Cinny's On-going journey AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE/CRITIQUES
   

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Cinny's On-going journey AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE/CRITIQUES

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        06-15-2010, 05:40 PM
      #1
    Green Broke
    Cinny's On-going journey AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE/CRITIQUES

    It was suggested to me that I start keeping all of my questions regarding Cinny, Cinny's training, my riding Cinny, anything to do with Cinny, all in one place, and I think that's a great idea....so I started this journal.

    If this is your first time here, the best way to start is with the most current info/questions/pics etc etc PLEASE START ON THE LAST PAGE! I have tried to clearly mark new questions using Big Bright Purple Writing and the date, so you can find it easier. ALL criticisms, advice, etc are read and considered and I really strive hard to not whine, argue or make excuses...some of you who have read previous posts can attest to that.

    HISTORY


    Brutal Honesty Accepted Here was my last post before I decided to start this journal, and is where we REALLY start this journey.

    I believe Cinny and I have really mad a lot of headway in our work. I have taken advice and bought a saddle more suited to me (a used 18.5 inch forward seat), and quit using my Indian knotted hackamore. I am using a Fulmer (full cheek with loose rings instead of fixed) as he already started figuring some bad bitting habits with my full cheek. I also discovered that another point of his discomfort was in my ancient "humane" girth which turned out to be paper thin and no longer humane...so that is gone, new girth. We changed to a nice equestrian center with an indoor arena with FABULOUS footing, and mirrors (never seen mirrors in an arena before), so I can really watch my position. I have been riding with my reins as loose as possible, pretty much "too loose" as in just hanging, and only give him slight pressure when he tries to take advantage of the rein and take off...and then it's more seat and soothing voice then rein. He has stopped wringing his tail and tossing his head. He still grinds his teeth, however. I have not cantered since the day the video was taken that I posted in Brutal Honesty Accepted Here I also have yet to start my formal lessons and probably won't for another month, but the trainer I am signed on with helps me when she has time.

    CURRENT QUESTION AS OF JUNE 15, 2010.


    I am having an issue with Cinny during our workouts. I have been working at a walk and trot in the arena concentrating on sticking to the rail and bending into the corners by doing full circles in each and every corner. The first few days we did this, Cin did just fine but the last two days he has started what I call "throwing a tantrum" when we do our circles. This is how it goes: We go up the straight away, hit the first corner, do our circle and just as we get back to the rail, BAM he stops dead in his tracks and practically trots backwards to avoid getting back on the rail! He does this at a walk or trot, and with the reins just hanging on his shoulders...the only cues are my leg cues at this point (which I quickly remove when he does this) and a very very light hold on the inside rein, just enough to say it's tighter than the outside, but still laying loose.

    He does this both in the outdoor and indoor arena so I doubt it's an arena issue such the mirrors in the indoor arena (besides he rather likes that handsome friend of his as he nickers and neighs when he sees him). He does it no matter which direction we are going, and does it the first half hour or so of our workout. Then he suddenly stops doing it and all is fine. I was almost feeling like Canter was coming up over the bump for us, but now....I can't Canter him if he's going suddenly to stop dead and trot backwards with me. I think this needs corrected before I can go any further with him.

    In your opinion, what could be causing this? Is he just being a snotthead, or could it be something else? What is the best way to correct it?
         
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        06-16-2010, 01:45 PM
      #2
    Banned
    Cinny,

    I think you're asking too much too soon. Here's why: for horse to track nicely and correctly in the corner of a ring, he needs to be able to do two things: move laterally off your inside leg and bend on an elementary level. I don't think Cinny knows how to do either, in fact it would be extraordinary for him to do either at his level of training.

    Also, in general, you shouldn't ask a horse to go deeper into a corner than he's comfortable going on a circle. Cinny shouldn't be doing anything smaller that a 30 meter circle at his level, and I'm betting your trying to go deep in the corner than the curve of a 30 meter circle.

    When you circle him in the corner and he approaches the wall, he stops because he doesn't know how to do what you're asking - he's saying "Mom, I can't!" Listen to him, he's a nice guy, he's not refusing to work out of stubborness but genuine confusion.

    Continue to work on forward, straight and relaxed. Do your big circles in the *middle* of the arena for now. On the ground, introduce the idea that one leg at the girth means move over as opposed to two legs mean go forward. When he moves away nicely in both directions on the ground, introduce this concept from the saddle. This concept is the foundation for correct bending.

    As far as bending, do not expect him to bend correctly until you can work consistently on contact. A well-schooled horse will bend off leg alone on a loose rein, but only because he's learned the necessary balance and self-carriage (which comes later, do you sense a theme here?) Cinny's a long way from that. A horse that isn't forward and straight can't learn to bend correctly.

    Your horse needs a lot of wet saddle pads *just* working on forward, straight and relaxed and to develop a trust relationship with you. When the OCD part of you has an agenda and wants to ask for more, ask yourself if it's worth damaging the relationship you're building with the horse to get the "more."

    Happy trails!
         
