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Marlea Warlea 02-15-2011 03:21 AM

Getting horses to work on the bit HELP!!
G'day from down under!
Just wonderin' about a prob i've got.
My pony won't work on the bit.
I've tried everything from sponging the reins to tickling with one hand!!!
And even when she does do it she'll get out of it in under 5 seconds!!
It's really frusterating!!
I do pony club and at all the pony club shows everyone has their horses head nicley bent and my horses head is just loose, I can ride pretty well, as good as any of them, but my ponies head is just the only set back

Kayty 02-15-2011 04:08 AM

Can you get some lessons with a qualified dressage instructor? I recommend you venture into the dressage subforum (under english riding) and have a look at some of the threads on there regarding 'collection' and 'on the bit'. On the bit does not mean the horse's head being nicely 'tucked under' this is a common misconception particularly in pony club and lower levels of riding, it is actually about how the horse's whole body is working, he should be forward, off your leg, relaxed through the back and THEN into the bridle and the head will come onto the vertical on it's own. Nothing to do with pulling on the reins in every direction hoping the horse will drop its head - hence why your horse comes back above the bridle straight away, it is not working correctly ;)
Find a dressage instructor, they will be able to give you the most help :)

Marlea Warlea 02-15-2011 04:18 AM

thanx ;)

kitten_Val 02-15-2011 09:04 AM


Originally Posted by Kayty (Post 929182)
Can you get some lessons with a qualified dressage instructor?

That what I was about to suggest too. :lol:

Marlea, you can get/find tons of advices, but it's very hard (if possible) to progress without a real eye looking at what you are doing.

CJ82Sky 02-16-2011 08:55 AM

i agree on the above. it sounds like the horse isn't truly accepting the bit when you use your aids which is why it isn't lasting. sounds to me like the horse needs some training on what is expected and needs to learn to go forward and reach for the bit rather than asking with the reins so much. as the horse learns to move forward into the bridle their headset and balance will change as they work from back to front. if done the other way around when you ask with the reins with less focus on the movement of the horse, then the result will be a false or incorrect/inconsistent frame.

i am not saying you and your horse fall into one category or the other as having not seen you ride it is impossible to tell. the point is that i believe that a dressage trainer will best be able to help you and your pony to diagnose the issue and then work towards an improvement in engagement of the hind end and an acceptance of the aids, including the bit.

good luck :)

faye 02-16-2011 09:07 AM

Stop focusing on the head, that is the last thing to come! if a horses back end is not under it and its back rounded then it isnt going to drop into the correct outline.

I prefer the term in an outline rather then onthe bit.Gives more of an idea that the whole horse is involved.

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