performance changes after a lot of work

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performance changes after a lot of work

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    07-03-2008, 10:18 AM
performance changes after a lot of work

My 4 1/2 years old mare.

Octomber 2007

February 2008

June 2008 (her first competition)
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    07-03-2008, 10:43 AM
Wonderful improvement - congratulations!
    07-03-2008, 10:58 AM
She looks ten times better, but she's developing a lot of undermuscling in her neck. Maybe you just caught her at a bad moment in that last pic.
    07-03-2008, 11:16 AM
That her body type. I actually have problem with her head. She s too sensitive and sometimes I don t have contact. Now I have contact but she pulls me and she s on the forehand. Any advice?
    07-03-2008, 11:32 AM
I was about to say she looks like quite the complicated mare to ride. You can see it in the first picture as well as the rest. Steady contact with your hand (inside leg to outside rein) with a lot of forward movement is whats needed. If she is hot, putting her on the lunge line with side reins might be safer for you to get her to engage herself there first before you attempt the same thing on her.

Hope that made sense?? I can't seem to make sense of myself today...
    07-03-2008, 11:50 AM
Well...based on the last picture she is above the bit now. Your reins are either too tight or she really hates that bit, considering how her mouth is gaping open.

I would practice dropping the contact when she starts to lean and gape, encourage her to go long and low, then slowly gather up the contact again. Lets her stretch, builds trust that your hands aren't there to hurt her mouth, and it tells her "hey, I'm not here to carry you, you carry yourself".
    07-03-2008, 11:51 AM
She s hot and I was about 6 months with side reins, now I have contact and I m riding with inside leg and outside hand. I think she s better. The weird thing with her is that she has more balance in canter than in trot, I think that s because (i don t know how exactly how to tell that) her movement is been from the shoulders, and when she s "dancing" she doen t have balance. Ang in the walk she s doing shoulder-in, leg-yielding, half pirouettes.
    07-06-2008, 09:02 PM
Yes, side reins or tie downs can definitely lead to problems such as you are having. The horse learns that it needs to carry it's head a certain way while wearing the gear, but it doesn't encourage them to learn how to carry their whole body correctly, and doesn't teach or encourage them to do it when there's no restraining equipment.

I actually thought the second pic looked good, like she was collecting on very soft contact, but the 3rd pic looks much worse to me. She is obviously resisting the pressure & the whole feel of the bit in her mouth. I'm curious to know what iridehorses & Sara think are the improvements? Have you guys seen other pics that show this?

What's happening? Without knowing how exactly you ride, it's unclear whether you're asking too much, too firmly, not reinforcing enough or in time... or whether it's something else.

On that note, have you checked her teeth and bit fit/comfort? Her feet for balance? Have you checked her saddle & back?

As a horse develops muscle, loses it, gains or looses fat... the saddle will obviously sit differently & fit the horse better or worse. A flock filled saddle will also change shape itself too. It's very important to check saddle fit and make necessary adjustments at least 6-monthly. It's very common for saddle problems to create 'behaviour problems' such as this. The best riding & training in the world won't get the horse to work in a balanced way if the saddle makes this painful.

Saddle fit could make it more uncomfortable for her at a trot than walk or canter too. Unbalanced feet, esp. High heels &/or long toes can also make it difficult to collect, and different gaits to feel different.
    07-06-2008, 09:09 PM
I have a horse that sounds like you, and I do a lot of things WAY different then 'modern dressage' and the horse is coming along wonderfully. He's hot, and extremely sensitive, and used to have a huge, muscled underside of his neck, lol!

The first picture of her looks really bad, with her crammed into a frame and no muscle to support anything. The second looks better, and although she is resisting in the third, she really isn't on the forehand.

Here's what I do with my horse:

With the inside rein, I ask him to relax his jaw. When he does, I give him a loose rein--that way, he can't pull and lean on it (he used to lean REALLY badly). I don't keep contact with him (at least not a tight one) for several reasons: one, he has a sensitive mouth, and two, he leans when there's contact! When he relaxes the jaw and poll, guess what? His head falls on the vertical the way it should, and theres nothing for him to resist, because there's no pulling.

Remember, it takes TWO to pull!
    07-06-2008, 10:59 PM
I also see a big improvement- way to go!

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