stiff western pleasure horse?
 
 

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stiff western pleasure horse?

This is a discussion on stiff western pleasure horse? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Western pleasure over canted
  • Suppling horse

 
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    12-12-2010, 08:30 PM
  #1
Foal
stiff western pleasure horse?

Alright, I haven't really done much western pleasure but I have started excersising this WP mare for a friend and I already knew she was quite mareish before I started riding her. Since I don't do much western pleasure i'm not sure if the things i'm going to describe are normal or not so any suggestions, tips, ideas or thoughts are welcome. When you first get on her, her walk and trot are both very choppy and stiff as well, she has zero flexibility/give in her neck and probably one of the hardest mouths i've ever ridden. Any bit of leg pressure and her ears go back tail swishes a bit and if you put too much leg pressure on her she will buck. Definitely (i'm sure this is probably a given from what I just stated) no spurs on this horse as she'll send you packin. Also, i'm not sure if this is a normal thing for western pleasure horse but she doesn't like to be on the rail and when I ask for her lope she has very strong leads and she swings her hind end in so she is far from straight. I did find that if I did a few circles with her first, then let her go large on the rail she was a bit straighter but would slowly drift her hind back in again. I did ride another WP mare who did these same things so not too sure if this is normal or not but if anyone has any help of any sort it would be appreciated. Thanks
     
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    12-12-2010, 09:07 PM
  #2
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashforcache    
alright, I haven't really done much western pleasure but I have started excersising this WP mare for a friend and I already knew she was quite mareish before I started riding her. Since I don't do much western pleasure i'm not sure if the things i'm going to describe are normal or not so any suggestions, tips, ideas or thoughts are welcome. When you first get on her, her walk and trot are both very choppy and stiff as well, she has zero flexibility/give in her neck and probably one of the hardest mouths i've ever ridden. Any bit of leg pressure and her ears go back tail swishes a bit and if you put too much leg pressure on her she will buck. Definitely (i'm sure this is probably a given from what I just stated) no spurs on this horse as she'll send you packin. Also, i'm not sure if this is a normal thing for western pleasure horse but she doesn't like to be on the rail and when I ask for her lope she has very strong leads and she swings her hind end in so she is far from straight. I did find that if I did a few circles with her first, then let her go large on the rail she was a bit straighter but would slowly drift her hind back in again. I did ride another WP mare who did these same things so not too sure if this is normal or not but if anyone has any help of any sort it would be appreciated. Thanks
It's normal for a "wp" horse who wasn't trained properly and has been soured. WP horses (properly trained) are probably the most supple horses to ride. It was a fad years ago to have an over canted horse on the rail, but that is no longer an acceptable practice. BUT it is a good tool to keep a horse soft through the body on and off the rail and really reaching forward to pick up the lead with their hind quarters.

With a horse like you described... I'd pretty much start from scratch. Work on getting her to give to an O-ring or D-ring snaffle. Then gradually move on to suppling the rest of the body. ALWAYS lift to your hips or your ribcage, never down. Pulling down causes a horse to fall onto it's forehand and ride on the bridle. DO NOT worry about where the horse's head sits. Just focus on getting the horse breaking at the poll with a light touch. With proper work and a stronger topline, the horse will fall into the proper frame for it's conformation.

Here's a horse I had started as a barrel horse who I also did pleasure training on. This mare had a tendacy to get too confortable and hang her head way down. (as you can see in the vid) Towards the end, I lifted her up and because of that, she elevated her shoulders and shortened her stride in collection.
<object width="320" height="240" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/1055033293183" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/1055033293183" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="320" height="240"></embed></object>

Eta that a good way to help a horse who has been soured on the rail is to do the work in the center of the arena, then walk and stand along the rail side. It can teach them that the rail is a place to relax and not anticipate.
     
    12-12-2010, 09:19 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
How old is the mare and what kind of bit are you riding in?

I know exactly what you are talking about with the horse moving their hind end to the inside of the circle when they lope. Does she also bend her head to the OUTSIDE of the circle? Does this inside drift improve if you ask her to move out faster? I remember on another thread some of our more experienced posters in the western field said to move the horse out in a good , brisk canter and keep them at it and the hind end would track more correctly behind the front.
     
    12-12-2010, 09:21 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Buckoff, your vid is not available, due to privacey settings.
     
    12-12-2010, 10:40 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckOff41570    
It's normal for a "wp" horse who wasn't trained properly and has been soured. WP horses (properly trained) are probably the most supple horses to ride. It was a fad years ago to have an over canted horse on the rail, but that is no longer an acceptable practice. BUT it is a good tool to keep a horse soft through the body on and off the rail and really reaching forward to pick up the lead with their hind quarters.

