turning a corner - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-29-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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turning a corner

I have a four year old green broke standardbred gelding. He is having trouble making turns at one end of the arena. This is the end of the arena that is near the barn, which I think is part of the reason he does not like making the turns. If I use that winning combination of outside leg, support with the inside leg and the inside rain I can get him to make the turn. Without those aids he runs at an angle and the has engine failure when approaching the woods. When he goes around the turn his head is often with nose pointed to the extreme inside and his ears pointed towards the end on a slant. I am looking for that nice soft straight head that is following the curve of the turn. I am wondering if I am asking and supporting him the right way? With time and practice will he relax into the turn? Right now, I am assuming this is a combination of mild barn sourness/wanting to go home and not being used to turns without a sulky. Does this seem like a likely situation? Do we keep doing what we are doing or change something?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 10:23 AM
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Firstly I want to state that you sound way more experienced than me at what your doing!
I am posting because Iam doing a pony at the same level as you maybe 15 hours under saddle. most of this hacking so im now beggining on bending etc.

I took a fall and lost confidence and found myself going backwards, blah blah blah, so the girl who broke him for he has come back to help.
Last night her mother came with her who has a lifetime of experience in breaking and schooling and she was really working on me more than the horse but one thing she did do with him which I found odd at the time but seeing the results so quickly shocked me. Her advice was long reigns no contact making me rise trot half the arena, sitting trot for half the arena and then rise trot again but on the wrong leg in effect so your out of sync with the pony. just for a half the arena then mis two and back to usual.And repeat. I know this sounds crazy but after doing that for 10 mins he had improved balance hugely and followed up with some surpentines up and down the arena using only my legs and no reins he was turning on a sixpence by the end of the session.
This lady is very good at this kind of thing and it may sound mad but theres method in her madness somewhere. Maybe worth a try?!
Also my boy has been stopping at the gate but all this madness took his mind off that!
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-30-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Sammy Joe; however, I am really just trying different things to see what works. I will give your method a try!
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 04:42 AM
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Like I said im not anywhere near your standard im just passing on something so simple I found amazing. Suppose though its so easy to fix a fault off the ground when watching a horse move hey!
This lady has lived and breathed horses all her life and I trust her input. Hope I explained it Ok.
If you get a chance to try it report me back, im interested!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 05:03 AM
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Just from the sounds of it, I am going to suggest that you need more outside rein.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 08:39 AM
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One of the main objectives in any riding/training program has to be to teach a horse to stay 'between the rider's legs' and 'between the rider's reins'.

When a horse starts to do what we call 'rubber-neck', you lack 'shoulder control'. A horse does NOT have to follow his nose (as you have found out) -- he follows his shoulder. So, in order for a rider to get a horse to follow his nose and stay between the rider's legs and reins, it is shoulder control the rider needs to work on. With this training comes the 'lightness' and 'responsiveness' every serious rider desires.

What teaches a horse to 'rubber neck' is a rider that uses a direct rein to ask a horse to turn. When the horse does not turn, the rider pulls harder on the rein and the horse just bends its neck around and still not not turn like it was asked to.

To correct this, DO NOT pull harder on that inside rein that the amount of contact it takes to barely see the corner of the horse's inside eye. Any more bend than that only puts a horse's weight and energy into its outside legs and shoulder and actually encourages a horse to move into the shoulder and away from the direction being asked for.

Instead, once the horse's head is pointing the direction you want it to go (usually with a loose inside rein at this point, put ALL pressure on the outside to PUSH the horse instead of trying to pull it. If a horse is obedient enough to a rider's leg (which most are not if a rider is having this problem) the rider can reinforce with a crop tapping lightly on the outside shoulder, which will be bulging at this point. The outside rein needs a light contract to prevent a horse from turning its head too far and needs to steady the horse, but it is the outside leg or added outside aid that needs to 'make' the horse follow its nose.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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okay, so Cherie its outside rein, inside leg support and outside leg cues?
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-31-2012, 01:18 PM
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I read a really cool article years ago from a top Dressage rider about making a good turn and it worked SO good! Here's the little trick she taught....

Approach your turn in a straight line. Just before you get to the point where you ask the horse to bend into the turn, come to a halt. Relax. Then proceed forward into the turn the way you normally would.

It sounds so simple but it really works and gets the horse to bend deep into the corner. I supposed its because you are breaking up the straight line straight line straight line AH TURN!! that your horse probably has (esp. being a standardbred where his turns are always very wide and swooping, not tight like an arena). It pulls the horse back together instead of letting them just run through and skip the turn. Sounds too simple, but it works.
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