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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, 02:37 PM
      #21
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    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.
    She DOESN'T know how to give to the bit or she would do it at the lope. She is not going to break if you pull on her. PULL ON HER UNTIL SHE LISTENS AND RESPONDS CORRECTLY AT THE LOPE. If you have to put draw reins on her for 2 or 3 rides, MAKE her give at the lope. Don't worry about her loping correctly on leg and seat aids. She is not going to do that until she gives and responds to the bit at the lope.

    If she were mine, I would put draw reins on her and jog and trot out and I would stop her from pulling -- only -- no voice or seat aids. I would want her to know that when I picked up my reins, she had better stop and then back 2 or 3 steps.

    Then, when she stopped nicely at the trot, I would trot her into a lope. I would only lope 5 or 6 strides and I would pull her up, do a 180 to the outside and lope again, probably from a trot and lope 5 or 6 strides on the opposite lead. Then I would pull her into a stop, do a 360 and lope her off on the same lead. I have not seen the run-away or bolter or speed demon that does not start listening and yielding to the bit when ridden this way.

    I would use a LOT of leg on her and teach her to spiral in and spiral out of a circle at the lope. I would her ask for leg yielding exercises until I could lope big and small circles with her head to the inside and to the outside (reverse bend).

    Again, I would check her mouth or probably just have an equine dentist work on her teeth. I like to have a dentist put in bit seats. I would want to make sure she had no excuses for fighting my hands and the bit. Then, I would not let up on her until she gave to the bit at the lope.

    A lot could probably be helped by longeing her in side-reins, but that requires a whole other set of skills to introduce the side reins in a way that a horse does not fight them and flip up-side-down. Not knowing your experience level using tools like this, I hate to recommend them.
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        06-05-2014, 02:51 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    Okay, I put the german martingale on her today. I started out walking, had her give to the bit, stop and back. Then trotted circles, had her stop, back. Then I put her on a small circle at a trot, gave her more leg, and she actually loped two steps instead of going into a gallop. I ended up getting a half circle of a quick lope. By then she was dripping sweat, I asked her to whoa and she stopped right away. So I guess I need to keep working in draw reins until she learns she can't just throw her nose in the air and go her own speed
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        06-05-2014, 02:54 PM
      #23
    Weanling
    And I am not experienced with side reins, so I would rather not use them. I will stick with equipment I know for now. I feel much better after todays ride, but it will be a lot of work to get her lope more controlled
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        06-05-2014, 04:26 PM
      #24
    Banned
    It's good that you're making progress, although I wouldn't advise using draw reins too often, especially in order to control her. Draw reins should only be used as a finer training aid, with lots of release, and if she did bolt in them, it is very easy for them to throw her off balance. Is she bolting out of fear? If so, pulling her head in or being especially harsh will only make it worse - it's different if it's just bad behaviour. If she's quieter on the lunge, have you tried lunging her with someone riding her, to help teach her the aids?
    Well done for your persistence! It sounds like you're doing a great job
         
        06-05-2014, 04:47 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    Not bolting out of fear. She used to bolt out of fear. I lunged her today instead of round penning. I got her to lope in small circles, but if I let her into a bigger circle she just speeds up. She loves to run. Those ears go forward, her tail goes up in the air, she loves it. As for lunging with someone else on her, I don't let anyone on her. She is very sensitive and dangerous for all the beginner riders I know. I will use the draw reins until she can lope calmly and not fight me. I guess it is a german martingale, not draw reins, and Iused it on the lowest ring.
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        06-06-2014, 03:06 PM
      #26
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimWhit91    
    I have tried light contact. Her nose goes in the air and the only way I have found to get her to quit avoiding contact is to seesaw the reins to get her to tuck her head. But I have learned better ways to get a horse actually collected and stopped doing that. I am just getting frustrated and don't ride her as much because I know I have met my match and don't want to keep trying the same things.
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    ^^This. It's good that you're asking questions, and it's great that you've already tried different things BEFORE asking the questions! A lot of people don't. So I can tell that you really want to get this solved. But this sawing on the mouth is a major factor that's causing things to get worse. For some reason this technique has become commonplace in the western styles of training horses. It erodes the horse's confidence in the rider's hand. If the head-tucking you're getting in this context doesn't co-respond to proper movement then it's false flexion and actually counter-productive. Pretty soon she'll be going Mach 5 with her chin on her chest and you hanging on for dear life unable to stop! This is about where most people will begin to resort to gimmicks (ex. Draw reins) with the idea of forcing a certain position through mechanics. Which eventually just makes them more and more dull. Then they get to where you can't ride them at all without that gear on them. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way.

