Teaching a young pony to stay straight and not toss head? - The Horse Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 502
• Horses: 1
Teaching a young pony to stay straight and not toss head?

I've recently been riding a young pony for a young girl.. but lately I've been stuck on a few things.

For one, The pony cannot move in a straight line, and fishtails with his neck and body.
Are there any exercises or things I should be doing to help him learn to relax throughout his whole body and stay straight and supple in his neck/poll/front end?

If you need any more info on the situation just ask..
Thanks in advance for the help.
E!
eventnwithwinston is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 02:18 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: the barn
Posts: 307
• Horses: 1
Hey, you can try ground driving/long lining. How is he on the lunge line? I have found that many times when a horse won't go in a straight line, it is because he does not truly understand that he is supposed to. long lining can help with that because one of the lines is against his body, keeping him where you want.

Head shaking might means he doesn't like his bit, his bridle or both. If he's fine with them, try teaching him to seek contact. The aim is to have his head as low as it will go and then you can help him lift up under himself.
Piper182 is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 09:40 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
I would guess that you are trying to 'micro-manage' a horse that is not even comfortable just going forward yet.

Forget everything except going forward. The best way to do that is to pick up the pace and only worry about going the right direction. Do not ride on the rail in a arena. I prefer out in the pasture or out on the trail. I prefer a medium trot. I want a horse to learn to 'follow its nose' at the jog. I do not like to take a steady hold of one. I just lightly get it to go the direction I want.

The more you do this, the easier it gets to guide the horse in large circles and in straighter and straighter lines. You introduce 'leg yielding' exercises and gradually get a horse to yield from leg pressure.

It is surprising how quickly a horse learns to follow its nose and go in straight lines when you ask for more impulsion and ask it to actually go somewhere.

When you have good guiding skills installed on a young horse, THEN, you can start asking a horse to go forward with a little more contact and can start developing a mouth and better impulsion.

I cannot emphasize enough that going forward is the first and most important thing you have to get down. It is a lot like steering a truck. You just cannot steer one if it is not going forward.
Cherie is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 11:47 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: CAnada
Posts: 50
• Horses: 0
I used to ride with a really top-level dressage trainer, and we always did tons of lungeing in side reins with the young horses. They can't overpower side-reins by tossing their head (but we didn't set them too short- the goal was kind of a "long and low" frame), and focussing on big, forward movement on a circle is a great way to help them build strength for work under saddle.

I've been riding a 16H 3 YO warmblood mare up here lately, and have had exactly the same problems as you - she feels like she's really all over the place. I know lungeing would make a huge difference for her, but she has ringbone, so I gotta do it the hard way. And it is hard, cuz she's young and she has tons of energy and really long gangly legs, lol. So the best thing we have done so far is work on lots of schooling figures - figure 8s, serpentines, diagonals, etc. I'd say now that she's really broke to walk, lol. But the trot-work will come. I'll just keep working quietly on the steering - and once they learn to turn, the straight lines come naturally.

I also had head-tossing trouble with her, but I changed her bit from a French-linked eggbutt to a loose-ring snaffle, and she's much happier now.
Islandmudpony is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 02-24-2011, 12:07 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,175
• Horses: 3
Cherie beat me to it - unless a horse is travelling forward, it will not be straight. If you take a look at the pyramid of training :

Google Image Result for http://www.dressage-academy.com/images/dressage-training-pyramid.jpg

You will see that straightness does not come until very late in the scale, rhythm, relaxation, connection and impulsion must first be achieved.

A German rider has been staying with friends of mine for the last few weeks and has been riding some horses for us. Watching her ride a newly broken 3 year old, all she does is get him forward. She does not worry about ANYTHING other than forward. Once a horse is forward, everything else will come.
On the more educated horses, she does exactly the same thing. The first 10-15minutes of her ride, she rides FORWARD FORWARD FORWARD, the horse MUST be in front of the leg and really motoring, before we worry about the smaller details and fine tuning.


