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LJohnson 01-23-2011 07:42 PM

Bracing through up and down transitions
My mare has gotten really soft, supple and round at w/t/c, but, I usually lose her for a stride between gates. I can keep her if I leg yield her through the transition, but I don't want to always push her sideways a step just to come up or down. Should I stop leg yielding and try something else to prevent that drop in her back, head popping up, and bracing? Any advice would be much appreciated.

TurnNBurn625 01-23-2011 07:55 PM

i would work on doing the transitions while keeping her soft. i know that is what is you are wanting and working on with the yielding. trying keeping her soft (correct her) when loses her softeness, i guess, when doing a transition. when you keep correcting her im sure she will learn after enough times of doing it.

LJohnson 01-23-2011 08:09 PM

Thanks TurnNBurn. That was my first response, and I guess I've used the leg yielding as my own little evasion to actually solving the issue. I could go back to focusing on using my legs to keep her soft and my seat to get the correct transition.

TurnNBurn625 01-23-2011 08:16 PM

that would be the way to go. it will also take patience. i know that i would get frustrated when i would do it. but you know its going to happen. so be prepared ahead of time. when you get to the point your very frustrated (if that happens) it is time to quit for the day. otherwise you could cause more than that one problem.

raywonk 01-23-2011 08:27 PM

how old is the horse? How long have you been riding her? Dose she have a long back? I ask these questions cause she just may not be fisicly strong enuff to hold her fram and keep soft.

LJohnson 01-23-2011 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by raywonk (Post 901007)
how old is the horse? How long have you been riding her? Dose she have a long back? I ask these questions cause she just may not be fisicly strong enuff to hold her fram and keep soft.

Thanks for thinking of those more technical questions. She turned 12 in August, and I've had her for 6 months. She does have a very long back. Her winter blanket is an 83"! I don't know too many details about her history, but I don't question her physical ability at all now.

MyBoyPuck 01-23-2011 10:59 PM

I recently got a fabulous trot to canter transition out of my horse the other day. I cues him to canter after a period of doing stretchy circles at the trot. Maybe try getting your horse into a stretch or slightly longer frame before asking for the transition? I'm honestly not sure what I did to get the great transition. I just know that I was playing with various positions of long and low at the time.

Eolith 01-24-2011 09:34 AM

Maintaining a bend through your circles and turns is perfectly acceptable. To some extent it can allow the horse to keep its balance a little better. I would advise making sure that when slowing down, you aren't catching her in the mouth too much. Focus on having her respond to your seat and sort of come under herself.

raywonk 01-24-2011 07:09 PM

i have a long back tb who is great and is competing in 3 day eventing. now i have found that because of his back it takes me longer in conditioning to get him to be able to engae like my other horses with shorter backs. i sue side reins and draw reins to help build up his back muscles. he is 18 and knows his stuff but give him 3 mounths of slow work do to weather and we are back to square one with building back his back muscles.

LJohnson 02-13-2011 11:37 PM

I just wanted to bump this back up and thank you all for offering advice. I've been working on maintaining softness with fairly inconsistent results for months. Amongst other things, we've also begun exercising the half pass. I really think, in my case, though my mare was soft and supple, she was not truly engaging behind. She fooled me! By using the half pass down the long and short side through corners, her power really kicks in and she maintains that great movement and "fluffed" round back through her transitions. When I was getting all that bracing in transitions, I thought I really had her going well, but as it turns out, she wasn't giving me her best try. I was trying to fix the wrong problem.

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