How do you put you're horse down on the bit?

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How do you put you're horse down on the bit?

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    01-09-2011, 11:55 PM
How do you put you're horse down on the bit?

I have a 6yr clydie cross and she has a very hard mouth. I have been applying pressure to her mouth and when she drops her head I release the pressure. But she doesn't seem to be getting it. She will drop her head but then imediately bring it back up again. I was wondering how do I get her to keep her head rounded in walk trot and canter? Any ideas will be much appreciated!
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    01-10-2011, 01:29 AM
Side reins help. This way they fight themselves not you. They will quickly figure out " I pull, theres pressure, I give, no pressure". I use them on the lunge line but I bet you can use them on their back just be careful using them for the first time, sometimes they get freaked out and may flip themselves so let him get used to the side reins before getting on his back. Or just use them as a lunge training tool. This will be the fastest way to train and strengthen the topline. Also half halt, half halt, half halt. When their head goes up they get out of ballence. Kneeding the reins helps to soften
    01-10-2011, 07:27 AM
Thank you! I will try that :) thanks for the help
    01-10-2011, 07:49 AM
Green Broke
I don't think riding with them is a good idea....
    01-10-2011, 07:52 AM
Nat, it takes LOTS of training and patience for some horses. There is NO short cut to fix that problem. While my qh realized pretty quickly what is asked from her, it took me forever to deal with my paint on similar problem (and we still are working on it, after 4(!) months of lessons with dressage instructor).

Don't use any gimmicks (especially if you don't know how to use them in 1st place), only correct riding will help with the problem (having a good trainer is very handy too ). When your horse drops the head and comes on bit don't let go the rein, keep your leg on and drive him into the contact. You can also check similar threads in "English Riding" and "Dressage" sections of the forum - you'll find lots of good advices by very experienced riders/trainers.
    01-10-2011, 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by RedTree    
I don't think riding with them is a good idea....
Absolutely agree.
    01-10-2011, 07:54 AM
It can be extremely dangerous for you and the horse to ride with side reins on. If anything goes wrong you can not get rid of them. They are going to stay there.

As to your question on how to get you horse on the bit properly, you can't do it with your hands alone. In the beginning you will just want a forward and under control gait. Then, once you have mastered that you can move on to bending, attempting to get your horse to be supple. Once your horse is supple and engaged in the hind end, the head will begin to follow.

This, of course, will take a long time and I suggest getting a certified, reliable dressage trainer.
    01-10-2011, 07:56 AM
Originally Posted by natalie55    
I was wondering how do I get her to keep her head rounded in walk trot and canter? Any ideas will be much appreciated!

Ha...the universal equestrian question that has so many stumped. LOL

Your problem is that you are addressing the wrong end of the horse.

Get this horse moving forward and get the rear working and engaged and only from that accomplishment can the horse ADAPT to the bit.

It would also help to not drop the rein when he starts to accept the bit. Dropping simply is telling the horse "hey I am off on another planet and you can go do what you want"...and it does.
    01-10-2011, 07:57 AM
Okaay I think you're right and I completely agree with you. I spose ill just have to be more patient haha thank you!
    01-10-2011, 07:58 AM
I would suggest taking Spyder's advice. She knows a lot more that I do.

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