collection/girrafe help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Elizabeth, CO
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collection/girrafe help

I need some advice, thoughts etc.

I am trying to teach my horse how to collect and move off his butt. right now he is very much on his forehand and it's like his back end is in a different county. He also goes around with his head in the air like a giraffe.

I have been lunging him with side reins, trying to help him build up those muscles in his neck, and use his ab muscles, and he does very well, but the minute those side reins come off, POOF, we're a giraffe again.

unfortunately his confirmation doesn't help, he's a long horse.

any ideas?

Marianne and Twist

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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First of all, I'm cracking up at your title. Occasionally my trainer lets me ride her highly schooled TB to let me see how effective my seat is. Long story short, if I'm the least bit out of alignment or off balance, I get the giraffe head. Only when I'm completely balanced does he come into a nice frame and he sure does make me work for it.

While I get that you're not on him, I'm thinking he just needs more time with the side reins to develop the proper muscles and simply doesn't have the ability to balance himself well enough yet without the support of the side reins. If he's long backed, it will take longer. If you can ride him, lots of walking up sloping hills will help build up his hind end and back muscles.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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Work on softening his poll and his jaw via transitions and serpentines/circles. Encourage his head to come down, but not in a frame of sorts. Just less out of the sky. A trick is to slowly make your reins shorter as you gradually move your hands upwards. What goes up must come down. =P [Please note, this does not mean he will collect in any sense of the word. This is simply to encourage him to LOWER his nose and therefore make it easier for him to work and you to work him.] Also, look at yourself and make sure you aren't encouraging the giraffe behavior. Does his saddle fit? How are his teeth, his feet, his general health? Are you hunched over? Perching? Are your hands close together and low, are you leaning foward, are your legs gripping?

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Elizabeth, CO
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Feet are good, just got his teeth done, been seen by a chiropractor, tack is good....i do a lean a little but i am working on that. i don't grip with my knees. i get into a light seat at the canter to help him left his back.

my hands are...together, but up cause his head is up and i want to keep that straight line from me to his mouth and keep constant contact. i try to squeeze him up into the bridle (if that makes sense)....

Marianne and Twist

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Somewhere on Vancouver Island
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Before you work on collection your horse must be forward and straight.....I'm betting that your horse is neither or collection would be easy.......It usually takes several years to develop the correct muscle to achieve this. The first thing I would do is work on forward..........remember that the engine is in the back you must ride your horse up into the contact and not that other way around........I would not worry about your horses head until you have forward...the head will come down as the horses goes forward and starts to relax.

Super Nova
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-10-2010, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Elizabeth, CO
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he has definitely improved on being forward :) straight not so much...

Marianne and Twist

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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