Why is my mare doing this? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Why is my mare doing this?

I'm not sure where to post this, because I'm not sure which one of us is the problem. I am going to assume it's me and how I'm riding, so I'll post it here.

Someone took a couple pictures of my ride today, and my mare is doing this in a few of them...the mouth thing that she has going on (please see photo below). Is it my hands? Something wrong with her or with the bit? She had her teeth done last September (2013). I'm riding her in a loose ring snaffle w/ french link. Or is she just fighting me (she doesn't collect very nicely, she likes to look around at EVERYTHING).

If anyone knows why she's doing this and what I can do to fix it, I'd appreciate the input!!


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post #2 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Is it me or her? What's going on here?

I'm not sure where to post this, because I'm not sure which one of us is the problem.

Someone took a couple pictures of my ride today, and my mare is doing this in a few of them...the mouth thing that she has going on (please see photo below). Is it my hands? Something wrong with her or with the bit? She had her teeth done last September (2013). I'm riding her in a loose ring snaffle w/ french link. Or is she just fighting me (she doesn't collect very nicely, she likes to look around at EVERYTHING).

If anyone knows why she's doing this and what I can do to fix it, I'd appreciate the input!!


Last edited by LoveMyTBPacha; 02-22-2014 at 06:38 PM.
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post #3 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 06:41 PM
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She looks really uncomfortable. And she is not being collected properly. Her back is hollow...neck is not properly developed. Your hands are too low and it looks like your trying to pull her head down.

Has she been seen by a chiropractor? She just looks uncomfortable.
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post #4 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432 View Post
She looks really uncomfortable. And she is not being collected properly. Her back is hollow...neck is not properly developed. Your hands are too low and it looks like your trying to pull her head down.

Has she been seen by a chiropractor? She just looks uncomfortable.
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Yep, I agree. As far as one can tell from just one picture, she is not collected, but trying to find the position of least discomfort.
Try riding her lots of long and low, get her relaxed and get her back swinging before even attempting to "collect" her in a frame.
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post #5 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 08:01 PM
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this horse shows every evidence of being fiddle down into a frame, and her bracing against the contact, coming behind it , hollowing out her back and being very uncomfortable about the whole way of going.

your position in that photo has , unfortunately, a lot to do with her moving that way. you are falling forward with your upper body, and pooching your butt out , which makes your seatbones point backward, which makes you want to fall forward, and makes your horse want to trail his hind legs out behind, hollow the back and fall onto the forehanc. It creates a kind of hollow in the middle, called by some the "Man-trap", where your weight and energy tend to go, and tend to pull the hrose back and down into that same hole. the dip in front of the withers of your horse indicates that she may have been moving this way for some time. the lower neck bulges out forward, while the upper neck comes back toward the rider. in your case, it is not extreme by any means, and there are small adjustements you can do to make changes in her way of going.


make sure you do not roll you pelivs forward, keep your seatbones pointed down. look up, raise your hands (do not try to get her to lower her head by lowering your hands), get her to feel the bit, and then work on getting her to carry it forward and downward, ( the long and low that another poster mentioned).

of course, if she is really fussing about her mouth, before you do anything, consider that she might have a dental issue, or a bit issue.
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post #6 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 08:13 PM
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A video would be better to see what's going on with y'all.
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post #7 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 10:16 PM
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You also have hard hands by this photo. See how your knuckles are white?

That is because you have locked down on the reins.

Video would be the best, but what the other posters said about your body position needs to be taken and changed.

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post #8 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone. If I have the opportunity to record video I will post it, but for now I will take your tips and I also am going to have a chiropractor check her out to make sure she's ok. I don't want to be doing anything to hurt or make her uncomfortable. Thanks.
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post #9 of 48 Old 02-22-2014, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regula View Post
Try riding her lots of long and low, get her relaxed and get her back swinging before even attempting to "collect" her in a frame.

Can you explain what you mean by this a little better? Sorry, I'm not really understanding exactly, but I'd like to take your advice. Thank you.
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post #10 of 48 Old 02-23-2014, 12:46 PM
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First of all, you two are not even close to collection. Collection is something that takes a very long time to develop, and is not just tucking the horses head in. I would recommend following the training scale which is what truly leads to collection- rhythm, relaxation, contact, impulsion, straightness, and finally collection. Before developing relaxation, you develop rhythm, relaxation before contact, etc.

Rythm means two things - having an even tempo and being forward to the leg. Relaxation is when the horse is relaxed. His back is swinging with legs reaching under him. Contact is keeping a soft, steady rein contact that your horse is accepting and reaching into.

I think you guys are at relaxation. Your horse is hollow and stiff all throughout the topline. Like someone else said, I would recommend doing lots of long and low work. Thismeans lots of free walk and stretchy trot, getting your horse reaching down into the contact. For the free walk you don't need to have any contact, ideally you are at the buckle of the reins with the horses head lowered (around wither height but depends greatly on horse), he is walking freely, back swinging, and hind legs swinging under him. Stretchy trot is similar, but you have slight contact, and it is at the trot.

Please, work with a good dressage trainer. You have much to improve with your position, and you are doing your horse more bad than good riding with contact. I would go more into detail, but I am on my phone and have to go. Good luck!
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