        06-20-2010, 02:56 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    Recent Breakthroughs and consistent work...and a bad habit in the process :( 06/20/2010


    We have had some AMAZING rides this week. And yes, I have stopped pushing the circles and have instead started riding in straight lines along the rails and up the center.

    1) Cinny has pretty much stopped tossing his head and the playing with the bit is at a minimum. I have also been finding some nice foam when I take his bridle off.

    2) I think he is starting to use his back more because he is getting a very nice head set on his own with no rein contact (I still let them pretty much dangle when I ride). I still do not have a surcingle and side reins, but hope to get them soon.

    3) I have had consistent gaits every ride this week... instead of the fast slow fast slow he used to do, I get the same consistent speed until I ask for a transition.

    4) We have a new gait!!! It really was unintentional. I have been working him at walk and trying to get him to stretch out and lengthen, and trot, again lengthening. Well, when I would ask for a down transition from a trot to walk I would get this nice lil jog/sitting trot. It really was too beautiful to ignore or chastise (looked great in the mirror) so I started asking for this gait during our workouts too...that's when I started getting more consistency in walk and trot. He also down transitions to a true walk when I ask for it and not a jog. I think he now knows the difference between just slowing down and transitioning altogether.

    Okay so now for the ugly. He has picked up a BAD habit on the lunge line and I think the correct answer would be to get him in the surcingle and side reins but I'm not sure and mine haven't arrived yet. I lunge at a trot for quite a while both sides to help him figure out what speed he is most comfortable in maintaining and to help get some muscle and conditioning on him. Well, I am not sure if it's lack of condition, or extreme boredom but he now puts his weight against the lungeline. To make matters worse he will also put his nose to the ground...even at the trot while his head is leaning on the line. I usually pop with the lead line but I know he thinks this is the signal to down transition so it doesn't really help. My arms are usually killing me by the time we are done from holding him. He never used to do this. Any ideas? When I get my surcingle/side reins what is the best way to use them to get him out of the habit? Should I stop lunging altogether until I have the other equipment?
         
        06-20-2010, 03:39 PM
      #4
    Banned
    Cinny,

    Stretching down on the lunge is good! You want to encourage that at the walk and trot.

    Hanging and pulling on you is bad, of course. The solution is a pull/release from your elbow. If you don't give him something steady to hang on, he can't lean and pull. Same principle as under saddle, really. He's a pretty smart guy, so once you make it clear to him that he's not supposed to hang, he'll lighten up.

    Ideally you want the same sort of contact on the lunge line that you would undersaddle.

    Oops! I forgot to ask - are you lunging in a halter?? If you are, you need to start lunging in a headstall with a bit.
         
        06-20-2010, 03:47 PM
      #5
    Banned
    A couple of additions -

    While that sitting trot may feel delicious, I would avoid doing more that a few steps at a time in the downward transtions. I doubt, three weeks in to training, that he has the back muscles developed to truly carry you sitting, and if you do to much, you risk confirming traveling hollow and inverted.

    Also, when he stretches down on the lunge, as well as leaving the head alone, gently encourage him forward. The moving forward while stretching down to the ground is the elusive long and you want and need to develop his topline.

    In a perfect world, he will blow out, grunt or groan while he stretches and you will actually see muscles under the saddle area rippling and working while he does this. This is part of the reason for not lunging in a saddle - you want to be able to *see* those muscles work.
         
        06-20-2010, 05:47 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Cinny,

    Stretching down on the lunge is good! You want to encourage that at the walk and trot.
    I did not know that his dragging his lips on the ground while trotting on the lunge was actually good. See I learn something new every day :)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Hanging and pulling on you is bad, of course. The solution is a pull/release from your elbow. If you don't give him something steady to hang on, he can't lean and pull. Same principle as under saddle, really. He's a pretty smart guy, so once you make it clear to him that he's not supposed to hang, he'll lighten up.
    Okay, so I'll give him something inconsistent to lean on. I was hoping there was something I could do besides relying on surcingle and side reins to fix it when I get them.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Oops! I forgot to ask - are you lunging in a halter?? If you are, you need to start lunging in a headstall with a bit.
    Yes, currently I don't have a lunge attachment, however like the surcingle and reins, it is in the works and I will have one soon. I know it is a HUGE no no to attach the lunge line onto one of the bit rings so I figured until I could do it properly, the halter would be the safest bet for not causing any more problems than I already have.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    While that sitting trot may feel delicious, I would avoid doing more that a few steps at a time in the downward transtions. I doubt, three weeks in to training, that he has the back muscles developed to truly carry you sitting, and if you do to much, you risk confirming traveling hollow and inverted.
    I will keep this in mind, I didn't know this. I just figured since he has a nice headset on the loose reins in this gait, that he was still trying to use his back. In the arena mirrors he looks really good, but I know that can be deceiving. I've been lunging him since about May 10 and riding him for about a month now. Does the lunging not count towards building back muscle?


