How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!! - Page 2

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How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!!

This is a discussion on How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse wont go on bit head in air outside rein

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    01-20-2008, 11:53 AM
Oh, and remember.. you can check HARDER, but not LONGER.
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    01-20-2008, 01:40 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
No, the horse is not supposed to stop, hence the "half" halt. It should collect back up underneath you.. it's to rebalance you and the horse. It's supposed to be a slight "pause" of sorts to let you start up again with more collection and control. Think of it like this: you're not getting something right, so you stop for a second and think about how to do it, then keep going... now take out the full stop. (I'm pretty sure that didn't make sense at all...)
Again, I strongly recommend you see a trainer about this, as it is something that really can't be taught without seeing what you're working with.

I'll try and explain it in very very simple terms:
You need the horse to be supple through the body before you even think about getting the head in the right place. You can do this by working on bending through circles, and making sure the horse is moving through the hindquarter. To ask for a headset, you keep the inside rein steady and check and give (like squeezing water out of a sponge) with the outside rein until the horse responds by giving through the jaw and putting its head closer to being in a headset, I.e. Lowering the poll. When he flexes, stop bugging him with your hands, and keep them steady. As soon as he raises his head or moves it out of the headset, you want to correct it by asking with the outside rein.
Ideally, I want to see a horse with a long and low headset when first learning, then you can bring the neck up and tucked when you further your dressage training. I like to see the neck flexed and the poll around the height of the wither with the head flexed so the nose is on the vertical..It looks more equitation-horse/ hunt-seat horse but this allows your horse's back to strengthen enough to ask for the "swan neck" in dressage, if you're going that far.

Picture examples:

Horse not in headset:

Horses nicely flexed in equitation-style/hunt-seat style headset:

Nice dressage Headset:

Horse Behind the Vertical:

Horse in front of the Vertical:

Hope this helps.. a bit..?
You pretty much took the words out of my mouth.

Also, when your horse is on the bit, just let them stay there. Don't keep pulling on their mouth, because then, they probaly wont' want to get on the bit anymore.
    01-20-2008, 06:29 PM
I agree with Cheval and JustDressageIt completely! I've seen a lot of people just force the horses head down with side reins or draw reins, without actually allowing the horse to work into a frame and develop the muscle they need in order to carry themself in a nice frame. Is it just me, or does it actually hurt anyone else to look at those pictures of horses behind the vertical?? Those are the type of people that have forced the horses head into a fake frame or have to hold the horses head there. I agree with JustDressageIt about seeing a long and low headset first, and then bringing the horse into a more collected frame. When you first start out, your horse wont be balanced and probably not using they're hind quarters, and maybe even have their head stuck in the air, so starting your horse on a long and low headset helps getting your horse to use they're hind quarters and stretches they're neck and back muscles so you can eventually bring the horse up into a frame.

It takes time for a horse to correctly come into frame, so be patient and good luck!
    01-20-2008, 10:09 PM
DressageGirl, most of those "behind the vertical" pictures are of "talented" dressage riders preforming the RollKur, which is a very controversial topic that's been very hot in the recent past. If you want to read up on it, I suggest this website:
It's extreme hyperflexion of the neck that's supposed to teach collection to a horse... but it's not a quick flexion (the jaw often touches the horse's chest), instead the horse carries its head like this through an entire workout.
Anyways, getting off topic, but yes.. being behind the vertical is NOT good.
    01-21-2008, 09:20 PM
Possibly try to push him into the bit, by like holding him tighter, but applying pressure with your feet.
    01-24-2008, 03:23 AM
Oh my gosh its all so confusing !!!! I have tried and it doesnt do a thing. I just don't see what the point in it is!
    01-24-2008, 03:52 AM
Your horse probably isn't trained this. You need to talk to your ridning instructor about it, as he/she can see the horse and help you alot more
    01-25-2008, 11:56 AM
Does your horse accept steady pressure from the bit? You've got a lot of great advice about creating headset, but if you can't touch your horse's mouth at all, you need to fix that first.

I worked with a young horse who completely avoided the bit. She'd had very little training and while she was willing, she just didn't know better. To get her to begin to accept bit pressure, we avoided just riding around the ring. We did lots of serpentines and small circles and figure 8s and direction changes. She was comfortable with pressure on the reins to turn and create bend, she just had to learn to accept it all the time. By working on the turns where she was comfortable, she pretty quickly started to allow a steady contact and accepted the bit. She dropped her head and nose down (she tossed it and stuck her nose out to avoid contact) and accepted the light, steady pressure. We had to get to this point first before we could even try using half halts and creating a headset.
    01-25-2008, 12:02 PM
Don't get discouraged! If you don't know how to ask for a headset and your horse doesn't know how to do it, it's going to be difficult for both of you. Even if you have a horse who knows what to do, it can take weeks or even months before you learn to ask correctly and the two of you can perform consistently. Just like learning to anything else on a horse, it takes time. So don't give up! If you have an instructor familiar with you and the horse that would help you most. We can give you all the advice on here, but it's never going to be as helpful since we can't see you or your horse and aren't familiar with your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to take your time and don't expect results overnight.
    01-25-2008, 08:47 PM
I would strongly suggest asking a trainer to help you out. It's very difficult for us to see what's going on short of being there. Also, it's generally harder to get an older horse to go into a frame if they've never been in one before..

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