Help my girl and I!
   

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Help my girl and I!

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  • how can I stop my horse throwing her head up in canter
  • My girl and i

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  • 1 Post By busysmurf

 
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    03-22-2012, 12:10 AM
  #1
Foal
Help my girl and I!

I have an 8 year old quarter horse I got this Christmas. She is my first horse, and I have been taking riding lessons for about seven years.I am 14 years old. This is my first horse, as stated, and I'm keeping her on our property so I don't have access to a trainer as of now. She is generally pretty good. Our biggest problems are speed and collection.

I THINK I've gotten her to where she is collected- (I can see her neck slightly arched) but I'm not 100% sure how to TELL. She is fine at the walk. At the trot she tends to rush forward, and it is difficult to collect her. I push her forward, and draw back my reins as I was taught. She seems to ignore the cue, and as she will 'arch' her neck she continues as she is or goes faster. I want to get to where I can keep her collected for an extended period of time. Once she arches her neck I release but she quickly brings her head up, higher than it was before. I know she doesn't have a problem with her teeth or back. I've been working with her, but I would still appreciate any tips.

The problem I am most worried about however, is her lope. It is difficult to get her into a nice slow trot (which I prefer to have before I ask for a lope) and when I cue her to lope she just surges forward. I tend to lope circles, and she goes fast and seems to lean to the inside. I assume she is off balance. She isn't very supple at the lope and I have to fight with her to get her to get the circle to my desired size. She works off the leg, and because she refuses to listen to my cues at a lope I decided to try spurs. I'm using the spurs to reinforce my cues- not to ask for speed. I've been using them for two days now. She has always had the speed problem, and I've checked to make sure I'm not accidentally continually jabbing with the spur. I sit back deep into my seat but it doesn't seem to effect her. I assume the extra speed and leaning in is due to a balance problem as I said, but I'm not entirely sure now to fix it. I know a half halt is a solution to this issue, but I'm not quite sure how to preform one. She does fine in a round pen, it is only when I am loping circles in the field. She doesn't like the pressure of the spur and seems to take it as me asking for more speed. I've gotten to where she listens (making her circle bigger or smaller) but she bucks slightly when I lightly apply the spur. So any tips about improving our balance, making our circles better, slowing her down, making her accept the my aids.. whatever you think would be helpful.

The last, but least important problem, is our gallop. I know it is important to fix this, but I'm generally more concerned with our schooling than galloping. When I ask for a gallop she responds nicely, but she seems to turn her head to the left and it is hard to straighten it at such a fast pace. I've tried and failed. She is also reluctant to stop. I have to do a series of hard pull and releases to get her to slow, with the addition of a few circles. (The pull and releases SOUND to me like how people have explained the half halt to me. I'm not entirely sure I understand the full definition or how to apply it. If anyone would care to elaborate it would be very helpful) I have no problem getting her to stop when she is loping.

If anyone would like a go at this I would be MORE than grateful. Thanks in advance!
     
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    03-22-2012, 12:46 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
There is just way too much there to address as seperate issues.
I would dithc the spurs, first of all. If the horse is anxious and is ignoring your cues, throwing her head up and galloping too fast, hard to stop and hard to keep from leaning in to the circle, spurs will not help, but will prbably make her more anxious.

Work on getting her supple, responsive to the bit and stopping respectfully and all AT THE WALK. Do a lot of this stuff at the walk. Then, when it's good, go up to trot. What ever problem you have at the walk will be doubled at trot, and tripled at canter and so on.
     
    03-22-2012, 07:52 AM
  #3
Showing
Easter, the way it sounds your horse is not nearly to be collected and is unbalanced. Arching the neck has nothing to do with collection. The first thing I'd do would be dropping the spurs (because you have to have a very stable leg and knowledge to use them), not worrying about her canter (much less gallop), and returning back to basics instead on walk-trot: lots of transition (walk -> trot -> walk -> stop -> trot etc...), circles, serpentines, and so on. You won't get nice trot-canter transition until you get the trot nice and balanced.

BTW, you said you don't have access to the trainer, but some trainers come to private properties, so I'd still look around for the dressage one.
     
    03-22-2012, 07:54 AM
  #4
Weanling
Can you tell us how much training your new horse has had?
Do you have a trainer or coach who can come to your house for lessons?

I agree with Tiny, and I must tell you that many of the problems you are having are likely all related. Either the horse has little training and is unable to respond to cues it doesnt understand, or you are not sending the right signal via seat, hands, legs to your new horse and she is getting frustrated and speeding up. The unbalanced lope (she is dropping her shoulder) is almost always rider error (the rider without even realizing it leans into the circle causing the horse to drop their inside shoulder).

These problems as Tiny has stated are several so it would be good for you to have your coach ride the horse to see if they can get her to settle and slow down.

This does not mean you are not a good rider. It simply means that your horse may have many more buttons than you are aware of, and you may require the help of someone who is able to teach you how to utilize the buttons properly.

It would also be a good idea to get someone in sooner rather than later as you can mess up a horses training very quickly if you don't know the horse well when you buy it. The fact is the better trained the horse, the more buttons (cues) it will have so it would be wonderful if you knew them all before you ride her too much.

Best of Luck
     
    03-22-2012, 10:53 AM
  #5
Yearling
I agree with the others on starting at the walk. Getting her to bend consistantly in both directions, big circles, little circles, serpentines, bringing her nose to your foot (not when moving, lol). And if she seems fine in the round pen, work in the field more. Then do the same at the trot, and add lots of transitions, IF I remember correctly, a half halt is achieved by sitting deep in the saddle and squeezing your thighs with a slight contact on the reins, you don't want to be pulling on them, but you want it to be steady. Think of it this way, you want enough pressure that the horse knows there's more contact on the reins and they can't stick their nose out, but not enough that the horse will think you are asking for a stop.

Once you get that all figured out at the walk and trot, and you feel it's VERY consistant. Then move on to the canter. Something I've done with horses that want to "take off" when cantering, is A LOT of transition and smaller circles (thus the need to master the bending before hand). When they start to take of at a canter, bring them down to a walk, and make sure it's done within a few steps (no skid stops here:) just don't let her be putzy about it. Make sure when you ask for a canter, you get it within a few strides, not her trotting into it. If she picks the canter up nicely, keep going, the second that she starts going faster, transitions or circles.

That's just my 2 cents:) Good Luck!! I was in your shoes once, and I think I turned out a pretty good
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