Green broke mare in training...? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-02-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Green broke mare in training...?

I have a 4 year old appendix mare, who is very willing to work! However, we have hit some rough patches in the training process. She doesn't like to bend with the corners, and she doesn't like to canter. I know these are a lot of problems, but I'm posting them here because I have seen quite a few of well-educated people that I think could help me. When we are in the barn, she paws at the concrete and I want to know a proper way to teach her to stop. Also I would like for some natural horsemanship techniques under saddle and on the ground, and not just for the problems listed above! Thank you everyone in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-02-2012, 11:35 PM
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If you've ruled out pain, she may not like cantering because she feels unbalanced and she doesn't know how to carry you properly. Lunging on the correct lead, will help her with this.

As for bending.. it can get pretty complicated to explain. But basically, you want her to learn that she can "break" (please not literally..) her body into sections and work them independently. That her body doesn't have to follow her eyes in a stiff straight line, and she can move those feet to track inside rather than straight on.

Lateral work on the ground and under saddle (at the walk) will help, as will teaching her to bend her neck.

I've never dealt with pawing but I would think that if she's doing something you don't like, you make the wrong decision, pawing, harder and the right choice easier.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-03-2012, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yes, pain has been ruled out. I use a neck stretcher on the lunge ling (and under saddle) and luckily she get's the correct lead :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-03-2012, 12:49 AM
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How long has your mare been working under saddle? I'm just asking because a lot of times when a horse doesn't like to canter, especially not for very long, it's because they haven't built up the muscle tone or the stamina to do it. It's one think to canter around in turnout without a rider or any encumbrances, but with a rider and gear a horse has to learn to carry themselves correctly and develop the muscle tone to do so.

Think of athletes. It takes a long time for them to build up to great levels. A gymnast cant just start vaulting after a few weeks, they have to develop balance, strength and skill. Many horses take well over a year to carry out a correct, balanced canter for any length of time. Cinny has been under saddle a little over a year and we are still working on cantering correctly. It's a patience thing, especially when you want your horse to be correct and balanced.

The same thing goes with the bending, it's all about muscle conditioning and balance. Do you have a trainer working with you? It would be a really big help if you did. If not, try to cut you and your horse both some slack. Take a deep breath, be open to learning and give yourselves time to develop.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-03-2012, 12:57 AM
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I agree with sky, another way to get her to bend is to make sure she understands on the ground to move away from pressure. An easy way to work on this is to stand at her side with a halter and lead rope on and at first gently touch her where your heel would normally touch her. If she doesn't move over easily then gradually increase your pressure never stopping. The way I look at it is air, hair, skin, muscle and bone. If you press hard enough to be considered bone I guarantee you when she moves and you take the pressure off and then ask again and she may move when you get to muscle. Does that make since? You always want to be as light as you want her to be eventually, then slowy increase the pressure until she bends and moves her body away from it. She will get to where you just hold your hand next to her body (air) and she automatically moves. This will teach her what you are asking and she will move her body off you leg.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-03-2012, 01:08 AM
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As far as cantering goes I reccomend just cantering, don't worry about anything but keeping her going. Don't worry about her speeding up and let her go where she wants to go in the arena (obviously a little steering so your not in a corner or headed for the wall lol) but let her canter and figure it out herself, let her learn how to balance herself with you and turn. Don't even bother about leads just keep her cantering. I suggest being in an arena without anyone else or any objects in it. But just let her canter, once you have done it for awhile and she seems to be getting comfortable start barely steering her and using your leg when you do, try to keep her in one half of the arena then go to the other but that's it nothing more. End that lesson on a good note and bring her back to the trot/walk and cool her down. I suggest doing this for awhile depending on how she's coming along until she goes into the canter easily and enjoys it. Once that has occurred begin working with her on moving he hips etc to pick up her correct leads ALWAyS not just by luck,etc. I felt like I was rambling so sorry if that made little since :)
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canter troubles , mare , pawing the ground , problems , young

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