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Leaning on the bit - to the extreme

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  • Leaning on bit putting head down
  • Que significa forthebitshe's

 
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    03-27-2010, 05:51 PM
  #11
Banned
It takes two to play this game. She can't lean if you don't give her something to lean against.
     
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    03-27-2010, 10:46 PM
  #12
Weanling
Perhaps switch from a french link to a single joint snaffle? With a french link, if she leans, it won't really pinch at all because it is so soft. At least with a regular snaffle there will be a point where she'll lean so far it will pinch her tongue and jab the roof of her mouth. Not that you should intentionally jab her with it, but it is pretty much just passive correction... like if a horse goes to nip at you and you just let them run their own head into your elbow or knuckle.

I'd do this before I'd ever put a twisted/knife snaffle in her mouth.
     
    03-28-2010, 02:07 AM
  #13
Foal
My horse was very very very bad about leaning on the bit, and I tried every bit I could without getting harsh. Until recently, What we did was put a small copper twisted wire snaffle in her mouth and put pressure on it until she would bend her pole and give into the pressure. At first it was small amounts of time AS SOON as she took her weight off the bit we released pressure and gave her TONS of praise. Then you slowly start asking for her to give into the pressure for a little longer each time before you let the pressure off. Once she had the concept of giving into pressure we moved up to a thicker wire and repeated the same process of making her bend at the pole and give into pressure. We did this over and over until she was able to give into pressure in a plane snaffle without a problem. Don't get me wrong it is a draining process and in the beginning seemed completely hopeless but now she gives to pressure and is much more sensitive to cues given with the bit. I am sure this method may be a bit controversial but I have personally seen amazing results! Best of luck!<3



PS: The reason this works is because you literally make it painful to lean on the bit to long, Once it starts to hurt for her to lean she will start thinking of ways to get free from the pressure in her mouth and as soon as the light bulb to bend her pole goes off is when you let go of the reins and PRIASE, if you do end up trying this after you have put pressure in her mouth DO NOT let go until she bends at the pole!!!!!! Giving up on it if she misbehaves will only show her that's what it takes to get you to give up!

I realize this is probably a terrible explanation as it is late and I am not fully awake lol. But if you have any questions please let me know I would love to see someone else feel as good as I did to regain control and be able to move on to bigger and better things
     
    03-28-2010, 02:36 PM
  #14
Weanling
I agree with Mercedes.

I really don't think this is a bit problem. There's something missing in your communication, and actually, with her in recovery, I think it's a good time to go back to square 1. Like, how does she lead?
     
    03-28-2010, 03:10 PM
  #15
Banned
I absolutely agree that there's an underlying training problem here; and I am not a person that believes that tack of any kind is the total solution. However, in certain, limited circumstances, tack along with behavior modification/training can be part of the solution.

Normally, if I had a horse that lugged, leaned and braced on the bit; I'd be doing a lot of flatwork with a lot of transitions; putting the horse on a circle and pushing off my inside leg onto the outside rein and "springing" the horse off the inside rein. I'd also include lots of hill work to get them working correctly off their hind end, and maybe include some ground driving or lunging in a surcingle and cavesson.

But the OP has stated the horse is coming back into work after an injury, she doesn't have a ring to ride in, the horse is up and excited, and she's trying to hack down the road, and the leaning and bracing is creatiing an unsafe situation.

That's why, in this limited situation, I think a bit that discourages the behavior is *part* of the solution. Because the sound, solid, tried and true classical solution isn't an option for this rider at this time.

The OP needs a way to hack her horse down the road while legging back up that's safe for both of them and hopefully less frustrating. The triangle snaffle may work or it may not. And as I've stated previously, it's not a bit you should ride in consistently. I'm just saying it may be worth a try to get her through this difficult period.
     
    03-28-2010, 06:28 PM
  #16
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercedes    
It takes two to play this game. She can't lean if you don't give her something to lean against.

This what I was going to say. It would be very interesting to see the vid, and it would also help with giving advice on the problem.
     
    03-28-2010, 08:58 PM
  #17
Green Broke
If you give her her head, she will trot/canter off. She does NOT want to walk right now. I understand this is a training problem and one I'm working to resolve, but that essentially is the problem right now - trying to re-school her to relax and be happy walking when she's energetic and to be respecting me, but also trying to be cautious of her leg.

