Drifting ?

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Drifting ?

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    05-17-2010, 02:51 AM
Drifting ?

So I have been jumping a lit more with my paint stud Gringo as the weeks progress. I set up a cross course I can practic on since we don't have an arena. Well, one jump is set up on a corner and on the other side of the corner is a tree. Recently he has gotten smart and started drifting out to that tree and Running me in to it if I go there at any gait faster than the walk. I have been making him turn in circles and work every time he does it and making him jump anyway, but he isn't improving. Ideas? I got a branch to the face yesterday. I don't feel like another one.
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    05-17-2010, 07:28 AM
If you don't want him to run you into it, you need to be an active rider. Unfortunately xD, you can't just sit up there and do nothing. Meaning, if you know he's going to take you over to that jump you start to drive him the other way, way inhead of time. We need to be smarter than the horse, and sometimes it's hard. Maybe he's driving you into it at any gaits faster than the walk because you're not being a truly active rider?

Doing circles will teach him that he can get away with it. So instead you need to make him jump the fence. And be "active" by lining him up for the fence way inhead of time.

And horses are HUGE creatures of habit and they learn really quick. For example, when I rode Gunther I would start at the walk and then I would do a slow trot then I would stop him in the corner of the arena. Low and behold the next day he thought that was the routine. He always wanted to stop in that corner. So now everyday I switch it up.

For you what I would do is, one day I would jump then I would give it a day or two of just flat work. And then jump again another day.
    05-17-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks, I appreciate your advice.

And your right, I'm not exactly the most dominant rider. And with my recent confidence issues its been worse. However, I'm not afraid of this horse and I will get after him if he messes with me.

Also, I think you misunderstood me. He isn't breaking gait without my permission. (If he did that I'd really be worried about my riding skills) It's that I can walk through that corner with no problem, but if I trot/lope there he driffts sideways into the tree with me pulling his head the other way, putting my weight to turn, and nudging with my outside leg. Guess I'll just have to get after him and make sure he's going, then.
    05-17-2010, 11:07 AM
I just want to subscribe to this thread and post when I'm on my laptop again. This is a classic case of "popping the shoulder." The remedy boils down to needing to learn to control the horse's shoulder.
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    05-17-2010, 12:12 PM
Unfortunately that's my problem. I've never had complete control of Gringo's shoulder. Jester's, sure. Rebel's.....fine. Gringo's....Eh. Not so much. Don't know why that is. Like I said, I'm sure it just boils down to me.
    05-17-2010, 12:20 PM
You should get control of that shoulder but in the mean time I would use a crop or spur or cut a branch off the tree and make sure that he understood that the closer he was to that tree the more uncomfortable things would get. I would apply the crop to the side of his head if I had to to keep him away from the tree. Ideally though you wouldn't jump again until you could control that shoulder.
    05-17-2010, 12:42 PM
Alright, I'm on my laptop here.
Drifting is caused by the rider thinking that the horse will follow the rein aid anywhere - this isn't the case. If you only have control of the head, you don't have control of the horse. You can pull on the left rein all you want, and the horse can pop his shoulder right and go in that direction, and vice versa. To have control of the horse, you must have control of the haunches, ribcage and shoulder - the head can do whatever it wants as long as you have the other three elements; but, as we all know, when the horse is round and supple, the head naturally falls in place - that's why I'm saying don't worry about it.
To gain control of the shoulder, I would recommend lots of lateral work on the flat - you must learn, and teach him, that your leg aid not only can mean "speed up" but also "move away from this" or "pick this up" or "lengthen" or "collect." Some exercises I would recommend are: Turn on the forehand and haunches (true turns around each, not what I like to call "spinning around the middle" where the horse kinda moves around a point, but not really), shoulder-in, haunches in, and bending and counterbending on the straight and on a circle.
Once you have control of the shoulder and haunches, you want to anticipate the drift and correct for it with the leg that he's drifting into, either with a shoulder-in type of cue, or even a slight counterbend.
    05-17-2010, 01:25 PM
shoulder control

Leaking out the shoulder is your horse running through your outside rein. I would teach your horse how to move the shoulders off your outside rein and work both sides.

With your horse walking forward (and you can start on the ground so you can see what is happening) take your rein about half way toward the poll, putting a bend in the horses neck and lift while looking over the opposite shoulder. Do not cross the mane and do not push the neck. If the horse piddles out apply the go forward cue and drive him up into the bridle. Push his energy up and out through the shoulder. Do not push him over.

As soon as the horse takes a step away (forward and about at 2 o'clock angle with left rein or 11 o'clock right rein - straight forward being 12 o'clock) or leans, release him. Work toward one step switching sides every 2-3 correct steps. Shoulder work is hard work on the neck and shoulders and this will help keep him from getting sore. Do not let him bring his nose any farther toward your active rein then the point of his shoulder. If he does you will run the rein toward the poll and about 4" back from the poll, push his head forward with the rein. As soon as the head goes forward go right back to asking for the shoulder. You may have to do this a few times if the horse has been taught to soften too far back.

Ask your horse to soften to the rein before asking for the shoulder and then ask him again after he takes the set and you release him. Always have him finish by following his nose back toward the active rein. Build on that one step until he is consistent then ask for two. When he is consistent with two ask him to soften while moving his shoulders.

When he will move the shoulders consistently and keep his nose no more then 4" to the side you can then use that outside rein to 'block' the outside shoulder from leaking. If you block him with that rein and he runs through it, just go back to the lesson. You want him to respond to that rein without the bend in his neck, but if he does not respond he has not worked the lesson enough.

Hope that makes sense to you and can help you. If you need clarification, I would be happy to do so.
    05-17-2010, 01:35 PM
follow your nose

You could also work on the horse following your active rein.

I would ask the horse to soften and go forward. Pick up on the direct rein and if the horse leaks out the shoulder, I will go to the hip (with rein) and move the hip back behind the shoulders, release the rein and immediately ask the horse to walk off again. If he walks out drifting, I will pick up and move the hip back behind the shoulder again, release and walk out.

When the horse follows his nose, keeping shoulder and hip on the line (on a slack rein), I will ask him to soften, release when he does and change direction then ask him to soften again, release when he does. If he drifts when I ask for the change, I go to the hip and move it behind the shoulder again.

You will be doing a serpentine asking the horse to follow the leading rein and correcting the drift by moving the hip over and behind the shoulder again. You will change direction first on one correct step and then build until the horse will follow his nose and soften on a half circle (about 30' diameter).

You can move both these exercises to the trot when the horse is responsive and light at the walk.
    05-17-2010, 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
Some exercises I would recommend are: Turn on the forehand and haunches (true turns around each, not what I like to call "spinning around the middle" where the horse kinda moves around a point, but not really), shoulder-in, haunches in, and bending and counterbending on the straight and on a circle.
Once you have control of the shoulder and haunches, you want to anticipate the drift and correct for it with the leg that he's drifting into, either with a shoulder-in type of cue, or even a slight counterbend.

Can you explain that in further detail, please? I'm not sure I quite understand how spinning isn't classified as a haunch turn......Or did I just read it wrong? Gringo is a finished reining stalliion but I will admit he is probably advanced past my abilities in his training. especially with those confidence issues I mentioned.

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