How do you train a horse to go on the bit? Please help!!
I want to teach 14 year old Chester to go on the bit but i don't know how! In the shows in new zealand your horse has to be on the bit the whole time.
This is something best dealt with the help of a trainer. I would really need to be there, seeing what you horse is like right now and seeing exactly what works vs what doesn't. However you are correct, most horse shows require the horse to be on the bit at all times, barring the "nervous novice" classes. What style do you ride? What is your horse currently doing? Have you asked the horse to accept the contact of your reins at all?
justdressageit is right, you do need a trainer. however i found this site and thought it might help.
a half halt can be used to get the horses attention, to help balance him etc. it can be used at almost anytime, such as going from trot to canter, making a turn, to get it to slow down etc.
before you start working on getting your horse on the bit you need to be well balanced with steady hands and have a good seat.
to ask for a half halt you give a little squeeze on the outside rein whilst using your seat and legs to prevent the horse from slowing down. you need your inside rein to prevent the horse from flexing to the outside.(the horse needs to have flexion to the inside) all this time however you need to keep your hands as soft as possible. when your horse 'gives' release the pressure as a reward.
there is kind of a 'pyramid' type thing -
3)contact/acceptance of the bit
5) then lastly comes collection
(i hope i got these in the right order, think i did)
remember to give your horse breaks, its boring going round and round in circles. also your horse wouldn't have built up the muscles for this so he will get sore. just take it slow.
you should definatly look for a trainer as they will be able to explain it better and show you. also every horse is different. (has your horse even been taught to go on the bit ?) if not it is better to learn on a more educated horse first.
when your just starting out it can be frustrating. you must be patient. this process can take years, it is not going to happen over night!
it took me ages to try and explain this, so i hope you understand what im trying to say :)
in this case no he is not supposed to slow down, keep him going.
No, the horse is not supposed to stop, hence the "half" halt. It should collect back up underneath you.. it's to rebalance you and the horse. It's supposed to be a slight "pause" of sorts to let you start up again with more collection and control. Think of it like this: you're not getting something right, so you stop for a second and think about how to do it, then keep going... now take out the full stop. (I'm pretty sure that didn't make sense at all...)
Again, I strongly recommend you see a trainer about this, as it is something that really can't be taught without seeing what you're working with.
I'll try and explain it in very very simple terms:
You need the horse to be supple through the body before you even think about getting the head in the right place. You can do this by working on bending through circles, and making sure the horse is moving through the hindquarter. To ask for a headset, you keep the inside rein steady and check and give (like squeezing water out of a sponge) with the outside rein until the horse responds by giving through the jaw and putting its head closer to being in a headset, i.e. lowering the poll. When he flexes, stop bugging him with your hands, and keep them steady. As soon as he raises his head or moves it out of the headset, you want to correct it by asking with the outside rein.
Ideally, I want to see a horse with a long and low headset when first learning, then you can bring the neck up and tucked when you further your dressage training. I like to see the neck flexed and the poll around the height of the wither with the head flexed so the nose is on the vertical..It looks more equitation-horse/ hunt-seat horse but this allows your horse's back to strengthen enough to ask for the "swan neck" in dressage, if you're going that far.
Horse not in headset:
Horses nicely flexed in equitation-style/hunt-seat style headset:
Nice Dressage Headset:
Horse Behind the Vertical:
Horse in front of the Vertical:
Hope this helps.. a bit..?
even if you only get lessons every now and then, it will still help alot.
Thank you it did help. I'm going to try it 2morrow. I have actually had lessons for four years but I was never taught things like that. Thanks for the help every one.
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