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Downward transition woes!

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        02-18-2013, 08:16 PM
      #11
    Foal
    I have a trainer, not my original one but it's the best I've got nearby. When I work with my trainer during sessions we can get my mare overtracking and holding the Dressage stretch all the way around, I do ride better with a trainer. In the video it was the end of the day's plain exercise session and all I was thinking was "walk, dammit!" for the cooldown. (The canter was thrown in to show what she does in the transition.)
         
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        02-18-2013, 08:21 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Through the whole video, though most noticeably in the first attempt to halt. You popped the rein up when she didn't listen, which was good, and she reacted immediately, but there was then no release. I understand that you wanted her to give, but the first aid was to stop, and when she did stop, you really needed to give her that moment of relief as a reward. She cannot understand that she did the right thing by stopping, but now you want her 'round' - she thinks it's all the same aid. Hence the gaping mouth and confusion.
    Horses are simple creatures, we need to break down every aid to its simplest form. So if you want her to stop, and she stops, give her relief to show her that she did the right thing. THEN ask for the next thing.
    Eventually the training will improve and she'll stay round through a downward transition, totally on your back and staying on the bit because she is using her hind legs.
         
        02-18-2013, 08:44 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    Through the whole video, though most noticeably in the first attempt to halt. You popped the rein up when she didn't listen, which was good, and she reacted immediately, but there was then no release. I understand that you wanted her to give, but the first aid was to stop, and when she did stop, you really needed to give her that moment of relief as a reward. She cannot understand that she did the right thing by stopping, but now you want her 'round' - she thinks it's all the same aid. Hence the gaping mouth and confusion.
    Horses are simple creatures, we need to break down every aid to its simplest form. So if you want her to stop, and she stops, give her relief to show her that she did the right thing. THEN ask for the next thing.
    Eventually the training will improve and she'll stay round through a downward transition, totally on your back and staying on the bit because she is using her hind legs.
    I think I get what you're saying, though the first where you see her backing up was all her (in the sense that she will back up on ground and under saddle when she's PO'd)--- out of the camera sight, she started jigging, I No'd, then pulled, and she raised her nose up while still trot-jigging, I wanted a walk but with her nose up she wasn't listening, so I raised up my hands and messed with her face, in response she kept it raised but quickly went to backing instead of walking forward. The overall goal was to keep her walking, but then I wanted her nose lower so I could regain my contact, however now I'm not sure if I should prioritize differently; in the situation that she prepares to jig, starts jigging after I say No, keeps jigging after I pull and raises her nose to avoid my hand, what do I do? Should I be keeping my hands at the default position by her withers, or raising them? What happens when I keep the same pressure in the pull with her nose up, she runs through my hands entirely. When I don't raise my hands but pull again, she dives heavily onto her forehand from jiggy trot to walk and her back goes hollow. That's where I'm stuck. I still want to keep a walk when I say walk, but then I don't want her above the bit. Sometimes she goes right to backing when she sticks her nose up and I wiggle. Wiggling is the most effective thing I've found so far, I tried circling her but she sticks her tongue out and it really isn't effective in getting her to keep walking, I end up staying outside for hours doing spirals and all the turning tactics you can imagine from half-circles to serpentines.

    Thanks for being pretty specific--- nothing sinks into mind for me unless I get details, and it's best for about 3 examples as ideas won't make sense to me otherwise. Sorry--- I'm a hard learner like that

    ** Also, she will give a cooldown walk at the end if I let the reins out to the buckle to let her stretch. I find that if I let my reins slacken too much throughout the session, she will start having more of a mind of her own, but if I put her more into a frame so that she is on the vertical with proper tracking, she won't get so antsy. I think I'm too loose with my hands, that I myself don't like to maintain a contact all that much, so the energy behind is falling out to the forehand. My trainer often says I need to "connect" her, as during a schooling trot she can get on the vertical but plod, I get the best results when I take a firmer rein and sort of square my body so I am not leaning anywhere or being passive.
         
        02-18-2013, 08:46 PM
      #14
    Showing
    Why pull her nose instead of just closing your fingers on the rein? It's less brutish than tugging and you can vary the strength of the squeeze. I find it much more effective.. just a side observation.
         
        02-18-2013, 08:55 PM
      #15
    Trained
    You've got two main options when a horse jigs. We cannot force a horse to stand still, but we can make them move until they want to be still.

