tying for bend...?
So I've been working with this mare, maggie for a couple years and recently switched trainers for more western pleasure. its not that i have trouble with maggie bending when i pull that rein but she doesnt stay relaxed and constant with turning and bending on a somewhat loose rein. shes 6 now and i have to go to one hand for showing. my trainer mentioned that to help me w. her bending and keeping a "soft c" that i should take a rein and tie it to the side of the saddle... obviously not tight! leave her tied like that for like 15-20 min each side. the owner of the horse does not want me doing that claiming its neither right or humane. the trainer does train for congress/world shows and says many trainers tie their horses. what is your opinion? i normally show hunter/jumper and havent been in the western pleasure world very long. so i would like to hear what you have to say, esp those that show western pleasure.
I wouldn't do it. There are much better ways. You also have to take into account tack fit and placement, any physical issues, rider issues, etc.
I think the horses owner has the final say and just because your trainer says all trainers use this method doesn't mean it is right or works best. I have seen a trainer do this and its not outrightly "cruel" per se, but, ask yourself how you would like someone to tie your foot up behind you and force you to stand this way for 15 minutes, in order to teach you to balance better? Hmmm...
Besides, as horses go, the six year old that you are (leasing?) is young and so it will mean you are going to have practice more, and show more patience and persistence. So isn't that good for you too?
Do you use your feet to ask her to turn or just the reins? If you don't use your feet I would do that. My pleasure horse I don't even have to move the reins, just use my feet and body weight.
I don't think tying her up would be nescessary to improve flexion. What you really need to do are a lot of flexing exercises, loping in tight circcles, turning her head the opposite direction to the one shes moving in (or trying anyways, a lot of horses wont do this) and just getting her off the rail and into alot of bending exercises.
I do tie my horse when he's being a jerk. I just get off and tie his face to his butt until he calms down and he's ready to listen better. It does work, and it's similar to how tying them in their stalls builds patience. It's called non-reinforcement. Very similar to putting a child in time-out.
i noticed something that my friend brought to my attention is that you pull your horses had torwards your knee and your horse will naturally go torwards the pressure then turning circles you just keep holding that position until they stop then you pat them and release. After that you go to the next side and do the same thing.
After doing this for a good couple weeks sometimes a month for the slower horses lol then your horse will flex like a pro. Oh and don't forget to continue the exercises even after your horse perfects it. I did this with Junior a couple times and it helped his knees and flexing all at the same time. My other friend even did it with her Tennessee walker he flexs alot better now and he used to never bend like that. Its really a good trick you should try it.
its not that i have trouble with her flexing. i used to do the clinton anderson thing and she will bend to the stirrup as soon as i ask. and riding 2 handed i can keep her slighty bent to the inside when i want. but shes 6 yrs old now and i have to go one handed for shows. that is when she doesnt want to bend. also she can be stubborn/ impatient sometimes ever since a trainer worked her at 3-4yrs old. he rode her hard for at least 3hrs/every day if not longer. so we thought tying her would just let her learn patience.
I wouldnt do it to poco because I know he would flip out in a heart beat but I do know a girl that trains here horses like that and it does work. Shes also taken it and tied it to her hind leg so that when she gives with her head it releases the pressure on her leg. Granted I would never do this but it seems to work with her and she is EXTREMELY caution and with those things.
yea also loping circles and stuff using neck reining helps and leg pressure.
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