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post #11 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 03:29 PM
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I agree with @tinyliny

I see a horse trying very hard to do the right thing, but she is confused and doesn't know what you want. Why? Because you are not telling her "yes" by word or hand.

The good news is she has a lovely forward trot! That part is good. But your hands need to communicate with your horse. She doesn't need a martingale, but it has probably been teaching her what to do since your hands aren't telling her

1) You are not holding your hands correctly, you need a straight line from bit to elbow. Bend at the elbow, and make sure you have a following hand. Like rowing a boat at walk and canter, trot is more even so less movement.


2) Every time she asked what was right (head up? Head down? Head middle?) you never answered her.

When she even begins to lower her head, you need to give (move slightly forward) the inside head and say "Yes, good girl".


Very nice, honest horse! You will have a lot of fun with her once you get this!!
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post #12 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 03:33 PM
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She is bracing against your hands (see underside of neck) because you are not communicating with your hands.

You are teaching her to be stiff by keeping your hands stiff
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post #13 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
I agree with @tinyliny

I see a horse trying very hard to do the right thing, but she is confused and doesn't know what you want. Why? Because you are not telling her "yes" by word or hand.

The good news is she has a lovely forward trot! That part is good. But your hands need to communicate with your horse. She doesn't need a martingale, but it has probably been teaching her what to do since your hands aren't telling her

1) You are not holding your hands correctly, you need a straight line from bit to elbow. Bend at the elbow, and make sure you have a following hand. Like rowing a boat at walk and canter, trot is more even so less movement.


2) Every time she asked what was right (head up? Head down? Head middle?) you never answered her.

When she even begins to lower her head, you need to give (move slightly forward) the inside hand and say "Yes, good girl".


Very nice, honest horse! You will have a lot of fun with her once you get this!!
*correcting error*
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post #14 of 19 Old 01-10-2020, 04:20 PM
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I wanted to add that I think it will take very little to get this lovely mare to understand to relax a bit at the trot. it isn't all about what happens up at the face/head. Of course, the body needs to not be stiff either. But your mare looks very willing and as you get her to stop bracing, you can gently add in some leg yields and spiral in / out to help her have a little bit of bend the whole way through.


Personally, I would not use a martingale, or, if necessary, either a standing one that only engages when she throws her head up, or a so-called 'German Martingale'. I rode in one for awhile when I first started in dressage because I could not yet feel how to get the big thoroughbred to come to and stay with the bit (becuase I didn't have the feel for when he was offering me something. the German martingale helped me have more affect, but still have constant feedback)


at the trot, you are SO close to having that feel. You'll get there!
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post #15 of 19 Old 01-13-2020, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

back from a great weekend :) , but sadly still without video as I had no one to take a video :(

Anyways, I really tried to remember your advice to bend those elbows - sadly no feedback there as no one was there to check on us or film us on Saturday, but Lucky was great :) . She actually OFFERED to stretch forward/downward right from the beginning (hasn't done that since summer)!! Still wanted to RUN, but as she never even tried to raise that head, I just let her pick her pace at the beginning (and she can go reeeaaally fast at a trot!!). I later added lots of random small turns all through the arena to get her to slow down again and that worked great, too. But she still would try to pick up the pace every time we tried to go straight ahead again, esp. if I gave her a bit of rein to get her to stretch down farther - she did do that, but picked up speed, too. Not sure how to correct that… every time I give her even a bit of rein, she speeds up again. If I pick up the reins again she slows down but also raises her head back up again. We did get a nice pace at the end with all those turns, but never could go straight ahead for more than one long side of the arena before she wanted to pick up the speed again.

On Sunday we just went for a nice, relaxing hack - the weather was sooo nice and we really enjoyed it. But on hacks we're riding with a hackamore, so no reins or bit there to disturb her or correct her or whatever - she's free to do with that head and neck of hers whatever she wants XD and usually she enjoys just looking around :)
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-13-2020, 06:24 AM
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I think it will take some time to correct and retrain your muscles to bend at the elbow and give, raise the hands.
It will also take Lucky some time to recognize she can lower her head and not get smacked in the mouth by the bit, fighting it.
Once she figures it out...sweet ride time coming at you.
Do lots of big sweeping circles, change of directions, serpentines to keep her listening and responding gently to your cues.
She has learned to "speed up" partly because she ran from your hands and the vice-grip on her head/face/mouth from to low and to hard a arm set against her.
Now she needs to learn it no longer hurts and to soften...drop her head.
As she learns she will also stop trying to run away and through your hands.
Half-halts, gentle communication to bring her back to a slower, easier pace...but don't stagnate her either.
There is a happy medium that you search for...not a speed demon nor so slow you could get off and walk faster...
If you plan to show her she must rate, change the speed and impulsion she works with, since there should be a difference between working trot {posting} and sitting trot absolutely seen.
This will not be accomplished in a weekend, but many weeks, possibly months of riding as you again learn each other.
Do enjoy the journey of discovering a new horse you sit upon...
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-02-2020, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hiiii again! 🙂
Sorry, still no riding videos yet, but things are definitely improving.
My friend went on a couple hacks with Lucky and did some groundwork and a bit of dressage, too. And we've been doing the same. Lucky just loves hacks 🙂 And we've also been practicing some tricks, which she loves as well.

