09-27-2011, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by upnover
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.