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Rachel1786 04-26-2011 09:32 PM

she's either nose to the ground or behind the bit? help
 
We just started working with my 14 year old OTTB mare after a long icy winter and we(my riding instructor and I) are having some very minor issues, same issues i was having last summer/fall with Bella(i was working with a different trainer then, but she moved). It seems she is either pulling her nose to the ground(well not quite the ground, it looks more western pleasure frame then dressage) or if you try to pull her head up she gets behind the bit(i think that's the term) don't get me wrong, there are many times where her frame is great, but lately the pulling is getting really annoying, my trainer rode her today and said her arms were killing her from Bella constantly pulling on her, now this is only the second time she's rode her(and her third time been ridden since before winter) and she is the type of horse to test a new rider but is there anything i can do to discourage her from pulling and keep her from over collecting?

tinyliny 04-26-2011 09:44 PM

Don't pull her up, push her out of it. So, next time she nose dives, pick up one rein a bit, and put a leg on her, and do it so it surprises her and she jumps forward. She will have to raise her head. After you have done this a few times, when she just thinks about it, put your leg on and get her workin'. Watch her and catch her when she starts thinking about it and interupt that thought with some direction, "Go!"

Sahara 04-26-2011 10:55 PM

She is evading the bit. What type of bit are you riding her in? Whatever you have her in, she isn't relaxing in it and if she isn't relaxed, she isn't learning or carrying herself correctly.

If you are riding her with alot of contact in a snaffle she is probably resentful of the constant tongue pressure. You might want to try a bit that offers some relief from that tongue pressure. Too much tongue pressure and the horse's tongue bulges up behind the bit cutting off the horse's airway and making it impossible for him to swallow. Not saying this is the case for your horse, but it's something to think about.

Rachel1786 04-26-2011 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tinyliny (Post 1013382)
Don't pull her up, push her out of it. So, next time she nose dives, pick up one rein a bit, and put a leg on her, and do it so it surprises her and she jumps forward. She will have to raise her head. After you have done this a few times, when she just thinks about it, put your leg on and get her workin'. Watch her and catch her when she starts thinking about it and interupt that thought with some direction, "Go!"

Thanks, I think that may have been what the trainer that moved was doing when she did that, but i'm not sure. I'll be sure to try that next time i ride her

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sahara (Post 1013508)
She is evading the bit. What type of bit are you riding her in? Whatever you have her in, she isn't relaxing in it and if she isn't relaxed, she isn't learning or carrying herself correctly.

If you are riding her with alot of contact in a snaffle she is probably resentful of the constant tongue pressure. You might want to try a bit that offers some relief from that tongue pressure. Too much tongue pressure and the horse's tongue bulges up behind the bit cutting off the horse's airway and making it impossible for him to swallow. Not saying this is the case for your horse, but it's something to think about.

This is the bit i use on her Jp Oval Mouth Loose Ring Bit - Statelinetack.com once she is working regularly she stops doing it, so i don't think it's a problem with the bit, she is also ridden with very light contact, she hates riders with heavy hands and will start throwing her head around if someone is too heavy with their hands. I don't know a whole lot about bits, this is the one the my former trainer recommended, she uses the same one on her OTTB gelding and tried it on her before I bought it and she has always seemed to like the bit. I know i kinda made it seem like she does it all the time, but most of the time she is holding herself correctly but then all of a sudden she will just pull her head down and then after you get her head back she will over collect. Hopefully I will get to ride her this weekend, I just moved her to my trainers barn on the 10th so she's been a little crazy(she doesn't handle change well lol) and i haven't been comfortable getting on her until she calms down a little more(i admit she makes me nervous sometimes), she has been doing really well, my trainer is obviously much more confident which Bella needs until she settles in

tinyliny 04-27-2011 12:12 AM

Once your horse is settled (wise of you to give her time to do so), if you can ride her some on a really lose rein, you might have a chance to experiemtn with letting her go where she likes. It's called, "cruising". This helps build the rider's confidence in just going with the horse, and it builds the horse's responsibility for carrying the gait that he's asked to do.
You just ride in an enclosed area , such as an arena or large round pen if that is better. you set the horse into a gait (walk or trot, usually) and you hold the rein with zero contact. Horse can go whereever it wants, can put its' head whereever it wants can look anywhere. It MUST stay in the gait, though. So, your responsibility is to go with your horse, stay out of his way and mouth and only step in to correct him if he stops or changes gait. He must stay moving. This is a really good excersize to do . If she puts her head down and comes to a stop, you apply your leg, but do nothing to the rein.

REally challenges your trust. But only if you feel she will not buck or bolt.


