Greenie: Hard Mouth, Stiff Body - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-10-2011, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Greenie: Hard Mouth, Stiff Body

I have a little mutt pony named Rascal. He's roughly 4-years-old and green broke. He's never been consistantly worked under saddle until now.

He has a hard mouth and stiff, hard body. It takes an ungodly amount of pressure to make him stop or transition down. When turning, he braces against the bit and resists, trying to go his own way. He drops his shoulder and runs sideways through turns. Even at a walk, he resists the bit.

(Said bit is a simple egg butt snaffle with a thick, smooth mouth peice. Nothing crazy or harmful.)

I'm not sure how to educate a young horse about bit acceptance. Rascal just seems confused. He's a perfectly willing little pony and would probably give me the world if he knew that's what I wanted. Is it normal for a greenie to have this problem? Is it just a lack of understanding? What should I do?
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-10-2011, 10:24 PM
Showing
 
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Do some groundwork with him. Stand by his shoulder, facing his body. Take the rein in your left hand and ask him to move his jaw toward your hip. Since he likely doesn't know what you are asking he will stiffen and resist. That's ok. Ask again. You may get only an inch and that's good. Release a straighten his head. Rub his forehead or any itchy spot, then try again. The goal is that eventually he will bring his nose around to touch your hip which frees up his poll. Once he gets the hang of your little tug and release he'll hold his head there for a few seconds with no rein pressure. Be sure to work his other side. Do this every day and make it part of your pre-flight check, spending 10 min. Before you mount up. You will continue to do this from the saddle but just enough bend that you feel he is doing it willingly. You may find as you ride that he will begin to respond to the closing of the fingers and releasing as you ask him to turn, close and release, close and release.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-10-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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I'll definitely do that.



What about stopping? I bothers me how much it takes to make him stop. I like a good stop on all my horses. Today we worked on it a little. I just pulled back and sat deep until he stopped, then instantly released all pressure. It helped cut a few seconds off our stop, but it still isn't as good as I would like... There was lots of head throwing, mouth gaping arguing going on.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-11-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Shamefully bumping this up.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-11-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes View Post
I'll definitely do that.



What about stopping? I bothers me how much it takes to make him stop. I like a good stop on all my horses. Today we worked on it a little. I just pulled back and sat deep until he stopped, then instantly released all pressure. It helped cut a few seconds off our stop, but it still isn't as good as I would like... There was lots of head throwing, mouth gaping arguing going on.
Have you worked on giving to the bit on the ground? Any in-hand work working on walking on command, trotting on command and whoa on command? If not, this is where you problem is. I would start working on giving to the bit with you standing next to him.

Once he is consistently giving to the bit, will whoa, walk/trot in hand and back on command, then I would start long lining him and make sure the new skills carry over when you are not at his side. Once he is doing all this, then get back on him and work under saddle.

I think you will find a much more relaxed and supple horse.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-11-2011, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Thanks for the reply!

He will walk/trot/whoa/back very nicely in hand. Long lining is a good idea.... That will be put on the agenda. (I want to eventually break him to drive anyway. I might as well go ahead and perfect long lining!)
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