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I have hit a brick wall. advice please

This is a discussion on I have hit a brick wall. advice please within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        06-05-2014, 01:38 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    That is unfortunate. She would make a great barrel horse with some more fine tuning at a lope.
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        06-05-2014, 03:08 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Have you tried asking lope from walk or a stop? Just slowly, calmly asking to lope, and keep sitting and keep her on a circle. It might be harder for her to balance and she might stay slower.
    The moment you have had a few nice slow steps in lope stop the session, get off, hand walk etc.

    I think she needs to know that she won't be eaten if she doesn't run, and that slow lope exists too. Have you watched her in pasture? Does she only gallop there too?
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        06-05-2014, 04:15 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Where are you in the arena when you ask her to lope? Sounds like she is in need of some circle work, either in a round pen or in the arena. The fast she goes the smaller you make that circle. If she slows up bring her out. If she speeds up bring her in again. Moving in a circle is hard work for them. It's going to force her to slow down, especially to stay balanced.
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        06-05-2014, 09:03 AM
      #14
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    I did just think of trying to just keep pushing her from a trot to see if she will just go into a lope. Like start with her slow trot, then extended. ..but just keep asking for a faster trot until she just tries to lope? Instead of asking for a lope like normal.

    Downward transitions from trot to walk or stop are great. I don't have to touch the reins. But from her gallop, I one rein stop her, she just fights me otherwise.
    I do not think you are going to get any control working at the canter / lope / gallop until you MAKE her respect your reins and you pulling on her.

    That being said, the very first thing I would do is have a good dentist work on her. Bit seat may help and a three piece medium weight snaffle would definitely be in order.

    I do not care how idealistic one is and how much some riders want a horse to listen to the lightest aids, a horse that is disobeying those aids is not going to go any farther in their training until they learn to back off from the basic aid of 'pulling them up' and 'slowing them down' with pressure on both reins.

    I think it is useless to expect any different result when you are just repeating the same scenario. [Some people call that the definition of insanity. Repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.]

    This horse is not going to gather up and slow down until she learns to tuck her chin and 'give' to bit pressure. Even race horses are taught to gallop properly with a tucked chin and 'bowed neck'.

    The main reasons that every horse needs to learn to give to bit pressure is for control (obvious) and to learn to properly use themselves. Only when a horse has its neck bowed and its chin tucked, can it properly use its back and belly muscles. No horse can round its back, get its hind end under it and tuck up and use its belly muscles with its head in the air.

    So, like it or not --- idealistic use of light aids that the horse is not obeying, it just teaching your horse that it does not need to listen to any aids at the lope / canter.

    I would start reschooling this horse by using either draw-reins or a German Martingale until it could be controlled and pulled up at the gallop with both reins. Once it has learned to tuck its chin, slow down and stop with both reins, THEN I would work at refining the aids. I would gradually ask for more and more refinement.

    I would also be doing all of this out in a corner of a pasture and not in an arena. I would quit each session in the arena and teach the horse that the arena is a good place and not a battle-ground. You know you are making headway when a horse is doing something better at the end of each ride. If it is not doing better as time goes on, you need to change your approach, change bits or equipment or ask in a different way. You cannot just keep repeating the same routine and expect different results. It is futile and horse is just getting more practice giving you the wrong response.
         
        06-05-2014, 11:28 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Circles, circles, circles.

    she can't gallop a small circle. Put her in a lope, and when she speeds up, circle small enough that she has to lope the speed you want. When she is going the correct speed, widen your circle, reducing again when she picks up speed. Eventually you should be able to keep the lope as the circles get bigger, then try a straight line, again circling when she picks up speed.

    I used this on a speedy arab with a bolting problem. A really bad bolting problem. Anything faster than a trot was flat out and he nearly killed his owner running at a busy highway. I think I would have died of old age before I ran him out, so we did circles. In 45 minutes I could point him towards home, ask for a gallop, and just sit slightly deeper and pick up the reins(not pull, just lift them an inch off his neck) and he would slow to a nice lope.
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        06-05-2014, 11:29 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Try trot/stops- a few trot strides then stop, repeat until your horse is waiting for the stop by going slow & thinking stop.
    When she does that well advance to canter/stops. Stop, canter a few strides stop for a few seconds, then repeat. You want her thinking more of the stop than the canter. And yes use the reins.
    If she throws her head at the touch of reins skip the above until she learns to accept rein pressure & give to it. It sounds that while your horse is broke she was never really trained.
         
        06-05-2014, 11:36 AM
      #17
    Showing
    I'm a big fan of circles, but Cherie is also correct. To get a soft horse, you can't always stay soft with them. Sometimes teaching them how to be soft requires you to get hard for a minute.
         
        06-05-2014, 12:12 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    The pastures aren't really safe for loping circles, we have a lot of rocks and uneven ground. I have tried the small circles to try to force her to slow down, it takes way more rein pressure than it should to keep her in a small circle when she is in fast mode. Trotting she is very light, I can steer with my legs. Any faster and she ignores most ques. I do have a german martingale I can try on her today. I could go back to the roundpen so she doesn't have the option of trying to make rrt he circle bigger.

    Also, I have not been trying the same things expecting to get different results. I stopped working with her when I ran out of ideas. She knows how to give to the bit, listen to seat and leg ques, but if I ask her to lope, all that training is gone. Extremely frustrating.
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        06-05-2014, 12:14 PM
      #19
    Showing
    9 times out of 10, a training issue doesn't just "appear" at the faster gaits. The gaps are there at the slower ones, but they just aren't as obvious.

    That is one thing I've always been told; "you want to see where a horse's training gaps are? Ask them to do something at speed".
         
        06-05-2014, 01:00 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    She had a lot of gaps in her training when I got her. I couldn't even trot her without her taking off. She used to rear with bit contact. There used to be no response when asked to slow from trot to walk. I have put a lot of time into filling the gaps. I wish one of you lived closer to come give me some pointers, maybe ride her and point out gaps. I just am getting frustrated and need another perspective. There aren't any decent trainers around here, and she doesn't like men. I have been trying to find a dressage trainer to give me some lessons, but they all want me on their horse. Roxy needs it. My colt is doing great, has a beautiful jog and lope, but Roxy is different from any horse I have ever trained.
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