My horse-the dirty rotten stop cheater - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-05-2009, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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My horse-the dirty rotten stop cheater

I've been riding my mare western off and on for a few weeks now...we are making a slow comeback from having a few years off. I thought she was stopping okay, until I rode her hunt the other day. She accepted the contact in upward transitions and while in motion, but she really wants to drop her head and even nose out for halts and downward transitions (I didn't notice she was being so evasive on the loose rein western). I'm thinking of going back to a snaffle and draw reins. I'm not sure what else to do...and too poor for a trainer:)

Any suggestions appreciated!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-05-2009, 05:21 PM
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Sounds like shes just out of shape and its her way of stretching out to avoid soreness.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-05-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Very possible...plans in order have her in better condition...thanks for the reply!
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-06-2009, 11:42 AM
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Draw reins are not the answer. First I would have her teeth checked to make sure there is nothing causing her pain. I'd also have her back and feet looked at. Rooting and evasion can be caused by pain in other areas besides the mouth.

Once she checks out physically, try using a three piece bit on her. She may not appreciate the nut cracker effect of a single joint snaffle. Try a french link or bean mouth Full Cheek or D-Ring and see how she does. Or a Full Cheek that has a copper roller in the middle (one of my favorite bits to try).

When she avoids the contact, raise your hands up a bit, keep them soft, and push her forward into the bridle. Be sure your arms and shoulders are relaxed, not pulling, bouncing, or stiff. When she accepts the contact, drop your hands back down to a normal position and tell her "good girl." Rinse and repeat until she quits her silliness.

If she doesn't quit with the new bit and healthy mouth, try a Myler low port snaffle with a forward tilt. She might just not like tongue pressure in general.

I also agree, take things slow! You can't expect her to jump right back into the same routine you had before. Give her plenty of days off, spend some time on the trail letting her stretch and relax, and give her plenty of walking and loose rein trotting for warm up and cool down.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-06-2009, 12:33 PM
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I too love the French link snaffle...Make sure you keep your leg on her and are pushing her into the frame even though you are "down shifting". It actually takes more leg to do downward transitions and keep your horse right than it does to do upward transitions. You could use the draw reins if you want, but that may eventually teach her to lean on you more. I wouldn't use them every time but here and there won't hurt. At least she is accepting the "feel" for the upward transtions, just use some extra leg to back up what you are doing and keep your hand really light. And when she pulls her nose down, make sure you stretch your upper body tall so she doesn't pull you foreward. Good luck!
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