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

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

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
  • "do it yourself show horse"
  • Ray la croix dressage

LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-10-2008, 10:54 PM
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.
Sponsored Links
    11-11-2008, 06:06 PM
30 views and no reply. Come on guys I could really use your help
    11-12-2008, 12:05 AM
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
Books and websites would be wonderful. Thanks
    11-12-2008, 01:27 AM

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 (not just for Saddlebreds) (Check out the English Pleasure for great threads on training and the Arabian Café along with the others)
    11-12-2008, 05:44 PM
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
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
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
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
Found some new articles on lateral flexiblity.

Lateral Flexion

Lateral Flexion 2

Lateral Softness

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bit for a soft mouth nldiaz66 Horse Tack and Equipment 12 10-16-2008 04:37 PM
first carriage drive tracey777 Driving 2 06-04-2008 11:04 AM
Horse carriage driving Clyde Horse Training 2 01-10-2008 12:24 PM
How can I get a soft mouth? BlackBone Horse Training 7 07-19-2007 08:34 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0