Giraffe neck and scraping the clouds - Page 2

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Giraffe neck and scraping the clouds

This is a discussion on Giraffe neck and scraping the clouds within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        10-28-2010, 04:37 PM
    I had a feeling I was working against nature, but I will admit that I'm really disappointed. She is such a hallow mover that it's not exactly a comfortable ride.

    There have been short moments when she will lower her head at the trot and round her back and I can see how nicely that feels, but those moments are so few and far between they may have just been flukes.

    Should I just give up on her ever being more round and collected and let her shoot that head up all she wants? It's to the point where I don't really feel like riding her anymore because it's like trying to ride a pogostick on crack.
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        10-28-2010, 05:04 PM
    Shes 1/2 saddlebred isn't she? I think that half is going to make it hard for her to want to lower that head and drive from behind. Lots of trot-canter-trot transitions should help her balance. Letting her find her rhythm should help with the comfort of her trot. It may sound crazy but I have used those rhythm beads to help a horse find a good cadence before. It may just help her a bit.

    As far as the pogostick goes, that's more to do with her build than it is her hyperactivity. I think you could find a way to optimize her potential. Try to get her to collect a bit more each time you ride. Once she is collected and driving, it should be much more comfortable.

    Do you ride her english or western? Have you considered saddleseat?
        10-28-2010, 06:02 PM
    I would ride the heck out of her until she is tired and relaxed (as un-fun as that would be for you). She should drop her head at least slightly to a comfortable spot for her once she realizes that she's going to be working for a while at a steady pace. As soon as she lets her head down, even an inch, make sure you reward it vocally and/or if you are riding with contact drop your contact slightly so she feels that having her head there is comfortable. Try for 2 or 3 of these drops in a session, then gradually increase what you expect.

    Also try 'rocking' the reins (not see-sawing) until she lets her head down to avoid the bit, then release instantly.

    Good luck, you have such a pretty girl!!!
        10-28-2010, 06:06 PM
    Originally Posted by BrewCrew    
    Also try 'rocking' the reins (not see-sawing) until she lets her head down to avoid the bit, then release instantly.
    Isn't rewarding her by avoiding the bit opposite of what you want? :/
        10-28-2010, 06:54 PM
    Super Moderator
    Some good advice here. My friend has a NSH (half sdlbd and half arab) who also runs with her nose in the air and hollowed out. It is such a rough ride, and harder than heck to find a saddle taht fits a hoollowed out back like that.

    I agree ; let her trot out freely (you post the trot or 2pt it) for a good long time without asking anything from the bit. In fact , push her even faster than she wants to go for short periods of time. Like a nudge to just get her to speed you, then let her coast down to her natural rythm but trot, trot trot! After she has slowed down you start to take up some contact and again ask her to go faster. If she raises her head just maintain soft contact and lightly tickle the inside rein to invite her to drop her nose, If she does, then give a HUGE release and let her come to a stop if she wishes. Walk on a long rein with pats, and start up again. You let her trot her way first, then it's slowly uptake contact and ask for a "give", you reward, relax and start agian. As you go along the "she trots her way" become shorter and the "here's some contact" gets longer. If you get something like 5 good gives, you are done for the day. Don't worry, she will remember .
    Also, do you know how to "show her the way to the ground"? It's a cowboy thing that they teach the horse to reach down to the ground while they are mounted at a standstill. You kind of very gently take up minute contact and keep your hands out to the sides, like you are driving a wheelbarrow, and then vibrate one rein and then the other and if the horse reacts , you give your hands forward to any reaction. As you go allong the reaction that you want is for the horse to reach downward and outward, and when she does you follow her. The better you get at this, the better able you will be at giving downward to follow her without losing contact. Initially, you might have to give big, and have aloop in the rein , and might have to start from the beginnnig over and over. I also say, "Down!" when I do this. This is an excellent skill to teach a horse becasue when their head is downward they have a physical reaction of relaxation. IT's hardwired in.
    YOu can practice showing her the way to the ground while standing or if she reacts by walking off, just ignore it and stay focussed on her reaching forward and downward and only then does she get the reward of release.

    Good luck.
        10-28-2010, 07:34 PM
    Originally Posted by Snookeys    
    Isn't rewarding her by avoiding the bit opposite of what you want? :/
    True. ;) I'm only saying this is what I would try. Also, there are only so many things you can teach at a time.
        10-28-2010, 08:25 PM
    Super Moderator
    You are not rewarding her for avoiding the bit. You are rewarding her for "giving to the bit". If she lowers her head and bends a little at the poll/jaw, she has given to the bit. LIke bowing to it. So, that is what you reward.
        10-28-2010, 09:00 PM
    What breed of horse is she?
    She looks like she might be part walking horse, saddlebred, based on her confirmation and it's true based on your photos there probably isnt much you can do to get her head down she's just not built that way....but she has beautiful markings.
        10-28-2010, 09:21 PM
    Tinyliny, I will try that!

    BrewCrew, I have tried rocking the reins a little as this is what the trainer at the barn also suggested, and she will drop her head for a very short second, but then it's right back up. She will not hold it for anything. I don't want to be rocking in her mouth the whole ride, she'll just get frustrated. So I've stopped doing that.

    Appywalker, when I bought her from the auction they said she was a trakehner.....yeah, no. She is probably a saddlebred cross. That's what everyone who sees her says.

    Corino, I ride english. I grew up riding saddleseat though and have considered doing that with her. I'm really wanting to get more into dressage though and I have a feeling she will never be able to do that with me no matter how much training she has. I'm going to be fighting with her body to make it come anywhere near being collected for dressage.
        10-29-2010, 07:48 AM
    Even she can do basic dressage. If you find a good dressage instructor who is willing to work with you and the horse (and not just teach what she always teaches) I am guessing you can get her using herself the best she can.

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