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
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 that's something I can work on with her! Thanks
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 that's 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
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!