How to get your horse responsive to bit? Tips?
 
 

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How to get your horse responsive to bit? Tips?

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  • Best bit to get horse more responsive and flex
  • Get a horse responsive to the bit

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    04-07-2013, 11:51 AM
  #1
Foal
How to get your horse responsive to bit? Tips?

Just wanting some ways to make my horse work better and become more responsive.
Also, she doesnt like to lift her feet, she will but she trys to lean on you makeing it hard to clean her hoof?
     
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    04-07-2013, 12:40 PM
  #2
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliciajohnson1    
Just wanting some ways to make my horse work better and become more responsive.
Also, she doesnt like to lift her feet, she will but she trys to lean on you makeing it hard to clean her hoof?
What I do for my horse Frisby is "make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy." He use to lean on me when I would pick up his feet, and would be pushy and disrespectful. So I would work on bending his head and neck, (I know has nothing to do with your problem, but hear me out) and then I would go all around, and pick up every foot. If he started to lean, I would put the foot down and make him work, by making him move his feet. I would lunge him different directions, back him up, and bend and flex his neck again. And then, I would go back to every foot, pick it up, and if he leaned on me, I started the entire process of gaining his respect all over again. So after about the third or forth time, he got it. If he stood still and lifted his foot without leaning on me, he didn't have to work. He could just stand there. That was his 'reward'. I stopped the pressure when he did what I wanted. I have learned that by having his respect he is MUCH easier to work with, and it is enjoyable, which is why we have our horses, right????
But seriously, by gaining his respect, and making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy, he learned pretty fast to not lean on me. Even the farrier has noticed an improvement in his bossy and disrespectful behavior. I also do this with him every time I work with him, and the repetition helps keep it in his mind, and then he does what I want him to do.
I know that my answer is long winded (sorry about that) but hopefully it will help you. Good luck!
     
    04-07-2013, 12:58 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaGood    
What I do for my horse Frisby is "make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy." He use to lean on me when I would pick up his feet, and would be pushy and disrespectful. So I would work on bending his head and neck, (I know has nothing to do with your problem, but hear me out) and then I would go all around, and pick up every foot. If he started to lean, I would put the foot down and make him work, by making him move his feet. I would lunge him different directions, back him up, and bend and flex his neck again. And then, I would go back to every foot, pick it up, and if he leaned on me, I started the entire process of gaining his respect all over again. So after about the third or forth time, he got it. If he stood still and lifted his foot without leaning on me, he didn't have to work. He could just stand there. That was his 'reward'. I stopped the pressure when he did what I wanted. I have learned that by having his respect he is MUCH easier to work with, and it is enjoyable, which is why we have our horses, right????
But seriously, by gaining his respect, and making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy, he learned pretty fast to not lean on me. Even the farrier has noticed an improvement in his bossy and disrespectful behavior. I also do this with him every time I work with him, and the repetition helps keep it in his mind, and then he does what I want him to do.
I know that my answer is long winded (sorry about that) but hopefully it will help you. Good luck!
Thank you! I will try it,i hope it works! :)
LisaGood likes this.
     
    04-07-2013, 03:59 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
There are so many things that can be a part of a horse that is not responsive to the bit. First, be certain that his mouth is not in pain, bit fits, saddle fits, teeth are floated.

Once those physical issues are ruled out, then look to HOW you apply the rein aids. Usually , what happens is that over time the rider (either you or his former riders) are allowing dullness to develop by asking for something and accepting less, over and over and over again.

YOu may be really apply a ton of pressure, but if you accept a very limited response from your horse, and you release the pressure there, you have built a great deal of tolerance into your horse, so that every time you will need to use a ton of pressure just to get a half ton worth of result.