    By messing around with her mouth you're just going to piss her off even more, then get more jigging, head in the air, gaping mouth, more jigging again etc. It's a vicious circle.
    You need to use your brain rather than brawn.

    The first thing I'd try is the sharp 'Oi you!' on the rein. Sit quietly in the saddle, leg on lightly but making sure that your body is relaxed. Jigging comes from tension, and if you are gripping you are creating tension.
    I'd then move to working her laterally. Keep her feet moving sideways, it'll make her really think about where she's putting her feet, and decide that it's better to stay at your pace than risk tripping over.
    Teach her leg yield, if she doesn't move off your leg when she's jigging, lift your inside rein up, put your inside leg on and disengage the hind quarters. MAKE her step sideways and keep going sideways until she settles.
    Again it is important that you sit quietly with a gentle leg contact down her barrel, a secure seat etc. Any tension in you will carry through to her.

    I don't give a rats backside where her head is at the moment, that will come. As I said, jigging comes from tension, and that tension leads to her ignoring your aids. Get her brain back in focus, and the jigging will stop. Don't think about being 'pretty' at the moment, you want to be effective. Pretty will happen when effective has been established. When she is on your aids, then you can start looking at getting the longitudinal submission.
         
        02-18-2013, 08:57 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
    Why pull her nose instead of just closing your fingers on the rein? It's less brutish than tugging and you can vary the strength of the squeeze. I find it much more effective.. just a side observation.
    Good tip.

    OP, if you start to use your strength - I.e. Your upper arm and shoulders - to pull the horse around, you IMMEDIATELY lose any sense of feel. We need to be feeling riders, not body builders. We will never out pull a horse, so why even try? Yes there are times when a little more force is needed, but that needs to be employed tactfully with perfect timing - otherwise you'll just make the horse stronger.
         
        02-19-2013, 05:43 AM
      #17
    Foal
    I do normally use light aids only-- she's sensitive, despite having the times where she charges through an aid. I can stop her with my seat and small finger, usually you won't see my hands moving unless you look closer or see us practicing square turns. For practice reasons I'll over-exaggerate something like my inside rein to make something clear to her, on request of my trainer. We're working on leg yields, she sometimes wants to drag her bum, but we're able to do about four strides in trot and walk. I know she can go round and connect for the majority of a session on the vertical with proper tracking, sometimes I have my trainer ride her to get a point across and she moves good, but at the moment I'm not comfortable asking her to do it more than 3 times a week, it seems too early for us to do it more frequently. I figure if she doesn't offer roundness on the ground over cavalletti or ground poles, I don't want to ask her for more hind end work than necessary under saddle. What my trainer perscribed was more circle and turn work with the focus on keeping her on the path without dipping her shoulder into my turn, as well as asking her to over-bend her neck laterally on a few circles for the sake of loosening up her neck so I can get a better lateral bend in the leg yield preparing for side pass.
    I still want to keep her varied and engaged in work, so it's not just Dressage for the week--- her passion is gallop, so a few times a week I go out with my reins slack and neck rein while she has her sprints. I like to do bareback, no stirrups, neck rope, halter, free lunge (can't do much lunging on tether for the sake of avoiding any hock soreness) and we've been getting into more in-hand work which is a big test for me to keep up with her and stay aware of what we're both doing, I plan on showing an in-hand class in a few months with her. Carrot stretches and strengthening exercises from the ground top it off, I like to do those every day (and I'm sure she doesn't mind the treats). Whatever we've been doing has been working, since there's noticeable improvement from a few months prior, thank God for liniment and MSM.

    As for roundness in transition, she can do it, eh, four times out of ten right now in anything to canter, seven out of ten walk to trot, walk to halt is fine, reinback fine, them downward transitions a pain in my neck. It's the walking issue. If I don't use my outside rein or let the reins slack, she jigs when all I want is to keep walking the same tempo. Maybe it isn't reasonable for me to ask for a continued walk if I'm not trapping the energy or letting her have her head? I think that's where she's getting confused, that I'm not taking the energy, and I'm not giving her the reins entirely, so she doesn't know what I want (but I'd like to try teaching her to maintain a gait once I put her into it).

    I have my lesson with her and my trainer today, so I'll try to get a few videos to show of it.
    Kayty likes this.
         
        02-19-2013, 02:39 PM
      #18
    Foal
    My cellphone.

