I taught Pony the wrong thing… - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By ACinATX
  • 2 Post By tinyliny
  • 4 Post By Foxhunter
  • 2 Post By ACinATX
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-29-2020, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
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I taught Pony the wrong thing…

… and I’m not sure I mind.

I spent some time thinking about this today after our lesson, and I am pretty sure I know how this happened. But, long story short (unless anyone wants the long story, LOL), I seem to have taught Pony that when I use my leg to ask for lateral movement, I want him to lower his head into contact.

The thing is, I’m not sure I mind. Dropping his head into contact is something I’ve been trying to get him to do for a year now, and now he is willing to do it. I did spend some time before today’s lesson reminding him that the signal for him to drop his head is when I pick up more contact, and he eventually seemed to remember this. But for the moment, the clearest signal to him that I want him to drop his head seems to be that request for lateral movement.

Should I care? Should I just be happy that he’s reaching for that contact? I believe I can eventually bridge this back to where he’s only doing it when I pick up the contact.

He does still do the lateral movement, too, if anyone is wondering. He does the lateral movement and drops his head.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-29-2020, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Lateral bending is what makes longitudinal bending work better, and by better, I mean that the whole body is engaged, not just the horse tipping his head down from the poll, or curling behind a bit.

That is one reason why almost all dressage training is done on a circle. You can now start getting him connected to the bit, on a circle, spiraling outward (lateral movment), and then when he's feeling good, you ask him to carry that foreward out of the spiral on a straight line, without lateral movement. Just make sure he isn't overbent and just blowing through his outside shoulder.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-29-2020, 04:43 PM
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Usually when asked to bring a hind leg under them as happens with a lateral movement, they will lower their head as it makes the movement easier so you haven't done anything wrong.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-29-2020, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thanks!
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