Tie Downs...Lunging.... and flexing - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 02-18-2008, 09:04 AM
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Good luck! I will say this, because your horse sounds so much like how my horse used to be, be prepared to do that exercise for a couple months. I know that sounds like a long time but really it isn't. Some horses you can do that with them for a week and they're fine, but with horses like this they have a lot of issues so it takes consistency to teach them, just like with anything else.

One question for you though........are the muscles on the underside of his neck bulgy? Like over developed?
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post #12 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Spirithorse- No, the muscles are not over developed. He is very lean in the neck. I'll see if I can take some pics to show you. Maybe I'm not looking at it right!
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 06:06 PM
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I have never had this issue but maybe try using a running martingale until he is used to that and then take that off and his head should be fine. I am just taking a guess I would think that would work maybe try that if nothing else works..

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post #14 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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OK, here are some pics of his neck...what are you thinking, Spirithorse?





I just ordered the bit you guys recommended! Cross your fingers. Training starts tomorrow! I know it'll take awhile, but really all I have is time, right? Not like I can just ship him back because I don't like the way his head comes up!
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 07:05 PM
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Yes, that horse's topline is under-developed, but that's easily fixed with work in the proper frame


The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
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post #16 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 07:16 PM
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I agree, his topline needs work, but not to fear! That will come with time. I am surprised that the under side of his neck is not over developed, that ususally happens when a horse "pulls" himself along rather than "pushing" himself along. That's how my horse was, very over developed on his under line and not so developed on his topline. But not anymore. I guess since you were riding him in a tie down that prevented him from lifting his head, therefore he was forced to "kind of" use his body, although not correctly, so that's probably why the underside of his neck is not over developed.

Cute horse though!! I love his face. :)
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post #17 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Great! OK, my next dumb question...having just gotten back into horses after a hiatus of about 10 years, what is NOW the best way to acheive a stronger top line....again, I have the time, just tell me what to do!

Let me tell you what groundwork we've worked on:
-desensitizing
-Yielding hind and fore quarters
-disengaging hindquarters
-MAJOR backing
-flexing to the halter
- Lungeing (to some aspect, he really struggles at this, or maybe I am the cause)

From the saddle:
- one rein stops
- bending
-heavy whoa on loose reins
-SOME impulsion exercises

He does well with them all except lungeing.

I'm hoping I'm on the right track! Times have changed a little since I owned my first horse. Now I own three and loving every minute of it!
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-21-2008, 08:02 PM
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The exercise I suggested will GREATLY improve his topline. I was amazed how it improved my horse's topline. I would also work him on hills. That's a wonderful way to get him to figure out how to use his body correctly. That also really helped my horse fogure out how to "push" himself along rather than "pull" himself along. Also, work on transitions once you are ready. That's one key to having an uphill horse, and it's fun! It'll keep your horse's mind with you, just as long as you don't turn it into a drill. I love walk-canter, canter-walk transitions......those are the best! Lol.

Sounds like you are doing some great things on the ground and on his back! Maybe the lunging is boring for him. If you do lunge him, make it interesting. Use obstacles. Have him go over, under, around and through things. Teach him to go sideways. Use your imagination.
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-22-2008, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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OK, Spirithorse, got the bit and ready to work! I've re-read your post about a hundred times only to start confusing myself with the "how to do this" part. The combing...are you combing up the reins I.e. From his withers up the reins to your chest so to speak? Or do I have this all wrong?

What do you mean by "don't block him"? Don't make it to where he CAN'T put his head down to soften to the bit?

Let me know what you think... trying to start tomorrow.
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-22-2008, 05:54 PM
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Awesome! I'm sure you will love the bit. Yes, you are combing the reins from the withers up. If you use leather reins they won't slide as smoothly through your hands so you need to make sure that you aren't getting little tiny jerks while combing (especially if you have braided reins). I use rope reins made out of Samson yachting rope and the feel is awesome. I've done this exercise with several horses using leather reins and while not ideal it still works.

By don't block him, I mean that when he goes to put his head down you don't hold onto the reins so that he jerks himself in the mouth. You want to allow the reins to slide through your hands when he goes to put his head down. Once he has the general idea and is kind of consistant, when he puts his head down instead of stopping the combing action altogether, keep combing the rein you still have left. It may not be much, but that's okay! Keep that steady, rhythmic feel.

One big key here is NO FLOPPY REINS! Lol. That was my biggest problem. I was, in a way, afraid to put much contact on my horse's mouth because of his confidence issues, so when he would invert my reins would get floppy, thus defeating the purpose of the exercise. So the higher he puts his head, the more drag you put in the reins. And believe me, I had to put A LOT of drag in my reins with my horse! But he had some deeply imbedded confidence issues with the bit, so your case may not be as extreme.

Good luck!! Let me know how it goes! :)
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