Teaching Missy to go on the bit...
So I've been thinking. I got Molly, and she obviously hasn't been schooled or anything fancy, but I want to start teaching her new things. Fun things. We have started a little bit of jumping and stuff, but I want to start her from scratch. Like going on the bit, ground exercises, riding exercises, so when I saddle up and mount she enjoys what she does. Not hate it. So now my riding buddies gone it's really only just me and Molly. I'm quiet excited to start working independently with Molly. She isn't a fan of riding with just us, she's much better with her riding buddies. But that's what I want to change, so she looks forward to "Me and Mum time" Then, of course, there's out of the paddock riding and road work, she gets very ancy and im not confident out on the road with her, but im putting this first so we can both build our confidence. Any exercises that would build trust would be helpful, lol.
We have come a long way from 1 August 09, everyone doubted her very much, but i believed in her and we have come a frigging long way! Yeah, she aint perfect and far from it, and I can tell not many people around us trust her. They wont even let her near there horses, that brings me down, but when i think of back the first day i got her, i really didn't think we'd make it here. I even got a "She'll break your neck." remark. That set me off, hell!
I'm super excited to start her off with fun exercises, but i want to start pretty slow and get her used to riding alone a lot more than she's used to. I'm sure she'll get the knack of it, but any fun idea's will be much appreciated!
Cookies if you read that!! :D
Before you can teach her to accept contact from the bit, first she must have rhythym and suppleness.
The Art of Classical Riding--The Training Scale
A link that explains it all.
Warm up with lots and lots of circling, changing direction, serpentines, etc. Get her bending around the turns—inside leg and a little inside rein. This will get her moving and listening to you. Also, make sure she's moving forward off your leg and not just plodding along. Do this at the trot if you feel comfortable.
Once you feel she's thoroughly warmed up, go back to a walk but keep up a good steady pace. Then, lengthen your reins a bit and put your hands back behind your knees. Gently alternate squeezing your hands to feel her mouth with the bit. Soon, she will arch her neck a bit and lower her nose to go on the bit. Immediately soften and give her lots of verbal praise! You can give her pats too at first too.
This will take a lot of repetition at first, and you'll only be able to get it with your hands behind your knees first. But within a few rides you'll be able to give the cues from a regular position: leg on to keep her moving forward and alternating squeezes/pressure down the rein. I don't mean yanking—just take up the slack so you have a good feel of her mouth. When you guys are just starting out, I recommend you only do it at the walk. She'll only go on the bit for a step or two at first, but once she's got it for 4-5 steps without you having to put your hands behind your knees, you can start working at the trot!
Remember—always SOFTEN as soon as she goes on the bit. Don't drop the reins, just keep a good feel but lighten up and praise her!
Wow, Sphi, that's sounds like an awesome way to teach her to go on the bit. I will try it, was hoping to get out today but unfortunately its pouring down with rain, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday look crappy too, but hopefully not!
Okay cool! I'm not an expert on it, but that's currently the process I'm going through with the horse I lease with help from my instructor, and it's been working really well. Hope it works for you!
I think I will try that method as well :)
Thanks for posting Sphi
acceptance of the bit comes from a rounded back, impulsion and working from behind. When all this is going properly your horse will start to seek the contact. then you have a constant even pressur on the reins so you can feel the horses mouth.
forcing your horse to down will result in a stiff hollowed back with the horse not stepping beneath its self.
when your horse is working properly and carrying itself THEN you teach correct headset. until all this is working you will have a false headset with the horse regularly falling behind the vertical.
dont worry about it yet work on suppleness, straightness, impulsion etc
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