Do you have any tips for getting a OTTB to accept bit contact? My mare will stop okay and doesn't run through the bit anymore, but she doesn't like contact and she doesn't reach to the contact. When I try to ride her with contact, she holds her head higher and really grinds her teeth on the bit. Could it be her teeth? I think she got them checked before I got her, but I could be wrong.
JustJumpIt - this issue has nothing to do with whether your horse is a TB or not....a horse is a horse...and the issues you are mentioning, could be saddle fit, or something you are doing while in the tack.
When a head goes up, the back has to drop. When the head goes up and the back drops, your horse is on his forehand - so you aren't going to accomplish anything when this is happening.
First, decipher whether you have a properly fitted saddle. Your horse could be dropping his back and stiffening up because it hurts - so get that checked out first. Then get his back checked out. He could be out, hurting - something going on to cause his back to hollow out.
Your seat could also be too heavy or too loud. Stop and ask yourself "What is it that I am doing, or not doing, that is causing the outcome I am getting in this situation" what is missing?
Go back to the Training Scale! Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften!
Can you get Dressage Lessons? There are holes here - gaping loud and clear saying "HELLO!"
You must fill in the holes to accomplish what you are trying at this point.
Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften. Inside leg into outside rein. You must get the rhythm and the impulsion first, asking the back to round up into your seat *if he can...might not because of pain* getting the horse onto their hind end and tracking up/engaging forward, riding inside leg into outside rein - getting the horse to move correctly first, using himself correctly first, then the head will come.