Flat Work Ideas/Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-08-2009, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Flat Work Ideas/Advice

Okay so I've decided to drop jumping till
  • w.t.c FORWARDLY(lately shes been slow and poky)
  • go over canter poles (she can do trot poles fine).
  • be able to pick up the canter when ever I ask, no fuss.
Also she needs to learn how to accept contact on her mouth again, lately shes been yanks hard down on the reins if I collect them up so I was thinking she wanted to strech her back.. well I would give her her head and she would be fine and carry her neck and head at wither level. I cant ride in a show or jump with no rein contact... She only allows me to really collect them when cantering. I dont think its her teeth because there not due till about the end of July.

SO with all that said I need flat work ideas on some stuff I could do to help accomplish this stuff and also getting her to use her hind more.

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-08-2009, 08:20 PM
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TONS of transitions. Lengthening and shortening and each gait will help her become adjustable. Try to keep your rein length at a happy medium. Stay soft and don't give her anything to lean on. Use your body to help steady her. By keeping your reins one length and working through the transitions she should become adjusted to it and not fuss. Good luck!
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-08-2009, 08:24 PM
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I would say start from scratch, do two weeks of the roundpen and two weeks of ground driving and if you see that she's a pro at it then move on.

Have you tried a martingale?
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-08-2009, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I've done my share of starting from scratch. She has everything down pat on ground. Im planning on starting side reins while lungeing soon.

I really dont want to use anything to cover up any problems my horse has riding wise I really want to fix it. And honestly I have no idea what a martingale does lol

I am interested in doing round pen work this summer though any tips or links for that?

Ill deff do A LOT of transition work thanks. I really dont see myself giving her anything to lean on because now that ive let her work with no contact [stupid me] I collect at all shes liek excuse me I want that back. lol Im sure if I keep working with the same length each time she will get use to it like you said. Ill let you know what happens if I go tomorrow.

Thanks for the replys! Anyone else?
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-08-2009, 11:31 PM
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I love transitions to work on getting your horse to move off your leg and respond lightly to your reins to come back down. Work on straight lines off the rail (harder than you think), circles, figure of eights, and serpentines - all things that will work on manuverability. Start big, go small, and back and forth.

To get her to work on contact, side reins are great lunging if you know how to use them properly. Also try using light contact, and driving her into the bit with your legs - try to not punish her with your reins when she tosses her head, instead push her up with your legs. Then work at different rein lengths; go on contact for a few strides, then giver her her head as a reward for tolerating it. Keep going back and forth until she knows that even if you have contact, there will be a break. Also work sometimes with light contact, sometimes stronger contact; but remember that the more contact you have the more leg you need.

I have a few other ideas, but have to get to work so I'll try to post them later.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-09-2009, 06:18 AM
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If you use the martingale correctly it by no means is a "cover up". It can teach your horse where to position his/her head correctly and keeps them from raising it too high or tugging.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-09-2009, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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I've been doing most of what was suggested but maybe not constantly enough? Ill keep working on that!

Im gonna work on the different rein lengths and see if that helps her at all. Thanks :)

Im not really sure how to drive the horse up into the bit... Could you give me some tips on how to do that?

Once I order the side reins im gonna be taking some video's to make sure im doing it correctly :)
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-09-2009, 02:52 PM
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What kind of bit do you use? Have your horse had his teeth done recently? Have the wolf teeth been pulled? All of this can effect how he reacts to rein pressure and stop/slow cues.

What kind of saddle do you ride on? Can you take pictures of it on him without any pad, lightly girthed up? Take a picture from the side, from the rear (stand on a stool), and from the front (so we can see his WHOLE shoulder, not just a close up of the withers). What kind of saddle pad(s) do you use? Take the same afore mentioned pictures with your pad(s). Saddle fit and pad type/fit can effect the way he moves and his forward "energy".

Don't forget to break up arena work with some trails or some other "fun" things. You don't want him to get sour or bored.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-09-2009, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wolf teeth were pulled and teeth were just done last summer.. so there due probably sometime in july or august.

I ride in a Wintec 500 AP with a medium gullet. I use a all purpose pad and it has leather underneath where the withers are (just that area). And I use a foam lifter pad. I basically just so that.. I guess out of habit really she use to have a bad fitting saddle so I always used one now that I switched i guess its a habit.

I will deff take pictures tomorrow! Ill take some girth and ungirthed, then ill take some with just the saddle and pad, then some with saddle, saddle pad, and lift pad. Ill make a new post for that tomorrow.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-09-2009, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Equestriun View Post
If you use the martingale correctly it by no means is a "cover up". It can teach your horse where to position his/her head correctly and keeps them from raising it too high or tugging.
Good riding and keeping a correct contact do the exact same thing, and martingales are illegal in many show rings, can get caught on things and don't know when to release if the horse is about to flip over. Three pros for riding without gadgets.

I agree with doing a lot of transitions, and I disagree with what many people have said about fixing your contact issues. Your horse doesn't know how to keep a contact, meaning you have to teach her. This is not accomplished by pulling, throwing the contact away, etc. It is accomplished by sitting in your center and not allowing her to pull you out of it and staying steady no matter what. You need to keep your hand and forearms soft and feeling never pulling and your upper arm needs to stay a part of your upper body, meaning that it is "attached" and doesn't move anywhere your body doesn't. From there, rest your hands on the withers so all temptation to pull is completely gone and adjust your reins so they are just barely taught, not tight and never looping. Then ride the horse in a good active rhythm. Don't pump or push with the body and don't pull with the hands. Leg means go, end of story. A light tap with a dressage whip should be all you need to enforce this. It is preferable to use a whip that is long enough so you don't have to disrupt the contact that you are trying to create by letting go of the reins to tap behind the leg. And unless you are handy with spurs and can stay in your center without moving while using them they are going to cause more harm than good.
Once you get the horse forward in a correct active rhythm then she should begin to stretch into the contact on the conditions that you never pull, don't allow her to pull your body out of center or the reins from your hands and keep her in her active rhythm no matter what gait or how fast or slow you go. In your lengthen and shorten stride the rhythm of the horse should be no different. When you are in trot there is one rhythm that can have a metronome fit to it and you can shorten and lengthen the stride, same in canter, same in the walk. Having an active marching walk is so often overlooked. This is achieved by you never pulling and riding to the contact and will develop her stretch to the contact.

Good luck!
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