German Martingale - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 37 Old 09-26-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I know this may sound bad, but he really isn't all that unbalanced. It just paints a terrible picture when he's flying around a dressage ring, his head in the air like he's howling to the moon...And when I say "Not all that unbalanced", I mean that he does have SOME issues that are a linked to his head being giraffe-like.

I'm hoping, if I build back his upper neck muscles it'll come easier and his fugly awkward neck will go away to be replaced by a nicely toned, new, actually horse-looking neck....Lol. We're just working towards the finish, and I'll take all of this advice to heart and see what works.

EDIT - That sounded so vain, like I'm only doing it for looks...Which I assure you I'm not

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #22 of 37 Old 09-26-2011, 11:49 PM
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Take heart Sorrel, look at this before and after

Well before and a work in progress
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post #23 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 12:24 AM
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Dressage is a set of building blocks where you start with the most basic and work your way up. I'm not opposed to a skilled person using certain training aids on certain horses in certain instances like some "anti training aid people" are. But if your horse is falling apart without the martingale, my guess is he's not going as properly as you think he is. There is a building block missing from your foundation.

From the sound of your posts I think you're trying to ride the front end of the horse instead of the back end. For a horse to be balanced, collected, muscled, on the bit, etc, it's all about the horse's back end. See-sawing is NEVER correct in dressage. In fact, I don't even worry about my horse's headset. I work the whole horse and somehow the 'frame' just comes together. If your horse is head bobbing my guess is that with the german he's probably avoiding the bit (giving to pressure, he has no choice, but more avoiding rather then accepting) and probably a little on the forehand (does he support himself with your hands instead of having self carriage?). When you take the german off I have a feeling he's avoiding, just by going up with his head this time. Our goal is to have a horse with self carriage, who can keep going correctly even if you let go. I'd probably work a bit without the german for a while and concentrate more on his lateral work.
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post #24 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
More gimmicks and devices are not the answer. You need to get some help from someone that is successful and can see your horse and how you are riding him.

You should only ask for a few strides at a time and make sure you give a good release.
I agree.

In future I think you may have learnt that it's not best too use equipment to achieve what you want So many times when my horse is being rather 'giraffe' like I've wanted to put a piece of equipment on him and say 'Problem solved'. But I continued working with him and now he has a lovely, soft movement which looks much nicer than any piece of equipment could make him look.

Stay patient and keep trying, I'm sure you'll get it in the end!!

Am I thinking of something else? Or can see-sawing have a 'nut-cracker' effect?

Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,
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post #25 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ChingazMyBoy View Post

Am I thinking of something else? Or can see-sawing have a 'nut-cracker' effect?
Hmm I think you're thinking of something else. Single jointed bits have a nut cracker effect when pulled back evenly. Maybe you're think of that?

See sawing instead pulls the bit side to side jerking along the horse's mouth from one side to the other. Even small light amounts of it makes the bit rub across the tongue,bars and corners of the mouth.

GH - I love the change in that horse he looks wonderful.
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post #26 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 08:01 AM
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For starters, he may be bopping his head because he's dropping his inside shoulder from too much contact on the inside rein. In english riding, your outside rein is always on the horse(contact, not lying there), used like a sponge. Your inside rein, when teaching the horse to come round is a give and take movement in time with the inside hind leg. When it comes under, use the inside rein then release. When its released, use your outside rein, squeeze the water out of the sponge, then when you take your inside rein, let the water back in but keep the contact always. Is he quite a cheeky boy? How long has he worked in an outline like this for? May be a lack of muscles, if its cheeky, every time he raises his head reprimand him with a pony club kick, don't pull the reins. Dressage riders goals are to have contact with the reins, but using legs and seat to control the horse and to move away from the hands. Try and soften him up, what bit do you have in? If he's being stubborn, try a narrower bit. And legs, legs and more legs! You'll have legs of steel in no time, hope this helped!
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post #27 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Duffy,

Future reference, the only bit I can show him english in for HS Equestrian Team is a "Smooth snaffle" so I have him in a D ring.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #28 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 10:11 AM
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I would leave the martingale to gather dust. Like others said, it takes muscle, it takes the rider learning how to ride the horse with proper contact and it takes patience. Have you taken a lesson? If that's not possible, video your riding and ask for a critique. You will learn tons.

Remember, it's not going to happen overnight. Expect to see some kind of result in about three months. It's like expecting to run five miles when all you have been doing is sitting on the couch. Your horse has to work up to it. He will get there but I would ditch the martingale. If you have side reins, try them. If not, have someone show you how to use them. It will really confuse your horse in the beginning but they really help with building muscle and balance.

Also, it's not just about just buildng muscle in his neck. It's about building muscle all over - topline, abs..... This is going to allow him to come underneath himself which is really what you are looking for. Not just where his head is. He has to have the proper muscling to be able to carry himself in a completely different way.
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post #29 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 10:23 AM
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Also, you have to remember. What you are teaching your horse now will be his education for life. You have your duty to teach him correctly, or get help to train him properly. I don't want to sound awful, but if for what ever reason you had to sell him, you want anybody to be able to ride him with the same aids.

D ring snaffles are best I've found. Have you made sure its the right length and width for him?
Good luck :)
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post #30 of 37 Old 09-27-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DuffyDuck View Post
What you are teaching your horse now will be his education for life.
Isnt the horse 18?
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