Going through a rough phase in our training...

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Going through a rough phase in our training...

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    05-26-2012, 12:09 AM
Green Broke
Going through a rough phase in our training...

First off I need to start off with saying that ollie is really trying the best he can and could have for sure thrown me today and last week with what we are working on.

We have started really working on contact and keeping it consistent not up down all over the place the contact for a couple strides we are asking from walk and halt then trot and right now we have walk down, lots of flexing both ways before we really start working then inside felxion frOm inside leg to outside rein and keeping my reins even and no slack in them he tosses and is unsure at first and then really works into it and does very well. Change of resin gets fussy and then works well into the new inside rein.

Suggestions? Sadly I have no video :(
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    05-26-2012, 12:16 AM
So what do you do specifically, and how does he react.

You need to be very clear here, as we aren't seeing a video nor are we there and this concept is new to him.
    05-26-2012, 12:32 AM
Green Broke
I'm squeezing my side leg every other stride (keeping it relaxed when he is where he should be) my side rein is held with contact and when he breaths an relaxes into it there's no tightness in the reins but a aft contact (no looping in the reins) he does best at the walk I can halt him and he holds it, getting lots of praise and reassurance through my voice and when halted I give him oats and he's really starting to get it, it's clicking, the light bulb is starting stay in longer an we made two complete relaxed forward and in the bit 20 meter circles both ways :) in so pleased

So I guess in the trot is where I need help he holds himself collect, on the bit with relaxed contact up into trot but then 2-3 strides in trot he's bracing and pulling and no going as forward as he needs... Throwing his head up so high he is almost going up into the sart of a rear, I don't want to get into a fight with him, a use a lot of verbal commands or just talk him through it, our transitions are not rushed but when he stars throwing his head and bracing I sit deep and halt all while keeping a steady contact through my reins and islnisde leg to outside rein once he is halted I stop and breath and flex him and it pretty much re sets him mentally and I ask for walk an he's there right where I need him and he's relaxed and blowing and chewing again. So I can't seem to get him to even relaxe once in the trot I will go around and round asking and talking to him and I feel it's almost there and then he just braces harder at the pint of almost relaxing to being in the bit ( have had a few strides here and there but it has not clicked in his head yet) so once he's just racing around I halt and flex and start over...what am I doing wrong?
    05-26-2012, 01:01 AM
Hmm.. if he pulls at the trot, I would put him into some figures. I think maybe he's trying to tell you something. I'd give him more rein but push him forward into that bridle. The figures will keep him from spiraling out of control.

I think you need to go back to walk.. really establish a nice forward put together walk.. with him being nice and supple.

Then work on transitions from walk to trot.

Sky was having similar problems. The transitions really made him work on remaining nice and loose but still using his back muscles.

You don't want to overdue it, as I'm sure you know.

But if the transition from walk--> trot wasn't nice a fluid, like if he braced or pulled I would bring him back to walk and put him together again.. ask again. He eventually stayed together once he realized that's what I wanted.

Same goes for trot to walk.
    05-26-2012, 01:10 AM
What kind of bit are you using? Is it the same bit you always use?
    05-26-2012, 01:34 AM
Green Broke
Yes the bit is the same, we now have a figure eight nose band on him simply to keep him from gaping his mouth wide open to evade the bit.

Sky, I have been trying this (hey he isn't bulging or falling in anymore! Who one thing down! Haha) As for the upward transition into trot he holds it into trot and then its the few strides after that he looses it. I don't want to make his back sore from all the good walk work....we seem to have that really down WHOO even when I halt from trot (again not wanting to fight him with my hands but ride from my seat and not let him get away with rude behavior cause he's trying to evade the bit and contact) he comes back relaxed, on the bit blowing and chewing as soon as I ask him to walk forward from halting....To me that seems like a pretty big break through, I was only starting to have that last week But he would get fussy and toss his head.
    05-26-2012, 01:55 AM
When you are first training a horse for something, you need to exaggerate the reward/release. If you horse is not accustomed to you holding his face, then, he might not understand that moving forward, ON THE BIT, is the right answer. If he is looking for a greater release of the reins, he might be getting mad when he doesn't get it. That being said, if you are indeed, riding with soft hands when he is where you want him to be, there is a good chance he is just going to have to 'get over it'. I asked about the bit, because, you want to make sure he can handle the contact you are asking for. Can you back the bit down (safely)? I don't think that is really the problem (although worth considering), because I would imagine him being behind the bit, if he was trying to avoid the bit.

I'm thinking the problem is your 'timing' of softening your hands as a reward. It's just not fast enough...he tries, then, gets mad, when he feels like, "I just can't get the right answer!"

When he tosses his head, make it unpleasant for him...don't give your hands with his head toss (ie, he is going to hit himself in the mouth...YOU DON'T hit his mouth (ever), and, put on your leg. When he moves forward nicely, soften your aids.