So, you have to start babysitting yourself , first. You watch yourself and EVERY time you ask for something, do not accept a faint shadow of what you asked for as a result. If you ask for the hrose to STOP, then do not release the rein while the horse is still leaning on it. You have to hold the rein , with a kind of pressure that meets the horse's resistance and add ONE OUNCE MORE, until the horse gives, and backs up. Don't accept him leaning on the rein. Wait for your release until he actually comes off the rein, then release.

If you already know how to use the reins, then use them, but watch yourself and make darn sure that if you ask fro something (stop, back up, flex right, slow down , etc) that you do not reward a half response.

Then you start asking with a lighter "ask" and see if the horse will respond there. If so, you are now building in lightness instead of dullness.
It all depends on your level of expectations, and how willing you are to hold onto that and require the horse to meet you there.
Palomine likes this.
     
    04-07-2013, 04:25 PM
  #5
Showing
If she's leaning on you when you pick up her feet, step out from under her. Let her fall. She'll catch herself or hit her knees. Do this a few times, and she'll figure out that it's easier to balance herself than lean on you.
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COWCHICK77 likes this.
     
    04-07-2013, 05:02 PM
  #6
Trained
One of my trainers actually used to be a farrier. He told me if he has a horse that leans, he puts a hoof pick in his hand and lets them lean on that. They get over it pretty quickly.
COWCHICK77 and Palomine like this.
     
    04-07-2013, 05:03 PM
  #7
Weanling
Lisa Good's methodology is good for just about any kind of training for any animal...or person. However, for some things a quick fix is much easier and works just as well. Horses understand what a punishment is if it is administered immediately and consistently. Lisa's punishment for leaning is to make the horse work. Regardless of terminology, that's what it is. It takes a lot of time and effort on her part as well. I teach a horse to lift its feet for me by tapping twice on the hock with my fingers. If no response, I do it again. If no response I tap twice, fairly hard, with my heavy-duty cast iron hoof pick. It doesn't take long before I get the lift after the first tap with my fingers, and often they will lift their hoof for me when I start to reach for it.

When a horse leans on me or begins to struggle, I first try to ascertain whether the horse has a cramp (how long have I had the hoof up?) or is he just being ornery. If it's just ornery, I will either poke him in the ribs or slap him on the rump with a rasp. Sometimes I can do it while holding the hoof, sometimes I have to drop it first. My poke or slap is not all that hard, just hard enough to be an uncomfortable consequence to his laying on me. If I have to drop the hoof, the poke or slap is harder. It doesn't take long for his behavior to change...and I don't have to stop in the middle of trimming to take him for a longe.

Another thing that might be contributing to your leaning problem is the way you hold the hoof. Some people lean into the horse as they hold the hoof, so naturally the horse leans back. If you stand away from the horse as you work on the hoof, if you are simply hoof-picking, the horse cannot lean on you. For the rears, if you pull the hoof out behind the horse, he can neither kick you or lean on you. If you are trimming or otherwise working on the hoof, where you have to secure it between your legs, that's when leaning can become a problem and you have to take care of the behavior.

Lastly, I lift, inspect, and clean each hoof before and after each time I work with the horse. This probably does more than anything else to fix problems. Consistency and fitting punishment to the crime are the keys.

As for the bit problems, Tiny gave an excellent response.
Palomine likes this.
     
    04-07-2013, 05:26 PM
  #8
Showing
Most of us develop a pattern LF, LH, RH, RF. Try switching it up. It seems to mess with the horse's thinking. My big trail horse would lean with the LF. If he was done in reverse order no leaning when the LF was picked up. For better bit response, try tickling the rein with your pinky instead of using your arm. If you had a bit in your mouth wouldn't you rather feel just a tiny wiggle on your lip rather than get pulled around?
     
    04-07-2013, 05:27 PM
  #9
Trained
Better yet, teach your horse to have all feet done from the same side......presents a bit of a challenge.....but easier on the owner!
Muppetgirl likes this.
     
    04-07-2013, 06:35 PM
  #10
Foal
I will try all of theses and see what works best thank you guys!
franknbeans likes this.
     

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