Riding wise, I think we're getting somewhere. 🙂 I finally managed to get a riding lesson again yesterday and that helped a lot, too, but we've also improved on our own. Maybe the better weather did it's part, too, because Lucky's always more relaxed when it's a bit warmer, but she's really been going nicely forward/downward in walk and trot for the whole past week and some... 🙂 And she totally enjoyed it! 🙂
We also managed to practise some canter (which has been a problem for me for a long time), but it does get her agitated quickly and then she wants to keep cantering and you have to get her mind on other things again.

I had my fiancee ride Lucky last week for a short time, because I wanted him to show me how to get her to do lateral movements at a trot without Lucky just going faster... We can do it fine at a walk, and she can definitely do it at a trot with my friend, but I just don't seem to get it right, because with me she only speeds up instead of moving sideways.
Anyways, those two don't match so easily. Lucky always wants to test new riders (or riders who haven't been working with her on a long time) and also he's used to his mare, and while she's a great horse, too, she's something totally different to ride. Me, I'm riding his mare more like a western horse with very loose reins because if I pick them up, she takes her head up and clearly shows I'm disturbing her. She's very easy to ride with only weight and leg AIDS so I usually just use those. My fiancee uses her reins a bit more but still very very subtly compared to the way I ride with Lucky. Lucky really needs some contact of the reins whereas his mare doesn't need it at all. So he and Lucky had more of a discussion than actually showing me how to do lateral movements at a trot 🙈 ... But nevermind... We'll get there some day 🙂
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-02-2020, 01:32 PM
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I'm glad to hear that things are improving!



Many do use martingales the same way your friend does, but I've never seen them fix the issue. In fact, I've usually seen the opposite where the issue remains or becomes worse. I won't speak much more as to why, because that has already been touched on.



One thing that I would recommend is some Dressage lessons. Gaining a feel for contact can sometimes be tricky, and I think a qualified dressage trainer could help you learn this much quicker, aside from your current lessons. A good trainer does not emphasize headset, and instead first emphasizes rider position and teaches you how to manipulate the horse's body in such as way that encourages connection. Do you have access to any Dressage instructors in your area, specifically classical dressage trainers, if available?



Alternatively, there are some good videos on youtube to help you learn some theory behind getting a horse on the bit and 'round'. Take something from each and develop you own way for your horse. Two that I can think of off the top of my head are Arttoride (earlier videos) and YourRidingSuccess.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-06-2020, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hi! Sorry for the lack of updates :( I was really quite busy lately :(

For now we are mostly doing ground work and from time to time I ride Lucky with a bareback-pad (if I find someone to help me get up there), because we urgently need a saddler to correct the fit of our saddle. Unfortunately I've been trying to get one to come here for over a month with no results yet. We do have a good saddler, but he's very hard to come by - usually our barn owner organizes the dates for all the horses at once, but right now only we need him.
Nevermind, we can work on other things for now… only thing really getting on my nerves is, that end of March I'll have 2 weeks off from work, but can't go on a single trail ride with Lucky like that (I won't go with an unfitting saddle that hurts my horse, and I won't go without one either - too chicken to try that, I guess. But I'm rather safe than sorry).


I've also opened another thread about her hooves as we've got some "discrepancies" at the stable at the moment about them … I'm not going to repeat that here, it's simply too long and really fit's better in the other forum section.


My friend hasn't been working with Lucky for the past 2 weeks - she doesn't like the bareback pad at all and I guess she prefers riding to other work.

Also, I'm not sure if she'll keep working with Lucky as she'll be getting her own horse soon. … I knew that this might not last, and I don't mind. It's not like we really needed anothe rider - but I'm also not someone to refuse such an offer if my horse is having fun with her and even could learn something new. We'll see what will happen in the future. ;)
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