Help Needed! Critique Our Flatwork! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 03:20 PM
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You are really wise to ask this and show us Diamond at her worst. It doesn't matter what makes her misbehave at home, the remedy is the same.
Diamond has plenty of forward, but she gapes her mouth and fights the bit the whole time on both reins. She needs to learn to flex, how to half halt and how to reliably halt. You are holding her the entire time and she isn't really listening. I don't give a hang about what tack you school in.
It's obvious that you don't trust her enough to ride her on a slack rein. This is why the military and why 3-day eventing includes a Dressage phase, to show that you have control over your horse when you are not jumping. You leave the ring on a totally slack rein, holding just the buckle, to show that your horse won't misbehave.
I would learn to start your sessions with 10-15 minutes of ground training, teach Diamond to whoa EVERY TIME, and learn to ride all gaits at a slack rein. Back her up every day, and every time you think of it. NOTHING gets a horse paying attention more than backing. There is way too much energy in Hunter classes and they are looking for controlled and relaxed horses. I wouldn't be comfortable riding Diamond like this.
You should also school with loads and loads of transitions, so that every minute or two you ask for a new gait, a slower gait, a half pass, a halt, then canter cue. This is how you get a horse to start listening to you, the rider. After one hour of this riding, then you let her walk cool on a loose rein. One good week of this kind of schooling and she'll expect you to "crack the whip" and not think that she can push you around. =D
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all very much! Sorry I have just now gotten back to this thread.
I completely see where BugZapper is coming from. I am the type of rider that HATES seeing people haul on their horses' mouths, so I really respect his/her honesty.

It is very true what Corporal said; I do not trust her at all when it comes to being at home. If I give her any slack, she is liable to throw that head up and take off. She is currently in a nice thick french link, as she hates single joint snaffles. The french link is what you see in the video. I will definitely keep in mind the several transitions, and will definitely make that a main part of our riding regime!

I think it was Tiny that asked about what was different between home and trailered away. When we are away, we are in an arena. That's the only main difference I can think of, to be honest. At home, we have to ride where she is always turned out in the pasture (aside from the very small circle I was riding in here; that was in our backyard, in front of her turnout pasture. She rides the same in both situations).

I honestly thought pain could be an issue, but I don't see how. The saddle fits her, she just had her teeth floated last week, the vet checked her out and all seems fine and dandy. Other than her being a little overweight, she shouldn't be in pain.

If I didn't answer your question, bear with me and please just ask again :)

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post #13 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJumperx View Post
I think it was Tiny that asked about what was different between home and trailered away. When we are away, we are in an arena. That's the only main difference I can think of, to be honest. At home, we have to ride where she is always turned out in the pasture (aside from the very small circle I was riding in here; that was in our backyard, in front of her turnout pasture. She rides the same in both situations).
Maybe you are more uncomfortable/ less confident in the open and unrestricted area at home. In the arena, do you feel safer & rider more confidently? Or maybe you are more able to focus on your riding when you don't have to "worry" about the wide open spaces in the pasture, or all the objects in the back yard.

Next time you are out somewhere, have another video made. Let's see how it goes; maybe someone here can see the difference.
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Last edited by NorthernMama; 09-02-2014 at 06:35 PM. Reason: fixed after watching video.
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post #14 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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@NorthernMama
Everything you stated could very well be accurate. I can get a video of her going in an arena as early as next Wednesday (not tomorrow, but the 10th).

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post #15 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 07:57 PM
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that's interesting. I didn't realize that riding at home was a "scarier" location. that WOULD make you more likely to want to put on a tight hold on the rein and maybe freeze up a bit in your body, especially if you 've experienced her bolting off with you.


If you have a good one rein stop on her, you will feel more confident about riding her out becuase you will know that you can shut her down if she's starting to brace and get cranked up.

and if you can offer the choice of going on a looser rein, and she knows it, she may soon start choosing to move more calmly.

but, also, if there are her buddies out in the pasture grazing, and she's being ridden, there is the mental distraction of her just wanting to be "done" with the whole thing, which can make a horse rush.
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post #16 of 31 Old 09-02-2014, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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She does have a very nice one rein stop. I really will try to keep a looser rein with her, and get a video of it for you guys to check out.
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post #17 of 31 Old 09-03-2014, 09:33 AM
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Just to say, I LOVE your attitude. You are so willing to answer questions and you don't get your hackles up if people are a little more than blunt.
Keep it up! Its your type of person that keeps this forum friendly.
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post #18 of 31 Old 09-03-2014, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frlsgirl View Post
I recognize the giraffe like posture and hollowed back; that was my horse a few months ago.

