training a green horse onto the bit - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-14-2007, 10:17 AM
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I've actually always been taught it's better to have forward impulsion when asking to go on the bit - driving from the back to the front. For my 3 yr old, we've been working on this and I do a lot of squeeze and release -- try not to "hold" your horse in the frame, remember to release or they will lean on the bit.

There's a good article here about starting out:

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-14-2007, 11:49 AM
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Well yes, the END RESULT is that the horse should have forward movement, but when you are first teaching this, IMO, you should set it up for success and start from the halt to let the horse get the idea. That way the rider doesn't micromanage the horse by driving them forward if they were to start the exercise straight from the walk or trot. I don't agree with driving a horse with your seat anyway, but that's just me.

One more thing jazzyrider.......this happened with my horse, it may or may not happen with your horse. When I started combing the reins at the halt, he thought that meant back up. So IF your horse backs up, just go with her. Keep combing the reins and just be there for her, let her figure the puzzle out. And when she does, give her a BIG release. :)
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-14-2007, 09:24 PM
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alright sorry I must have missed the snaffle part :o my bad :)
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-16-2007, 11:59 PM
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I would suggest a waterford sanaffle, it's pretty gentle in terms of how it lays in the mouth. The idea is that the horse can't lean on the bit because it will collapse when the horse adds pressure. They therefore have to work off their haunches and can't rely on the forehand, causing them to soften their hold on the bit. It's not permitted in dressage, but once the horse develops the muscle and "habit" if you will of engaging their haunches.. it should be easier for them in a normal snaffle.
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-17-2007, 12:07 AM
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Other techniques that help the horse engage behind with or without switching bits include:

trot down rail. halt. turn on haunches. trot down rail. halt. turn on haunches, etc.

true lateral work. this is more difficult, but it definately engages them all around. I would say you SHOULD start sidepassing.. you can do this from the ground by pushing with your hands at their girth area and positively reinforcing moving away from the pressure. "quality" lateral work is defined by the crossing over legs both in the front and back. Once the horse gets the idea try it under saddle. Next at the trot.

Longe lining might help since you are not interfering with your message to the horse with your body weight and muscle.. I've been longelining my gelding before I get on him. You have a rein aid, voice aid, and whip. I wouldn't do it without a little instruction first.. although its pretty easy once you get the hang of steering (and you trust your horse).
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