Balancing horse in the lope?
   

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Balancing horse in the lope?

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  • Cant finish lope
  • Horse training reverse arching into the corners

 
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    08-07-2010, 01:14 AM
  #1
Yearling
Balancing horse in the lope?

I am really confused.
How do you balance a horse in the lope? Around corners and such, my horse is unbalanced and falls apart, if I don't continuosly do big half halts and squeeze with my legs.
But even then, it doesn't seem to be the right way to do it, because with the half halts, she holds her head high in the lope, and I need her head to be low as I am showing western pleasure.

Am I supposed to just let her do it herself and not do anything?
What do I do? Please, any advice would be much appreciated! <333
     
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    08-07-2010, 01:19 AM
  #2
Green Broke
I find the best way to balance a horse is to sit still and be quiet but effective. What you mean she's unbalanced in the corners? Does she speed up and lean in? That might just mean she doesnt want to bend, which needs to be fixed because if she doesnt want to bend, she is tight.

Also, half halts should not lift your hroses head up, they should be with your whole body to, not just your hands, because if you jsut half halt with your hands you are asking her to get behind your leg, which doesnt work very well.
     
    08-07-2010, 01:26 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
I find the best way to balance a horse is to sit still and be quiet but effective. What you mean she's unbalanced in the corners? Does she speed up and lean in? That might just mean she doesnt want to bend, which needs to be fixed because if she doesnt want to bend, she is tight.

Also, half halts should not lift your hroses head up, they should be with your whole body to, not just your hands, because if you jsut half halt with your hands you are asking her to get behind your leg, which doesnt work very well.
She doesn't really speed up, but she falls on the inside shoulder, she doesn't use her hindquarters very much for impulsion, how do I go about fixing that?

When half-halting, I use my hands and my legs. I don't pull her head up, she has a curb bit on, and apparently you are supposed to use a upward movement with the reins, not backwards? That's what my trainer told me.

It's weird though, because my trainer is more dressage/jumping, she just teaches western too, but only to me pretty much.
I'm not sure I am doing the right stuff with her, as what I'm doing still seems like english, kind of.

I am thinking of going to a coach who does specifically reining and western pleasure, so that way I would be getting the exact right way to do it?

I watch western pleasure videos, and all those horses have a SUPER loose rein dangling down below their shoulders, how the heck do they get those horses to balance?
     
    08-07-2010, 01:37 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluver50    
She doesn't really speed up, but she falls on the inside shoulder, she doesn't use her hindquarters very much for impulsion, how do I go about fixing that?
I 'cluck' and 'bubble' with my legs and encourage with my whip on my horses bum to get her to use her hindquarters, but I would ask your trainer, because they don't do this from the beginning in training, they do this later in training. Your trainer will probably know when she's ready :). But yes, it sounds like she is crooked/doesnt want to bend her ribcage out. DO NOT clamp on your inside leg, lol, trust me, I speak from experience, it doesnt work xD but I would do bending excercises like shoulder-ins, trevars (sp?) and all that, if your trainer rides dressage, she will know what those are :) Also, ask her about the corners, she will probably be able to expain it well :)

When half-halting, I use my hands and my legs. I don't pull her head up, she has a curb bit on, and apparently you are supposed to use a upward movement with the reins, not backwards? That's what my trainer told me.
Yes, but make sure you use yoru seat to so her back legs keep coming and she can round over her back.

It's weird though, because my trainer is more dressage/jumping, she just teaches western too, but only to me pretty much.
I'm not sure I am doing the right stuff with her, as what I'm doing still seems like english, kind of.
I ride dressage, but Me and my horse would do western pleasure, reining or any of that kind of stuff, Dressage can kind of be universal, it is like the basics to everything. It might seem like dressage sxtuff, but from what I've seen, theres a little dressage in every discipline.
I am thinking of going to a coach who does specifically reining and western pleasure, so that way I would be getting the exact right way to do it?
That might help, they would knwo the tricks of the trade and stuff, and simple little technques for that discipline.
I watch western pleasure videos, and all those horses have a SUPER loose rein dangling down below their shoulders, how the heck do they get those horses to balance?
lots of practice, lol. Unless the horse is specifically highly bred for it or anything, most of them start out with the horses going around with their heads up ;) But PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. And you will get there.
Mine is in bold
     
    08-07-2010, 01:46 AM
  #5
Yearling
Thanks so much for your post! The only problem is though, that she has been doing western pleasure and reining for about 5 years with her previous owner and she was awesome.
So I think it is all what I am doing... D:

I guess I will keep practicing haha :) but it's getting so frustrating!
I am going to test out english after the western show, because I miss english riding so much :( haha

Thanks so much!
     
    08-07-2010, 02:33 AM
  #6
Green Broke
Haha yes, sadly it is probably you. LOL don't worry, we ALL go through that time where we realize it's us , then have to fix it! Goodluck :)
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    08-08-2010, 01:18 PM
  #7
Weanling
IMO you should yourself never be balancing a horse.

What you should do is do a lot of exercises to to help a horse learn to balance themselves.

Lots of backing, rolling back, side passing, half passing, reverse arking (basically counter bending).

