Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: State College, PA
Cross Training and Possible Counterproductiveness
I have a horse that is kind of my jack of all trades boy. He has more training that he knows what to do with but he can pretty much do it all. He's entering his mid-teens soon and I want to keep him well rounded but try some new stuff. Right now he's doing 2nd level dressage, schooling higher movements. Jumping some 2'-3' stuff for fun, trail riding and doing a few western pleasure lessons on the side. I'd really love to try reining on him but he doesn't have the get down and dig with his hind end that reiners have. I don't want to ruin all the seat aids I have put on him for the dressage and jumping but I want to do some very novice reining. I don't want a sliding stop or flying spins etc. But I would like him to go on the drape, do his changes on the circles and sit down in a stop and roll back. He can roll back, he can spin slowly and he does his changes with a little help in the balance department but I can't get him to respect the seat bones = sit down and stop part and it's all still two hand maneuvers. I think it's because I'm only playing at the reining stuff and doing a lot of dressage at the same time. Do you think it would be very counterproductive to try to do both or do you think if I worked at it he could differentiate between the two disciplines. I use different bits (pelham with double reins for dressage and a mild tom thumb with short shanks for the reining or a full cheek) and different saddles (obviously). Anyone else have a horse that's this versatile? Or any suggestions? I'd like to get him to be able to carry himself on the aids and contact for dressage as well as collected and balanced on the drape in western tack I just haven't achieved it all yet. Also, for an FYI he's a 15.2 QH gelding that is one of those that likes to naturally run his front end down into the ground. So keeping him naturally lifted is not his forte anyways which is about half the problem. So any tips, exercises that you use for keeping a downhill QH upright without contact on his face would be great as well. Thanks in advance for your input!