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Cinnys Whinny 06-03-2010 09:51 PM

What is the best way to get a neck reining horse to go "on the bit"
 
So today, just to see if he would go better, I tried Cinny in an Indian knotted rope hackamoor a friend gave me and....it was tough going at first. Not much better than he was going in his full cheek snaffle (which I get a lot of ear pinning, teeth grinding and tense action with). I decided that since I didn't have a bit on him to go ahead and start laying the rein over so that he can learn to neck rein too when.....low and behold, he already knows how to neck rein!! Had him trotting in tight figure eights around barrels with ease!!

I want to get him started in lower level dressage and take him into hunter/jumpers so I want to eventually get him going on the bit properly. I have always had to take horse on the bit and teach them neck reining before, not the other way around and I really don't know how to go about it.

Please chime in if you have experience with this and let me know what worked for you, what didn't, and where you think he should start. He's still too green to go the lunge line with side reins route...as it is he isn't really accepting of a bit. I know I need to get my w/t/c down smooth before moving on, but I want to start thinking about the next step or set of small steps so I can go into it with a plan.

Thanks so much for any and all help!

ridergirl23 06-03-2010 09:55 PM

Ride him over his back, its not the head you want to focus on, its the hindquarters and back that will make him round and in the position you want :) look "riding over the horses back" up on google or something close to it, and i bet you will find lots of help. :)

Cinnys Whinny 06-03-2010 11:27 PM

Thank you for the advice. I did google it, unfortunately this is all that came up Schooling: Dressage Tomorrow I will try rewording it...tired now lol.

ridergirl23 06-03-2010 11:31 PM

you could also buy a lot of dressage books :) i find they help a lot! a instructor would be prime, but if ones not available, books are great. :)

Appyt 06-04-2010 08:05 AM

It sounds like your horse was never ridden with contact. Many western horses are not even tho they may have been started in a snaffle. Does he direct rein at all? I suggest ground driving to start with, as this will teach light contact.

Do not rush the head when you ride. Use your body language to focus with and ask for both lateral and vertical flexion as lightly as possible but with persistence. When he gives you release. Same as you would do with any new cue.

maura 06-04-2010 10:03 AM

PLEASE forget all about "on the bit" or even riding on contact right now.

Your horse needs to be stabilized at all three gaits on loose reins, and needs to work on forwardness, rhythm and straightness for some time before even thinking about on the bit. Any attempt at contact or putting him on the aids now, based on you previous posts and videos, will result in him inverting, hollowing and shortening stride more.

You've only been riding this horse for about two weeks, right? Chill out, take a deep breath, and just continue getting to know him.

Quote:

He's still too green to go the lunge line with side reins route
I don't understand this statement. I lunge with side reins before ground driving and before under saddle work. How can a horse be too green to lunge with side reins? And too green to lunge with side reinds but okay to ride?

Cinnys Whinny 06-04-2010 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 651806)
PLEASE forget all about "on the bit" or even riding on contact right now.

Your horse needs to be stabilized at all three gaits on loose reins, and needs to work on forwardness, rhythm and straightness for some time before even thinking about on the bit. Any attempt at contact or putting him on the aids now, based on you previous posts and videos, will result in him inverting, hollowing and shortening stride more.

You've only been riding this horse for about two weeks, right? Chill out, take a deep breath, and just continue getting to know him.

I don't understand this statement. I lunge with side reins before ground driving and before under saddle work. How can a horse be too green to lunge with side reins? And too green to lunge with side reinds but okay to ride?

Oh, I am riding loose rein and plan to for a while....most likely months or even the rest of the year, as I said I am looking for advice so that I can formulate a plan for when he is ready....which I know is not now. I just thought maybe there were some tricks of the trade that I could work into my future plan...and if additional tack may be required...then working on having it ready to go....when the time is right....again, I know that is not right now.

I have never heard of bitting on the lunge line except for after the horse is going well for helping with training issues. That is why I think he's too green. it's just the way my trainers have always done it in the past. I know everyone is different...but I thought if he isn't very accepting of the bit right now, wouldn't bridling him up and putting side reins on him to lunge make him worse? I could be wrong.

