Help With Giving to Bit Pressure - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-22-2011, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
I really - really - really - dislike how often the one rein stop is thrown out there as a fix all.

You and me both.

It is like saying ...throw on draw reins to get the head down. I realize thay are not the same but too many people rather put a band aid over a cut instead of finding out how the cut got there in the first place and fixing that.

To the OP...the holes in your horse were created by the person that used the twisted snaffle as a short cut instead of taking the slower but more correct way of teaching each thing to the horse and waiting until the horse understood each training step before progressing to the next thing.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-22-2011, 03:49 PM
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You need to address the halt on the ground... lunging in side reins DOES help the horse to carry themselves better.. but if you don't know what you're doing, please don't....! It can be disastrous!

The horse starts out "giving" to the bit by releasing the jaw.. which you do to get the bridle on by sticking a finger in the corner of the mouth. Teach the horse to release that jaw. Then, teach her that she needs to release that jaw when there is pressure from the bit.. even a vibration. You do this on the ground also. Then you try it on her back.

Half halts are very helpful. They don't have to be applied hard at all. Just a little quick take then give of the reins (like you're gently squeezing a stress ball) and put her on some circles, some serepentines, some figure eights.

And try not to get frustrated as it transfers easily to the horse.

I hate the one rein stop.. it's so rude to the horse's mouth and it's like walking across a log over a huge ravine instead of using the bridge that was built to be walked over!

Teach the horse to STOP.. instead or MAKING the horse stop by pulling them into a tight circle!

Dropping all your weight into your seat makes it harder for the horse to open and close (move..) his shoulder... which makes it harder for the horse to walk. Which eventually the horse will start thinking "huh.. why does it feel like I am walking through molasses..?" Paired with the word "ho" or "woah" (that you have taught on the ground!) and the horse will stop.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-22-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
I really - really - really - dislike how often the one rein stop is thrown out there as a fix all.

If the horse is not responding to a bit to stop, they are not going to one rein stop. If they are not giving to pressure from both reins, they are not going to yield to one rein.

Lope the horse and ask for whoa. If you don't get the whoa, lope some more. It may take several sessions but the horse will learn that whoa is rest.

I didn't throw it out there as a if you do the one rein stop all will be fine and dandy cause it fixes everything. it helped my horse a TON and the OP's horse could benefit from it. It's an emergency brake that can also teach respect. Just because you don't like the one rein stop and that lots of people use it, doesn't mean it's wrong. I don't think it's a good idea to just lope lope lope when the OP clearly doesn't have a good amount of control. What happens if there is a hole in the ground she didn't see before? What if her horse is about to run into the fence? That would be disastrous. Besides, I just said it would maybe HELP. I didn't say it would solve the problem. I said it would be best to get a trainer.

Last edited by xxGallopxx; 12-22-2011 at 04:04 PM.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-24-2011, 10:51 AM
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When I got my quarter horse the previous owner was using a very harsh bit to get him to stop. I prefer a snaffle but he just laughed at it. What I did is took him to the arena and started trotting along the wall. Once we were settled into a trot I would in this order, sit into the saddle, say whoa, pull back and if this didn't work I would turn him into the wall. It took a couple hours before I was getting good stops from settling into the saddle from the trot. It took a bit more work from the canter. When I went outside it was like starting over. Instead of the arena wall I used a fence and then when I got away from the fence I use the one rein stop. It was a little work but now my boy will stop when I settle into the set.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-26-2011, 06:48 AM
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Listen to Bubba and Sky, they have good advice. What MarkT says will also work, as long as you make sure to ask for your halts softly. I did the same thing with a horse who was destined for the meat truck because he threw his head up to escape the bit and then bolted on you. I'm not the world's greatest rider, so I stayed in an enclosed arena and just walked him back and forth from one wall to the other. Every time we approached the wall I asked him for a stop with my seat and *light* pressure on the reins. He ignored me at first and found himself walked right into that wall! What a problem for him, LOL. I also had changed his bit from a Kimberwick to a Happy Mouth snaffle, so the bit was now much more comfortable for him. Eventually he learned to trust me and we could walk and trot even out on a trail. (Unfortunately he had been abused and I think also had physical issues, so he never became safe at a canter.)

I think your mare is protecting her mouth by grabbing the bit and pushing through it. If you replace it with a gentler one and teach her that you will communicate with it, not punish her with it, you'll start to fill in those holes. Lunging her, first without and then later with side reins, can be helpful if you know how to do it right. At this point I would work not so much on her outline as on teaching her voice commands and establishing trust. Teach her in small steps and reward her big time when she achieves them.