Straight lines are actually one of the hardest movements to ride in dressage. To keep a horse dead straight, supple, over the back and moving with activity and rhythm while on a straight line is HARD!
If the pony you are working is young and green, don't push the straight lines issue. You want to try and stay on a bend as much as you can, until you can establish a nice forward even rhythm, and start to feel a connection come from the hind legs to your hand.
THEN you can start asking for short periods of straight lines, and when you lose her, go back onto a curve, re-establish your connection, and ride out again until you can build up the time spent on a straight line.
Kayty is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 02-24-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 502
• Horses: 1
Thank you all so much!
This is extremely helpful.. and I also got some tips from my instructor today :)

I'll keep you updated on how the free forwardness goes!
eventnwithwinston is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 02-24-2011, 04:45 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
• Horses: 0
Addressing your ponys headshaking and crooked lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventnwithwinston View Post
I've recently been riding a young pony for a young girl.. but lately I've been stuck on a few things.

For one, The pony cannot move in a straight line, and fishtails with his neck and body.
Are there any exercises or things I should be doing to help him learn to relax throughout his whole body and stay straight and supple in his neck/poll/front end?

If you need any more info on the situation just ask..
Thanks in advance for the help.
E!

Hi there,
Being new to the forum, I hope you don't feel I am being to forward with my adding a suggestion to your concerns. But thought I would add something that may help.

On your straight lines...
You may want to start with something simple. Find a focal point across the arena or pasture, preferably something wide like a gate. Keep your eyes focused on that object without looking off from it. (Start with trot move to working trot then to canter). When you get to your focused point in as straight of a manner as possible (don't be concerned about your pony keeping it's body straight, that will come after you have repeated the lesson several times), when you reached your point, the pony will want to turn becayse of the obstical (gate) don't allow it, instead have it come to a stop at the obstical. Let it stand there for about a 30 second break and give a reward such as a kind voice of praise and a pat. This gets the
pony to understand that you are asking it to go straight. It's body will become more sure of itself.

2 Things I can think of about the head tossing. One is the bit. You may need to be lighter in the hands. The other would be that the pony is going through a process of elimiation trying to figure out what you are asking. Also, if you have ever released ptessure when it started shaking its head it would then associate what it feels from the bit to meaning it is suppose to shake its head.

Hope I wasn't too windy with my responses.
Vette is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 02-24-2011, 04:51 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
• Horses: 0
Addressing your ponys headshaking and crooked lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by eventnwithwinston View Post
I've recently been riding a young pony for a young girl.. but lately I've been stuck on a few things.

For one, The pony cannot move in a straight line, and fishtails with his neck and body.
Are there any exercises or things I should be doing to help him learn to relax throughout his whole body and stay straight and supple in his neck/poll/front end?

If you need any more info on the situation just ask..
Thanks in advance for the help.
E!

Hi there,
Being new to the forum, I hope you don't feel I am being to forward with my adding a suggestion to your concerns. But thought I would add something that may help.

On your straight lines...
You may want to start with something simple. Find a focal point across the arena or pasture, preferably something wide like a gate. Keep your eyes focused on that object without looking off from it. (Start with trot move to working trot then to canter). When you get to your focused point in as straight of a manner as possible (don't be concerned about your pony keeping it's body straight, that will come after you have repeated the lesson several times), when you reached your point, the pony will want to turn becayse of the obstical (gate) don't allow it, instead have it come to a stop at the obstical. Let it stand there for about a 30 second break and give a reward such as a kind voice of praise and a pat. This gets the
pony to understand that you are asking it to go straight. It's body will become more sure of itself.

2 Things I can think of about the head tossing. One is the bit. You may need to be lighter in the hands. The other would be that the pony is going through a process of elimiation trying to figure out what you are asking. Also, if you have ever released ptessure when it started shaking its head it would then associate what it feels from the bit to meaning it is suppose to shake its head.

Hope I wasn't too windy with my responses.
Vette is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Western pads won't stay straight! Making me nuts! franknbeans Horse Tack and Equipment 6 01-07-2011 01:25 PM
Head toss, what does it mean? WalnutPixie Horse Training 12 11-19-2010 09:48 PM
Why does she toss her head? Danjones Horse Training 6 07-26-2010 01:13 AM
Getting Rid of a Head Toss? Zeke Horse Training 2 07-25-2010 11:07 PM
Pony wont stay straight lilc0wgurl Horse Training 2 11-13-2009 12:47 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome