04-22-2012, 09:58 AM
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Agreed with McKellar...try and find a different bit. A Kimblewicke is a pretty strong bit and it is going to be difficult to teach a horse already resisting to relax and flex down. If the horse isn’t strong otherwise, as in uncontrollable, try a loose ring, either single or double jointed.
A couple of exercises, ground and mounted.
Try lunging the horse with side reins attached. You want to attach the side reins to the bit for this and not a halter as the idea is to get the horse to submit to the pressure of the side reins and round over the topline. You can put a halter on over top the bridle to allow for attachment of the lunge line if your friend doesn't have a lunging caveson. Set the side reins loose at first as a horse can get very sore if forced to submit too quickly..they have to build their topline muscles. The horse may not work under itself properly at first but keeping a lunge whip trailing just behind as the horse moves will help it work under itself, using the hind legs properly.
When mounted, allowing the horse to stretch forward and down will help build the topline muscles. As well, when the horse is stretching forward and down. Slowly shorten the reins and “shorten” the allowed stretch while using leg to keep the horse moving forward. This helps get the horse “on the bit” or from reading what McKellar wrote, at least allowing a lower head carriage overall even if the horse can’t do a good flex.
Once you get a more relaxed frame, then go to a lot of downward transitions form trot to walk, canter to walk. Use your leg when making the transition to get the horse to stop from behind and not fall on the forehand. You should feel as though the horse is actually lifting its shoulders to make the stop rather than feeling like the horse is going to fall on its nose.