can someone explain "on the bit" ??
I have only just recently entered the world of dressage, and lately while working with and riding my super green horse my trainer keeps saying things like "oh good! he was on the bit for a step" or things like that. i've heard people say that before but i really have no idea what it means, can someone explain?
My understanding is that the horse is accepting the bit and reaching down into the bit. The contact is correct, the horse isn't bracing or avoiding.
"On the bit" is an expression used by many "trainers" to attempt to explain that the horse has come to a specific headset.
The problem with both the phrase and the definition is that many here will explain it in very very general terms and most receivers of that information will go off and attempt to pull the horse into what will be explained. There is in reality no such thing as "on the bit".
There is such a thing as ACCEPTING the bit and this comes from understanding what the horse is doing and being able to act upon that action.
This takes time and best understood under the watchful eye of an experience coach/trainer ( who will not use vague incorrect descriptions).
Thank you- No one was asking him to be "on the bit" or trying for a headset or anything like that. She said it after he had a nice balanced walk to trot transition and it was more of an "oh cool" thing rather than something we were really trying for. I would have just asked her but I didn't even think about it until I read the phrase somewhere on here. My horse is super green and kind of all over the place right now so it sounds like truely being on the bit is a long way off for us. Thanks for explaining.
Does is have anything to do with being lighter on the forehand and engaging his hindquarters or is it all about headset?
Correct head position comes from a supple horse with impulsion derived from engaged hind quarters that reaches for the bit via the riders aids and ADAPTS to the bit.
Excellent. Makes total sense. Thanks again.
The expression of the 'on the bit' frame found in the rules actually is a very bad interpretation of the expression 'in the hand'.
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