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This is a discussion on Retraining within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    10-11-2010, 03:34 PM
Green Broke

I'm thinking about retraining Razz especially in the basics. Seeing as the fall and winter is the quietest part of the year. There are multiple places to start, but I don't know what the best place would be. She's broke to the saddle (she moves around a little, but I'm assuming that this is a by-product of either the saddle not fitting her the best, she doesn't like to work, or she needs to have a chiropractic visit). Many of you know from pictures I've posted that I ride Razz in a double bridle hunt seat. I'd like to change this, I know she doesn't like that bit and I too, don't like this bit. My RI has ordered a Mullen Straight Bar for me to try on her.

So if you can, from that much information, tell me where I should start with her. I have an idea that it is going to have something to do with retraining her to a snaffle, but I don't know how to do that. So training help in general would be much appreciated.

P.S.-Feel free to ask me questions at any point and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge.
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    10-11-2010, 03:53 PM
Well, I would just start by letting her get used to the feel of the snaffle. Get her really soft and bending in it. Make sure you can move her shoulders and hindquarters as well as her head. Teach her to be soft in the back up, and get her working from your legs.

I don't know exactly where you are right now, so it's hard to give you specifics besides that... So she's had how many rides? Is she green? Has she just been off work a long time..?
    10-11-2010, 03:58 PM
How are her ground manners and her respect for you? Are you sure that you are above her in herd hiarachy? Ground work is the most important part of training in my opinion.

Changing saddles should have no affect at all in my opinion as long as it fits properly. As for the bit, I would lunge her in it and just let her spend time wearing it supervised. Get her to flex from side to side while you're on the ground.
    10-11-2010, 04:05 PM
Green Broke
Okay maybe a little background information is needed.

Razz is roughly 11 and was broke as a three year-old. She was sent to an Amish family to be trained as a driver and was sent back after training to train her to be completely under saddle. She was originally broke to a snaffle bit, but when they sent her to the Amish, the trainer told my RI that she refused to drive a snaffle, she'd move through it.

After being backed, she sat in a pasture for a good few years with little contact and exercise due to the lack of riders who could handle her. When someone did finally come along who could handle her she tossed a double bridle in her mouth and rode her for a year. This rider was extremely heavy-handed and forced Razz into a headset by grabbing the curb on the double and holding Razz's head in a choke hold.

When Razz was returned to my RI, she was put back into pasture for about six months until I was in need of a horse. I had recently demonstrated that I could handle her and was given permission to take up her training. She was in desperate need of work at the canter, and was now intolerant of any pressure on her mouth. I still ride her in a double bridle during hunt seat because the one time I did ride a snaffle almost ended in disaster. I used a curb for a while but she started to run through it.

If you need more please ask. I've run out of time.
    10-11-2010, 07:04 PM
Green Broke
In the pasture, no I am not above her. It takes good 10 minutes for me to catch her if she's with other horses. By herself, she's not a problem. When I do have her halter or lead, she has really good ground manners. The only thing she won't do on a lead is trot. Lunging isn't a problem.
    10-11-2010, 07:56 PM
I would highly recommend lots and lots of ground work. IMO, a harsher bit NEVER solves the problem. You are making her obey you through pain and fear. If you have access to a round pen, I would ride her in there in a snaffle. What does she do? What does she do to give you a hard time in the saddle, she runs through the bit? When she tries to run through the bit circle her. Use your weight more than anything to cue her to what you want. I started riding a green paint a few months ago who wouldn't even let me get near her with a bridle and had a mouth of steel. Not even two months into her training and I ride her in a snaffle with hardly any contact and she stops and slows down with my seat. If you tell me your specific problems I might be able to offer further assistance.
    10-12-2010, 02:43 PM
Green Broke
In snaffle she runs through it, from the moment I sit down she takes off. It's getting to be winter here and too cold to ride outside. And with me being "grounded"(not being allowed to ride) for sports the winter is the perfect time for me to retrain.
    10-12-2010, 03:42 PM
First, she should not be allowed to take off as soon as your bottom hits the saddle. Make her stand and don't let her move off until YOU are ready. If she speeds off, circle her. Make sure that you are NOT applying unwanted pressure with your legs. A lot of people tense up and are subconciously asking the horse to speed up. Don't stay on the rail, do all kinds of transitions, and patterns. Make her think and pay attention. If you're asking her to turn every few paces she won't have the chance to take off. When she is relaxed and focused, put her back on the rail. As soon as she acts up, work her again.
    10-12-2010, 03:56 PM
Do you have access to a roundpen? I find that a good place to work on horses that "run through bits" because they have nowhere to run and you can do some concentrated training. That's what I would do first of all.

Honestly, I hate groundwork, about the only time I do it is when I lunge.
However, when I lead/tie/saddle horses they better be respectful and do what I want. When a horse walks too fast/into me, I'll either flick my elbow or make them back 1,000,000,000 steps until they never want to run forward again. :) I'm not mean, just persistant and every day they get better. So, I guess that is groundwork, I just don't have whole lessons of it!
    10-12-2010, 06:47 PM
Howdy, I'm new here.
I have this horse I'm retraining. Or should I say rebreaking. I go out in the pasture to get her and she gallops out. The only way I can get her in with feed. But I will run out of feed soon if I keep doing that. How do I catch her? I use to ride her but I fall out and got wound so I couldn't ride for a few week. Since then no one can ride her, she is to wild. Any hint of retraining her?

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