not accepting contact? Ground driving and undersaddle...

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not accepting contact? Ground driving and undersaddle...

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    12-04-2009, 12:39 AM
Super Moderator
not accepting contact? Ground driving and undersaddle...

Lacey and I are still in the midst of learning how to ground drive together but we're having some issues. I've driven her 4 times so far and each time she's been seeming to understand turning and having me behind her better.

Only problem: She's started throwing her head all over kingdom come when I ask her to turn, slow down, and when she's just walking. She has her head way up and she's obviously not relaxed... And since ground driving is the only time I have light contact with her mouth (I ride in a bitless bridle with little to no contact) I don't want her to learn that contact means head throwing... She was fine during the first session but now, not so much...
She wasn't not really in love with contact to begin with, I think someone trained her that contact means her head has to be on the vertical (which she doesn't like since she's one of those looky-loo horses) but she was fine with it until I stopped riding with contact all the time and now she can't seem to handle it, undersaddle or when being ground driven...
I'm next to positive that nothing is wrong with her teeth. She's currently fine with contact when she's cantering and I would figure that if her teeth were the problem she'd be throwing her head at the canter too...

Any ideas?
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    12-04-2009, 01:16 AM
I am in no way an expert and I am just beginning my path on learning to train horses. I decided I wanna follow a natural horsemanship path to learn to communicate with horses. And so I may be way off here and such, cus I still have MUCH to learn.

But to me it sounds like you ride bitless and you've now used a bit to ground drive with your horse. If it were me with my limited amount of knowledge I would go back to the beginning. At least the beginning I know of anyhow. And I would do neck flexions. It's where you get your horse to flex his neck to pressure from the halter/bridle/bitless/headgear. I would also do them from the ground to start with. Do it on both sides.
    12-04-2009, 01:24 AM
I am going to have a horse out tomorrow that I will be driving and I will get some pictures.
I start the horses in a nylon(wide) halter and one long driving rein.
As the horse gains understanding with the one rein I add a second and drive from the side or at the hip.
After the horse can do figure eights,stops and backups in a relaxed fashion I change over to a snaffle.
We just work at the walk and trot at first.
    12-04-2009, 01:37 AM
Super Moderator
She does flex perfectly in a bridle, halter, bitless, etc, in the saddle and on the ground... This is what's so confusing to me, she does all the "right" exercises that show she "accepts" whatever I'm riding in, but then she doesn't really accept it, it seems.

Maybe we're thinking of two different things, Marecare? Because I do not see how it's possible to ground drive a horse like this picture (random internet picture, not me) with one rein only?

Maybe I'm just not educated enough about this... I'd love to see pictures or what you mean!
I'll try tomorrow with her in a nylon halter and see what she does... I'm sure she'll do the same thing since I tried in her bitless bridle and that failed miserably too, but I'll give it a try. =)

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