Not giving to the bit???? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Not giving to the bit????

can anyone give me some suggestions exercises to work with my green older mare to give to the bit?

A little history:

Green broke 10 y/o was out to pasture for almsot 5 years just started riding in the past month and she goes good getting some basics down and has a nice headset 50 % of the time. I want to show her at open shows in english and western but am having a hard time getting her to give to the bit.

Some exercises we do now:
serpentines
trot, hault, backs
Rollbacks
Circles
Flexing left to right but wont give to put her head down she braces against the bit.

Last night while riding I was trying to push her into the bridle well she was pulling agaisnt my hands with her head and nose up in the air..if i would have no pressure on the reins she would be more relaxed and put her head back down.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 01:58 PM
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I would try tieing your reins to your saddle and lunging her. Or, put a surcingle on her and attach your reins that way. Before you do this though, I would rule out any pain issues that might be causing her to not want to collect up (teeth, soreness in her back or hind etc) Horses that collect need to really round there back and use there hind end. If she doesnt know how to use her hind end then thats where you need to start rather then getting her to collect. Some horses "comformationally" speaking just simply cant be put into form or held there comfortably. If you have ruled out pain, know for sure she is using her back end, then I would go ahead and start tieing your reins to the saddle or surcingle and lunging until you see she understands. You can also do ground excercises like tieing her head right around and just letting her learn off her own pressure. I have found this works wonders with any horse that is learning or is being re taught how to give to bit pressure. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paint gurl 23 View Post
I would try tieing your reins to your saddle and lunging her. Or, put a surcingle on her and attach your reins that way. Before you do this though, I would rule out any pain issues that might be causing her to not want to collect up (teeth, soreness in her back or hind etc) Horses that collect need to really round there back and use there hind end. If she doesnt know how to use her hind end then thats where you need to start rather then getting her to collect. Some horses "comformationally" speaking just simply cant be put into form or held there comfortably. If you have ruled out pain, know for sure she is using her back end, then I would go ahead and start tieing your reins to the saddle or surcingle and lunging until you see she understands. You can also do ground excercises like tieing her head right around and just letting her learn off her own pressure. I have found this works wonders with any horse that is learning or is being re taught how to give to bit pressure. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the suggestions. I believe conformation wise she is fine other than being a bit overweight which i know will affect her movement as well. I havne't noticed her being off any or in pain. I do know that she needs a new saddle mine is a bit narrow for her but i'm in the process of searcing for one. I will give the rein idea a try I do have side reins just never used them on her
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 05:27 PM
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Side reins could help. What kind of bit do you use on her? A lot of horses won't give with a harsh bit but won't stop/turn with a light one. It's all about finding the balance.

Try stretching exercises. I start every ride with every horse with their nose in the dirt. Look for back stretching stuff. It really helps and it encourages them to relax on the bit when they get put to work.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-15-2009, 08:21 PM
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I would definitely do some ground work with her, like bitting, lining (ground driving). Under saddle, you could try draw reins. A german martingale would also help out.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 02:56 AM
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You need to start teaching collection, or giving to the bit from a halt first, not from a walk, or trot, or canter. From a stand still, take the slack out of the reins, and give her slight cue from your leg (like you would when you push her into contact when moving), then just wait for the slightest attempt from her to give to the contact. She might try to back up, but just let her do what she needs to in order to figure out what you are asking her to do; and as soon as she gives...RELEASE the reins, and praise her! Then repeat. When she has that down (like she gives as soon as you are taking the slack up, and putting the pressure on) then start doing the same exercise in the walk. Then trot, and finally a canter...as you move from one gait to the next, she will progressively get better and better at what you are asking, and by the time you get to the canter, all you will probably have to do is just shift the reins, and she will already be coming into contact.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 09:33 AM
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Collection. My trainer and I were just working on this last week. You could use side reins but I wouldn't suggest those for riding. When you are riding bring your reins back almost to your knees, make sure your hands are down on the sides far apart, make sure you are pulling her head tight on the bit. When she gives let go, if she doesn't give keep holding, when she finally does give to the bit release. When she starts putting her nose back out do it all over again. With lots of time, practice, and patience she will get the idea and be collected without being reminded constantly. Best of luck!

"Blame it on my wild heart."


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post #8 of 8 Old 07-16-2009, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper182 View Post
Side reins could help. What kind of bit do you use on her? A lot of horses won't give with a harsh bit but won't stop/turn with a light one. It's all about finding the balance.

I use a D Ring French Link. She really likes this bit the best of any that I have tried on her (used a copper mouthed twist on her before) I am going to have to show her in a shanked bit for show season but not even close to attempting riding with one yet :)

Try stretching exercises. I start every ride with every horse with their nose in the dirt. Look for back stretching stuff. It really helps and it encourages them to relax on the bit when they get put to work.
I will see what I can find on different exercises. I saw a book on Amazon that I almost bought but ended up buying 3 already so held off on that one! Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpbmorganev View Post
I would definitely do some ground work with her, like bitting, lining (ground driving). Under saddle, you could try draw reins. A german martingale would also help out.
Never done any of that with a horse before LOL Ground driving sounds interesting not sure how hard it would be to teach her how to but Maybe thats something I can work on with her! thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
You need to start teaching collection, or giving to the bit from a halt first, not from a walk, or trot, or canter. From a stand still, take the slack out of the reins, and give her slight cue from your leg (like you would when you push her into contact when moving), then just wait for the slightest attempt from her to give to the contact. She might try to back up, but just let her do what she needs to in order to figure out what you are asking her to do; and as soon as she gives...RELEASE the reins, and praise her! Then repeat. When she has that down (like she gives as soon as you are taking the slack up, and putting the pressure on) then start doing the same exercise in the walk. Then trot, and finally a canter...as you move from one gait to the next, she will progressively get better and better at what you are asking, and by the time you get to the canter, all you will probably have to do is just shift the reins, and she will already be coming into contact.
Good suggestions and I have been trying to do it with her at the hault several times (but i think I gave up to soon) I usually get on and flex her left to right at a stand still a few time then try asking for her to do it in the front well thats when she braces agaisnt the bit and gets stiff. When using my leg she tries walking off or backing up like you said but she has not given to the pressure yet and I know I have had her in that position for a good 40 seconds to a minute then I get tired LOL But I will keep trying that and I know with time she will eventually learn. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlickDirtyDancin View Post
Collection. My trainer and I were just working on this last week. You could use side reins but I wouldn't suggest those for riding. When you are riding bring your reins back almost to your knees, make sure your hands are down on the sides far apart, make sure you are pulling her head tight on the bit. When she gives let go, if she doesn't give keep holding, when she finally does give to the bit release. When she starts putting her nose back out do it all over again. With lots of time, practice, and patience she will get the idea and be collected without being reminded constantly. Best of luck!
I have seen a lot of people ride like that and I actually did try that once but I think I was leaning to far forward trying to do it and it made things worse! I think I was trying to bend over to far. I have long arms and long legs i shouldnt have to bend over like I was. Rider error!
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