How to teach a pony to start breaking at the poll with out giving them a hard mouth.
I was wondering How to get a pony to flex at the poll with out doing rolker and with out tie downs and with out having contact and giving her a hard mouth?
So a more natural approach And I'm not being critical to my pony she is PERFECT and I think she would be a good dressage horse she gets her back legs underneath her very responsive will not cut corners the only thing is the head not comming down or even tucking in a little.
I would rather take up another sport if my pony does not enjoy dressage eg..someone saying I have to do rolker or hyper flexition to her:evil:
So is there any way I can position my self so she becomes collected or anyway to train them (a more natural approach) To break at the poll and do some proper collection?
I can get horses to do it really well and have done rider classes with horses and my pony and all my horses give to the bit really eaisly and break at the poll with hardly any collection but not my pony lol anyway my pony is a sweet heart and we both enjoy dressage and we are doing it at a basic level and I'm happy to stay at a basic level if that means she still enjoys it :)
Forget about the front end.
Ride the back end forwards and your front end will fall into place correctly.
If you drag the head down you get a false outline.
I compleatly agree with you guys ! 100% Self collection is the way to go and I totally agree with focusing on the back end ! But I have been doing that for some time and I'm not wanting to force my horse into anything but is there a way to encourage or softly teacher her to break at the poll even a little bit? And I totally agree with what your saying the main reason I'm asking is if any one had any tips or tricks to help but I'm totally on your side about this subject.
Sorry, no tricks to speak of. Its just a lot of time and hard work to learn and ride a horse correctly. You might want to do a search on the forum. There are a lot of detailed threads and discussions on the subject (one of them is just a few posts below this one in this sub-folder.) Look for "On the bit" or "on the aids." Your best tool is a knowledgeable instructor.
First, I agree with creating and maintaining impulsion. NO movements are correct without a horse in "rear-wheel-drive." Also, horses that immediately move away from your leg will not plant their feet and buck or rear when frightened, so they are safer, too.
I suggest that you teach your pony to back on the ground, much like Clinton Anderson does. He suggests/demonstrates backing horses (on the ground) literally YARDS, around the arena, into the barn and into the stall.
After he has mastered THIS, work on backing while mounted. Expect only a step or two at a time, then ask for more. You back, halt, then walk off. When your pony has mastered this, trot off from the halt. You do not want to hold his head in a frame, but he will develop musculature from backing. My 6yo QH was throwing his head when I first got him. The rescue let their free help ride him and he didn't like any contact bc he was smacked in the mouth too often, as a 3yo. When my DD and I work him now, and we back him, he softens and comes into my hand. THIS is the very beginning of softening and breaking at the poll. I still work him in a snaffle, on a loose rein, bc I don't have as many hours in him as I would like.
You probably can't do it, but many places used to teach their riding horses to drive as 2/3yo's to develop muscles to carry a rider without having to carry a rider's weight. At ~4 years old the same horse would be backed bc he would be strong enough to easily carry a rider.
You might look into books/videos on ground driving, and "In-Hand" training. Here is one that I am studying and using on my geldings:
Amazon.com: Horse Training In-Hand: A Modern...I'm betting that your horse has learned to push his nose out as a habit. He'll appreciate going back and relearning to carry you. Hope this helps! =D
My twh's poll was cemented in to place. Actually he was rigid from nose to shoulders. It was ground work that loosened him up, getting him to tip his nose to the side with finger pressure on his nose, bringing his nose toward his shoulder, uberstreichen exercises. It took a number of brief sessions or maybe 15 min per. The goal was that I could hold his muzzle between jawbone and nostrils and gently shake his head side to side. This can happen only when is poll is unlocked.
welcome to the forum !
sorry OP that the first couple posters were harsh.
like saddlebag said, i would work on a lot of lateral flexion. once they give easily to both sides i move on to a harder exercise, where you teach them to give their jaw to the inside by using your inside leg. to do this you do the smallest figure 8 you can possibly do. start by doing the smallest circle you can do at the walk. bump bump bump with your inside leg until they give their jaw to the inside. once they do, stop your leg, but dont give with your hand. turn them the other way and continue with the smallest circle you can do that way and repeat the other direction. once you have got some practice in, you should be able to do this exercise just off your leg.
Dappled, loosen your horse up with flexion exercises. Vibrate the bit on one side while on the ground and teach them to release the jaw. Release pressure as soon as they get it.
You can do the same with your finger (you know like when you put the bit in) but it's kind of dangerous if they bite down on you :P Just be careful.
But then work on loosening him up all over with lots of bending work.
Combing the reins (sparingly PLEASE) helps to teach a timid horse to accept contact.
Also watch how you ride. Horses that brace usually brace for a reason. Sometimes the rider is doing things with their body that don't feel nice and don't allow the horse to relax.
Work on relaxing. Doing stretches on the ground will help to loosen braced or tight muscles as well.
But the main thing is releasing the jaw. Teach it on the ground first and then work on it under saddle.
The way I do it is vibrate one side until my horse gives. Then I change reins that I vibrate. I do this at the halt, at the walk, and at the trot (canter.. is new to us LOL)
Don't physically pull the rein backwards. That forces the bit in their mouth and they won't loosen up.
Sky - vibrating the contact is a big NONO, it is also known as sawing at the bit (no matter how big the saw/vibration is) and doesnt get the horse to relax thier jaw, what it does do is teach the horse to drop behind the contact which FEELS like the horses jaw has relaxed. Result is over bent horse who's back is not up under the saddle and a very latteraly unsteady head carriage which undermines you when you try to teach latteral work.
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