Re-training: Curb to snaffle. Quick question.. - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re-training: Curb to snaffle. Quick question..

Okay so, I bought my boy this fall knowing he was a rescue. My first goal was to get him gaining weight. Well, he's packing on the pounds now and needs to be ridden regularly after winter or I'm afraid he'll start to get a bit chubby. Right now he currently rides in a plain old western curb with a low-ish port and curb strap. I would love to have him going in a loose ring snaffle, but every time I've tried, he runs right through the bit and when I ask for direction change, etc. he just plows right on where he wants to go. This does not happen in the curb. I was wondering if anyone has any advice of where to start training (or re-training) him to accept a loose-ring snaffle.

If it matters, he is 16 years old, Morgan cross, was a lesson horse in his early years, but was bought at a going-out-of-business auction and was locked in a stall for 8 years and was physically abused. I don't blame him for not having perfect manners under saddle.

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post #2 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 09:45 AM
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You need to keep his feet slow, even stopped at first, and work on lateral flexion. It sounds like he doesn't know how to give to the bit.

Lateral Flexion is The Key to Vertical Flexion with horses

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post #3 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 12:26 PM
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May I ask why you want him to go in a snaffle? I can understand if you're planning on re-training him for English, but if he's happy and responsive in a curb, I don't see any reason to change it. A curb is not a harsh bit if used properly, and gives you the chance to use very refined signals. I would prefer it vastly to a snaffle because often it means a better trained horse who's more responsive.

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj View Post
May I ask why you want him to go in a snaffle? I can understand if you're planning on re-training him for English, but if he's happy and responsive in a curb, I don't see any reason to change it. A curb is not a harsh bit if used properly, and gives you the chance to use very refined signals. I would prefer it vastly to a snaffle because often it means a better trained horse who's more responsive.
I was thinking the same thing but after pushing the curb so much I thought I better keep my thoughts to myself.
He expressed exactly what I was thinking.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 01:30 PM
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This is a re-training project horse. I think you need to go back to a snaffle to start the re-training of horses so that you can fill in the holes as you go. A lot of times you don't know where the holes are until you come across them in the progression of training. Keeping him a curb only avoids fixing the holes, and you'll never know when that one issue might show up and cause a problem. (Think of a road with a small chunk of blacktop missing that doesn't get repaired. Sooner or later that missing part of blacktop is going to turn into a big pothole that could wreck a tire.) There are obviously holes in this horse's training if he runs through the bit & doesn't know direct steering. If the horse progresses quickly, there's no reason to not go back to the curb after the holes are filled and the basics are solidified.

http://www.cedarviewpainthorses.blogspot.com

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 01:34 PM
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Keep in mind that it is very possible that it has been more than a decade since he was ridden in a snaffle. If he rides well in a curb and neck reins you don't need to retrain so much as refresh what he already knows.

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post #7 of 7 Old 01-12-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Gotta Ride - Thanks for the link!

MacabreMikolaj - My plans are for him to be my English poneh. I've explored the option of getting an English leverage bit, but I just feel he needs so much training as he's lost so much over the years. When I ride him, I feel like he behaves with the curb more because he is afraid of it... I'm not sure how to explain it. I just feel like he needs retraining.

kevinshorses - He doesn't neck rein. He only knows direct reining. Which cannot be properly (or very fairly) be done in a curb bit. Also, like I stated already in this reply, I'm wanting him to be my English mount.

Thanks for the replies, guys!

One man's wrong lead is another man's counter canter.
"Adjust Your Pleasure"
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