With a horse like you described... I'd pretty much start from scratch. Work on getting her to give to an O-ring or D-ring snaffle. Then gradually move on to suppling the rest of the body. ALWAYS lift to your hips or your ribcage, never down. Pulling down causes a horse to fall onto it's forehand and ride on the bridle. DO NOT worry about where the horse's head sits. Just focus on getting the horse breaking at the poll with a light touch. With proper work and a stronger topline, the horse will fall into the proper frame for it's conformation.

Here's a horse I had started as a barrel horse who I also did pleasure training on. This mare had a tendacy to get too confortable and hang her head way down. (as you can see in the vid) Towards the end, I lifted her up and because of that, she elevated her shoulders and shortened her stride in collection.
<object width="320" height="240" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/1055033293183" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/1055033293183" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="320" height="240"></embed></object>

Eta that a good way to help a horse who has been soured on the rail is to do the work in the center of the arena, then walk and stand along the rail side. It can teach them that the rail is a place to relax and not anticipate.
thanks for the advice, unfortunately I could not see your videos, I will put her into a loose ring next time I ride her.i do work very hard at a lift up not a pull down, which was a bad habit I got into when riding with a previous trainer but this mare is very ornery (sp?) with any pressure from the legs and even if you give the slightest lift with the reins?she does carry her neck low but doesn't like to break at the poll and when you ask for any flexion in either direction it almost feels like you would have to drag her (obviously that not what I would do but she doesn't want to/or can't bend) for example, in corners, instead of bending she just kind of cuts them if that makes sense.so, I will put her into the loose ring which is what I was thinking to myself as well in order to soften her up and try and start there. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
How old is the mare and what kind of bit are you riding in?

I know exactly what you are talking about with the horse moving their hind end to the inside of the circle when they lope. Does she also bend her head to the OUTSIDE of the circle? Does this inside drift improve if you ask her to move out faster? I remember on another thread some of our more experienced posters in the western field said to move the horse out in a good , brisk canter and keep them at it and the hind end would track more correctly behind the front.
i believe she is 7 or so. Not positive though.we have tried her in a number of different "western" bits but am going to try her in a loose ring.she isn't necesarily doing it so much on a circle, more so when she goes straight. When I do a few circles it gets better for a little bit. It's like she's constantly two tracking and because she has such strong leads when she does this it makes me feel very crooked. I will try speeding her up and see what happens. I think I will try to get video as well to see how it's looking from the ground.
     
    12-12-2010, 11:32 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
I know what you mean when you describe the corner, YOu mean she leans to the inside and hauls around the corner like a motorcycle leaning over. That is part and parcel with being really stiff.
I might do some suppling work with her on a halter so that you don't have to deal with the bit and any resistance to the pulling of the bit.
You might also try a full cheek snaffle. It will put some pressure on the side of her face when you are asking her to bend around.
If you do use a loose ring snaffle, be sure to have a chin strap (looks just like a curb strap) . This will keep the bit from going THRU her mouth if you are putting a lot of lateral pressure on her and she gaps her mouth open.
     
    12-13-2010, 10:01 AM
  #7
Weanling
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?...=1055033293183
Changed the privacy setting. Sorry about that!

I would work on getting her flexing to either side. If she braces very badly undersaddle, you can start on the ground. Stand at her shoulder, with her in a halter, and ask her to bring her nose around. Hold until she brings it around even a tiny bit. Release immediately and let her stand a second. Just gradually ask for more and more each time. (obviously not too much at once) Once she is willingly bringing her nose around on the ground in the halter, put her in a snaffle and do the same thing from the ground. If she gapes her mouth, a cavesson can come in handy.

Then from there, get under saddle, and work on it under saddle. Keep the exersizes light and POSITIVE. It sounds like someone was focused more on getting her head down and not on collection and correct training.

To help fix an over canted horse, you can urge them forward more. But an over canted horse became over canted because someone kept their hip in. Once you have her relaxed with the bridle, start on the legs. She needs to learn to respect the leg and take direction from it, rather than anticipate it. Here, it also sounds like someone abused the use of spurs on her.

In turns, reach up to your inside hip (once she is giving to the bit) and teach her to maintain balance, with her shoulder up, through a turn and continue driving forward at the same speed, WITHOUT anticipating a "dive and go" turn.
     