Forget the Tom Thumb, it's a terrible bit. Bits don't stop horses, anyway. Your seat stops the horse.
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-26-2011, 08:37 AM
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First off I would like to say welcome to the forum and I'm glad to see you are being open and getting help for your horse. As you can see, you will get many different opinions. Don't assume one way is better than others because more agree to it.

So much I want to say in response to others that I don't know where to start.

I will agree that you should stop using the twisted bit and go to a smooth snaffle. Don't throw away the twisted because it does have a place in training, just not an everyday bit.

When you flex your horse from side to side, does her head go above her whithers when she changes sides? If so she's not ready for vertical flexion. Keep flexing side to side until her head stays level, then she's ready for vertical.

Some don't like the one rein stop because they can't get it to work for their horse. It's more than just pulling the rein. You have to be able to disengage their hind end as well. Can a horse still go forward with it's head bent around and looking at it's rear? Yup, been there, done that a few times. Not safe at all. Could I control their rearend? Nope, but that's where their forward motion comes from. Is teaching the one rein stop bad and useless? Nope, anything you can teach your horse to do betters the communication between you two. Another reason the one rein does help is that when pulling both reins, the horse can brace against the bit. Using one rein makes it more difficult.

To Hoofprints in the Sand: Using the side reins may have helped with your horses head carriage, but did you ever think that the time on her also changed her? A horses head position relates to their energy level. When they are excited, alert, nervous or high energy, their head is high. When they are calm and relaxed, they will carry their head low or level. Some breeds do naturally carry their head high but they can also carry it lower naturally.

Many dislike the TomThumb bit. Some don't like it because of the "quality". Some don't like it because of the straight shanks. From what I understand, a curved shank will release quicker, but can produce more pressure than a straight shank. There may or may not be quality flaws in the way it's made, I'm not influenced either way. Just like the twisted bit, it can have a place in training, but I wouldn't discard it completely.

mls said to lope the horse basically until it wants to stop. This can work with warm blooded breeds but not the hot blooded ones. If I tried that with my wife's horse, he would drop over dead before he would want to stop. He's an Arab cross. Not sure what breed the OP has since she doesn't state it.

Finally my suggestions: I would keep working on flexing her, on the ground and in the saddle. Work on teaching her to give to pressure, and release at her slightest try but there must be a try. When she gets what you are asking, then you can ask for more of a give. Ask her as soft as you can, count to three before increasing the pressure and repeat. For stopping, start at a walk and when you stop, have her back up quite a few steps. I don't use verbal cues, so when I ask to stop, I sit for three strides then ask with the reins.

Some will disagree with what I've said and that's fine. It works for me. It would be good to find a trainer or someone that can give you hands on experience.

On a side note, I follow what Clinton Anderson teaches. However, I've never been compelled to buy any of his products except his videos if they were cheaper. I can get any of his "tools" at a local store cheaper without his name on it. So can everyone else.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-26-2011, 09:04 AM
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Try a bitless bridle? Horses who do have issues with bites often respond to bitless very well.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-26-2011, 10:08 AM
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Let me add my thoughts here since there is much misinformation as to what riders should be looking for and trying to accomplish.

First , I am not trying to be critical of the horse or rider pictured in the before and after photos. But, in the pursuit of good movement and head carriage (which must come together) I see better head carriage only. I actually see less engagement of the hind quarters when the horse is carrying a more vertical face. True collection requires greater engagement of the quarters -- not less. Proper engagement would include that the horse also lifts his belly (this horse is not), rounds his back (this horse is not), elevates his shoulders (this horse is not), lowers his hind quarters and brings them forward (this horse surely is not). I am afraid most people only look at the position of a horse's head and judge that position only and do not even look at the engagement of the horses hind quarters. This is why most 'good' trainers use side reins and draw reins very little and then try to transfer that breakdown of resistance these tools aid over to traditional schooling methods that includes pushing the horse forward into the bridle.

Yes, these tools can aid in breaking down resistance in the horse's mouth and neck. Unfortunately, they do not help push the hind quarters forward or help a horse achieve true collection, self carriage and 'lightness'. Horses frequently end up 'dumped' over on their front ends, 'giving' in the middle of their necks instead of at the poll and end up literally dragging their hind feet.
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-27-2011, 09:10 PM
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Well part of the issue Cherie may be that in the after pic we were walking rather than trotting ...I was just trying to illustrate how my trainer helped her relax and start carrying herself rather than hanging on the bridle and bracing against the bit...just to clarify.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-27-2011, 09:20 PM
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Usandpets, yes time spent working with her absolutely had a lot to do with it! good training never comes overnight!
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bit training pressure

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