being so "fizzy", you might have to work more on getting her to be more responsive to your seat, before concerning yourself too much with the bit.

    Would you be interested in posting a video? It can sometimes show if and where the rider might be actually causing or exascerbating the problem. I mean no insult, but this is often the case.
    Kayty likes this.
         
        10-17-2013, 11:23 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    This is all wonderful info you're getting! I'd be interested in a vid as well to see the horse and her reaction to the leg.

    When teaching her to be more responsive with the leg cue without going inside out and running away from the pressure, make it a really light cue at first, but many people find their mistake is that their release is too slow- and that can confuse a horse, esp when beginning teaching this concept.

    Good luck!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        10-17-2013, 01:46 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Check this out. Lots of discussion.
    The stages of Training to Reach Collection

    Look at this image. It may help elucidate.

    The horse must learn to work in a relaxed manner on a long rein before he can learn to shorten and collect.

    The rider must move the horse forward before the horse can be asked to go on the bit. The horse needs to be ridden back to front.. pushed forward so he moves in rhythm with strides and foot falls balanced and equal and reaching beneath himself with the hind feet. When he attains rhythm he will start to trot in a longer frame and stretched top line.

    When he is trotting in rhythm and supple and forward the rider can begin taking up contact.. and this is where being "on the bit" starts.
    Attached Images
    File Type: jpg Stages of training.jpg (11.3 KB, 26 views)
         
        10-17-2013, 01:49 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    There is a vast difference between a horse running through the bridle and a horse moving with impulsion. I suspect your horse is running through the bridle.

    Being supple is not the same as being rubber necked. Again.. it is hard.. but do not mistake one for the other.
         
        10-17-2013, 03:38 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    I'm really finding this thread very informative- just about a little over a week ago I decided to start "from scratch" on contact/being on the bit with my horse, as he has the opposite problem as the OP's horse- he's lazy and leans on the bit. My trainer is always telling me to shorten my reins, but I don't feel like I can because I already have so much weight on the reins. I think I'm making progress- yesterday my horse was more forward and lighter on the bit, but he also wasn't following the bit very well and I ended up schooling him that just because I'm not maintaining 10 lbs of pressure (exaggeration... I hope) on his face doesn't mean I'm not giving him directions.

    I rode in a clinic recently where the clinician essentially had me really hold my horse in a frame and I think I really did have 10+ lbs of pressure in the reins and it was very clear by the end of the second day that my horse was very unhappy (as was I!) I decided if that's what it took to "progress" in dressage then my horse and I didn't have the right stuff for it and I might as well give it up... I just hope that what I'm doing now is moving in the right direction.
         
        10-17-2013, 03:51 PM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by verona1016    
    I'm really finding this thread very informative- just about a little over a week ago I decided to start "from scratch" on contact/being on the bit with my horse, as he has the opposite problem as the OP's horse- he's lazy and leans on the bit. My trainer is always telling me to shorten my reins, but I don't feel like I can because I already have so much weight on the reins. I think I'm making progress- yesterday my horse was more forward and lighter on the bit, but he also wasn't following the bit very well and I ended up schooling him that just because I'm not maintaining 10 lbs of pressure (exaggeration... I hope) on his face doesn't mean I'm not giving him directions.

    I rode in a clinic recently where the clinician essentially had me really hold my horse in a frame and I think I really did have 10+ lbs of pressure in the reins and it was very clear by the end of the second day that my horse was very unhappy (as was I!) I decided if that's what it took to "progress" in dressage then my horse and I didn't have the right stuff for it and I might as well give it up... I just hope that what I'm doing now is moving in the right direction.
    If you need to use 10 pounds of steady pressure you are not doing it right. Do you know how to half halt? Steady pressure is a demand and a demand often turns into a fight.. because you give the horse something to pull against. The half halt is very light.. and the object is to be very very light.. both hands and legs.

    Properly done, you never need that sort of pressure. I cannot imagine.. that you or the horse.. had any fun at all!
         
        10-17-2013, 04:10 PM
      #20
    Trained
    Yes, in correct contact and especially in the beginning there can be quite a lot of pressure in the reins.

    It's not all unicorn farts and fairy dust - the rider does actually have to put some muscle into it. Press your shoulders down your back and your elbows into your sides and ride up into that contact until the withers come up and it lightens. Self carriage does not come from bumping the horse off the contact - it comes from riding the horse light in the forehand and with strength and power from behind.
         

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