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Training My First WP Horse!
I have finally start our 4 yr old Paint x QH cross. Today was his first real day of learning (previously we were doing field rides). In a single day, he has learned a walk cue, trot cue, stop, and back. Plus, he is super sensitive to turning! The surprising thing is, this is his third time being ridden this year!
So my question is, how do I get his headset without sitting there and teetering on his mouth? With my dressage trainer, we train headsets off of my legs, so would that be a good idea to start? Also how do you get a nice jog? He naturally slows down once we trot about a half of lap, but how do I keep it continuous?
Thanks for any advice!
A lot of the horse's I've ridden in WP are very natural when it comes to headset. We almost never have to get a headset and we're more focused on getting the horse working off the hind and getting itself lifted up and collected.
My suggestion would be to do LOTS of flexing and getting the horse soft with your hands.
As for your trainer, I wouldn't really use a Dressage trainer for this sort of discipline. I'd look for a WP trainer instead.
ETA: What breed is the horse you're training?
I rode my little guy yesterday after lunging him with rubber reins on, and he flexed soooo easy and was willing to give to my rein pressure.
He is a paint x QH. I am thinking I will be training him for more specifically reining, but teach him WP too
Teach your horse long and low, getting him soft and supple really helps. Get him to lift his back up and while doing so have him seek the bit to go down and low. When horses are relaxed, they tend to have their heads lower. So to help encourage this make your ques quiet and start small. If you start kicking really hard at first and shout "YEEHAWW" there would be a good chance that it would make your horse more "go go go" instead of a nice transition jog, relaxed, etc. You want it slow and not fast.
Lots and lots of circles help too. Circling left and right to get him supple on each side then have him seek the bit downwards and rewarding the slightest try.
Here is a great video I found a while ago. He also does a great job on why a horse's back should be engaged.
Even though you can't learn everything online and from a video, it gets an idea of what I'm trying to say.
Best way though is to find a trainer. The trainer could tell you what to do way better than I can online. Good luck!
I have shown western and all around events for many years on the local and QH level. I have learned that dressage is very similar to western pleasure actually and I always looked down on dressage riders.
My all around is trained to do everything off the spur/leg. the only thing the bit does is say put your head down or to at times say's get off your front end if she's leaning on the bit/front end.
Youtube certainly has many demo's from professionals for free that give great advice....Especially for young horses. If you are unable to take lessons from a trainer, dressage or WP I would certainly do some research and then possibly seeing to get a lesson to insure you are doing things correctly before doing it for weeks and figure out your hands are in the wrong or right place or legs, etc. I have learned when collecting which is the most important part not just where the head is how you do it can make a big difference.
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