I know you said you don't want to get in a 'fight' with him, but, you also need to be very careful that you don't do something that he might perceive as a reward (stopping), when he misbehaves. If you stop him every time he acts up, he will most likely continue acting up. That is, unless he doesn't like to stop. (My horse likes to stop. She is lazy.) I would choose something else to do...perhaps an intense bending exercise...ask for his nose towards the inside, and move forward, forward, forward, until he gives his nose, breaks at the poll, then, ask him to trot a nice trot with contact on a twenty meter circle. Moving forward on a twenty meter circle is then the EASY work. If he gives you even a quarter to half a circle, walk/stop/reward. Then, move it up to half a circle, then full, and so on. But, if he acts nasty, I would make him work....HARD!!! Don't stop!

Also, have you asked for too much, too fast? Every trainer makes this mistake at sometime. Otherwise, how would you learn what too much is? If your horse is getting nasty, perhaps you are asking for too much, too fast? Perhaps during your next ride, you could work on something he is already good at (give him the opportunity for less 'pressure', and more rewards.

If you don't feel confident tackling his misbehavior, get help from a trainer ASAP. Even if you don't ride with a trainer normally, I'm sure you could ask around if someone might be able to help you through a rough patch. I know it is more expensive, but, you already put so much time and money into your horse, you don't want to have a really bad habit like rearing, bucking, etc, to begin. A stitch in time, right?
    05-26-2012, 02:13 AM
Green Broke
Thank you very much, I am doing just that, the holding his nose to the inside..hes got it in the walk and straightens out on a correct contact its the going into to trot and having his nose to the inside that he thinks the world will come to an end.

When I halt him in order to not get in a fight that's when I just flex him side from side till he his soft and start over again, my approach is to not make a huge fuss when he makes a huge fuss and then flex both sides and walk on like it didn't happen.

Little back ground:
I pulled him out from training with my last trainer, a very young H/J who loved to just jump him...he just turned six and I am not about to have him get injured or jump sour, he was also having some very concerning health issues with her....so now its almost been three months, he's much happier and healthier here at home, at my aunts, she rides higher level dressage and is a great person to learn from, she is now helping me...we started this just last week. He had no training of going correct with the past trainer...just thrown in front of jumps week after week and now he's on just trails nad flat work 3-4 days a week and on 24/7 very large paddock and run in shed...much better set up for him as he is young and growing (Dutch/TB)

ME: he is my first correctly built smart with a wonderful brain young horse. I have had a few other young horses, sold my last cause she wasn't able to go the level I someday want to be at and has high maintenance (shoes, legs ect) as well as I didn't have a good trainer then either. So I feel like I ave a great horse an just with time and Patience with aunts help we will do very well.

Hope that helps, Oh Ollie is also in a 2 piece loose ring snaffle in case that helps too
    05-26-2012, 02:35 AM
Originally Posted by Klassic Superstar    

When I halt him in order to not get in a fight that's when I just flex him side from side till he his soft and start over again, my approach is to not make a huge fuss when he makes a huge fuss and then flex both sides and walk on like it didn't happen.
I think you are doing mostly the right things, from the sounds of it. It is a hard line to walk (and also, difficult to interpret from text and no video), being a 'kind' rider in order to make a successful and HAPPY horse, and, balancing the role of 'herd leader'.

I like the oats as a reward, that will certainly keep him happy. Horses ARE food motivated, after all! But, it sounds like you either need to break down what you are asking your horse into smaller steps, so that you have greater opportunity for reward, and, be prepared to be firm when he misbehaves.

Just because he came with baggage, and a bad home, it doesn't mean he can be nasty towards you.

It's like parenting. You can't tell your kids YES all the time. You will have to tell them no, sometimes. If you kid doesn't cry/fight what you are doing sometime, then, you are letting him get away with everything. There will be times when your horse fights you (tossing head, etc.). I know you don't want to be 'mean'. But, you need to make him uncomfortable if he does this towards YOU.

I understand what you are trying to accomplish with the stopping/bending exercise, but, is your horse enjoying it to much? I realize you aren't stopping and rubbing him and giving him oats, but, if he is relaxing, then, he is probably enjoying it to some degree. At least, it is more enjoyable than working on the bit. And, if he is misbehaving, and then you do something enjoyable with him...that isn't going to make the misbehavior go away.

So, you need to find something LESS enjoyable to do with him, that will move him in the right direction. Even if that is MORE contact, more leg.

I'm anxious to hear how you get through this. I'm sure you will. And, it would be great to see video! I'm sure you have a friend with a smartphone (or use yours) to do a quick video
Klassic Superstar likes this.
    05-26-2012, 02:36 AM
Oh, and, perhaps I would try an eggbutt snaffle, if you have one? But, I don't think it would change the story...I just prefer it

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