How to round a WESTERN horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 24 Old 11-19-2010, 01:06 AM
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Oh trust me I feel your pain! I recently ran across a little girl who made a face when I told her (as a new instructor for her) that I rode western, she rudely asked why her friend would want to ride western as well. It's a little off topic but irked me the wrong way because I hate people thinking so poorly of western when they just do not know the facts (not that anyone here was bashing western).

I will now climb down off my soapbox...
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-19-2010, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvera View Post
This actually isn't true. When we train a western horse you do train them to accept contact and move properly. When I'm training my guys I start just the same as you would english. I use all of my aids, leg, seat, balance, and hands. I can pick up my western horse (in a western bit) any time I want to. The reason it looks like there is no contact on the finished western horses is because they have learned how to respond to very slight changes in hand possition and varying degrees of contact.
Thanks, Silvera! THAT makes sense. Lots of basic training before they go round or soften with light aids. Not pulling the head up to teach "collection" as I was told and which was so confusing.
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-19-2010, 08:07 AM
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Yes Silvera has told you correctly. The good western trainers use many dressage principals to train the horse.In the begining, there is not much difference between the two. Later on, the reining & dressage change because of the different movements required & the different frame the horse is to be worked in.

The finished reiner is ridden with nearly invisable aids, but that is not the way it begins!
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-19-2010, 11:03 AM
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Thank you Silvera, that's what I was thinking, but I don't have the knowledge of training a western horse to explain it!
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-23-2010, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvera View Post
Hope that helps. Sorry if that was a bit of a rant.
Yes, it helps! Don't be sorry!

(I hope it's okay to bring this topic back--I think it's very interesting.)

But I'm wondering now, if there are different schools of reining. I DO see a few Western-Engish trainers who start with contact, (I can't think of any finished horses, though) but many more Western riders who, though using a snaffle, rely more on weight aids and short rein aids rather than a contact, and transitions to teach collection. I know of a trainer who starts his youngsters with the bit quite low, to teach them to carry it. They sort of suck onto it. The aim of all this, I thought, was self-carriage, right from the start. Also, it seemed as though obedience and submission were the main goals, rather than the development of the horse. We don't have much reining around here, but there are clinics which I've attended.

Now in my dressage experience, the goal is the same self-carriage, but without ever losing the contact. You might even say you start off wanting them to lean into the bit, to look for your hand, in order to teach them to follow your hand, and learn to stretch, and supple. I HAVE seen pictures of dressage riders riding with a looping rein, and I think it's beautiful; I'm wondering just where the training begins to change. With the curb? Or earlier?
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post #16 of 24 Old 11-23-2010, 11:44 PM
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When you use a leverage bit, particularly one with a port, the reins DO NOT have to be tight for the horse to feel the contact. I ride one of my horses in a type of spade bit and he will stretch out and travel with a lenghtened stride until I raise my hand about two inches. As soon as I do that the bit tips in his mouth and the port touches his palate. This means that to get comfortable again he needs to round his back and break at the poll. I have contact with him because I am shifting the position of the bit just like an english rider. One of the reasons I don't like the cheap tom thumb bits is that the shanks are so short and the bit is so light that you have to tighten the rein for the horse to feel you.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #17 of 24 Old 11-24-2010, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
When you use a leverage bit, particularly one with a port, the reins DO NOT have to be tight for the horse to feel the contact. I ride one of my horses in a type of spade bit and he will stretch out and travel with a lenghtened stride until I raise my hand about two inches. As soon as I do that the bit tips in his mouth and the port touches his palate. This means that to get comfortable again he needs to round his back and break at the poll. I have contact with him because I am shifting the position of the bit just like an english rider. One of the reasons I don't like the cheap tom thumb bits is that the shanks are so short and the bit is so light that you have to tighten the rein for the horse to feel you.
Exactly, well said. I don't know what the difference is between advanced western reining and dressage because I don't ride dressage. But reining horses (at least from what I was taught by some top trainers) are expected to round their back and break at the poll and remain collected. The level of contact on the bit to achieve this is lighter than with an english horse on a snaffle because the mechanism of the bit works differently.
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post #18 of 24 Old 11-24-2010, 01:52 AM
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Silvera, Kevin, well said.

IMHO that is one of the most amazing feelings, to be trotting or loping a horse around and lift your hand just a smidge, shift your seat and have them either round up or drag their ass to a stop, whichever you ask for.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-25-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
... As soon as I do that the bit tips in his mouth and the port touches his palate. This means that to get comfortable again he needs to round his back and break at the poll. .
Do you ever have trouble with your horse just bringing his nose in without rounding his back?
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post #20 of 24 Old 11-25-2010, 11:05 PM
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Not really, it takes time and consistant work to get the horse to the point where they will round their back and set their head. It really comes down to if the person training is good at getting the correct affect or not, same as any other disipline.

Some people can get a horse to round with minimal effort, and other people have to work at it really hard. If you are only focused on "setting the head" then that is all you will get. If you are focused on getting "collection" then that is what you will get.
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