Loosening Up in A Snaffle? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 06:12 PM
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Why are you so against working with a trainer? It's always amazing to me what the eyes of another person can pick up, that we are blind to see ourselves. I've been riding for over 25 years and I like to go take a least a couple lessons on something every year, because one never stops learning about horses and better ways to do things.

This is a Mullen mouthpiece. Is this the mouthpiece on your curb bit?





I myself don't have a problem two-handing a horse in a solid mouthpiece **if** you are schooling the horse and they know what you are asking. When I took my horse to a reining trainer earlier this year, they used both a correction bit on him (loose pieces on the mouth piece) and a low port reining bit (solid mouthpiece). 90% of my riding is neck reining and legs, but if he doesn't soften up or bend as much for what I'm doing, I'll pick up on my inside rein and ask him to soften and bend.

So if you want to ride two-handed ALL of the time, then you outta use a snaffle (no shanks) bit on your horse because that is what they are designed for.

Agree with Skyseternalangel. A lot of people think they are making a horse "soft" by putting pressure on the reins and squeezing with their legs, but that's the wrong way to do it. You can't make a horse soft in the body when you are only working on their face. You have to make the horse's body soft FIRST, and collected, and then the head will naturally drop on its own.

What type of snaffle you have in her mouth shouldn't matter, although yes one might work a *little* better for her than another, just due to the horse's preference. Maybe a double-jointed mouthpiece would work better. I personally hate bits that only have one joint; I feel like they nutcracker in my horse's mouth. I get much better responses with double-joints.

Go back to the basics with your horse. You shouldn't even think about loping right now, because you probably haven't mastered it at the walk. You say she can "bend at the poll" at the walk, but from how you described you ask her for it (pull on reins, and squeeze her sides) you have taught her the wrong thing.

THIS is precisely why working with a trainer (even just lessons once in a while; not even sending the horse there for 30 days or anything) can help immensely. You've been unintentionally making your horse's mouth harder by giving her confusing signals (go back .... wait go foward ...... wait, i don't know!)

Do circles, circles, and more circles. Circles creates bend in your horse's body and will encourage her to step her inside leg underneath her, round her back, and then causing her head to come down and relax. Use your outside rein with very light contact just for support. With your inside rein, you want to twist your wrist, and lift upward toward your opposite shoulder. This asks the nose to bend inward and the shoulder stay elevated. At the same time, put your inside leg on her in the middle, and ask her ribcage to move out, so that her body is bending around your inside leg. You can use your outside leg to keep her hip inward, if need be.

When she gets that, remove tension. Chances are she won't hold her body position and will go back to being straight. That's okay. Ask her to bend again. WHen she's doing it nicely, release pressure. She might not hold it. That's okay. Ask again. Eventually, your end goal is for her to self-hold in that bent frame for you.

Make sure to do this both ways. And don't leave that walk until she's holding herself. THen you can try the trot.

Notice NONE of that involves pulling on the reins and squeezing her to go forward at the same time............... That's an artificial head seat and artificial head drop. You can't just change one part of the horse's body. You have to change the body, and then the rest will fall into place.
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I took a few lessons, and that is what the TRAINER said to do. She lives a mile away from me so it works out really good.

I'm looking for tips on getting her to soften up, not to be criticized for how I was taught. She knows how to bend, flex, soften up in every bit BUT this one.
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 08:49 PM
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Sounds to me that she doesn't like the snaffle. Is the kimberwick a snaffle (single joint) as well? If it is, i would look for a snaffle with the same thickness. i also would try a French link. That is a very mild bit. Snaffled whether they are full cheek, o-ring, d-ring, etc all have the same effect. Some have thinner or thicker mouth pieces (not sure what that part that goes in the mouth is called).
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Her Kimberwick is also a Curb mouthpiece, she seems to do better in non-broken mouthpieces.
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 09:48 PM
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Ditch the snaffle. It may be causing her discomfort which is making her tense. I would recommend the French link. Do you have anyone that can loan you one to try?
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrill Ride View Post
Her Kimberwick is also a Curb mouthpiece, she seems to do better in non-broken mouthpieces.
Can you explain what you mean by "curb" mouthpiece? Just FYI, the mouthpiece doesn't make a curb... What defines a curb bit is leverage, therefore the cheek piece/shanks define a curb, not a mouthpiece.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry! I know the difference but always forget. It has a really low port in it.

This is the Kimberwick we use, I think the port may be a little lower.
Google Image Result for http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_EHLQky0JezI/TOO-PjMyVWI/AAAAAAAAAmQ/sOSvsj9nbts/s640/detail_204_low-port-kimberwick-m.jpg
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-09-2013, 10:56 PM
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Snaffles can have ports ;) Again, it's the leverage that makes the difference.


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post #19 of 20 Old 08-12-2013, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Thrill Ride View Post
I took a few lessons, and that is what the TRAINER said to do. She lives a mile away from me so it works out really good.

I'm looking for tips on getting her to soften up, not to be criticized for how I was taught. She knows how to bend, flex, soften up in every bit BUT this one.

So..... you're just going to ignore my whole paragraph of TIPS?

"Do circles, circles, and more circles. Circles creates bend in your horse's body and will encourage her to step her inside leg underneath her, round her back, and then causing her head to come down and relax. Use your outside rein with very light contact just for support. With your inside rein, you want to twist your wrist, and lift upward toward your opposite shoulder. This asks the nose to bend inward and the shoulder stay elevated. At the same time, put your inside leg on her in the middle, and ask her ribcage to move out, so that her body is bending around your inside leg. You can use your outside leg to keep her hip inward, if need be.

When she gets that, remove tension. Chances are she won't hold her body position and will go back to being straight. That's okay. Ask her to bend again. WHen she's doing it nicely, release pressure. She might not hold it. That's okay. Ask again. Eventually, your end goal is for her to self-hold in that bent frame for you.

Make sure to do this both ways. And don't leave that walk until she's holding herself. THen you can try the trot."

I'm sorry that the trainer gave you wrong information on how to soften your horse. This is why it is important to get references and opinions about trainers, and why it is important to watch how their horses perform. But we're not going to pat you on the back for doing something wrong, if that's why you have ruffled feathers about being "criticized". (actually we're simply correcting you ..... not criticizing) But you were taught wrong; you have to change it.

Softening is not something that is going to occur overnight. It's going to take weeks, at a minimum.

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post #20 of 20 Old 08-12-2013, 09:58 AM
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I ride my mare in a WH ultra sprenger bit:

806[1].jpg

True collection is not the "headset", too many riders worry about where the horses head is and are riding their horses hollow backed and then the problems really start.

You are asking her incorrectly and that's why she's confused. You need to ride her back to front, get her hind end under her first then worry about where her head is. Ride her into her bridle. Massage her mouth with the bit by using your fingers NOT by pulling with your hands left right left right left right and when she starts chewing your on the right path. The headset will come, and yes you do need a trainer......

Half halts are your best friend when trying to achieve collection.

http://horses.about.com/od/glossaryo...collection.htm

http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-ex...lt-how-to.aspx
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Last edited by Fahntasia; 08-12-2013 at 10:02 AM.
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