Young horse
 
 

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Young horse

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  • Teaching a young horse to respect the bit
  • How to get young horse to use his back

 
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    09-09-2010, 08:39 AM
  #1
Foal
Young horse

I have had my 5 year old tb/paint gelding for about 9 months. I had to re-start him when I got him as he had been broken in very badly. He is going very well now and is ready to start some new exercises etc. one thing I am unsure about is how to get him more on his hindquarters and to begin coming on the bit. I know that it is a lot to ask of him but he is doing very well and is ready to move on and really start learning. I have spent the last few months re-breaking him and basically getting him quiet enough to ride.
I have not done a lot of dressage. But have taught one horse to do all the basic dressage work. On the bit, simple changes, shoulder in, leg yield etc. but she is very forward moving, being an OTTB. Whereas my new boy is less forward moving. He doesn't move into my hands as easily. He will walk, trot, canter freely but when I ask him to collect he just gets confused and stops.
Just wondering if anybody has much experience with this sort of thing and if anyone was able ot give me any ideas.
Sorry for the novel. :S
     
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    09-09-2010, 03:14 PM
  #2
Yearling
I'm sure you'll get plenty of disagreement with this but here goes: I also started with a very forward horse before finding myself with a "normal" but poorly started mare. Mostly, she wouldn't accept the bit, and it took a LONG time to get her to stretch into it.

Now, what I find is, the biggest hurdle is to get her to move freely off the leg. And to do this, what I've found is to use speed. Yes, ordinary "Go Faster M'dear!". I try to use the crop rather than ineffectual legs. Anyway, it keeps the session lively, because it's fun to go faster (even if a little out of balance- I try not to interfere when giving the Move On); there's less nagging (I'm prone to that) and when you do get a willingness to simply "go faster" you have the energy that you can work with, and can get the rounding, and coming-through more easily; which works towards collection. As Podhasky, I think, said, when in doubt, move off briskly.
     
    09-09-2010, 03:38 PM
  #3
Foal
To get your horse 'on the bit', you must first get your horse 'on the aids'. In other words, your horse must first be responsive to your legs and turning signals. Then you can try for lateral and then vertical.
     
    09-09-2010, 04:14 PM
  #4
Yearling
I would suggest finding an instructor and/or clinician to work with. It will save you time and money in the long run to get good instruction now where it can be used the most. A good instructor can help you help them through correct riding and maybe even some long lining, lunging and other exercises. In teaching a horse to go "on the aids" or "on the bit" every single horse is different. So you really need a professional to work with you and your horse individually in order to teach it correctly for him.
     
    09-09-2010, 04:31 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by NittanyEquestrian    
I would suggest finding an instructor and/or clinician to work with. It will save you time and money in the long run to get good instruction now where it can be used the most. A good instructor can help you help them through correct riding and maybe even some long lining, lunging and other exercises. In teaching a horse to go "on the aids" or "on the bit" every single horse is different. So you really need a professional to work with you and your horse individually in order to teach it correctly for him.
So true, but just be careful as to what instructor you choose! I personally don't like the instructors who try to 'work out the kinks' themselves. For instance, an old trainer of mine used to quote-on-quote "solve" every issue a rider had with their horse, by riding the horse herself to work the problem out. Needless to say, most of those horses ended up with respect for her, but for their owners? Mmm, not so much.
     
    09-09-2010, 04:46 PM
  #6
Yearling
^Amen. However if you're having trouble with it, it's ok for an instructor to teach the horse the aid and then teach you the aid to use on your horse. But it has to be a two step process. Shop around and watch a few lessons that are similar to what you want to work on before you sign on as a student. Good instructors are willing to let you get comfortable with them and their methods and teaching style. Those that are more into the "quick fix" will tell you that there's no need to observe because they can fix your horse for you. I would avoid the "quick fixer-uppers" especially with a young/green horse.
     
    09-10-2010, 04:50 AM
  #7
Foal
Thanks everyone for your help. I have got an instructor who I work for in exchange for lessons though she is away. I mostly have lessons on her horses though I will talk to her about lessons on him.
     
    09-11-2010, 01:28 AM
  #8
Foal
I agree with Beling. In order for a horse to learn to collect, they have to learn to move forward. If he's not moving so forward, don't start trying to collect him yet. Let him learn to move forward with balance. Serpentines and circles can help him learn more about yielding to the bit, so that when you do ask for collection he'll understand a bit better but more importantly you can't just ask for collection with your hands. You have got to keep leg on him so that he knows to keep moving forward into your hands, rather than just stopping..

I agree with getting an instructor as well because often it's easier for someone on the ground to see what you may be doing incorrectly, and teach you how to do it right so that you can get a feel of what it should be like. But I would really start with just allowing him to move forward and find his balance without you interfering. He has to be able to carry himself so that when you ask him to collect he engages his back and hindquarters.
     
    09-11-2010, 05:44 AM
  #9
Foal
Thanks. He is moving foward willingly. On a trail if asked, he will drop his head and engage his hindquarters, hold for a second. Sometimes he doesn't understand and sometimes he gets it straight away. The problem in the arena is not that he isn't movng forward willingly but that any contact on reins means stop. This is how he was mouthed and I have been trying to work it out of him. He is 100 times better on a trail but still does it in a round yard or arena.
     

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