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Insensitive horse?

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  • Influencing an insensitive horse

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    09-27-2012, 11:23 AM
  #11
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
How, exactly, are you teaching her to steer? Steering should come from your seat and leg, with your hands as merely a guide.
Your mare should learn how to neck rein FIRST before you switch to a curb bit; curb bits are to be used on horses that know how to neck rein only, they are not supposed to be used two handed, direct reining. 6 months is much too soon to introduce a curb.

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Well somebody with a lot more experience than me rode my horse and told me that she was uncontrollable with just a snaffle bit and she wouldn't give her head at all and I also noticed this. At a trot I could barely steer her but I would lay my rein and one side of her neck and pull the other rein in the direction I wanted her to go so she would feel the rein laid on her neck first but she still would not give her head so that's why I switched to a curb bit and its helped a lot and she actually responds to foot signals and I really don't have to to steer her at all.
     
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    09-27-2012, 02:08 PM
  #12
Showing
If someone told you she was uncontrollable in a snaffle, that means they don't know what they're talking about and the mare needs more training.

What, exactly, do you want help with?
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    09-27-2012, 02:32 PM
  #13
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by horsinaround14    
Well somebody with a lot more experience than me rode my horse and told me that she was uncontrollable with just a snaffle bit and she wouldn't give her head at all and I also noticed this. At a trot I could barely steer her but I would lay my rein and one side of her neck and pull the other rein in the direction I wanted her to go so she would feel the rein laid on her neck first but she still would not give her head so that's why I switched to a curb bit and its helped a lot and she actually responds to foot signals and I really don't have to to steer her at all.
If she won't give her head at all, she doesn't understand what you are asking. You have to ask the horse to do a task in a way that it understands.


Every horse should be controllable with a snaffle bit, IMO. Most often it is the rider's fault (usually unintentionally) for the horse's response, and not at all that the horse is "insensitive".

Going to a more severe bit is only making her resist pressure that much more. Sure, she may go well in it for a while, but what are you going to do when she starts to ignore that curb bit because she doesn't understand what you want? You've got to fix the training issue, or the problem will never go away and will only get worse.

I don't know who this person is that you asked for help, but it sure sounds like they don't know what they are doing any more than you do. And I do NOT mean that as an insult; only as the truth. We were all there at one point, and learning about horses is an un-ending march. I commend you for coming on here asking for advice, but I also feel there is only so much we can do through the internet. I strongly, strongly encourage you to find someone who actually knows what they are doing (and doesn't just say the horse is uncontrollable) to help you. You need a trainer.

You should never PULL on your horse's mouth. It should be a give-and-take release of pressure.

Put your horse back in a snaffle bit and try this exercise from the ground.

Standing at your horse's left side near the stirrup, put pressure (don't pull) on the left rein. Hold it steady (do not pull harder) in the exact same place and wait. The very instant your horse brings her head to the left to put slack in the rein, you must immediately remove the pressure from the rein. Pat your horse and praise her. She just gave you the correct answer by moving toward the pressure to give herself relief.

If you do not release the pressure immediately at the proper time, your horse never gets a reward for her efforts and never learns what the correct reponse is. So she just learns to ignore your cues because she doesn't get relief anyway.

When she gets really good at that exercise to both the right and left (always work both sides), then you can start asking for her to move her head farther until she finds her release. Again, ALWAYS release the pressure immediately when she does the right thing.

You can also do this to back your horse from the ground. Hold your hands evenly over her back, standing at his side. Evenly pulse pressure straight back on the reins. Again, don't pulse harder or faster, just stay steady and be patient. The very instant she even shifts her weight backward, you need to stop asking her and give her the pressure-release reward. When she gets good at that, don't release the pressure until she takes one teeny step backward with any of her legs. Praise and release.

You've got to do things in small increments like this. And you've got to stay consistent and release at the proper time, all the time.

When you can do all these things on the ground, THEN try it from the saddle.





     
    09-27-2012, 03:51 PM
  #14
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
My suggestion would be to go back to a snaffle and teach the horse how to steer, firstly, working off leg and seat. Then introduce neck reining, by incorporating leg and seat aids, with direct reining and introducing the feel of the opposite rein against the neck. Once the horse is good with neck reining in a snaffle at all three gaits and the reins can be loose 98% of the time, THEN switch to a curb for refinement.
There is a reason that under 6 year old horses are allowed to show in a bosal or snaffle; it takes that long to get a horse trained to a curb properly and there are steps to be taken to achieve that level of training.
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OK thanks for the advice. I guess I moved her into the curb bit to fast, but it was suggested that I switch her to that and its helped alot but I would like to use a softer bit, but didnt think I could handle her if I did. I've been doing a lot of groundwork with her lately because she has a lot of attitude issues in the saddle, and its like the bit in her mouth doesn't even phase her.
     
    09-27-2012, 04:09 PM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159    
If she won't give her head at all, she doesn't understand what you are asking. You have to ask the horse to do a task in a way that it understands.


Every horse should be controllable with a snaffle bit, IMO. Most often it is the rider's fault (usually unintentionally) for the horse's response, and not at all that the horse is "insensitive".

Going to a more severe bit is only making her resist pressure that much more. Sure, she may go well in it for a while, but what are you going to do when she starts to ignore that curb bit because she doesn't understand what you want? You've got to fix the training issue, or the problem will never go away and will only get worse.

I don't know who this person is that you asked for help, but it sure sounds like they don't know what they are doing any more than you do. And I do NOT mean that as an insult; only as the truth. We were all there at one point, and learning about horses is an un-ending march. I commend you for coming on here asking for advice, but I also feel there is only so much we can do through the internet. I strongly, strongly encourage you to find someone who actually knows what they are doing (and doesn't just say the horse is uncontrollable) to help you. You need a trainer.

You should never PULL on your horse's mouth. It should be a give-and-take release of pressure.

Put your horse back in a snaffle bit and try this exercise from the ground.

Standing at your horse's left side near the stirrup, put pressure (don't pull) on the left rein. Hold it steady (do not pull harder) in the exact same place and wait. The very instant your horse brings her head to the left to put slack in the rein, you must immediately remove the pressure from the rein. Pat your horse and praise her. She just gave you the correct answer by moving toward the pressure to give herself relief.

If you do not release the pressure immediately at the proper time, your horse never gets a reward for her efforts and never learns what the correct reponse is. So she just learns to ignore your cues because she doesn't get relief anyway.

When she gets really good at that exercise to both the right and left (always work both sides), then you can start asking for her to move her head farther until she finds her release. Again, ALWAYS release the pressure immediately when she does the right thing.

You can also do this to back your horse from the ground. Hold your hands evenly over her back, standing at his side. Evenly pulse pressure straight back on the reins. Again, don't pulse harder or faster, just stay steady and be patient. The very instant she even shifts her weight backward, you need to stop asking her and give her the pressure-release reward. When she gets good at that, don't release the pressure until she takes one teeny step backward with any of her legs. Praise and release.

You've got to do things in small increments like this. And you've got to stay consistent and release at the proper time, all the time.

When you can do all these things on the ground, THEN try it from the saddle.




Thanks. Sounds like you know a lot about horses and training them. I've only had my horse for a short time and I just ask advice from other western riders that I ride with. But there is no way I can afford a trainer . Thanks for the advice though :)
     

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