Not giving to pressure - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Not giving to pressure

Hi guys! My horse refuses to give into pressure, and is very stuff at the poll because of it. I just got him a few months ago, and a all of his previous owners were the "get on and go" type, and they honestly knew nothing about horses and just let him do whatever he wants. When I ride I do stretches to loosen him up and then I try to get him into the proper headset at a halt, walk, trot..etc. but I feel it's just not working as well as I want it to. He is still not balanced amd in the proper headset. Should I invest in a training system like http://www.doversaddlery.com/balance-complete-training-system/p/X1-30141/?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 11:44 AM
Green Broke
 
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Teach him to respond to the bit pressure from the ground.
Put a snaffle bit bridle with reins on. Take the rein on the side you are standing(let's say right) up to his poll with your LEFT hand. Get enough pressure tocause a few wrinkles in the corner of his mouth, and apply a little pressure on his poll. With a crop, or just your hand, ask him to step over to the left with his hind quarter. AS SOON AS he drops his nose, even 1 mm, release and pet. Even if he gives before he moves his rear. Repeat. Do the other side. Do this several times a day. Reward every TRY.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 11:49 AM
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^ to add, also make sure you keep holding until he does what he is supposed to. I could take minutes but don't give up until he gets it right!
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 11:56 AM
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The devise you refer to will not train a horse. Knowledge, feel and timing is what you need to help your horse. This contraption only ties the horses head down towards his chest and may possibly create false collection.

If he is not responding to the pressure/signal of the bit or your legs then step back and take the time to teach him to respond to the bits pressure. Get him soft and responsive to the bits pressure with lateral flexing first, and then vertical softness will follow. In the beginning release when he gives to the pressure rewarding the slightest try and build on this as he improves. Because you might be re-training a habit previously enforced by heavy hands it may take a little extra time and patients to correct the problem, but it can be corrected if you commit the time. Remember the bit is a signal device and not a 3rd stirrup. If it’s over used or improperly used and the horse never gets a release they will become dull and non responsive to the bits signal.

Best of luck,
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 12:04 PM
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So the idea behind the "complete balance training system" is that the horse gets a powerful jerk in the mouth with every step he takes. I say 'powerful' because the pulling force comes from the movement of his hips and hind legs instead of from the rider's hands like it would normally do if you were riding with poor hands. Except that now the poor hands have increased tenfold in strength and he's forced to submit to them or have his teeth knocked out. It's not a good thing. It won't teach him to feel of you as a rider, or teach him light and athletic movements undersaddle. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you want those things, you have to learn how to ride and use your hands and feet properly. I'm not saying that I do or that I'm right, but for me I enjoy the challenge of learning to ride a horse. If I felt like I had to get things done with some gimmick that hurt the horse or not at all I think I'd have quit horses by now. Unless you've got a paycheck riding on getting this done now, then I guess do what you've gotta do.

Edited to add: I understand your frustration and that you want to do the best job you can do. I'm not trying to put down your efforts, just railing against that particular device. Not the first time I've seen it but I wish it were the last!
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 12:17 PM
Green Broke
 
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A device similar to the Pessoa system will not train your horse. What you have here is a lack of foundation and suppleness from not addressing the business of impulsion before addressing the issues of collection and suppleness.

Attached is a chart that shows the stages quite well (for a dressage horse). I assume from your screen name you want a hunter and/or jumper. The foundation work is the same. The break at the poll comes about without force when you have attained impulsion and suppleness first!

You have here a pretty untrained horse and you need to stop, take steps back, and retrain the foundation to get rhythm, forward, balance and suppleness before you can ask for collection.. at which point the break at the poll will come along.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana View Post
A device similar to the Pessoa system will not train your horse. What you have here is a lack of foundation and suppleness from not addressing the business of impulsion before addressing the issues of collection and suppleness.

Attached is a chart that shows the stages quite well (for a dressage horse). I assume from your screen name you want a hunter and/or jumper. The foundation work is the same. The break at the poll comes about without force when you have attained impulsion and suppleness first!

You have here a pretty untrained horse and you need to stop, take steps back, and retrain the foundation to get rhythm, forward, balance and suppleness before you can ask for collection.. at which point the break at the poll will come along.
I like that chart - particularly the illustration of collection. Though looking at the first five stages, does it seem to you as if (in the real world) we're actually working on all of them at the same time (a little here, a little there) rather than as such a clearly-defined progression of steps?
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 12:46 PM
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Well yes, probably that is so.. but there is a general progression as well (or there is in Dressage). For other disciplines you want variations and probably the point at which most horses get to is "impulsion."

As you train a dressage horse you use all of those things below the level you are currently in a training session as they serve as warm up and reminders. Even a schooled horse doing Grand Prix does not run around in Collection 100% of the time and you are always working on the horse being supple, in contact, moving with impulsion and straightness.

Every time you sit a horse you can train a little.. and all of those things come into that equation. Starting a 3 year old you will probably be working most of the session in #1 and #2.. working eventually to get a little of 3 and 4.. a stride here and there.. but probably none of 5 and 6 "yet."

Not sure if that makes any sense at all.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
Not sure if that makes any sense at all.
It does. I totally can dig it. Maybe it's more accurate to say that the horse offers opportunities to do some of those other things through the course of the ride and you can encourage them little by little without making a 'training' issue of them. You could maybe call it beginning the horse's training with the finish in mind, but not rushing him to the finish line.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 05:02 PM
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Those "training systems" are junk. You never ever want to train for a "headset" - all that means is that you've trained your horse to crank his head to a specific position. A correct "headset" comes from working the horse correctly - it's like having good posture. Good posture make your head and neck position a certain way. Riding a horse where he's using his body (pushing with his hind legs like rear wheel drive in a car, rather than pulling with his front legs like front wheel drive) will give him good posture and his head will go to the correct spot.

Teach him how to give to pressure from the ground. To do that, you have to praise the slighest twitch of a muscle that he does in the right direction. Have him flex from side to side, teach him how to yield his front end and hind end to you - all of that is giving to pressure.
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* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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