working in a snaffle to acheive self carriage and a soft mouth
 
 

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working in a snaffle to acheive self carriage and a soft mouth

This is a discussion on working in a snaffle to acheive self carriage and a soft mouth within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Lynda Ann miller and do it yourself show horse
  • Riding too the bit - soft mouth

 
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    11-10-2008, 10:54 PM
  #1
Foal
working in a snaffle to acheive self carriage and a soft mouth

I have a half arab saddleseat horse. Since there are no shows until April. I have pulled him out of his double and am now riding him in just a snaffle and martingale. I had draws on him but stopped because I want him to learn to carry himself in just a snaffle and martingale and be lighter in the mouth, I don't want false collection from the curb. He either has a very hard mouth or is running through the bit. Instead of him rolling over, he sticks his nose out in the air. He carries his neck very high which is fine cause he is a saddleseat horse. I think a lot of the problem is he is out of shape, he never will be in shape like he used to be cause I can only work him a few days a week cause of my job and the fact that I only have an outdoor round pen with no lights. Basically I want him to learn to carry himself, be collected in just a snaffle without the use of draw reins or the curb on his double bridle, and to driver under himself. I am having a vet come out but I think he needs a chiropractor or massage therapy because he is stiff on the right side of his neck and in the rear, he also doesn't like to be saddled, has a very large mass of scar tissue from an accident before I got him, pins his ear for the 1st several minutes of the ride, he also hates to get his blanket put on and to be brushed. I know this is kind of everywhere but any help you guys could give would be great.
     
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    11-11-2008, 06:06 PM
  #2
Foal
30 views and no reply. Come on guys I could really use your help
     
    11-12-2008, 12:05 AM
  #3
Foal
Ok well I would talk to your vet about the saddle fit if its bothering him if it hits the scar tissue and what to do about it, etc. Its very good that you are not working him in the double. Unless they need work they should only wear it like a week before a show just for a refresher. To improve the bridle wearing first you want to start riding on a loose rein with a smooth snaffle. Right now just work on getting laterally flexible because when a horse becomes laterally flexible it helps them become vertically flexible. Doing figure work like circles and serpentines and dressage movements like leg yeilds, shoulder in and half passes. This will also help supple the horse. While keeping on a loose rein don't try to do anything with the mouth except guide. Now once he becomes flexible at the poll then you can start working on getting the hindend stronger. Transitions, backing, and roll backs are all very helpful. I would also work him while long lining, lunging with side reins to mix it up and stay off his back some (like ride once a week and ground work the rest). You could also use trot poles while lunging and riding. If he's out of shape go slow with lots of walking and build up trotting time slowly (like uping one round a week) with ample warm up and cool down time. Trotting builds muscle and cantering builds endurance. Make sure you have 2 reins (one through the martingale and one not) and that your martingale is a running martingale. Would you like some book recommendations and some websites that have good info for SS training?
     
    11-12-2008, 12:24 AM
  #4
Foal
Books and websites would be wonderful. Thanks
     
    11-12-2008, 01:27 AM
  #5
Foal
Books

Riding and Training by Earl R. Farshler

Training Your Colt to Ride and Drive by Marilyn C. Childs and Rick M. Wallen

101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider by Jec Aristotle Ballou

Cross Train Your Horse: Book One and Two by Jane Savoie

Complete Training of Horse and Rider by Alois Podhajsky

Show Your Horse by Bob Robinson

The Do It Yourself Show Horse by Lynda Ann Miller

Then if needed any book on lunging and long lining/long reining would be helpful

Websites

www.Trot.org/forums (not just for Saddlebreds)

http://www.askthetraineronline.com/toc.html

http://www.arabianbreeders.net/Forums/forums.html (Check out the English Pleasure for great threads on training and the Arabian Café along with the others)

http://www.artbycrane.com/equinearticles/horsetraining/wisdomofsmithlilly.html

http://www.battagliafarms.com/news/articles.html

http://raylacroix.com/tips/index.html

http://www.kiesnertraining.com/ads.asp

http://www.joannemacbride.com/onthebit.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressage#The_Training_Scale

http://modern-saddlebred.com/forums/index.php
     
    11-12-2008, 05:44 PM
  #6
Foal
Thanks for the books and websites. Its funny cause I'm a loyal reader of many of those websites and have communicated via email with ray lacroix. Thanks.
     
    11-12-2008, 06:30 PM
  #7
Started
For the snaffle make sure it is not a single jointed one. When the rider picks up contact it pinches the tongue and bars and pokes the horse in the roof of the mouth. It also prevents the horse from swallowing. So the horse will never want to reach for the bit and be confident in it. Use a snaffle with a link in the middle, something that is curved to fit the mouth better.
     
    11-13-2008, 04:12 PM
  #8
Foal
Oh yes I too am a bug fan of double jointed bits. Since you are working on softening his mouth I would recommend a plain smooth french link (or something similar) and make sure you aren't using something too fat (uncomfortable in a small mouth, can't close) or too think (too severe). In the Arab Forum in the English Pleasure forum in the Training a Show Horse Thread there great advice on softening a horse's mouth. I highly recommend the books. Oh and I would love to see pictures of your pony too . Do you plan on long lining any?
     
    11-14-2008, 08:43 AM
  #9
Weanling
I work bitless with some of our horses, but I love a mullen mouth, otherwise known as a French training snaffle.
     
    11-14-2008, 03:55 PM
  #10
Foal
Found some new articles on lateral flexiblity.

Lateral Flexion

Lateral Flexion 2

Lateral Softness
     

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