Maura, you are one of my favorite posters here and I really value your advice. I want to thank you so much because you have in the past kept me grounded when I have great capacity to be impatient. I have listened to you, I think I just really am one of those people who thinks for months and months on what I'm going to do...thinking of all the negatives, positives and basically over obsess over all the possible outcomes that....I ask for advice way earlier than I need it. I just want you to know...I don't mean to be yet another whiner on here...I am truly paying attention. My excitement on all my possibilities just gets the best of me at times.

maura 06-04-2010 05:39 PM

Cinny,

It's okay, I already had you pegged for a tad obssesive. :-)

Please understand, no one responsible can give you advice now on how to get your horse on the bit 6 - 9 months from now. The advice is entirely contingent on HOW YOUR HORSE IS GOING in 6 - 9 months. Will he be forward or behind your leg? Still inverted? I don't know, and you don't know either! I understand this interferes with your desire to write out a training plan months in advance, but hey, that's the way it is.

Quote:

I have never heard of bitting on the lunge line except for after the horse is going well for helping with training issues.
This is odd to me; but it may be a hole in my experience. There may be wonderful, successful trainers out there who start horses under saddle before lunging in a bit. But if they're succesful starting horses under saddle correctly, would they need to then lunge in a bit?

You may recall I posted in one of your other threads that you shouldn't start the lunging program without the help of a qualified instructor -- it's way too easy to get wrong, and not push the horse forward enough to get the benefit.

However, let me ask you a brutal question: Who or what is more capable of absolutely, consistently releasing as soon as the horse gives, never holding on for a second longer than necessary from tension, performance anxiety, fear or pure boneheadness? You or me, or the elastic or the donut in the side rein?

When I answer that question truthfully, I lunge in side reins.

Cinnys Whinny 06-04-2010 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 652200)
Cinny,

It's okay, I already had you pegged for a tad obssesive. :-)

Ha Ha, so does everybody I know...and not just about horses. I bet if I went in to a therapist, he would peg me as OCD!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 652200)
Please understand, no one responsible can give you advice now on how to get your horse on the bit 6 - 9 months from now. The advice is entirely contingent on HOW YOUR HORSE IS GOING in 6 - 9 months. Will he be forward or behind your leg? Still inverted? I don't know, and you don't know either! I understand this interferes with your desire to write out a training plan months in advance, but hey, that's the way it is.

I know this. It doesn't help that my co-horse owner and fiance' has requested that if we get the horse, the horse enters a show ring within a year. I am opting for some sort of halter class to meet this part of our "contract" lol. As soon as I switched to neck reining yesterday, he became a completely different horse....and of course I became overly excited and daydreams of sailing easily over jumps on a very in control horse started flowing through my mind.....ha ha....such a fantasy world I am living in!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 652200)
You may recall I posted in one of your other threads that you shouldn't start the lunging program without the help of a qualified instructor -- it's way too easy to get wrong, and not push the horse forward enough to get the benefit.

I have lunged with side reins before....with the full instruction of a trainer, and it was um 15 years ago. This post in the previous thread is the main reason I did not immediately rush out and buy equipment to lunge him this way right away even though many here seem to push a little on this...(and with good reason I'm sure), and get those side reins on him and "go for it." This Tuesday I am moving to our local Equestrian Center...with 3 dressage trainers. Until one of them says, "get out your surcingle and side reins and I will show you what I want you to do" they will remain on the hook of my tack locker.


Quote:

Originally Posted by maura (Post 652200)
However, let me ask you a brutal question: Who or what is more capable of absolutely, consistently releasing as soon as the horse gives, never holding on for a second longer than necessary from tension, performance anxiety, fear or pure boneheadness? You or me, or the elastic or the donut in the side rein?

When I answer that question truthfully, I lunge in side reins.

Once again, you have given me a different and very beneficial view. I have looked at lunging with side reins as a great way of fixing some training problems, but never quite THIS way. I really makes me anxious to slap on the side reins and go...RIGHT NOW. But I know that is the totally excited, daydreaming, impatient "me" talking and the safe, sane, and sensible me says WAIT TO DO IT RIGHT.

I think I just like to have that plan in mind so I can say "when a and b = c for my horse then I will introduce d and e" Not only is it a plan for the future, but it's also a reminder to wait as well.

maura 06-04-2010 09:14 PM

Cinny,

Thanks for being a good sport!

Let me just add one more thing to the whole obsessive analysis-paralysis loop:

Based on your previous posts, this is not a green horse. This is a *green reclaim.* You will need to undo/overcome some of his previous poor training to get to where you need to go. Totally different. Different, and slower.


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