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Making horse softer in the mouth

This is a discussion on Making horse softer in the mouth within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        05-07-2013, 10:59 PM
      #21
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by waresbear    
    If you are pulling, there's your problem, it's a lift and sounds like the mare is sensitive to that and not suffering fools. Lose the martingale and stop pulling, start flexing and learn how much calf pressure and where to apply to this mare's body to get her to respond. Unfortunately, if you already have got good at less than effective method of cuing a horse, it's hard to learn something else. Good luck.
    You should've seen how I used to be! There's still hope for anyone brave enough to be asking the questions.
         
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        05-07-2013, 11:32 PM
      #22
    Started
    You could try exaggerating your seat cues. Really follow her at the walk with your body. When you want to stop, prepare her by not following anymore. Make your seat very still, say whoa, and use the absolute lightest touch she will respond to.
    nvr2many likes this.
         
        05-07-2013, 11:36 PM
      #23
    Started
    Look up some Buck Brannaman videos. He is really good with getting the soft feel back on any horse.
         
        05-07-2013, 11:46 PM
      #24
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
    You should've seen how I used to be! There's still hope for anyone brave enough to be asking the questions.
    Me too, been there, done that. When I started "officially" starting dude string horses, the owner & his daughter said every horse I rode should buck me off & stomp me for how I jerked on them. Here I thought I was a gentle handed rider. LOL
         
        05-07-2013, 11:48 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    I use more leg than rein and I rode her tonight and she was 10 times better. Teeth were floated last week and the saddle is a custom made saddle for her. I use the running martingale incase they decide to throw their head a lot and it can help me get control. I will not use a snaffle without one. I'm not pulling out but directing up. I'm not going to change the bit because I have experimented with a professional trainer and myself and this combination is what we came up with that works the best. Thank you for all of your suggestions, but I'm reminding myself of what I did with my gelding last year and it seemed to work wonderful. I shows him statewide after training him and we placed very well. After riding tonight I see what I need to do. I absolutely HATE spur stop. We have a horse that's spur stopped trained and I don't like it. I don't mind having a horse that will just stop and back with a spur but that's it (I have my gelding doing that) but I don't like how you can't get on horses that are spur stop trained. It's not natural and I think it looks very fake
         
        05-08-2013, 12:31 AM
      #26
    Trained
    Make it fair...make sure she understands what is being asked. It doesn't take much to teach them on the ground, or in the saddle, to give you their head (flex) all the way left side and right. It just takes patience. The game is "w the least amount of pressure".
         
        05-08-2013, 11:49 AM
      #27
    Trained
    Unfortunately with a horse that is jerking it's head up in the bridle, the last time you want to put on them is a martingale. However you have a method and until you learn different, more advanced techniques, it will be frustrating. As a trainer, you have to be willing to be trained as well. More than once, I have hauled a horse I had been training to work with more experienced trainers at my expense to find out what I could do differently, money well spent I say.
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    Ian McDonald and Boo Walker like this.
         
        05-09-2013, 09:06 PM
      #28
    Foal
    Somebody needs some trust? Have you tried in-hand with her? Not much is stopping you from putting her in a halter or bitless bridle and seeing how she does. Many people find the horse more relaxed, going bitless feels more familiar as this is how they lead. Personally, though, I would put flightier horses in a standing martingale with the halter, enough slack that it would only act on them if their nose was in the dirt or their head was directly in front of the rider's face. What worked best for me was the Australian string trick that Schiller uses; you put just enough pressure on the bridle or halter not to break one horse hair, and keep that pressure there until the horse lowers his head, then you immediately release all pressure. Wait a few seconds and repeat. The horse starts responding quicker and lighter in just one session. I think this is easiest with western horses, because you don't need to be in contact with them all the time, the reins can be quite loose. The horse has to be able to accept the contact if you're doing it English. I go around in warm ups with a looser-than-usual rein, and be very particular about where my hands are and how much rein there is... eventually at one point or other the horse lowers enough to feel my hands, I let him, then release a bit more til he can't go further. My own mare changes each ride with her condition issues, so at one point I had to put my leg on and keep her on a circle with the exact same pressure every second until her head lowered and she calmed a bit, then I would let the reins go very light until she bumped her head up again, then I'd put my leg's bending aids on and put her on the circle again. Pressure can't exceed the amount needed to break a horse hair. Your seat is the greatest ally!
         

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