Hard in the mouth? Or just an attitude?

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Hard in the mouth? Or just an attitude?

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  • Reasons for horses hard mouth
  • Riding "hard in the mouth"

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    03-10-2008, 11:09 AM
Hard in the mouth? Or just an attitude?

Lately I've noticed that Sonny has been a little less responsive to me telling him to do stuff when ride. Mainly stopping (which is the worst thing for me haha), but on turning and getting back to the wall also.

I've been working on collection with him, but I haven't been harsh on his mouth as to make him that way....at least I don't think I've been. I'll milk his reins (gently moving on then the other) and he'll collect himself...then I'll give him a loose rein, but the second he looses the collection, I milk the reins again.

Yesterday during lessons we were working on transitions. Going from a walk, to a sit trot, to a canter, then to a post trot, then to a sit trot, then to a stop. All went alright, but the minute I asked for a canter, Sonny sped up into an extended trot (he didn't canter) and as I tried to slow him down he'd extend his head and wouldn't slow down. I had to turn him in two really tight circles, then lead him into a wall for him to stop (we didn't hit the wall, but he sure came close).

The reason though I think it's an attitude is that he's TOTALLY sensitive when I ask him to back up or to leg yield. I'll just put a little pressure and he'll side-step or back up.

I think he's just being a brat....but what do you all think?
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    03-10-2008, 11:14 AM
Are you riding from your seat or your hands??
    03-10-2008, 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Are you riding from your seat or your hands??
controling him mostly with my seat, but use my hands when he doesn't listen after I ask him twice. I've been trying to make him into a fairly good dressage horse, so I've been working alot on seat work
    03-10-2008, 11:40 AM
Stopping: you want to make sure you give him a warning before you ask for a downwards transition; if you're going from a walk to a halt, sit taller, and rock your pelvis backwards, kind of deepen your seat and think "whoa" with your body, then you can actually ask him to whoa. The key thing that most people forget is to not die into a halt - you want to make it snappy, from a brisk walk/trot/canter to a halt, not a kind of walk into a kind of halt. Practise this a lot going from a trot to walk - trot forwards, sit a few strides before asking for the transition to a walk, then ask him to walk, and as soon as he walks, make him walk forwards, don't just let him mosey along. This will help with your walk-halt transition as well. You want Sonny to work off his hindquarter (which I realize you're woking on) and that will really help.
Also, make sure you're not giving him something to pull against - check and give (take and release) when he gets heavy on your hand, never ever let him lean against you. If he doesn't respond to your check-and give after a few of those, stop him and back him until he lightens up off your hand.

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