Re-training horse trained with draw reins - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re-training horse trained with draw reins

Hey guys! I've been riding a 8 year old horse that has only been trail ridden, and the previous owner ONLY rides him in either draw reins or a martingale. I rode him without any of that and he is completely fine, he just doesn't know how to balance himself. What are some tips for helping to get this guy balanced? I've been working on spiraling in and out, serpentines and lots of transitions. Any advice would be awesome! Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 01:25 AM
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sounds like you are followoing a reasonable plan. Teach him that he has the freedom to position his head out in front, reach down, move it around and it's OK to do this.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 06:45 AM
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If he is to the point that he drops behind the contact constantly, I would be riding him above the vertical, nose pointed, pony club kid style until the contact becomes heavy. This may take months of patience, but until you get him to the point where he will accept the contact to the point of becoming heavy, he will revert back to dropping behind the contact.
Once he'll take the contact consistently, you can start to refine it, but right now, don't even think about working towards collection - that will only lead to him being behind the vertical right now.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 08:34 AM
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Are their any issues that he has from being ridden in draw-reins? You said he was 'completely fine' without them.

Does this mean that he uses his hind quarter correctly?

Does this mean that he is not heavy on his front end?

Does this mean that he is not traveling behind vertical?

Does this mean that he breaks at the poll and not in the middle of his neck?

These are the problems that one usually encounters in horses that have been ridden in this gimmick. Can you be more specific as to what, if any, problems he has from it?
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i noticed i wasnt very specific when i said he was 'fine.' sorry about that. His owner said that she rides him in draw reins and a martingale to keep his head down, and 'in the right position.' When I took that crap off, he wasnt tossing his head or having it way up in the air. he just acts like he has no idea where to put his head. He has a tendency to swing his haunches in or out, but once i get him straight he gets the picture and stays straight. He is so used to being steered around by the reins, when i use a leg cue he thinks it means to go really fast :p
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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oh! and i forgot to say! He actually stays above the vertical without them. I havent noticed him tucking in BTV.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 04:39 PM
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Geehh... get his neck checked out... if he's not ducking behind your contact then it might be because his neck is sore... a good RMT can tell you of something is wrong, but to find out what, it is a fairly expensive test from the vet to find inflammation. Prolonged riding in gadgets very often causes arthritis in the neck which is painful!

Otherwise just treat him like a baby and focus on rhythm and relaxation and encourage him to take a contact. Transitions are a good test to see how well he is in the contact.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-07-2011, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nucks93 View Post
When I took that crap off, :p
I have nothing to add other than I love the first part of this sentence!

Okay, maybe one thing. Perhaps riding square and half halting in each corner will help his start to understand the concept of balancing on the outside rein.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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draw reins , retraining , unbalanced horse

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