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Horse Needs Help Balancing

This is a discussion on Horse Needs Help Balancing within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        09-14-2013, 12:03 AM
      #11
    Foal
    Hopefully the terrain won't bother her too much. She is tender-footed (she's barefoot and doesn't have the strongest hooves), especially on the gravel path leading back to the trail, but the trail itself is pretty soft. Lots of varying terrain though so it might take her a little bit to figure out where to put her feet. Thanks.
         
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        09-14-2013, 09:12 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    First of all, a Wonder Bit is not a good choice. It is a gag bit and collection is all but impossible in one. It encourages lateral flexion and bending, but not collection. I would opt for a 3-piece snaffle or a 3-piece 'colt bit' with a short tear-drop shank and a curb chain. It can be ridden like a snaffle, but horses to not push on them as much and are not as heavy in them.

    I would also recommend a lot of leg yielding exercises with forward motion. This makes a horse use their hind end and back as long as they are going forward. A turn on the forehand is not a leg yielding exercise and it encourages a horse to be heavy on the forehand. The more you practice turns on the forehand, the more difficult you make it for a horse to learn to move its front end and elevate its shoulders. It is FAR more important that a horse learns how to move its shoulders. I avoid turns on the forehand and disengagements like the plague in all but emergency situations once a horse learns how to do it.

    When you teach lateral flexion, you must be very careful that you are actually getting the horse to bend through their entire body and not just their head and neck. Sometimes it takes 'eyes on the ground' or a video to tell the difference. I tell people that ride western to have someone watch the back of the saddle pad. If the horse is bending through its entire body, the outside corner of the saddle pad with stick out. Even a non-horsey person can see that.

    Horses like this are one of the few times that I might 'lightly' bit a horse up in a snaffle with an elastic link in the side reins. I also use an 'over-check' with them so a horse cannot avoid the contact. I would also adjust the inside rein 2 inches shorter than the outside one and be careful to switch the adjustment when I changed directions.

    A very skilled rider does not need to bit horses up very often, but it is better to bit one up than be ridden by a less skilled rider that just tries to pull a horse into frame. I would guess that if this horse is 'light sided' and speeds up to leg use that her rider has not been able to teach her to accept leg pressure and use it to push her into the bit.

    You cannot 'pull' and horse off of its front end. You must 'push' it off of its front end and bring it back onto its hind end. This is most effectively done by 'driving' or 'pushing' the horse forward and using light but effective hands to prevent it from going faster. This is an advanced maneuver and bitting one up is better than doing it wrong.
         
        09-14-2013, 12:12 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    Work on large circles. You want them to bend in the direction you are turning in. Get her back in a snaffle.

    Can you lunge her with side reins? It may help if you can see how she looks from the ground.

    I would also work her over ground poles. Most horses will engage the hind end and start to round up naturally when going over poles.
         
        09-14-2013, 01:13 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Where I ride is a bare minimum riding facility. We have all of two pvc pipes if they haven't been broken yet, an arena that isn't ride enough to do large circles, and side reins are something out of a fantasy. The wonder bit is not my decision, it's what her owner has for us to ride her in. Her owner and our barn director are very western riders and see any snaffle bit as an "english bit" and it has no place on their horses. As I've said in earlier posts, any changes with the bit have to with the bit I currently have. I can change the position of the reins, but not the bit. And quite frankly, as much as I would love to, I don't trust her enough to ride her in a snaffle. I know you aren't supposed to pull them off the forehand, but if she's going to slow down, that's what I have to do. Otherwise I will be on the equivalent of a runaway train with no brakes.

    Cherie: you are right, she is very light-sided. Any leg contact at all and she explodes so I have not been able to push her into the bit. How do I make her not so reactive to my leg?
         
        09-14-2013, 04:47 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Sorry I didn't explain the leg yield well enough. Here is a link to a video that explains it so well. Leg Yield - Horse Training - YouTube
    This guy explains it so well. Baby steps at the beginning but if you do what he suggests I think you will have a much easier time of riding.

    Transitions- if you are trotting and want to transition down to a walk, put a leg on and as you come down to the walk, move the horse over a step of two.

    Watch the video and teach the horse to leg yield looking at the fence. Don't leg yield in transitions until you master the steps in th video.

    Quarterline- there is a centerline down a riding ring. The quarter lines are the lines between centerline and the fence. (On the long sides) sorry if this isn't clear. Turn your horse onto the quarter line and push him over to the rail.

    But this video will show you better than I can explain it.
         
        09-14-2013, 10:27 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lchad    
    Sorry I didn't explain the leg yield well enough. Here is a link to a video that explains it so well. Leg Yield - Horse Training - YouTube
    This guy explains it so well. Baby steps at the beginning but if you do what he suggests I think you will have a much easier time of riding.

    Transitions- if you are trotting and want to transition down to a walk, put a leg on and as you come down to the walk, move the horse over a step of two.

    Watch the video and teach the horse to leg yield looking at the fence. Don't leg yield in transitions until you master the steps in th video.

    Quarterline- there is a centerline down a riding ring. The quarter lines are the lines between centerline and the fence. (On the long sides) sorry if this isn't clear. Turn your horse onto the quarter line and push him over to the rail.

    But this video will show you better than I can explain it.
    Thanks for the video. Somehow it never occurred to me to start leg yields facing the fence. That might explain why I didn't get to far with her leg yields. There was definitely more forward than sideways. I will try this with her.

    Once I thought about it yielding from the quarter line to the rail made sense. It was just late last night and my brain was fried.

    I will be riding her Tuesday and I will post how that goes.
         
        09-15-2013, 12:43 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Try putting the rein on the top whole (biggest) then it is pretty much like a snaffle.

    I would work her over ground poles, and just get her to move her feet. Say trot her down, stop, do a quick turn and trot off. Stop, quick turn and trot off. Do one less stride each time. I would also do figure 8s and circles.
         

    Tags
    balance issues, forehand, green broke, riding advice

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