I need LOTS of help! Many questions, very long!

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I need LOTS of help! Many questions, very long!

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    09-28-2009, 01:58 AM
I need LOTS of help! Many questions, very long!

So, I'm not sure whether to put this in training or tack, but here goes anyway. I bought my mare while she was preggers and she was pretty skinny so I only got around to riding her twice. When I went to see her for the first time she rode fairly well. (don't they always though?:roll:) I only had an issue with the fact that when she led she would constantly walk on my feet.(I have since fixed that) I get her home and I had bought the same type of bit that they had her in. All I know it by is 'argentine'. I'll post a pic of it down below. When I took her to ride she stood like a dream but as soon as I went to get my other foot in the stirrup she started to crow hop and bucked slightly. I had checked the fit of the saddle, it fit well. As soon as she realised that I wasn't getting off she STOPPED. She would not move for anything. I think these are just some little tricks she learned in how to keep from being ridden, as I know for a fact she was once very well trained. So I actually have a few questions. I have decided to just start from the ground up again(by me I mean me and my trainer friend), but could you tell me about the 'argentine' bit and if there would be one more suited to her since I noticed she likes to grab at the shanks? I tried her in a plain o ring snaffle and she just ignores that, she won't turn or stop if I put pressure on it. Someone suggested to me a slow twist snaffle. What sort of differances are there between the three? She is trained western so I don't know if she'd be more comfortable in a 'western' bit? OH! Random thought! I noticed that the people I got her from were wearing dummy spurs? If that info is of any use? Ugh, this is all really frustrating! Sorry, I'm not able to be all that articulate at the moment. Ask any questions you feel are relevent, feel free to ask. Rip me apart if you must, I'll live. Please, any help is appreciated.
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    09-28-2009, 02:00 AM
Oops, here's a pic from the place I got her and the bit. Also, at their round pen she kept trying to stop at the gate....
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File Type: jpg the first of many 005.jpg (90.4 KB, 159 views)
    09-28-2009, 02:07 AM
This is what the mouth part looks like.
    09-28-2009, 11:57 AM
Well, usually bits with shanks are meant for 'finished' horses....since the shanks mean more leverage, which means a harsher bit, it takes a really responsive horse and light hands to use them....if she ignores the snaffle, then maybe her previous owners were using that bit to get a response out of her (a pain response, not an actual willingness to do something)? Judging by their use of dummy spurs, I'd say that might be likely. If your friend is a trainer, she would be much more capable of making bit suggestions or even getting her to respond to a nicer bit.

As for the round pen issue, my horse does the same thing. He even goes as far as to nudge it to see if it will open! Going on the suggestions I've gotten, try working with her outside of a round pen (like on a line).

But she does look like a sweet girl, her eyes do seem a bit sad/tired?
    09-29-2009, 01:02 AM
Thanks for your input!! I always like to get many differant points of view before going into something just to be informed. It's not as though I don't trust my trainer, but it's kind of a 'it can't hurt to know as much as you can' thing for me. I like to do my research! :) The thing about her not being finished could be half true based on what I have dug up on these people. I found the name of the place that she was bred at and she lived there for seven years, I know she was broke before they bought her two years ago at an auction. I know for a fact that she hasn't been ridden regularly in at least three years as well. But these people were the epitome of bad backyard breeders. I don't doubt that their riding skills were sub-par, and may have even contributed to her poor riding now. But the thing is, now I want to start her back from the ground up now that baby is okay to be alone for 20 or so min at a time without needing to nurse. (really he doesn't care at all how far away she is as long as he can see her. And her the same.) The only problem is, what bit do I use?? Ugh...I know I'm going in circles, but I am childishly impatient when it comes to waiting for information. LOL! I wanted to get to work on her today, but a thunderstorm crashed the party and I don't have an indoor arena...:( But, yes she's a sweety otherwise. Looking back at those photos is kind of sickening to me now that I can see her all sleek and shiney and happy on pasture instead of a mudpit. Thanks for taking time to read this book! HA! Your help is keeping me sane untill my trainer shows up or the weather quits being gross.
    09-29-2009, 01:22 AM
You need to go back to a regular snaffle bit, and teach her how to bend and give to the bit from the ground up. A bit with leverage doesn't gaurentee control.

I agree with your decision to retrain her from the ground up, and I wish you the best of luck
    09-29-2009, 01:30 AM
I would try for a snaffle, something like a loose ring double jointed snaffle. If she really is happier in a curb bit, I would go with a mullen mouth, with a small port, and short shanks that are able to swivel. Smrobs has a picture she often shows people that she uses on her horses, it would be perfect, but I can't find the picture!
    09-29-2009, 02:30 AM
Thanks guys!! There is a hooved animal rescue near by me and I think they're having a tack sale soon, I'll see about getting a couple of these bits to see how she takes them. It was a loose ring snaffle that I tried her in and she ignored. But I can't wait to get into this and get somewhere with her! After just having her sit in a pasture for all these months, I want to do something with her. Though she is a sweety, if she thinks she can get away with not doing what you ask, she will. So my friend has a hard time with even longing her. Oh, so many things to work on! Oh, well, succeeding in life wouldn't be rewarding if it was a straight ride! Thanks again everyone!
    09-29-2009, 03:08 AM
Green Broke
Rather than just put a hard bit on her I would train her to be responsive to a snaffle. Its my belief that all horses can be ridden in a snaffle (although some may require some retraining) and should be ridden in a snaffle until they progress to a "higher" bit that may be required for competition.

You could even use a snaffle with a full cheek, can't think of what they are called right now, but if you were to steer with an open rein the cheek piece would put pressure on the side of the face so that she would learn to move her head with it.

I don't see anything wrong with spurs if you have a very secure, still and precise leg position. In my mind, like harsh bits, they should be used for subtlety, not necessity. As she is a new horse I would probably do with out.

Try getting her used to voice commands on the ground. That way when you put pressure on the bit and say "halt" or your chosen command she will learn to stop with pressure.

If it were me retraining a horse I would use the softest bit practical and the least artificial aids possible. Do it properly - to me harsh bits are just shortcuts that don't pay of.
    09-29-2009, 03:10 AM
A D ring, Fullmer, or Tom Thumb (The Aussie type!) snaffle might be a good thing to try. The solid cheekpieces also add lateral pressure to the opposite side of the horses head which helps with turning, etc.

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