Leaning on the bit - to the extreme - Page 12 - The Horse Forum
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post #111 of 114 Old 03-30-2010, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: State College, PA
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So I was riding my gelding tonight that I said was a lot like Zierra in the bracing and evading business. Tonight he was soooo heavy and was completely refusing to do trot/halt and canter/halt transitions. Even though we just did them last time fine. I had to unlock his jaw, neck and shoulders to get a supple halt. To do this I started playing follow the nose in what I call the drunk run. Where you take a few steps left, then straighten, then go a few steps right. Back and forth at the walk and trot. This gets them following their nose and working off one rein like Kevin said. Then I started alternating my half halts. I would bump with my left leg and collect with my right rein, then the next step I would bump with my right leg and collect with my left rein. I was basically bumping him up into the bridle but alternating sides so he didn't have a steady pressure to brace against. I got some really nice supple halts out of this at the trot and then called it quits for the night. This may be something you could do even in the hackamore on the side of the road to get her to sit on her haunches and raise her front end a little.

On a side note, thanks for reminding me about following the nose Kevin. I tend to forget about the simple things when I get into fights with my horse about how he can do something one minute and then shut down the next. It helps him regroup physically and mentally.
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post #112 of 114 Old 03-31-2010, 01:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I have a green mare that I haven't ridden all winter, I bridled her up with a loose ring snaffle and worked her neck from the ground. First start on the ground, get her to flex her head around to your stirrup. Initially he may pivot around, hold onto the saddle to help you stay in line with her and hold her nose to the stirrup until she stops then immediately release. Then when she understands that she can pull her neck around with out pivoting. lightly pull on the inside rein until she gives you her head, when you feel her give it to you and the slack of the rein comes out, release. (sometimes it helps if you scratch where you want their nose to go the first few times) Work it until she gets really good and almost anticipates bringing her head around from both sides. I did this with this mare that I hadn't ridden all winter for 10-12 minutes, she had a really stiff neck! Then do it from the saddle, if she pivots hold the pressure until she stops. I did the same with this mare, then when I asked her to move forward she lunged forward. This is not what I asked for so I grabbed the one rein and flexed her head around until she stopped. Then you move them forward again. I spent the next 45 minutes turning all over the field I was riding just getting this mare to respond to the rein pressure, until she became reasonably lighter. The next two hours turned out to be a great first spring ride. This is nothing new and has been posted by others members in this discussion. I just felt that I would give my experience yesterday as a witness that it works. I really didn't know what side of the barn this mare woke up on, in fact she has known to be testy. However because I can control her neck I am able to confidently do a lot of things with her. Of course this would be difficult to do on the side of the rode, I would find an arena or a large field where you can concentrate more on her response to your hands than on which lane of traffic you are in.

Last edited by Toymanator; 03-31-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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post #113 of 114 Old 03-31-2010, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oregon Coast
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I agree with you. I have done something similar to train a horse to back up... she would almost fall over sideways when I asked for her to back up but when I used this method I got results that day!!! its worth a try!
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post #114 of 114 Old 04-01-2010, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ireland
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I donīt have the time to read through all those post in this great thread!
But one question: If she is going fine bitless why do want to go back to the trouble riding her with a bit?
I have a connemara pony that had problems with the bit. She was pulling, shaking her head,....riding was not much fun.
I had her teeth checked by a vet and he floated her teeth. Not much improvement. I started riding her with a bitless bridle and subsequently with a LG-Bridle.(LG Bridle™). It was like riding a new horse! No more problems since I would never bother putting a bit back into her mouth!
Last summer I eventually found out what the problem is: I had an equine dentist check her teeth. She said straight away that she has an old root that has grown onto another tooth. This has obviously caused her pain with the bit.
Lesson No 1 I learned from it: There is always a reason for their behavior. Usually it is pain or discomfort. Sometimes it is difficult to find out what is cause is. But there is a problem somewhere!
Lesson No 2:use an equine dentist and not a vet to have the teeth checked!


Last edited by iridehorses; 05-05-2010 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Advertising
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