my horse from Western to English riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-09-2011, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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my horse from Western to English riding


I bought my horse about 4months ago from a a girl who did western pleasure, HUS and halter classes with him quite competitively at national level. I hardly know anything bout the western side of rding but from his results I take it he was pretty good.
But now, I ride english and am wanting to do dressage and showjumping. he is a confident jumper and I have been working him through grids and done a few small comps. and he is going great!
however, I am stuggling on th dressage side. He does come onto the bit, and he has come more up off theforehnd since I got him, but since hes spent his whole life in western jogs and lopes I stuggle to get him moving forward into the contact and lifting his feet properly.
Its notlike he draggs his feet or anything and there have been times when he comes together really well. But its hard to keep him moving forward to track up and come down, I get upset ( whcih i have to stop) and he gets upset nd things just start going down hill.

I really need some help!!!
anyone have any suggestions????
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-09-2011, 08:07 AM
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What you could try is lunging your horse with side reins in a snaffle bit. Adjust the side reins in gradual increments until your horse has light contact with the bit. In your lunging area put down ground poles so your horse has to pick up his feet and also it will help him track more so under himself behind.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-11-2011, 04:02 PM
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Hi youre on the right track but he needs time to develop the muscle for self carriage. Do some slow work on hills and build it up gradually as he gets stronger, challenge him but dont push him too much, you will have to watch him carefully. Gauge your work to his ability. You want to build his muscle up not break it down. He sounds like a smart and athletic horse.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-11-2011, 10:12 PM
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didn't you post this issue on another thread? I might be confusing you with someone else.
The thing is to get him going forward really committedly first before asking him to come forward AND onto the bit. so, ride him out and ask him to trot or canter and really get him moving, but don't try to hold him with the bit or seek for any sort of headset. Just go forward off the leg, no holding back.
A horse that learns to come behind the leg or the bit is very hard to train out of this, so work to get him mentall focussed on a good , working forward.
The appy I ride is kind of like this. If I post the trot, he thinks I want to canter, so it's hard for me to get him to trot out the way a dressage horse is asked to canter. His ownder can do it, but she has to wear spurs and cna't take up much contact at first. He will even do the trot in front canter behind or is it the other way aorund?
I just don't ride him in dressage. So basickally, I gave up and I take him for the western horse he is trained to be. If he half canter/trots, I will push him forward in a brisk canter. He prefers to canter anyway.

Good luck on your new project. Think forward! then work on "on the bit"
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-12-2011, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I did put it in another thread.

Thanks for the advice, and I will make sure I make myself do just what you and many others are saying for as long as it takes. I know he was previously ridden in spurs so I might try that too.
When I first bought him he ws continuously going into lope, like you are saying with your appy. But after much persistence he has come right. But when he gets uptight when im working him he does often go back to hes old ways. I just need more patience.
But he does go relaly well, and has very even paces when I let am not onto him too much, and Iv just got to learn. And I know hes dressage will come, he scoresup to 70% in the few prelim tests weve done so, thanks for the help and hopefully well be getting on together again soon :)
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-12-2011, 03:18 AM
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that's great. Do a video sometime. I am sure yo uwill find the way to get him going without the lope. I have given up. I just let Mac be the way he is, but he is pushing 18, so I am happy he is just a really nice trail horse with an awesome canter.
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