'Biting Up'/'Checking Up' - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 01:41 AM
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What a shame. Looked like a beautiful horse. I hate seeing trainers cause a horse's death, hence why im afraid to send my horse to a trainer.
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post #12 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 02:03 AM
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I'm sorry but my view of events has become colored by the fact that they can't spell controversial correctly in the first link,makes you wonder what else is correct or wrong.

As to biting round, most people I know use the method, and done correctly it is very effective, like anything else, done wrong it is a disaster looking for a place to happen.
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post #13 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 08:02 AM
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I have used this method for many years. BUT, it, like any other technique, must be used with skill and common sense. It is no better than the person using it.

It can be used with a shank bit as long as the horse is pretty far along with training and the shank is loose -- swivels where the shank attaches to the mouth-piece.

Yes, there is a 'sweet spot'. This the the amount of bend and tuck that is comfortable to the horse and gives the horse the opportunity give a half inch more and release ALL pressure. If the horse cannot give a little more to release the pressure, the method is being used incorrectly. Obviously, if a horse is scarred and rubbed raw by the curb strap or chain, it has been done badly (waaay too short) and not where the horse can get away from the pressure at all.

I consider checking a horse around or back to be more effective than when 95% of riders try to accomplish the same thing in the saddle. Why? A horse can give himself instant release or relief from doing the right thing. Even a good rider cannot reward the right thing as quickly and as consistently as the horse can reward himself. Done correctly, it is an extremely effective method. It should always be done in a snaffle on a green horse and only be done in a curb that is loose shanked with a better trained horse. No horse should ever be left unattended. When I use it on a green horse, I use a full cheek bit so it can never be pulled through the horse's mouth. I also use a big rubber-band tied to the back cinch ring. I cut a section out of an old inner-tube and it makes a big rubber-band to tie the rein to. A narrow one is real stretchy while a wider one is tougher but still gives. I never want a horse to be able to bruise the bars of their mouth.

This trainer, Mark Aballo, is not famous or a 'big name trainer'. He is not even listed in the NRHA directory of trainers. I have never heard of him.

As for being afraid to send a horse to a trainer --- go watch a trainer for a few training sessions. You can easily tell the kind but still effective ones from the harsh and downright mean ones. Actually, just about every horse injury or death I know of happened in someone's back-yard. Peoples' lack of knowledge and lack of knowing how to use any technique can go very badly when a 1200# animal has a 'come-apart'. Most broken necks and legs I have heard about came from simply tying a horse up wrongly or doing something as stupid as opening the back door on a trailer before releasing the horse's head first.

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post #14 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
I consider checking a horse around or back to be more effective than when 95% of riders try to accomplish the same thing in the saddle. Why? A horse can give himself instant release or relief from doing the right thing. Even a good rider cannot reward the right thing as quickly and as consistently as the horse can reward himself.
What I've always done is similar to checking them up, but done with hands... I hold the rein, with my hand rested on the front of the saddle, find that spot where they can give a little more and can't pull away. With my hand rested I can hold when they pull away, so the pressure isn't released wrong, and my hand doesn't move if they give.
I find many people when they teach this without resting their hand on something have a tendency to keep pulling the horse around, even when the horse gave a little.
I guess mine is the same as checking a horse up accept it's done in my hand, so I can easily drop a rein.

I've also done this from the ground with a surcingle - keeping my hands touching each other. Having that physical place to keep your hand ensures the release happens at the right time, but having control on the reins in an emergency.
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post #15 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 11:27 AM
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I guess my view of this practice has been colored by the type of people who use it in my area. Before coming to the forum I had NEVER seen this technique done correctly, and its a technique that everyone and their mother uses in my area. The mare that I've helped retrain and who is my go-to horse for ranch work is the result of poor technique with checking up (here it is calling tying around, though) and she was a MESS when we got her. Typically when its done here, the horse is bitted in a 6-8" curb and tied so that its nose is nearly touching the shoulder with no release, and it isn't just looped around the horn or to a rubber inner tube either. The horses I've seen undergoing the process have been left for an hour or more at a time and are usually soaked with sweat and shaking by the end. Corona (the mare) has scars in her mouth from it and won't ride in a curb because of it, and it took me a very long time to get her responsive to the bit and willing to take contact without blowing up because she only associated it with pain.

Seeing it described as on here though, with the head just slightly turned in, for no more than 20 minutes or so, under close supervision in a snaffle...I guess I can see how it could be of use for young horses, especially when its explained as the horse being able to release the pressure for itself. So I don't disagree with the method...IF someone knows what they're doing, and IF the horse can have substantial release when it does what it needs to do. Its not my method of choice though, just because I've seen how terribly wrong it can go in inexperienced hands, and I wouldn't trust myself to do it correctly.
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post #16 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 11:39 AM
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Yeah, I've always witnessed the extreme end of things like Endiku. Though the milder version is still not something I will be doing to my horses, but I get where people are coming from now. I do what PunksTank does with great success. I just like to be hands on. That way you're also a participant in developing that "feel" for yourself, along with your horse.
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post #17 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 11:49 AM
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Endiku, that is horrifying! What a way to ruin a horse.
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post #18 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 12:09 PM
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I've seen it done, and IMO it's a perfectly ok. It's almost like using side reins when riding english. I've even seen a trainer do it in a curb, not tight, but with the slack just taken out of the rein. The horse was 100% supervised by the trainer and owner in a round pen. The rein could have been pulled loose if it was an emergency situation. He fussed for a few minutes then after that he was going WTC with his head down and slightly bent in. This trainer uses the method on all his horses. None have scars under their chins, all are very soft and carry their head low.

It sounds like this bottom feeder tied this horse way to tight, with no safety release, and put the horse into a pure panic mode. It also sounds like this horse had an unlucky fall leading to a head trauma.

This method is only as cruel as the person carrying it out. Tied reasonably, supervised and safely you will get good results. Tie hard, in a big bit, with no supervision, beat the horse and accidents will happen. This sounds like a cruel person, not a cruel practice.
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post #19 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for a great post, Cherie!

Proper tying around has it's place, IMO. It was helpful with a few horses I've worked with, but wasn't employed with others. It's one of those things you keep in your mental training arsenal - you may or may not choose to use it depending on an individual horse's needs, abilities, etc. I've always sought out mentors and trainers who's methods I could ethically stand behind, so I've not seen any extreme/negative/abusive use of this technique in person.
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post #20 of 51 Old 09-25-2013, 12:52 PM
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We do this often to the horses in training. If they have a problem bending a certain way we use side reins (that are breakable) and ease their head around to teach them that it's okay to bend and move and yield to pressure. Some horses need it and some don't, for the ones that need it they're only bitted like this for a little bit before training begins. As Smrobs stated, a rider often cannot give release the exact moment it's needed. If it's done correctly I believe it's a valuable training tool that can help the horse bend better on the ground before it ever has anyone in the saddle.

That being said, when it's done wrong it has horrific consequences. Personally the only time we ever experienced an incident with doing this was when the horse freaked out and began doing circles. What the owner had neglected to tell us was that the horse had been tied the wrong way and hit its head when it fell resulting in brain damage.
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