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Why is my mare doing this?

This is a discussion on Why is my mare doing this? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        02-26-2014, 12:36 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elana    
    Attachment

    This is understandable (on a basic level) to me, although I'm wondering what the "impulsion" step means..?
         
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        02-26-2014, 07:48 PM
      #22
    Trained
    Your hands are way too low and it is putting pressure on the bars of her mouth. That could be all it is. Raise your hands up about 6" so you have a straight line from your elbow to the bit and see what you get.
    waresbear likes this.
         
        02-26-2014, 08:07 PM
      #23
    Green Broke
    You also look very stiff contact is good but you look to be pulling down with some force not just holding her there. Loosen up relax take a deep breath and as mentioned lift your hands a touch.
         
        02-27-2014, 08:56 AM
      #24
    Green Broke
    Impulsion is where the horse is pushing from behind into the bit. Your horse is evading the bit and being ridden front to back and not back to front.. which is where impulsion comes from.

    It takes a long time to get through all the steps in this chart. Months and months.. because it requires the horse to learn and to develop the muscles to do those things and seek to work from behind.
         
        03-02-2014, 12:23 PM
      #25
    Weanling
    What is the 'this' that you are referring too? The slightly open lips? Difficult to see in the pix, but perhaps the bit is a little low or the noseband..
    ? (Is she older? The teeth become more outward). The tension in the contracted nostrils can have many causes (easier to see moving). Are you talking about the slightly higher posture? The horse should be up/open/folding the hind leg joints...so that is ok. The tension in that posture is because the lowered hands are putting pain on the bars. You must be upright as well (keeping straight line to horse's mouth...not high hands per se).
         
        03-03-2014, 01:04 PM
      #26
    Super Moderator
    First of all, I LOVE your attitude! You are willing and able to listen to the help you are being offered and stay positive about that. Do you know how rare that is?

    The advice you have been given is very good. You need to relax your whole arm/shoulder so that your hand can unfreeze. You need to be able yo absorb all of the movement of the horse's head with your arms so that you can maintain the SAME amount of contact at all times. Contact will change while giving a half halt, but at all other times there must be 100% consistency in the amount of contact you keep.

    I suspect, from the photo, that you lock your arms, which will lock your hand. Then, when the horse moves its head, it will hit that bit with every step. That is very destructive to the acceptance of the bit. The horse will be uncomfortable and will never want to move onto the bit and relax.

    Here is an exercise I will do with a new student who has this problem. You can substitute any friend willing to do this.

    I will stand at the horse's head facing the student.... I will hold the reins in each hand near the bit....I will have the student hold the reins as if riding.....I will tell the student to apply contact......then I will move the bit forward and backwards slightly, mimicking the movement of the horse's head while walking.....then I will have the student unlock their shoulders and arms until they can follow that movement while keeping the SAME amount of contact at all times.....I will keep moving the reins until the rider can absorb all the movement while maintaining that contact......then I will have the rider practise changing the amount of contact while still absorbing all of the movement.....keep doing this until the student can adjust contact immediately and keep consistent contact at all times.

    This will really help, but locked arms are a difficult habit to break. It will take time for it to become a new habit. Keep at it, though, because the horse can never fully accept the bit until they have a kinder place that they can trust. The amount of contact is rarely a problem for them, as long as that contact is consistent.

    As for the long and low, it ia a way of asking the horse to stretch forward into the bridle with little contact. The horse is relaxed, moving nicely forward and seeking the bit.

    When working on the horse accepting the bit, if the horse is flexing the correct muscles going onto the bit, these muscles get tired quickly, at first. It is good to allow them to stretch often. I will often do this exercise with a green horse. I will ask the horse to move forward onto the bit, asking them to flex the correct muscles. I will keep them moving nicely forward to exercise these muscles. After a moment, I will slowly allow the reins to lengthen, still moving them forward. If this is done properly, they horse will maintain his balance and be able to move longer and lower. If they lose their balance, they were not properly forward and will fall onto their forehand. I keep working with them until they can stretch longer and lower and still maintain their balance.

    The horse will be moving much like this,



    As you can see, he is stretching forward still moving into the bit. He is comfortable with the contact, as it is so consistent it never bumps him in the mouth. He is seeking to maintain that contact. If he hot the bit, he would back away from the bit and cease moving forward.

    BTW, If I were to critique my own photo (which I often do to illustrate a point as we can't always be perfect) I would say my hands are a tad low. I should have them an inch or two higher to have that straight line from elbow to bit that I always want to see.


    To show how important this contact is, I had a student at a clinic (she allows me to use this photo) who just couldn't get her hands moving well with the horse. As a result, the horse wouldn't move forward into the bridle. The horse has zero impulsion moving forward.



    I got on the horse and within about five minutes the horse trusted the bit again.



    After doing the exercise I explained above with the reins, I had the owner better able to have more consistent contact.



