Ok, I'm sick of it!!! (sort of long)

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Ok, I'm sick of it!!! (sort of long)

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    07-25-2008, 07:14 PM
Ok, I'm sick of it!!! (sort of long)

Well, this is pretty much going to be a rant about my mare Sissy.

For the past couple of months I have been taking her out on 2-3 miles rides every night, just for a little excerise, for both of us. Just a couple weeks ago, she started this little habit of tossing (throwing) her head.

Previously, I was using a simple sweet iron snaffle. I felt that I had absolutley no control over her at all. I had been moving cows and a calf jumped thru the fence. I had to chase after it and we got to a pretty fast gallop, AND I COULDN'T STOP HER! She just kept running and running. And because she isn't really sure of her footing yet, I just knew that I would be laying on the ground in agonizing pain! ( but that didn't happen).

After that incident, I decided to switch to a bridle I had been using on my gelding. It is a simple curb bit, with the little thingy that rolls around in the middle (not sure what it's called ). Anyway, I think that it helped a little, but I have another cow moving story.

Last night we got a call that one of our bulls was in the neighbors cows. So this morning we had to go get the bull out of the cows. I took Sissy, thinking that she can gain experience from moving a bull. But the sad thing is, I think that she only learned how to run faster without stopping. I was going along fine and the bull turned back to go with the cows and I could control my horse enough to turn him around. Sissy just wouldn't go were I told her to, and she wouldn't stop running without throwing her head and nearly rearing me off.

So, I'm asking if anybody has any solutions to this problem. I thought that maybe a tie down would help the head throwing.
EDIT: I have not used the tie down yet, because I don't have one.

I thought that maybe I should throw this little bit of info in:
I do not have a vet that can come out to check if her teeth have been floated, nor can I take her in. I'm only 17, so I have to go thru my parents to do anything, and we live 30 miles from the nearest vet. So, try to give me any advice to help my situtation, because I don't have everything that I should have to keep a horse.

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    07-25-2008, 07:19 PM
Green Broke
So are you using a tie-down or not? I'm a tad confused.

Have you done softening exercises with her so that she's more responsive to the bit?
    07-25-2008, 07:26 PM
Sorry. I edited to say that I haven't used the tie down yet.

What are some softening excersizes? She lateral bends really well if that counts.
    07-25-2008, 07:35 PM
Green Broke
Well. There are ones that you can do vertically, but if you have problems stopping her that would only make things worse. Because flexing vertically should make her arch her back and put more weight on her hindquarters and give her more power. But if you have problems stopping then the last thing you need is for her to have more power.

Maybe you should do some turning exercises and do small circles, figure eights, and serpentines. And then do A LOT of stopping and backing so she masters those even more than she has already.

I'm not sure what you can do about the head tossing with out a vet checking her teeth. Do you own a bosal or a hackamore to try? Maybe just ride her in a halter (in an enclosed area) and see if she still tosses her head.

If you decide you NEED a tie down. Then you can keep the halter on under the bridle and tie a piece of rope from the halter to the breast collar (preferable) or the D ring on your cinch. I would do this after you ride w/o a bit to see if that makes a difference.

If you have more questions feel free to ask!
    07-25-2008, 07:49 PM
Ok, for one, Thanks so much mlkarel2010.

And second, I don't know what vertically means?

Whenever she doesn't stop, I usualy do turn her in a really wide circle (I'm talking really really wide), then when she stops, in little circles.

I am def. Going to just work with her tonight in the round pen. I will try the without a bit thing.

Thanks so much for your help. Anyone else have advice?
    07-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Green Broke
No problem

Vertically means she will move her nose closer to her chest and appear perpendicular to the ground

Here is a pic of a horse not giving to the bit and softening vertically

And here's a horse giving (to the bosal) and being on the vertical (it looks like they keep their heads straight up and down)

Does that make sense?
    07-25-2008, 08:25 PM
Yes it does. The first pic is what Sissy looks like. And the 2nd pic is what I want her to look like :roll: .
    07-25-2008, 09:06 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by SDS
Yes it does. The first pic is what Sissy looks like. And the 2nd pic is what I want her to look like :roll: .
That'll come when it's ready. But I was taught you don't want to teach them how to empower their hindquarters until they have mastered slowing down and stopping. So don't fret too much yet.

Hopefully you can get her to where you want her though :)
    07-26-2008, 11:37 AM
Ok. I have a short update!

Last night, I took your advice mlkarel2010 and tried riding her in just a halter. She was very responsive to the pressure of the reins (or should I say leadrope). I noticed that she didn't even try to throw her head. So I thought that maybe I should invest in a bitless bridle someday.

Then I decided to try keeping the halter on under the bridle. I used a small 3/8" rope to tie to the girth. She was kinda surprised when she tried to pull her head up. The only problem I had was that I was afraid if I pushed her too hard that she would stop and rear up. So I just kept her at a walk and trot. Maybe tonight I will try the canter.

So, in conclusion :roll:, I thought that she responded better without a bit in her mouth. I felt I had more control over her.
    07-26-2008, 03:06 PM
Which may also tell you that she needs to have her teeth checked. Our vets come out to the farm, can you have a vet check her teeth? It know its awful when my teeth hurt, I would think it would be the same for your horse. Glad riding in the halter worked. You can move up to a sidepull next. They are wonderful! http://gallopinggrape.com/latigosidepull.aspx

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