Originally Posted by flamingauburnmustang View Post
I really hate pulling on the reins like that, but sometimes I just feel that the only way to slow her down is by using the reins full force...it's frustrating.
Question: As I mentioned earlier, my instructor has gotten me to just canter Night Heat around and around until she starts to relax or get tired. I have done this twice so far, and when she starts to slow down I lessen the pressure on the reins and let my hands go nicely with her head. Will this help her in anyway?
Thanks again for the advice.
It is very frustrating, but you have to keep trying! I know exactly what you mean. She doesn't take off on you does she? Even though you aren't yanking on both reins to keep her back doesn't mean you can't use any rein, she has to listen to you or she will learn to just move forward past the bit. You say "whoa", the half halt, then bend her head down the the inside and if she doesn't listen just make her stop without pulling on both reins at the same time but also being gentle. Pull right, left, right, left(absolutely not vigorously because that would be painful). That just makes it so she has nothing to lean on. If she still doesn't listen, then turn her around in a small circle, stop her, back her up and then do it again. Do lots of transitions from canter to trot to walk, and do all you canter transitions from the trot so she won't feel the need to burst into the canter. Also try cantering from an easy, relaxed trot, do two or three strides and then bring her back to the relaxed trot and keep doing that. She'll learn that she can't bolt into the canter because she will have to slow down back to a trot.
You shouldn't have a lot of pressure on the reins to lessen, and you should always be moving with her head. If your hands are just a block to her movement she will have to bring her neck up, and block with her lower neck muscles and then she will be much more tense and on the forehand. She goes way above the bit as seen in the video.
Originally Posted by Oakley Eastern Miss View Post
When she gets a bit excitable out hacking/trail, she works on the bit without me asking, but her head is far too tucked in for my liking
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get her listening more to me and less to herself?
So for the bold part, she is going behind the bit, and that is her evading the bit and your hand aids. You want her on the bit. You can tell because her head is probably way behind the vertical. You want their head on the vertical or slightly above it(that is hard to get on the lunge though)
The red line is the "vertical"
Most people ride their horse's behind the vertical, it is hard to to it properly. I would say though, that this is better than having their head way up above the vertical.
And for your second question, you should mix things up a lot. Even ask her to start something, like a serpentine or a circle and then stop that and do something else. Get pylons and move her around pylons, switch directions, then circle, then do a half circle...Get changing things up really fast so she'll have to focus on you to know what to do. Here's some books: