GRRRR! MY HORSE..........(rant/cry for help) - Page 2

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GRRRR! MY HORSE..........(rant/cry for help)

This is a discussion on GRRRR! MY HORSE..........(rant/cry for help) within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-12-2010, 01:15 PM
My gut says that your saddle isn't fitting properly. [/QUOTE]

My saddle fits very nicely. Just look at my pics in another thread of mine. What bit do you suggest I use? Or bitting arrangement?
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    04-12-2010, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    

I strongly suggest getting a qualified professional to come and check him over. You want to make sure that his teeth are floated (just like humans they need to have their teeth checked and floated at least once per year) Many people use them for control, rather than finesse - this is incorrect. If you're relying on the curb rein for control, it really isn't surprising that the horse is throwing its head up - a lot of horses will have that reaction to the curb chain. Why are you riding in that bit? Also, imo a flash should never be used with a curb bit. I dislike flashes anyways, but a flash and a curb almost drive me batty.
"whoa" comes from the seat, and NOT the reins...

His teeth are fine, they were very recently done (end of last month). When I want to slow my horse down I use the snaffle rein. Not the curb. I use the curb VERY sparingly. I only use it to ask his head under more if needed. If the flash isnt there to keep the mouth shut, that what DOES it do? I use whoa in the seat as well as the hands
    04-12-2010, 01:22 PM
I have also ridden in this saddle with just a halter and he does fine so it must be the bitting arrangement.
    04-12-2010, 01:31 PM
Please take a breath.. we are all just trying to help you.

The flash was designed to keep the bit altogether quieter in the mouth. It was never supposed to be used as a "keep it shut" mechanism, but unfortunately that seems to be the popular thinking now.

Have you had the saddle checked over by a professional? Can you please link me to your other posts regarding the saddle? It is absolutely impossible to tell if a saddle is fitting correctly over the internet. People can guess, but it comes down to a physical check by a qualified professional.

Regarding a bitting arrangement.. personally I'd pop a dee ring french link in and get a trainer to show me how to ride effectively and correctly, and get the horse schooled better.
    04-12-2010, 01:34 PM
Why don't you try a 3-piece o-ring snaffle, or a french link? My OTTB goes in that much better than he does in a regular snaffle. He doesn't gape his mouth as much (which I'm assuming yours does) and even though he's progressed to chewing on it, he does foam up nicely after a short amount of time. Other than being unstightly though, it really isn't a problem....just annoying.

As for the girthing problems, just slowly tighten the girth. The process I use(d) is: put saddle on, tighten girth, put split boots on, put bridle on, tighten girth again, walk out to mounting block and/or round pen, check girth before mounting, walk/warm up a little bit, check girth final time, tighten if needed before trotting.

When you want to stop, don't pull back on the reins, do more of a squeezing technique with your hands to get him to slow up. On/off pressure from the bit won't send his head sky high, or give him something to lean on in case he wants to try and speed up. Also, there's a good chance he's throwing his head to avoid the bit because the bit you're using is too harsh on his mouth for your a curb, you should never have to exert a huge amount of pressure on the mouth....even the "squeezing" technique I mentioned would be too much.

Also, theres a good chance that your saddle is too wide for your horse. There's not a lot of gullet clearance, and when you sit in the saddle, usually they sink a little bit.

As for the pawing, chewing, dancing, etc while standing still its just something that comes with having any kind of off the track horse. Start teaching him to stand still by rewarding him with movement.
    04-12-2010, 01:41 PM
Very good post, Sam, I wanted to quote this part in particular though:

Originally Posted by justsambam08    

Also, theres a good chance that your saddle is too wide for your horse. There's not a lot of gullet clearance, and when you sit in the saddle, usually they sink a little bit.
Okay, I went searching for your saddle thread, OP. I agree with Sam here... from the photos, it looks like a decent fit side-on, maybe a little cantle-high. The picture with you showing the wither clearance has me a little worried. There isn't much clearance, and I'm concerned that the points of the saddle would be prone to digging into the shoulders. This is only from seeing pictures, I strongly recommend you get a qualified saddle fitter out to check things over. I would not be surprised to find "hot spots" especially under the point.
Have you worked your horse in a clean saddle pad and checked the sweat marks?
    04-12-2010, 02:06 PM
Yes. The sweat marks are even. I can try another bit,too. I like your thinking sam. The sweat marks are even. I can put the med gullet back in to see how he does. He is in a MW right now. It is cantle high because he has a little roach back
    04-12-2010, 02:13 PM
Changing the gullet to something more narrow won't help if the points are too narrow with the MW that's in there now. Again, I strongly suggest getting a qualified saddle fitter out to check it over. I read through that thread and noticed you mentioned that he was being a bit of a brat when you were jumping him too -- may I ask what he was doing?
    04-12-2010, 03:03 PM
When he was jumping he was being a brat because he was really hyper and I was trying to slow him down lol. I don't think there are any saddle fitters in my area.
    04-12-2010, 03:05 PM
I think it is affecting his balance. I cannot turn him while trotting without him going off balance and walking.

I'm going to focus on this part of your original post, as I think other posters have addressed the other issues. My overall impression is that your horse was never truly "reclaimed" from the track. Saddle fit may also be part of the problem, but I think the biggest issue is that your horse really doesn't know how to be a riding horse and is stuck in driving horse mode.

Have you ever truly watched a driving horse in shafts and how they turn? They don't bend their bodies, because they can't - the shafts prevent them. They turn by holding their bodies still and pivoting on their hind ends, crossing over with their front legs. So when you ask your horse to turn as a riding horse should, bending his body and making a gradual, turn, he can't do it. The fact the he comes back to a walk in order to turn tells me he's a smart, nice guy who wants to live to see dinner. His reaction to being unbalanced is to slow down - that's a good thing.

Teaching a horse to bend and balance around a turn is 1.) a job for an experienced rider or one supervised by an instructor and 2.) more complicated than I can explain in a internet post.

Of the problems you mention in your original post, most are attributable to the horse's history on the track and not being reschooled as a riding horse. If you can find someone to help you, even for a short time, that has some experience reschooling OTTSBs, that would be best.


chewing bit, headset, help me, impatient horse

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