I do this exercise that I LOVE. First I start by reverse arking, say I'm going to the left. So I pick up my right rein UP and over to the left a touch, super with my left rein and pick up my hands bump with my right leg by their girth. If they move their shoulders to the left then I release. I repeat this over and over until they are moving their shoulders. You should be going in a circle to the left, but not a tiny one it should just be the shoulder moving over. Then I switch legs and ask them to side pass to the right, still bending their nose to the right a little bit like I was when counter bending. After they are getting off my leg well, I ask them to do a turn on the forehand (haunches should be moving to the right, I'm asking with my left leg) then after a full revolution or so I pick my hands up lightly and ask them to lope off. Hold GENTLY for a few strides and then give them a drape. If they start to fall apart I'll stop and repeat the exercise until I can get a decent distance all collected. You shouldn't be loping around and around and around you horse will fall apart like that.

Another thing I like to do is work on about a 20 metre circle at a walk or jog. I prefer the jog/trot, I wouldn't jog as slow as normal have a jog at a nice pace. Ask them to flex their head to the outside, your outside leg should be at the girth asking the shoulder to move although you still want to stay on that 20 metre circle. After one circle switch and now bend them to the inside, pushing with that inside leg just like you were when bending the other side. After you have done another circle now keep that inside bend but make a circle the opposite direction, basically reverse arching them at the trot. So if you were circling right you would keep that bend and now push them to left maintaining that bend which will now be an outside bend. You want them to move their shoulders here. Then after you finish that circle, I ask them to lope and lope a circle back the original direction.

The idea behind all of this is you are putting all the body parts in the right spot, then loping off and you should be able to lope on a complete drape.

Work OFF the rail A LOT. This way when your horse dives their shoulders in you can do that reverse arching and just pick that inside shoulder up, and reverse ark them. Then lope off again.

You big issues seems like your horse is diving on her front end and thus pushing her shoulder. So you need to do lots of exercises that move her shoulders around. And stopping, backing and rolling back will really get her hind end underneath her and her front end up which will help.

Think about riding off your legs, most broke pleasure horses can be ridden completely bridleless because WP are VERY leg broke. I could get my pleasure gelding to round up, engage and lift his shoulders all off my legs no bridle needed. This is what you want to strive for.

The biggest mistake people make is thinking about "oh I need to put my horses head down and make it level". You need to be thinking, "Okay I need to get him first driving from behind, when he starts driving from behind he'll have to round his back up and thus lift his shoulders. When he is doing this on a drape his head will fall where its supposed too." When people start thinking about putting the head somewhere you are instantly driving the horse onto their forehand.

I'm sure its the same with dressage, I bet you instructor is always telling 90% leg, 10% hand. You hands support, and you have to do a LOT of driving with your legs (Even more than pleasure horses, I know I've done it ahha). Do you notice what happens when you give a dressage horse rein, especially when they are engaging properly. When they get slack they lower their head.

Sorry if that was long, I hope some of it was helpful at least.
     
    08-09-2010, 02:03 AM
  #8
Yearling
^^ WOW! You are awesome! I completely understood everything you explained, and it makes perfect sense. I rode my horse today bareback just for about 20mins, I tried some of what you explained and it worked!
I was always focused before, on getting her head where it is supposed to be, but like you said, she can't do that properly unless everything else is in check.
Well, After riding for 20mins, lots of exercises and everything, I barely touched her head, and rode with a loose rein, and didn't care where her head was.
At the end, she was actually carrying her head lower than normal and in a pretty good position, waay better than it ever was when I was trying to do it for her.

Thanks so much, I will keep working on what you said, and I won't focus on what I want her to look like, and just keep improving her, and she should be ready for the show in a month, hopefully :)

But, seriously, I was so much more relaxed today, because I wasn't frustrating myself, because she doesn't do it the way the other WP horses do. She isn't them, and I shouldn't expect her to do it off the bat, those horses have had years of training.

Anyways, Thanks again soo soo much!
     
    08-09-2010, 02:07 AM
  #9
Trained
My mare is pretty green undersaddle, and what I am doing is not really focusing on canter work; we are doing alot of trot work, and on the times I do put her into a canter, though not perfect yet, she is feeling much more balanced already. Sometimes you just have to build their muscles up a bit more, and that can make a huge difference.

Also alot of transitions in your gaits, can make a big difference too, as she can't get 'lazy' in a gait, and start to fall apart...
     
    08-09-2010, 10:55 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluver50    
Thanks so much, I will keep working on what you said, and I won't focus on what I want her to look like, and just keep improving her, and she should be ready for the show in a month, hopefully :)
I'm glad it works for you =) That's nice to hear. It's all about the body, yes I work my horses head to make it soft and supple, but their lower head set comes from aligning the body. It's such a small error, but it can create huge problems ahha. Good luck!!! Persistance is key!

Another thing I like to do is actually trot and canter, but while I'm doing this I'll hold my hands up softly. I'm not pulling but I have contact and I'll really drive drive drive them forward, pretty much like you would extended trot on a dressage horse (Although you probably aren't going to get the same stride ahah). And then I'll "let" them jog/lope slow.

The first thing that you've done here is get their body up and rounded. The second thing you've done is make them think it was their idea to go slow, and that is just fabulous ahha.
     

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