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    In a perfect world, he will blow out, grunt or groan while he stretches and you will actually see muscles under the saddle area rippling and working while he does this. This is part of the reason for not lunging in a saddle - you want to be able to *see* those muscles work.
    Blow out? Is that the horrible deep gutted sort of hacky cough thing he does that rattles the arena windows when he works? He does groan a bit towards the end of the work out too. I new about the groaning and some of the coughing but if the other thing is Blowing...I've never seen a horse do it quite so loudly as he does. He seems to have been trading his "teeth grinding" for the grunting though, which I think is a good thing. I know if he does the teeth grind thing in shows he can be marked down.

    Thank you soo much.
         
        06-21-2010, 03:50 PM
      #7
    Banned
    [/quote]know it is a HUGE no no to attach the lunge line onto one of the bit rings so I figured until I could do it properly, the halter would be the safest bet for not causing any more problems than I already have. [/quote]


    This is controversial, and you'll get lots of different opinions on this. I had a dressage instructor who would use "like lunging in a halter" as a metaphor for something futile and useless. Dressage riders, as a general rule, believe that useful lunging can only be done in a proper lungeing cavesson or in a bridle with sidereins.

    I *partially* agree. You can lunge to get the bucks and ya-yas out, to evaluate the horse's soundness and you can lunge a greenie to teach voice commands. None of these really require the cavesson or bridle and sidereins route, but a dressage rider would argue that if you're going to lunge for *any* reason, why not use the proper equipment and get maximum benefit.

    Personally, if I was lunging for one of the above reasons, I would lunge in a headstall with a very mild bit, and the lunge line run from the inside bit ring, over the poll to the outside bit ring. That way I would have some influence and control over the horse.

    I wouldn't lunge in a halter because 1.) you have no control 2.) smart horses learn to lean.

    [/quote]
    I just figured since he has a nice headset on the loose reins in this gait, that he was still trying to use his back... Does the lunging not count towards building back muscle?[/quote]

    Please bear in mind that all I have to go on is the two videos you've posted and your descriptions. An instructor's eyeballs on Cinny would be much more reliable. However, in the videos, he was hollow, inverted, short-strided and defensive. If he's managed to go from that, to correctly moving through his back in one month of being ridden on loose reins, he's a prodigy of epic proportions.

    Headset doesn't necessarily have anything to do with his back. Don't rely on headset as an indicator of anything. Work on loose reins is to get him relaxed and forward, working through his back comes later and *only* from working from his hind end into contact. A schooled horse may use his back on loose reins after the musclature has been developed along their topline, but I don't think it's likely Cinny's there yet.

    Personally, I wouldn't do any work sitting for awhile. When you get back to cantering, I'd canter in two point as well.

    The work you've done so far has made him a little fitter, that's all. Sort of like going to the gym and doing cardio but no strength training.

    In re: the blowing out. What you're hearing may be the sounds of a horse stretching and working, or it may be a horse clearing arena dust from his nose. Can't tell over the internet.

    When is your first lesson with the instructors at your new facility?



         
        06-25-2010, 12:49 AM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Personally, if I was lunging for one of the above reasons, I would lunge in a headstall with a very mild bit, and the lunge line run from the inside bit ring, over the poll to the outside bit ring. That way I would have some influence and control over the horse.

    [/COLOR]
    GAAhh was all set to try this and alas...lunge line Clip will not fit through the loose rings of my Fulmer or my plain loose ring snaffle.

    On top of this Cinny needs a slight trim as his hooves are a tad uneven (his farrier said this would happen after a few weeks) making him start to paddle outward, and the farrier I was using won't come to my new stable because it's 45 min out of his way. I can't get one to do him until July 7th.

    Setbacks...setbacks and more setbacks. I clearly can't get him to learn balance if he's off balance, can I?
         
        06-25-2010, 01:25 AM
      #9
    Weanling
    I don't know the answer about the feet, but if your lunge line has a loop on the end you hold and not a big rubber stopper, you can put the other end through the bit ring. If the clip wont fit around the bit ring, you can hook it back to the line itself, perhaps?
    I enjoy reading about your progress!
         
        06-25-2010, 09:23 PM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Cinny's on forced vacation for a week or so as of June 26


    That's right, no steady work for around a week or two. My mom has been sick for about a month now and went to the Dr and was diagnosed with contagious bacterial pneumonia. My 5 month old baby that she occasionally watches has been sick off and on for over a week now so I took him in today. He has the bacterial pneumonia too, although not as sick as my mom. Baby comes first so Cinny get's a break. I thought of having one of the girls at the stable take him out and lunge him for me but they have a tendency to take the horse out, run the heck out of it for 20 minutes with no warm up or cool down and then throw it back in it's stall...so I think he's better off hanging with his pasture friends. My fiancee works for the railroad as an engineer and is gone 2-3 days at a time with only about a day at home in between so I am pretty much ALONE with the baby 24/7 since he can't be babysat...he's contagious. I might get to sneak an hour or so with Cin when he gets home...I might need it to keep my sanity.
         

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