95% of the time, I can walk this horse on a loose rein. It's not like she's "always crazy". She just hasn't had the consistant work lately due to her ongoing leg problems, and without having a coach or a proper place to ride, I find myself at a loss and frustrated.

Side reins - she does the same thing. If she's not going with her nose flipped sky high, she's bracing on the bit as hard as she can. She literally will NOT tolerate a contact - that's essentially what it boils down to. She's either evading it by flipping her nose past a point of control, or bracing into it to start a tug-o-war battle with me to get her way.

I think at this point, taking her out in her hackamore is the best idea. She has a respect for it, and I can ride her on a generally loose rein because she knows that chain will dig in if she doesn't behave and she dislikes it. Right now the bigger concern is getting her back in shape, and THEN concentrating on her schooling. I guess I'm just at a loss as to how to even begin to train her when she's so busy yanking on the bit.

She essentially has to re-learn respect for the bit - she's actually twice as silly with a bit in her mouth because she KNOWS she doesn't have to listen to me. A rope halter across her sensitive nose or a chain under her sensitive chin and she smartens up immediately and doesn't even test the waters because she knows there is a consequence to misbehaving. With the snaffle, she doesn't care two wits and actually seems to revel in bracing against it.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll keep you updated when I hopefully start schooling her again in the paddock come summer. As a side note, I may be looking into a proper boarding facility at this point, so fingers crossed I may actually be able to WORK my horses instead of letting them go to hell without proper facilities.
     
    03-28-2010, 11:25 PM
  #18
Yearling
My gelding did this. He'd rather brace and fall over than give to direct pressure on his face. While I agree that bits are not generally the answer sometimes they can help you find the question and then the answer. My gelding was protecting a weak back and didn't know how or what I was asking him to do when I applied direct rein pressure. He couldn't raise his poll, tuck his nose and raise his back no matter what I or anyone else tried without a lot of force and he still leaned which made his tucked neck pointless. I put him in a tom thumb run of the mill training bit that had a place for a direct rein and a curb rein. Looked like this http://www.davlynrodeoequipment.com/...es/25-1755.jpg. Then I rode him in it like a pelham with two sets of reins. When he leaned he got the curb, when he didn't I rode with the top rein. It takes a little practice but isn't that hard to ride with both reins. It worked like a charm and he is now going nice and light and doing upper level movements. You need a bit that is fixed and the shanks aren't too long nor too short. A true pelham isn't fixed and they can get easily confused and find it easier to evade the curb and brace on the bit. I also recommend using a plain leather curb strap under it. This will teach her that the bit pressure if she leans on it will put the same pressure under her chin as the hackamore. Take what she already listens to and use it against her and for you. Eventually she will equate any bit with the curb and chin pressure and you can start experimenting with bits that lack the curb and are more suited to your style of riding. I think this might be more of a fitness problem exacerbating a training problem than a true training problem but it's hard to tell from an internet post. Regardless of what you try and what works for you, Good Luck! And keep us posted!
     
    03-28-2010, 11:40 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Have you tried one rein stopping and disengaging her every time you stop? I think it would make it harder for her to brace when her neck is turned, she would have to reposition her weight and if you kept her hind end moving around her leg, she could not do this.

Pretty much what I am saying is that instead of using two reins to stop her, use one. Give your seat and verbal cues to stop, then loosen one rein and tighter the otherm bend her neck , move her butt until she stops. Then let up. If she moves, bend her again. Switch sides every time you do it... That's just what I would do given your circumstances. It makes it harder for her to flip her nose too, since she would essentially have to straighten her neck back out to really do it with any leverage.

I also agree with Maura, try the triangle bit for now, just to discourage her form bracing. This coupled with the bending should at least trip her up for a bit until you can get her in shap enough to really get on her butt.
     
    03-29-2010, 02:57 AM
  #20
Weanling
I don't know if this will be helpful in your situation, but it works with my ottb. When we ride in one of the resting paddocks, which are huge, he gets it into his head that its hoon time and switches into race horse mode, putting his head down to brace on the bit and just charges ahead. I've found the one-rein stop is really useful for correcting this.
If he starts ignoring me/the bit I'll ask once nicely, once hard and then I'll pull him around in a one rein stop. Once his feet are still and he has softened to the bit I'll let the rein out, but he has to stand still for a few seconds until I ask him to move off. And then its just repeat, repeat, repeat, at the walk, then trot, then canter.
Hope this is helpful!
     

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