How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!! - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 35 Old 02-19-2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canton, Ohio
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Thanks for the details, AKPaintlover.

So, if I'm understanding correctly, he accepts the pressure and responds, he's just really heavy on the bit.

It sounds like he's cheating and letting you support him with the reins instead of carrying himself. Little things to try are raising your hands slightly and using half halts while driving forward with your seat and legs to encourage him to lift up through his head and back and carry himself. Don't let him pull your upper body forward. The half halts are key because the pull and release doesn't give him anything to lean against.

My horse tends to get heavy on the bit too unless you really make her lighten up. For her, it's mostly a matter of getting her collected by driving her forward and using half halts. I also used to take her out into a large field with some hills and trot and canter up and down hills. This made a world of difference for her as it strengthened her back end and improved her impulsion. I'd warm her up out in the field on the hills and bring her into the ring and she'd be wonderfully light.

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post #32 of 35 Old 02-19-2008, 03:01 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Thanks Regardinghorses,

I will definitely focus on that in the future. I think I tend to do a lot of half halts to keep him off of me during warm up, but it is good to know that hopefully that will make a difference.

One question though, with your girl who gets heavy, is this something they grow out of as they learn, or is it a lighten them up for every warm up type thing? I guess I just want to know what I should try to expect. :)

Thanks for the advise...I will definitely be focusing on the half halts from now on. We have a great hill on our property that I will try to incorporate a couple of times a week in my routine also. Do you think the side reins will be a benefit, or that I should drop them from the routine. The only thing that I have heard about side reins is that some horses actually tend to lean on them.
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post #33 of 35 Old 02-20-2008, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canton, Ohio
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My mare leans and is heavy on the forehand unless you make her be light. She never grew out of it, it's just one of those things we have to work on every ride. After I can get her light while warming up, she stays that way on the flat. She tends to get heavy again though when we jump. She doesn't make me work too hard for it because she knows me and knows what she's supposed to do, but she's much worse for other riders she doesn't know.

I can't say anything about the side reins as I've had very little experience with them.

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post #34 of 35 Old 02-22-2008, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I would encourage getting a trainer to teach you how to ride a horse properly and teach him/her to move and carry itself properly.

There are many things involved in getting a horse "in a frame". They have to engaged from behind and moved forward. It's not just a matter of teaching the horse to move his head at a certain level.

A trainer will be able to help and your riding then when you're ready as a rider, teach the horse.

Good Luck :)
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post #35 of 35 Old 02-23-2008, 03:51 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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I am not sure if you are referring to me or the original poster, but my horse is able to work in a frame - he does it without contact, mostly from seat/leg drive. My problem is when I add contact, he tends to get heavy (lazy), but I have been working on that recently, and am seeing improvements daily (spending more time half halting in warm up - recommended by regardinghorses). As it is, he is very responsive and supple - just needs some finishing work.

As a rider, I may not always be pretty (when training - I don't always have the prettiest upper body equitation), but I know how to ride a horse properly (with a long and strong history in both English and western riding). Of course there is always room to improve. :)

Dez is the second horse that I have trained from start to finish (almost finished), and he has proven to be a bit more slow to pick things up and a bit more lazy than my gelding was. I think a lot of it comes from him being a little more distractible as a stallion (but still very well behaved).

I do appreciate your encouragement, and I definitely spend some time working with a trainer when I hit walls in my training (which I did last summer). I am currently not at a wall that I cannot handle with a little advice though. :)

It is good to know I may always have to work on keeping him light - it seems fitting to his personality that he will likely test me always with whether or not I will let him get away with laziness. :) I have a feeling he will play dumb with other riders too, in order to be lazy. Oh well. :)
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