    Her hands are in a much better position (still a bit too low, but this is, as said, a hard habit to break) and are starting to move with him. The horse is beginning to trust her more. After the trust is there, then she will start asking for more impulsion, which is missing here.


    I hope this helps!
         
        03-03-2014, 01:35 PM
      #27
    Super Moderator
    Since your student has kindly offered you the use of her photo for instructional purposes, may I point out something else I see in the photo?



    The rider does not have her leg under her, and is not posting off of her own base of support, but is likely levering up from her knee somewhat, and utiliting the reins for support.

    In this photo (admittedly, at a different place in the posting cycle)



    The rider has her leg under her and is posting off of her solid base of support. She could completely release the rein and she would not fall backward.
    Allison Finch and Foxhunter like this.
         
        03-03-2014, 05:13 PM
      #28
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
    First of all, I LOVE your attitude! You are willing and able to listen to the help you are being offered and stay positive about that. Do you know how rare that is?

    The advice you have been given is very good. You need to relax your whole arm/shoulder so that your hand can unfreeze. You need to be able yo absorb all of the movement of the horse's head with your arms so that you can maintain the SAME amount of contact at all times. Contact will change while giving a half halt, but at all other times there must be 100% consistency in the amount of contact you keep.

    I suspect, from the photo, that you lock your arms, which will lock your hand. Then, when the horse moves its head, it will hit that bit with every step. That is very destructive to the acceptance of the bit. The horse will be uncomfortable and will never want to move onto the bit and relax.

    Here is an exercise I will do with a new student who has this problem. You can substitute any friend willing to do this.

    I will stand at the horse's head facing the student.... I will hold the reins in each hand near the bit....I will have the student hold the reins as if riding.....I will tell the student to apply contact......then I will move the bit forward and backwards slightly, mimicking the movement of the horse's head while walking.....then I will have the student unlock their shoulders and arms until they can follow that movement while keeping the SAME amount of contact at all times.....I will keep moving the reins until the rider can absorb all the movement while maintaining that contact......then I will have the rider practise changing the amount of contact while still absorbing all of the movement.....keep doing this until the student can adjust contact immediately and keep consistent contact at all times.

    This will really help, but locked arms are a difficult habit to break. It will take time for it to become a new habit. Keep at it, though, because the horse can never fully accept the bit until they have a kinder place that they can trust. The amount of contact is rarely a problem for them, as long as that contact is consistent.

    As for the long and low, it ia a way of asking the horse to stretch forward into the bridle with little contact. The horse is relaxed, moving nicely forward and seeking the bit.

    When working on the horse accepting the bit, if the horse is flexing the correct muscles going onto the bit, these muscles get tired quickly, at first. It is good to allow them to stretch often. I will often do this exercise with a green horse. I will ask the horse to move forward onto the bit, asking them to flex the correct muscles. I will keep them moving nicely forward to exercise these muscles. After a moment, I will slowly allow the reins to lengthen, still moving them forward. If this is done properly, they horse will maintain his balance and be able to move longer and lower. If they lose their balance, they were not properly forward and will fall onto their forehand. I keep working with them until they can stretch longer and lower and still maintain their balance.

    The horse will be moving much like this,



    As you can see, he is stretching forward still moving into the bit. He is comfortable with the contact, as it is so consistent it never bumps him in the mouth. He is seeking to maintain that contact. If he hot the bit, he would back away from the bit and cease moving forward.

    BTW, If I were to critique my own photo (which I often do to illustrate a point as we can't always be perfect) I would say my hands are a tad low. I should have them an inch or two higher to have that straight line from elbow to bit that I always want to see.


    To show how important this contact is, I had a student at a clinic (she allows me to use this photo) who just couldn't get her hands moving well with the horse. As a result, the horse wouldn't move forward into the bridle. The horse has zero impulsion moving forward.



    I got on the horse and within about five minutes the horse trusted the bit again.



    After doing the exercise I explained above with the reins, I had the owner better able to have more consistent contact.



    Her hands are in a much better position (still a bit too low, but this is, as said, a hard habit to break) and are starting to move with him. The horse is beginning to trust her more. After the trust is there, then she will start asking for more impulsion, which is missing here.


    I hope this helps!

    This is incredibly helpful information, thank you so much!! Thanks for spending the time to explain in such detail, I really really appreciate it :)
         
        03-03-2014, 05:47 PM
      #29
    Started
    Do not have any advice to give but would lile to say thanks for posting! The advice given is awesome and I hope to be able to use it as well! Good luck with everything op!
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        03-03-2014, 07:05 PM
      #30
    Started
    Sorry OP, hijacking for just 2 seconds

    Allison... ever thought of coming to New Zealand?? Seriously I've had lessons with several different trainers now and not one of them uses that teaching technique, we need more trainers like you over here!
         

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