Need advice on softening a horse to a snaffle
 
 

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Need advice on softening a horse to a snaffle

This is a discussion on Need advice on softening a horse to a snaffle within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Loose rein with snaffle
  • Softening in a snaffle

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  • 1 Post By wild_spot
  • 2 Post By wild_spot

 
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    11-04-2011, 12:58 AM
  #1
Foal
Need advice on softening a horse to a snaffle

Well Ben and I have been doing well but I have a question or two. First is a snaffle always the way to go? I don't know what he was ridden in before I got him. My father in law rode him in a tom thumb once or twice but that was it and then he became mine, before that no clue. He responds to the french link and a loose ring the same. He eventually stops (from trot back down to walk) but I have to really DEMAND his response. From a walk to complete stop he does well and he backs really well. I have to have contact about 90 percent of the time while walking. I ride western and its really hard for me not ride loose rein and not feel badly about it. He neck reins wonderfully responds to some leg and seat, I am not sure how to train those cues. Should I use a mild curb or continue with my snaffle(and be patient) until he is on a loose rein? I absolutely won't ride with contant on the bit( I know better ) with any curb/shanked bit but I feel like if he has something else maybe I won't have to constantly have contact. I try to trot, I probably shouldn't since he can't walk without me on him to hold the pace but we both get bored. I am trying the ask,tell,demand method and he seems perfectly content with demand. We do ground work and he is very light in my hand at walk,trot,canter, what am I doing wrong in the saddle? Sorry this is so long but I have been wanting to ask these things and it just comes spilling out. Thanks for any advice.
     
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    11-04-2011, 01:01 AM
  #2
Banned
You might consider reading this: Why Shanked Bits are Utterly Evil, etc.
     
    11-04-2011, 01:12 AM
  #3
Trained
If you need constant contact in a snaffle it is likely you will also need it in a curb.

I would work on getting him more self sufficient before moving into a curb.

Work on riding with loose reins and only ever pick up on one rein at a time. If he speeds up, pick up one rein and turn a corner, then let him travel. Too fast, another corner. It may take five corners, it may take 50 - but they will eventually relax and self regulate speed so they don't have to corner.

Once you have him maintaining the correct speed, I would work on softening laterally lots of little circles with his head tipped in and inside leg keeping his body out and bending.

Once I had that, I would be pretty happy to pick a suitable curb.
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kevinshorses likes this.
     
    11-04-2011, 01:18 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
You might consider reading this: Why Shanked Bits are Utterly Evil, etc.
I did : ) I want to train him correctly but I guess maybe I am being impatient. I just need some encouragement that I am headed down the right path. He and I have come a long way and I maybe want to move it along a little faster sometimes
     
    11-04-2011, 01:20 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
If you need constant contact in a snaffle it is likely you will also need it in a curb.

I would work on getting him more self sufficient before moving into a curb.

Work on riding with loose reins and only ever pick up on one rein at a time. If he speeds up, pick up one rein and turn a corner, then let him travel. Too fast, another corner. It may take five corners, it may take 50 - but they will eventually relax and self regulate speed so they don't have to corner.

Once you have him maintaining the correct speed, I would work on softening laterally lots of little circles with his head tipped in and inside leg keeping his body out and bending.

Once I had that, I would be pretty happy to pick a suitable curb.
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Thank you!! I will try and apply that tomorrow : )
     
    11-04-2011, 01:37 PM
  #6
Foal
Well my horse made a big liar out of me and I don't care because he was an absolute angel today I went in with a more patient attitude which probably helped but he just seemed to get what I was trying to teach him and I am thrilled. Not once did he try to go any faster than I told him to and I kept my reins loose the whole time. Even when a horse ran at him to the fence, he just flicked an ear and kept his nice walk. It was like " Oh this is how nice and calm works" and he and I both were relaxed. Thanks for the tips however, I stored them in my training file. I got him an underpad as well for his saddle and he seems to be much more comfortable.
     
    11-04-2011, 05:59 PM
  #7
Trained
Yay! Good on you. I find horses tend to be much happier when given a bit of responsibility instead of being micromanaged.
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Wallaby and tinyliny like this.
     
    11-04-2011, 07:29 PM
  #8
Trained
That is a little gem of wisdom!!!
     

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