On the bit question - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-30-2008, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Halifax, Canada
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so I tried the squeezing today and she didnt respond to it at all...and then I tried smacking her with the whip to help and she would speed up and then go back to the same walk within 2-3 strides...ugh
That's not even the worst of today...SHE WON'T CANTER ANYMORE!
I only get 1 to 2 strides, at best I went half a circle while I was kicking the crap out of her...what the hell? Im wondering if she's lazy or what. She used to canter a few circles and then drop it but now its one to two strides. I eventually got off her and lunged her to see if anything was wrong but she was fine.. You have no idea how frustrated I am right now. Any tips??? Anyone???? Ahhh
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-30-2008, 10:55 PM
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sounds to me like she's ignoring your aids. Don't continue to kick and kick because that WILL make her immune to your leg...or get her to ignore it.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-30-2008, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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how do I get her to listen?
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 12:05 AM
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If you have a steady leg definitely get some spurs on. I also like to carry a whip in both hands when training if I am having problems with the horse responding. Don't give them too many chances to respond before you use the whip either, try to make them understand why you are using it, so from a trot to canter, ask with the legs maybe twice, no response, ask again with the outside whip behind the leg aid. Make it sharp too, no gentle brushings. Ask for maybe one long side of canter then pull her back to trot relax a bit then ask again, keeping the amount of canter short to start with and gradually build up to longer canters.

I haven't seen you ride so this might not apply to you, but I will just add, be very careful of you hands when you are asking for transitions. Make sure you aren't inadvertently bracing with your hands against her mouth as you move into a canter. You might be giving mixed signals and it is a pretty common mistake to unintentionally pull the horse up with your hands as you ask them to move into canter. Then once you have her in a canter, sit as tall as possible, relax your lower back and rock with her, relax your shoulder and your hands should follow her mouth. Keep the contact constant.

I hope she listens a little more next ride!
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-31-2008, 07:01 AM
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I suppose this applies more to lazy school horses than stubborn ones who are messing around, but my instructor tells me to be very, very quick with my reinforcements. If they don't respond to a squeeze, immediately give a kick. If they don't respond to that, immediately use the crop and leg at once. If you don't get a good enough response, slow them back down, do it again. Don't just keep kicking or they'll learn that they can get away with doing not very much while you hammer at their sides. If it doesn't work, you start from the beginning again, so they know there's no avoiding listening to you. My instructor tells me I need to be much faster with my reinforcement - it's got to follow up the leg aids immediately if the horse is going to get the message.

My instructors are also very, very big on transition work between all gaits to keep the horse responsive and paying attention.

Also, as a weakling, I don't really use my crop hard enough for the horse to pay attention to it. One instructor has me pass both reins into one hand, turn the crop around (so you're holding it kind of like a magic wand) and then I can give a good strong pop with it before turning it back and taking up both reins again.

If you believe everything you read, better not read.
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