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-   -   Retraining a 'spur trained' horse? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/retraining-spur-trained-horse-142607/)

OTTB 11-05-2012 09:35 PM

Retraining a 'spur trained' horse?
 
I prefer riding English and enjoy doing hunter/jumper. I am considering a 15 year old paint gelding for lease and he's been under an English saddle before. The problem is, he's fully spur trained. I laid the reins on his neck, had my hands on my hips, and steered him around with just my legs and butt. He does not stop dead on a dime when you give him the whoa cue but could this sort of thing have a negative impact for doing equitation flat and green hunter? With his age I don't want to do anything over 3 feet.

This is all assuming he LIKES jumping. I've only been on him for about 15 minutes to try him out. I'm bringing an general purpose saddle and a snaffle bit to try him out with direct reining and light contact on his mouth. The curb bit they have for him is pointless since he doesn't need it.

Iseul 11-05-2012 09:59 PM

What you described is not a spur-trained horse, it's a horse that is advanced and obedient enough in it's training to go off just seat and leg aids, which is absolutely great if the rider is capable enough to do so. He's in a curb because it doesn't get touched and he's probably been trained for WP or such, which requires a curb bit after 5yrs of age.
Personally, I think you should keep looking for a horse if you aren't comfortable with the fact that the horse's cues are from your seat and leg. I have no doubt the horse can be ridden English with contact, but I see no reason to start direct reining if he's so perfect without any reins (aside from the stop). I can't say for sure, but I can't see you getting docked for the fact that you don't use your reins to steer.
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Muppetgirl 11-05-2012 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iseul (Post 1745935)
What you described is not a spur-trained horse, it's a horse that is advanced and obedient enough in it's training to go off just seat and leg aids, which is absolutely great if the rider is capable enough to do so. He's in a curb because it doesn't get touched and he's probably been trained for WP or such, which requires a curb bit after 5yrs of age.
Personally, I think you should keep looking for a horse if you aren't comfortable with the fact that the horse's cues are from your seat and leg. I have no doubt the horse can be ridden English with contact, but I see no reason to start direct reining if he's so perfect without any reins (aside from the stop). I can't say for sure, but I can't see you getting docked for the fact that you don't use your reins to steer.
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Exactly my thoughts too....

OTTB 11-05-2012 10:15 PM

Why do they require curb bits on horses? I understand there are some things you can't do with a snaffle that you can do with others, but I personally would never be okay with putting a curb bit on my horse for no other reason than 'they told me to do it.'

Iseul 11-05-2012 10:19 PM

To show that they don't need the bit and/or that the cues are refined enough that the judge cannot see the cue applied. WP is all judged on how much of a "pleasure" the horse is to ride (and now flashiness..but not the point), having to do much work (visibly) does not project the image of a pleasant, easy to ride horse.

I am curious what your issue with curb bits is all about though. I use a curb sometimes and barely have to move my arm(s).
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Muppetgirl 11-05-2012 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTTB (Post 1745957)
Why do they require curb bits on horses? I understand there are some things you can't do with a snaffle that you can do with others, but I personally would never be okay with putting a curb bit on my horse for no other reason than 'they told me to do it.'

Then don't do it, but a horse that works mostly of seat legs and neck reining is going to have to learn all about constant contact with a snaffle.....my horse is a finished reining horse and he works in a correction bit, and that is exactly what it is, used for correction, picking up a shoulder etc, it's a very light contact bit....in my own personal opinion I wouldn't want myself or anyone else to put my horse in a snaffle and have all that direct rein contact......not after all that work to get him snappy at neck reining. I was 'told' to use a correction bit....I was a little intimidated by it (even though I'd had experience with them before) but now I know why the trainer told me to do that....it keeps him light and 'correct' you might say......

OTTB 11-05-2012 10:27 PM

BTW all the reading I've done on spur training and what it is pretty much spells out what this hose can do with a rider that knows how to ask him. I know where this horse came from and I fully believe what I've been told about him. The woman who owned him before his current home does a lot of Western sports as well as hunter/jumper with QHs and Appendix.

I want direct reining because I like the option. Since I started taking lessons my trainers have told me to not move my hands unless I just can't do it with my legs. I'm still weak with my legs but since flat work and dressage type training was the focus of all of my lessons so far it was pretty much drilled into my head that I look like a sloppy mess if I'm waving my hands around. So, I try really hard to keep my hands still, but there's a sort of security in it for me. I like feeling them chew on the bit and having that fluid movement.

Iseul 11-05-2012 10:34 PM

That's great and all, but I'm still curious as to why you would NEVER put a curb in a horse's mouth...

You may not wanna hear it, but I really don't think this is the horse for you if he's been described accuratly. If you do go through with it, I would make absolutely positive that the owner does not mind..I had a leasor that had a fit when she realised I had spurs on my boots even though I tried to explain I was rarely using them..it can turn bad between an owner and leaser, REAL quick, it's happened to me.
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OTTB 11-05-2012 10:35 PM

My issue with curbs is that I don't like them and the hunter/jumper trainers that have gone national level and have either owned or currently own Grand Prix horses all use the most mild snaffle that they can get away with on their horses. They have encouraged me to do the same, and I figure if they can get to the places they've gone using the gear they use, I should follow their advice until it doesn't work.

Iseul 11-05-2012 10:38 PM

All of their horses have also been trained English since they started, they don't take horses that have gone through so much western training and experience as their next grand prix project.
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