The bit should be fine. It looks ok, though for some horses with a very low pallete, it might be a bit on the fat side.

Rachel1786 05-10-2011 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tinyliny (Post 1013626)
Once your horse is settled (wise of you to give her time to do so), if you can ride her some on a really lose rein, you might have a chance to experiemtn with letting her go where she likes. It's called, "cruising". This helps build the rider's confidence in just going with the horse, and it builds the horse's responsibility for carrying the gait that he's asked to do.
You just ride in an enclosed area , such as an arena or large round pen if that is better. you set the horse into a gait (walk or trot, usually) and you hold the rein with zero contact. Horse can go whereever it wants, can put its' head whereever it wants can look anywhere. It MUST stay in the gait, though. So, your responsibility is to go with your horse, stay out of his way and mouth and only step in to correct him if he stops or changes gait. He must stay moving. This is a really good excersize to do . If she puts her head down and comes to a stop, you apply your leg, but do nothing to the rein.

REally challenges your trust. But only if you feel she will not buck or bolt.


The bit should be fine. It looks ok, though for some horses with a very low pallete, it might be a bit on the fat side.


I tried that today after our ride(when we were walking around to cool her down) because she's been good lately, but she just walked to the gate so she could see her pasture pal(not the gate we go out of) so i think she need more time before we can try that again, i decided to leave her up there at least another month, mostly because i like pretty much always having people to ride with...back to the original question...My trainer changed her bit because she was having trouble stopping her(she took off in a canter after going over ground polls and then she wouldn't stop, almost ran into another horse and then the wall), she put her in a low port with a curb chain, the first 2 rides she was fantastic she was on the bit and responding great, but now she is almost always behind the bit, we squeeze her and it helps for a moment but almost as soon as we release leg pressure she is behind again. we are going to put her back in her original bit since she wasn't as bad with that one(and i prefer the milder bit) and hope that helps but if it doesn't go you guys have any other suggestions?

corporate pride 05-10-2011 11:23 PM

try a JP sweet iron loose ring bit, or a french link jp egg butt snaffle. thetaking off thing isn't goot. some horses evade the bit by running off, some just wanna go. my young horse is strong xc and i'm looking at bit options aswell, he takes off at a jump and is very heavy on the forehand and goes above the bit. my other horse xc or bush rides goes behind the bit and pulls and takes off. i have a "hand break" on him for emergency stops if he doesn't stop. i have a slotted kimberwick on him. i use a one rein stop if he evades the bit. i have a good relationship with my horse so he knows i mean business.
if the horse puts head down and stops, try spurs. it could also be a "relief" thing. if you ride her in a contact the whole ride that is why she's pulling and going behind the bit, she wants relief. walk her in a contact and do about 10 mins, drop rein (i mean only ride on buckle on the wither) and walk her out so she can have a break. lots of breaks and pats and good girls and she will be willing to work harder with a break in sight.
if your not competing dressage and you want control but not a harsh bit, the peewee is a great option. they are expensive but soooo worth it. my horse that i ride out in a kimberwick goes better in a peewee.
try thinner bits rather then fatter ones. even try a mullen mouth on her.

good luck, just try different bits and see if you can find a better one. if not then stick with what you got on her. she may not have the muscle to stay in frame too long.

Wancata 05-17-2011 03:12 PM

After trying all the equiptment and bit changes suggested above, you can try just wiggling the rein to bring her up instead of pulling. My gelding used to drag me down, especially at the canter. Not just obstenant pulling, like a heavy drag into the dirt. It was annoying and made my arms tired! So instead of pulling her up, like elbow to hip, just wiggle you fingers (or wrist if you need to get her attention) till she lifts and rounds, then stop and release the pressure. When her head starts to sink or raise up to high, do it again till she frames and then release. She will get the idea over time.

LetAGrlShowU 05-18-2011 03:23 PM

I had this same issue, Cooper was just going through the bit. I even had a post on here about it. I tried the wiggling the fingers, the pushing him forward, had a trainer on his back... I had to stay consistent in my "you pull, i pull harder and quicker" but what really changed was everytime he flung his head down, i took my rein loop and smakced him on his neck (holding reins english style- thumbs up, just used my thumbs to smack it down flipping my wrist) after three or four times, he got it. I have to remind him occasionally, and I'm by no means a trainer, but it worked for us. Just a thought.

HunterGirl99 05-22-2011 08:23 PM

I rode horses that were like that, it is annoying after awhile! ;) half halt her to make her pull herself up and just remember the more you pull on her the more she will pull, it seems weird but it just works out that way.Good Luck!


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