Training Young horse - Going behind the vertical

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Training Young horse - Going behind the vertical

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  • My horse goes behind the vertical
  • young horse behind

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    05-06-2008, 12:59 AM
Training Young horse - Going behind the vertical

Im training a young horse at the moment. I have started to collect him up, and getting him on the bit. Although to escape the aid he puts his head to his chest and runs on. I havnt had expirence with a horse that has done this before. So I was wondering if anyone could provide any advice.

Just some back ground info

He is 4yo, TB cross WB 16.3hh
Only been under work for nearly 2months
Using a French link loose ring snaffle

Any bits reckonmended and training aids that I could use would be much appreicated.

Love-a-hero :P
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    05-06-2008, 02:36 AM
If a horse goes behind the bit it is a training issue rather then a tack issue just to clear that up
However the bit can be a huge issue. French links shouldnt cause any problems, I would maybe use a rubber snaffle - just expirement to see what your horse find comfortable :)

Remember to ride your horse forward when he does that... implusion is the key, remember that.

    05-06-2008, 03:05 AM
I would go a little softer on the snaffle so the horse has some security to lean on the bit just a little so he become comfortable and relaxed and isn't ancipating a hard bit. Then I would just keep things slow. He's only been working for 2 months and maybe its to fast to be cantering under saddle. I would work on him just bending (circles, serpentines, figure 8s) and walking relaxed and trotting square and then either lunging or long lining (first lunging then long lining ideally) in a bull pen (small round pen) and slowly start introducing the canter while letting him relax on the bit (with long lining). Then once he's comfortable cantering on the ground on the bit then you can try to do it under saddle. He's young and green so take your time, don't rush, let him build his confidence trust and strength (to hold his gaits).
    05-06-2008, 01:35 PM
Both good suggestions. Don't rush things...good impulsion without fear of being shut down should be the goal right now. Considering his age, his size and how long he's been under saddle, I would be patient with him on this front.
    05-06-2008, 02:45 PM
Are you keeping the reins really tight and making him do that without knowledge of it? How are you getting him to be on the verticle?

You don't want to force his head down on the want to encourage him to do so
    05-06-2008, 03:03 PM
Super Moderator
He's trying to avoid the bit. Are you using any training devices? Try picking his head up while you push him forward, when he lifts his head realease, kind of the opposite of when you ask for headset, if that makes sense to you... lift up not back.
    05-06-2008, 11:27 PM
Hey guys, and thanks for the replys.
Just to answer some questions.

Hes only been working for 2 months and maybe its to fast to be cantering under saddle
I don't think I said anything about cantering. I have canta'ed on him outside the arena, but I havnt attempted in the arena yet

are you keeping the reins really tight and making him do that without knowledge of it? How are you getting him to be on the verticle?

You don't want to force his head down on the want to encourage him to do so
I don't believe in having contact with the horses mouth when asking to come on to the bit. Therefore there is hardly any pressure on his mouth. I get him to go on the bit by basically my legs and seat. Im using my seat to block when he goes to fast and my legs to guide and push him on. By no means am I forcing him on the verticle, when he gets confused he just puts his head on his chest.

are you using any training devices?
Yes I am. He gets lunged on a Pessoa like lunging device.

Ok some more questions.

Am I doing the wrong thing to be asking him to get on the bit at 4 years of age? He is one of those horses who you can't give disipline to, just lots of praise. Because he is really sensitive and gets frustrated very easliy.
I have been told to keep his mind busy, ie when he starts putting his head on his chest "boaring" do something different like change directions, figure of 8's do a transition etc.
What do you think?
    05-07-2008, 07:38 AM
You are on the right track and you even answered your own questions

when he gets confused he just puts his head on his chest. ""

Young horses and especially WB do get confused at times when first training, the important thing is to take it all slowly. Just keep in mind that it is when this confusion is not recognised/understood that some riders will cause problems in their horse. When your boy gets worried, take him back to an exercise that he is comfortable with, get his confidence back and then re-introduce what you were aiming for.

As for him tucking his head in, when he does this try giving a one sided half halt, usually the outside rein. This may have to be quite exaggerated to start with eg a full movement of your arm/wrist, enough to let him know that his head is not meant to be down there, eventually as he starts to understand the command, you can decrease the severity and it will dwindle to a mere finger twitch.

""I don't believe in having contact with the horses mouth when asking to come on to the bit.""

To teach a youngster to work in a frame they actually need to know that they have you there as support. A consistant, gentle contact on the reins is more supportive to a youngster, than no contact at all, after all we are wanting them to go forward into the bridle, but if the bridle is not there.......

I hope this has helped but please accept my apologies if this has made no sense at all
    05-07-2008, 07:50 AM
Does he make contact when you lunge him with the pessoa? If he does, you might analyze how you are riding him. Most horses won't go behind the bit without a tight rein from the rider, so really analyze how short your reins are. I always throw away a little more than I think I need.

If he doesn't make contact when you lunge him, maybe you should try a new bit.

Now, if he follows your hands at the walk/trot and just likes to barrel along at any faster gait, then yes, I would say occupy his mind with a variety of figure work. He may be one of those horses that really needs to be doing something and needs strong leadership from you to feel secure.

He sounds like he has an...interesting personality. Good luck with him:P
    05-07-2008, 11:00 AM
You want to have some contact with the horse's mouth, but not to the point where your forcing the head down...just enough to feel the horse's head.

What bit are you using? Has his teeth been floated recently?

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