Join Date: May 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
*giggles* Zierra's version of running away with a rider is comparable to a 3 year old trying to steal a cookie before dinner...she tries, but it's almost never something that she "gets away with". There's always a way to stop her, but out on the trail during a ride, who wants to have to hold up the group by doing circles in the field?
I do think ALOT of loose rein transitions will be very helpful. I also think she was catching onto the one rein stops, but like Moki said, the footing just isn't good enough to continue with that method. I do not think that just giving her her head and letting her get it out of her system will teach her anything except she gets to run...this mare LIVES to gallop. Most horses see stopping as a reward, it seems a punishment to this mare. I swear she'd do somersaults if it meant she could gallop...so since stopping is such a punishment in Zierra's mind, I figured loose reins would be her reward at this point, worry about picking up a contact again later once she's stopped eating jet fuel for breakfast. (sarcasm)
Moki was not trying to say this is an "arab problem", but merely compounded and reinforced by her naturally high set neck and head carriage. The pictures she posted should say it all...I think the only time I really see her head DOWN is when she's eating. That being said, the only horse out of our 8 that can hold a candle to Zierra's head set is my mom's QH/arab mare, she does the same darn thing but there are different circumstances to fixing that one. Long story made really short, my mom doesn't want us riding her because we're "teaching" her these things and we got sick of being blamed for all her behavioral issues. Just used that mare as an example that she's the only other horse on the property that has some of the same issues, and she's half arab.
It's been crazy getting used to my Clydie X's head set after years of riding said QH/arab and welsh ponies...every time she dropped her head I'd get worried she was getting ready to throw a buck...when in reality, that's just where she carries her head. It's quite the change. I'd LOVE to see Zierra RELAXED at the canter...she's always so "go-go-go" that it's either trot or gallop. I think my main focus at this point will be to get her to relax - lots of walk, trot, whoa transitions and I like the cut out canter entirely at this point. Once she's relaxed at the trot and not rushing it, whoa is solid with minimal movement, reintroduce the canter. We'll get there!
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly