Horse's Jaw is Locking on Downward Transition from the Canter - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-23-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Horse's Jaw is Locking on Downward Transition from the Canter

Hi! I recently started leasing a feisty pony who has come a long way already. A small problem I am trying to tackle right now is her downward transitions. I know that getting a good transition takes time and lots of practice, but I am concerned with her habit of locking her jaw. She mostly does it from canter to trot and mostly going to the left. When I ask her to come down, with verbal cues, seat, and light half halts she instantly locks her jaw on the left side, shoves her neck to the right and comes off the rail. If I try to put her into a circle of any size to get her to stop and hold some sort of bend, she just won't stop or will force herself out of the circle. I don't want to use force and I don't think it would work with her anyways. Lately I have been asking for the transition on a completely loose rein to show her that I won't grab at it and she doesn't need to brace against me, but that doesn't seem to help much. Any ideas on helping her break this habit? She flexes well in circles at the walk, trot, and canter, as well as on the ground. It's just at the transition.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-23-2015, 04:00 AM
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ask yoursefl if you think it's a matter of her not wanting to bend becaise she wants to go elsewhere, or wheteher its a matter of her having a physical block
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-23-2015, 08:06 AM
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You could see how she goes on the lunge and I would use side reins given the problem you want to sort out. Not overtight but fitted properly.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-23-2015, 09:37 AM
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My first thought was joint limb pain that may flare up when going from canter downwards, but when I read that it's a pony- it may be not pain related but rather a condition of her conformation. Without a picture it's hard to say, but the typical pony neck can be crested, short and tied in high, all of which can cause the need to lock the jaw in order to make the down transition from a faster gait. Only consistent training and time will tell whether your mount may be able to learn to do this with more flex and ease.
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