problem stopping in outline!

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problem stopping in outline!

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    03-27-2010, 10:14 AM
problem stopping in outline!

Ok so im getting Starz ready for competiton season for her first time and iv noticed that when I ask her to drop from a trot to a halt she throws her head up and out of an outline she tenses her jaw and neck is there anyway to stop this? She is bitted with a small rubber snaffle she is an 8year old anglo arab I reschooled so im guessing maybe the problem is me! I ride only in fields and only getting back to schooling now because we can't school in the bad winters. Recently I took off her martingale which is fine I can't put any flashes or grackle nosebands on her becuase of an old jaw problem she is in a loosely fitted caveson. In a walk transition she will just about stay in an outline but I don't want to have to argue with her at compititions I would like her to soften and supple up in transitions all her downward transitions are a bit jerky because she is a very foreward going horse. Any help would be great!!
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    03-27-2010, 10:29 AM
My suggestion is to first rule out any pain from the saddle. Ill-fitting or overpadded saddles can easily cause high heads and inverted frames, as well as tense, heavy, on-the-forehand halts.

If it isn't the saddle, reevaluate your transition aids. Be sure that you are riding forward into the halt, and asking with your seat and legs before your hands, like any other forward movement.

Practice your transitions, not just halts but every transition you can think of, between and within gaits. Practicing backing up can help as well, cuing off of your seat and legs and only using your hands to correct from moving forward or for straightening. Leave her head alone, and don't focus on where her head and nose are at. If you're riding her from back to front, the "frame" will come as her strength builds. Riding in a snaffle and fairly loose cavesson is fine; you're issue likely won't be fixed by martingales, flashes, or grackles whether it's the saddle or the aids.
    03-27-2010, 10:56 AM
Ye her saddle was very pinchy last summer which started her bucking so I got it stuffed again and over winter it was fine she is not a good doer over winter even though she is stabled and rugged 34-7 she just drops weight easily the only problem is I can't afford to get a new saddle when she changes shape all year? Ye yesterday I did every 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 strides a transition down as that's where the prob is but don't know how effect of that is overall in strengthening her core really? Thank you for the help
    03-27-2010, 11:05 AM
First off I would ask for a half-halt or slow down a few strides before you want to halt. This will put you both in the halt mode and will help her sit on her butt before the actual halt. If you're already doing that then great, you're on the right track.

The other thing I would suggest is really be aware of your body when you halt. I have a very forward, on the forehand moving quarter horse gelding and I had this exact same problem. I started overanalyzing everything I was doing at the halt that was different at every other time because he only braced and hollowed in my downward transitions. Funny story...I was squeezing my butt and tensing my lower body as I halted. So instead of sitting into the halt and holding him together I was tensing myself right out of the saddle and his back and frame were doing really crazy things because I wasn't there to support them with my seat. So as you think halt, exhale and settle yourself into the saddle and stop more by closing your thighs and sinking into the downward transition. (It will be awkward, you will both be confused at first). But then you will start to feel your horse come up into your halt cue instead of bracing and falling through your hands. So start with good, elastic half halts and then go for the full halt once you figure out where your body is and how to use it to your advantage. =) Hope it helps and keep us posted!!
    03-28-2010, 08:19 AM
Thanks ill try that today and let you know how it goes hopefully we get the hang of it anyway its getting soo frustrating!

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