Here is what's worked for me:

Got her teeth floated
Got a simple thick snaffle bit
If she ducks below, I push forward, if she comes above I supple
If she's resistant, I do loops and circles to soften her up
To teach her to lift her back, I've been lunging her in vienna reins

Very cute horse!
Thank you SO much for this. Can I ask you what you mean by "if she comes above I supple"?

CandyCanes, thank you so much for your lovely compliment :) I'm just interested in helping my horse, and I realize I don't have all the answers. Any input is helpful :)

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post #19 of 31 Old 09-03-2014, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJumperx View Post
Thank you SO much for this. Can I ask you what you mean by "if she comes above I supple"?

CandyCanes, thank you so much for your lovely compliment :) I'm just interested in helping my horse, and I realize I don't have all the answers. Any input is helpful :)
She means if she comes up in the head, sticking her nose in the air, hollowing her back to evade the contact, then to supple the horse. I personally supple by half halting with seat + outside rein, and then playing on the inside with my fingertips, encouraging the horse to flex to the inside, apply that inside leg to help her bend around it on a circle and keep asking until she puts her head back on earth. ;)
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-03-2014, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by xJumperx View Post
Thank you SO much for this. Can I ask you what you mean by "if she comes above I supple"?
Here is Jane Savoie's explanation:

"Once a horse has developed a steady rhythm (the first ingredient in the training scale), the next goal in training is suppleness. Suppleness refers to your horse’s ability to smoothly change his balance forward and back and side to side. Your horse should be supple in two ways–laterally supple through his side and longitudinally supple over his topline.

Your horse’s muscles need to be loose and elastic through the poll, neck, shoulders, back and hips to accomplish this. As your horse’s physical therapist, use the following exercises to loosen or “unlock” your horse:

POLL: The “poll” refers to the occipital protrusion at the back of the skull. However, in common usage, many people refer to the poll joint, between the atlas (C1) and skull as the poll. The poll is important to you because if your horse is blocked there, your aids can’t go “through” his body. If your horse is supple at the poll, you can position his head at the end of his neck either to the left or to the right from a little turn of the wrist (indirect rein action). Don’t open or close your fingers to supple the poll. If you wiggle the bit or open and close your fingers, you’re just asking your horse to flex at his jaw—not his poll. When your horse is supple at the poll, you’ll feel less resistance when turning your wrist.

NECK: While riding on a circle, use the inside rein in the same way you did when unlocking the poll, except ask for a bigger bend (7 inches to the inside, as opposed to 1 inch when flexing the poll). Do three bends in a row to the inside, quickly but smoothly. Don’t hold the bend and wait for your horse to “give” (that’s his jaw giving, not his neck). Also, keep the contact with his mouth instead of letting the rein get loopy. Be sure to squeeze with your inside leg at the same time you use your inside rein. Keep your outside rein steady and supporting. Don’t let your outside hand go forward. Your hands should stay side-by-side. That outside rein limits the bend to 7 inches. Then you’ll use it to straighten the neck.

After the three “supples”, leave your horse alone for six to eight strides and just maintain an elastic contact with his mouth. Then do another set of three supples. If the suppling was effective, your horse will lengthen and lower his head and neck and feel more relaxed. Repeat this neck suppling exercise in the other direction. Very stiff horses will require support from the outside leg to prevent their hindquarters from swinging off the track of the circle.

SHOULDERS: Starting at the walk, make a 20-meter square instead of a circle. Ride your horse with counter-flexion (His face is positioned 1 inch to the outside.) throughout the exercise. At each corner, move both hands to the inside to swivel your horse’s shoulders around the 90-degree turn. Soften when you complete the turn, but don’t let the reins go loopy. As your horse becomes more supple in his shoulders, you’ll feel less and less resistance in your hands as you slide his shoulders around the corners.

HIPS: Leg yielding loosens and supples your horse’s shoulders, back, and hips. If you’re leg yielding to the right, keep your right leg on the girth to maintain forward movement, and place your left leg three to four inches behind the girth to ask for sideways movement. You can squeeze and release with this leg if your horse isn’t moving sideways enough.

Your left rein asks for flexion by “turning the key in the lock” with your left hand. Keep your right rein steady, supporting contact.

Put weight on the seatbone that’s in the direction you want your horse to move—in this case the right seatbone. But take extra care to remain sitting squarely on your horse. Don’t lean to the right.

Once your horse moves in a regular rhythm and is supple, you’ll be ready to move on to the third ingredient in the training scale—Connection."
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