    12-13-2010, 10:03 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I know what you mean when you describe the corner, YOu mean she leans to the inside and hauls around the corner like a motorcycle leaning over. That is part and parcel with being really stiff.
I might do some suppling work with her on a halter so that you don't have to deal with the bit and any resistance to the pulling of the bit.
You might also try a full cheek snaffle. It will put some pressure on the side of her face when you are asking her to bend around.
If you do use a loose ring snaffle, be sure to have a chin strap (looks just like a curb strap) . This will keep the bit from going THRU her mouth if you are putting a lot of lateral pressure on her and she gaps her mouth open.
ya, that's exactly it, do you have any suggestions of some good suppling excersises from the ground? Unfortunately, all my equipment got stolen a while back so I have only reacquired the things I absolutely need just for my horse so far so I don't have any full cheeks. I only have loose rings and loose ring frenchlinks and they all have chin straps thank you for your advice!
     
    12-16-2010, 03:51 PM
  #9
Foal
WP horses shouldn't be stiff.. And it's normal for the horses to bring their hind in to the center at the lope. This allows them to really use their hind in correctly, and not sling their head up and down and lean on the forehand. However, the horse shouldn't be that grumpy. It might be your cues. I find WP training way more complicated English, etc. You might just have to ask for some instruction, and see how that goes.
     
    12-16-2010, 09:04 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckOff41570    
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1146343040&v=app_2392950137#!/video/video.php?v=1055033293183
Changed the privacy setting. Sorry about that!

I would work on getting her flexing to either side. If she braces very badly undersaddle, you can start on the ground. Stand at her shoulder, with her in a halter, and ask her to bring her nose around. Hold until she brings it around even a tiny bit. Release immediately and let her stand a second. Just gradually ask for more and more each time. (obviously not too much at once) Once she is willingly bringing her nose around on the ground in the halter, put her in a snaffle and do the same thing from the ground. If she gapes her mouth, a cavesson can come in handy.

Then from there, get under saddle, and work on it under saddle. Keep the exersizes light and POSITIVE. It sounds like someone was focused more on getting her head down and not on collection and correct training.

To help fix an over canted horse, you can urge them forward more. But an over canted horse became over canted because someone kept their hip in. Once you have her relaxed with the bridle, start on the legs. She needs to learn to respect the leg and take direction from it, rather than anticipate it. Here, it also sounds like someone abused the use of spurs on her.

In turns, reach up to your inside hip (once she is giving to the bit) and teach her to maintain balance, with her shoulder up, through a turn and continue driving forward at the same speed, WITHOUT anticipating a "dive and go" turn.
you must have posted this right as I was making my post because I never even saw it lol. In the vid it looks like you utilize your hands the same way I do so that makes me happy because I really had to work hard to fix my hands with my horse.
I will definitely work on the ground with flexing her head, I do that with my gelding as well, just was wondering if anyone had any other excersises. She is a very finicky horse. She's definitely going to keep me busy, she has some type of issue from the moment you tie her up to the moment you get off her.one things it doesn't seem like she does though gape her mouth.
With my gelding I can lightly one hand his head back into position with her it seems like someone has done the see saw thing becasue if I lift and drive she gets mad because of my leg but if I just lift she does nothing and as an experiment I did the back and forth with 2 hands and she dropped her head with no issues. I have only ridden her a few times so I am still getting to know her.
Ya, I am wondering if becasue of her not accepting leg if someone has stayed in her mouth more for what ever reason and that's where she's getting issues with having a hard mouth? She was put out at pasture most of the summer then they decided the one daughter wanted to take her to a show and never really rode her much before hand so when she got her in the ring she didn't behave very well obviously and one of her things was the girl had spurs on and anytime she felt the spur she tried to buck so I made her take the spur off and she was a bit better but the mare is a lot of horse and the girl isn't that experienced so she was pretty angry and i'm wondering if she just started using too much hand because of the leg resistance.
With the turns, I know when I ride reiners I lift with my inside rein and push with my outside leg in order to lift the inside shoulder in corners...is this what you mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by triplembwp    
WP horses shouldn't be stiff.. And it's normal for the horses to bring their hind in to the center at the lope. This allows them to really use their hind in correctly, and not sling their head up and down and lean on the forehand. However, the horse shouldn't be that grumpy. It might be your cues. I find WP training way more complicated English, etc. You might just have to ask for some instruction, and see how that goes.
i guess it could be my cues but I really don't think so, she is the same with anyone who rides her. I didn't really think that WP was that complicated, but I never competed in WP. I've done reining, English pleasure, H/J and the closest thing to WP is a combo class where you have to switch from EP to WP but there really isn't many ppl in my area that teach WP and I really don't know if I want to pay for lessons on this horse, i'm just riding her for a friend because she doesn't get any excersise but I like to fix problems with horses and she has so many so was wanting some suggestions. Thank you. You saidit's normal for them to bring their hip in at the canter, how much is normal? She really brings her hip in a lot.
     

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