    If you'd like to get to her to where she can truly and honestly rate nice at a lope and stop on a light touch on a loose rein, here's what you can try. It's actually deceptively simple. There are two basic issues. We've already identified the first one, sawing on the mouth. I know that some very respected people do it, but those people are wrong about this one particular thing. It is entirely un-necessary even to get control of the most intractable horses. How can I say that? Like you, I watched what those respected trainers did and they seemed to have success doing it so I copied it. I got good at making a horse submit to my hand through sawing. I also happen to have 18" arms. Why is that important? Just providing context, because the day I personally vowed never to saw a horse's mouth again was the day that I hurt one with a supposedly-harmless smooth snaffle bit. You probably wouldn't go that far. Point is, she's never going to get confident in your hand if you saw which means that she will never respond to it on a light touch while at speed. You can get her to submit, but you can't force her to be honest. She'll only get that through confidence in your piloting. She has to draw comfort and security from your hand, so that she can tune in and listen. So how do we fix this? Consider changing the way you use your hands. Want to gain a 'secret weapon', not only in how to fix a problem but something that you can ultimately use to gain a little advantage among your fellow barrel racers? Consider looking across the aisle!

    I'll depart here from talking about the specifics of how to use your hands. Nothing to add to George's explanation/demonstration

    Horse with a pretty bad 'headset' problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UggOc7mVRzY

    An excellent longer schooling session with several different techniques. The cantering work begins around 7:30. (Btw I'm aware that George is riding with a martingale here, but he's not dependent on it!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkqaymxj6VE

    Hope that those gave you as many ideas and inspiration as they've given me. This post is getting long but before wrapping it up I wanted to address your question about speed control. All this talk about the hands was just laying the groundwork, but it will come in very handy for the next part which is simply this: All she is is just out-of-balance between going forward and backward. She's good about being in front of your leg, but not as good at being behind your hand. We want to bring that into balance and operate from the center. She's very strong going forward because she's been encouraged to have plenty of impulsion by almost everything you've done. Small circles, transitions, big circles, even one-rein stops are ALL forward movements. In a one-rein stop, the inside hind foot steps under to disengage - a forward movement. Whenever she gets uncertain, what's the thing that gets her out of trouble? Go forward. Fast or slow, so long as it's forward. THIS IS GOOD! For God's sake, don't ruin that forward desire. But we've got to balance it out. How? Without going into another long post, here it is: Get her to where going forward and going backward are equally effortless. When you stop her from a walk, trot, or lope, don't stop her. Think of it instead as a transition from going forward to taking 2-3 steps backward, and I mean there should be no physical pressure or resistance present through the reins when you release. You may have to work at this a bit, BUT if you "close your fingers" as GM says and don't saw her mouth, pretty soon she'll relax and begin to listen to your hand. It should feel like a marble rolling on a flat glass table. This applies to all the gaits. Start slow and work your way up. If you can roll a marble on glass from a canter, you probably won't have one single problem rating speed.
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        06-06-2014, 05:32 PM
      #27
    Weanling
    Thank you Ian, I will watch the videos and try it out!
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        06-07-2014, 10:20 AM
      #28
    Super Moderator
    What I found has helped a lot with ex racers is to have the neck strap of a martingale or a thick piece of string around their necks just in front of their shoulders and to pull up on that when they want to charge off. I sit back and heavy and also use my voice to slow them.
         
        06-23-2014, 11:02 PM
      #29
    Weanling
    Update: Roxy lopes now! I spent a couple rides in asnaffle and german martingale getting her to accept contact and did a lot of spiraling in and out at the trot. Then I increased my leg pressure, she broke into a lope. I let her stop after three steps, made a huge deal iver it by rubbing her and talking to her in a high voice, I got off and untacked and she got to graze in the nice grassy pasture for an hour. We have been working up more steps, she can now lope both ways without speeding up. I have been making rides end as soon as she does what I ask, she now does it the first time I ask. I am so happy with her. She does not like kissing or clucking, and she doesn't like squeezing with both legs, that makes her go fast.
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        06-23-2014, 11:16 PM
      #30
    Green Broke
    To add onto the spiraling of trotting, I would add loping out of these spirals then once she gets unruly pull on her and break her back down to a spiral. Increase your length in between spirals as you continue. Re-enforce squeezing, clicking, kissing, etc the ENTIRE time you're doing your spirals. If she gets a little frisky then so-be it, spiral tighter till she calms down, then spiral out into the lope. She will get over herself. Don't let her take you for a ride. When she lopes calmly, whether its 2 or 3 strides, stop the all the crazyness and sit quiet.

    Sorry If that has already been suggested, sometimes I breeze through posts and don't collect all the information.

    I can't agree more with what Cherie has said. Too often people are scared to yank on their horses. A well trained horse will respond accordingly to a light touch AND yanking.
         

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