Getting the "long and low" frame????? - Page 2

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Getting the "long and low" frame?????

This is a discussion on Getting the "long and low" frame????? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    01-28-2008, 01:25 AM
Green Broke
Ooh this is a good post! Good info.

Just wanted to say hello Bucky! I'm from Oregon too I don't know where williams is though
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    01-28-2008, 08:59 PM
This is good stuff and, JustDressageIt, you're awesome! Thanx! I will be working alot on suppling, like you said, and alot of transitions to get him strengthened. I think the trot poles will help with conditioning and stretching too. I'm sure I will have more questions and concerns as we move along. I can't do much right now.........lots of snow, ice and mud! Expecting more snow in the next couple days too! It's very frustrating to have all these ideas in my head of things to work on and be bound by weather. I'm not fortunate enough to have an indoor arena to work in That's ok, I will have alot of time this spring and summer!

Free Spirit, nice to meet you! Williams is in Southern Oregon, south west of Grants Pass on Hwy 238.
    01-28-2008, 10:11 PM
Awe you're too sweet!!
Haha I can't count the number of times I've been in your position, teaching a horse how to get into a frame... it's frusterating but when you get it.. SO rewarding!
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions!
    01-28-2008, 11:05 PM
Green Broke
Oh sweet! I kinda know where that is lol
    02-01-2008, 02:10 PM
I agree with a lot of what's being said....

But here's another tip that my dressage instructor has taught me to use on my event horse that likes to go long and low and then pop up like a dinosaur....

Half halts work wonders....

But also, I ask for the correct bend and a low frame by keeping my outside rein as support (my elbow at my side) and the rein firm. I give with my inside hand, where I manicure my inside hand (where the nails are facing up or my thumb is putting into the circle) and I push with my inside leg to move my horse out and into the outside rein... To create more bend, I bring my inside hand out more and open the rein to encourage him to bend, flex, and soften. I over-exaggerate for training purposes.

However, if I watch him closely and see that he's going to pop out of his frame, I either half halt or ask for a counter bend around the circle... This is where the hands are opposite. My outside hand is now acting as my inside hand was, and my inside hand is now offering the support of the rein, and I push with my outside leg to create my flexion, when he gives - I change the bend back to that of the circle.

My horse is going softer and more beautifully now (we still need help with our transitions as you put leg on and his head still occasionally pops up in protest, but he's coming along).

I have also have a VERY high headed ottb gelding - I can get him extremely soft and low at the walk, but at the trot, his head is in my face he carries it so high. I used these exercises with him and he started to soften and relax his neck and jaw effectively and started to actually work with his poll at his withers. YAY! ;)

Of course, I always reward my horses with kind words and an inside pat (don't ever throw away your supportive outside rein because you want your horse to learn that it's there and to fill it up). I ride quietly,s oftly, and consistently and although with different horses it takes longer to achieve the long and low frame consistenly, it usually works well for all horses.

I do not ever reprimand or grow frustrated with a horse because of a high head, I just quietly ask for the softened frame and reward when I get it. I never pull on a horse's mouth, because you want them to learn to seek the bit (and who is going to want to seek something that jabs or hurts them in their mouth).

A lot of times (like my Thoroughbred), a horse will travel in a short and choppy frame either because of discomfort (sore muscles, back out of alignment, bad saddle fit, nerves, etc)... A horse won't move into a flowing, forward stride without impulsion and a soft, swigning back....

Did anything I write make any sense to anyone but myself? Lol

Didn't mean for it get so long.
    02-01-2008, 04:19 PM
It all makes perfect sense! I am just now beginning to feel what I've been taught about the outside rein as a support. It didn't make much sense when I had people telling me what I should be doing and feeling, but just recently the light bulb came on! :o Hopefully, now that I have that I can be a more effective rider with Buck and train him accordingly. I feel so bad for the horses that have had to deal with me learning as I teach them. I think Buck will have it the easiest because I think I'm finally getting some of this! I have alot of head knowledge, but translating it to my legs, seat, and hands is proving to be a challenge, but very rewarding! Thank you Painted 1 for your post, it is very helpful!
    02-01-2008, 04:43 PM
I've had the same issue with a horse I've been riding (she's been trail ridden all her life, so basics of movement were pretty foreign to her). You've danced around this idea already, but I just wanted to add to it:

Get the impulsion and forward movement first, and then work on the headset. You're right, you do need to build up those muscles first, but start with the hind end and back. I did some exercises with this mare and after a while she started bringing her down naturally.

I saw a clinic at Equine Affaire with top dressage trainer Pam Goodrich in which she was using transitions to improve impulsion. She was using immediate walk-trot-walk and walk-canter-walk transitions (as soon as the horse does a few good strides of one gait, transition to the next for just a few good strides, so on and so forth). I tried it and it was incredibly effective as it encouraged her to stretch under with her back legs, round through her back and neck, and ultimately bring her head down and nose in.

I wrote two more detailed blog posts about this, so I'll just give you the links and not rehash the whole thing here.

Using impulsion to encourage natural headset:

The transitions exercise to improve impulsion:
    02-01-2008, 05:40 PM
So, these exercises you speak of are the walk-trot-walk, and walk-canter-walk transitions that are described in the second link? I can do that! I have heard countless trainers say so much about transitions for their strengthening benefits as well as suppling them horizontally. Thanks for the info, Regardinghorses, it is most helpful!
    02-02-2008, 10:07 AM
Yep! Those exercises amaze me because they are so simple to perform and have such a profound effect. Happy riding!

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