Riding Carolina

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Riding Carolina

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    06-25-2009, 12:48 PM
Riding Carolina

I've been riding Carolina lightly every 3 or 4 days. Note that she hasn't been ridden for 2 years. Before that she was Level 4 showjumping and dressage.

I've been riding her in a dee-ring single joint snaffle. Saddle wise - I've been riding her in a close contact saddle that fits her very well.

I have found that she is feeling very hard mouthed right now. I'm guessing I don't have the right contact going on and that it's my fault not hers.

Is it simply because she's been out of work for so long? Do I perhaps have the wrong bit? I don't really want to change the bit unless I absolutely have to. I think it's most likely me doing something wrong.

Thanks in advance.
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    06-25-2009, 01:13 PM
Hard mouthed as in not responding to cues? Not lifting? Not stopping?
    06-25-2009, 01:23 PM
She responds to cues alright, mostly it's stopping.

I'm 99.9% sure it's my error.
    06-25-2009, 02:17 PM
Whenever my horse feels hard mouthed, it's usually related to tension I'm carrying somewhere in my body, mostly in my shoulders. Often times I don't realize I'm holding tension there until my horse tells me. I usually feel an immediate response and soft mouth as soon as I relax my shoulders/back. It sounds obivous, but it gets me alot.
    06-25-2009, 03:07 PM
It could be that she wasn't ridden for 2 years and then all of a sudden is using muscles she hasn't in awhile. Check out her mouth and make sure nothing is wrong and if it looks good give that bit a few more tries to see if she gets any better.
    06-25-2009, 04:01 PM
Hmm... I had her teeth floated when I got her home, could something have been hurt? She lets me poke all around in her mouth and I haven't seen anything amiss. I believe the bit fits.

It may be tension. The very first ride was good, the second ride not so good, third ride was fine, but today I was very tense, stressed out and that may have lead to a lot of issues.
    06-25-2009, 04:43 PM
It sounds like to me that she's just sore. How often do you ride her?
    06-25-2009, 05:24 PM
Every 3 or 4 days I lunge her for about 10 minutes and then ride her for another 10 minutes, nothing more than a walk and trot, and walk her in hand to cool down for another 10 after that.
    06-25-2009, 09:00 PM
She might just need to be re-schooled in bending and suppling exercises. That will get her to soften, round, and be able to transition better - an all around easier ride.

I would stick her on a 20 meter circle for a good chunk of your ride. You have to really, really push her off of the inside leg into a steady outside rein. You can also play with the inside rein a little if she needs it, just don't see-saw with both reins.

When she does give into the pressure soften your fingers on the inside rein right away (her reward). If she lifts again, go right back to working the aids.

Other bending and suppling exercises that get her listening to your leg include shoulder in, haunches in, turn on the forehand/haunches, leg yields, etc.

Keep working at it! But, if she doesn't shape up in a reasonable amount of time I would have a vet or chiro come out and take a look at her to see if she is sore somewhere.
    06-25-2009, 11:01 PM
I think you should just give it more time to see.

Good luck, she's gorgeous.

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