    If anyone has a dog that can sniff out a electronic devices, I'll give my arm for it. I lost my camera, now my cellphone. Braindead.

    Well, what did happen in the lesson... I've been looking for more bits to use on my mare for variety to keep her lively and interested, and my trainer surprised us with lending a single joint bitted bridle for the lesson. Velvet isn't cozy in single joints and we fiddled with the ride to see if the rubbery roller part of the bit was making a difference, since I already knew what she moves like with a plain single joint. She seems to like the roller, as I could feel her getting relaxed more often as opposed to just a single joint. We ride in a double joint with a lozenge in the middle, loose ring. The next bit we'll try is a straight one, no pocket, shank, or joint (I think it's Mylar), keeping the lozenge-link thick bit as the primary. Maybe take a shot at the pelham later.

    Trainer had us do some jumping work. When I say jumping, I mean... a pop over a 12-20 inch raised pole. Girly can clear 4ft in the chute, she's no stranger to completing a 3'6" bounce set up, but she has an ego boost each jump, when we make it good over a little hop and move toward the next, she gives me the "I GOT THIS, MOM!" and charges it. I don't call it rushing, because, I mean, honey puts weight into her back end and launches forward, she waits until I put my leg on for the canter cue to leap. She catapults over it with the correct bascule, but lands faaaaar off and is off at a gallop to find the next jump. Five seconds later when I finally get her to halt, she's stretching her neck, licking lips, and passing a burst of gas while she's at it. Like I said... gallop is in her heart. Awesome XC mount, as I can easily get her to pump out the "charging" drive in between the obstacles so we can approach the jump dandy with a collected canter. Today we practiced our lateral flexion, feeling awesome with the back raised, and she only jigged about three times out of the whole thing. We did do a little experiment; I gathered my reins, and in five strides she went to a trot on her own. I let the reins out, she stayed walking. I flexed her inside so that her eye was visible, she stayed walking. Trainer said to practice gathering the reins, and asking a leg yeild or shoulder in directly after, so miss Mare will expect to start flexing and stretching lateral instead of getting uppity when I have my reins passively gathered.

    Lateral movement, lateral movement. I was ready to ride to my stable and she was already moving around where she wanted. Whenever she started walking off I put her in a leg yield and soon nuff she would rather stand still for a minute. We went over a 20 inch vertical and she had decided to shoot straight up into the air as if it were a four footer. Prompty screamed in the face of a poor neighbor gelding on the way too... she's in a "COME GET SOME!!!" mood today =_= something about her jumping makes her put her tail up and get real proud. Sigh.... so.... looks like we're trotting jumps for the next month.... under two feet. Whaaat a nut. Estrus time is here. I think we'll try a pack of Mare Magic this time around O_o
         
        02-19-2013, 03:06 PM
      #19
    Super Moderator
    Thanks for posting the videos etc
    I would say that if she was mine and being aimed at jumping I wouldnt be jumping her yet.
    I like my horses to be working in a nice relaxed balanced rounded outline before they even see a jump and I'm not sure from the videos that she can do this yet - but maybe I'm seeing a bad example of her as she's being put into a jump situation here
    When her head goes up to try to evade the bit her back hollows and she's really tense - that's going to have a knock on effect on her back muscles which is likely to make her sore
    If I'm wrong about her flatwork then stick with the ground poles and low grids - never one fence at a time, lots of changes of direction so she has to learn to listen to you, be flexible, focus and balance herself. I wouldnt do anything more than that until she's learnt to drop her head
    The thing with the rushing is sometimes that they want to just get it over with and if you try to hold them back too much they develop an new trick of leaping into the air before they get to the fence
    Whats her collected work like?
    I'm going to get shot for this I expect but I might be temped to put a running martingale on her to try to break that head flipping action she's getting into. I am British and they are commonly used over there - correctly adjusted of course - on showjumpers even when starting out
         
        02-19-2013, 03:11 PM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    Just an add on - a straight bit tends to lower the head so she might like it more, a lot of horses react badly to the nutcracker action they get from a snaffle if they resist it in any way
    I've no faith in Mare Magic at all - but some people do seem to like it
    I have 5 mares and being in season never affects their performance under saddle at all - and on the ground they tend to be more fussy and smoochy than usual - never irritable. But again - they are all unique!!!
         

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