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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok first off:
I have a 5 yr old paint mare that wont lunge at all. She doesn't wanna stay in a circle and she wants to constantly turn in towards me no matter which direction I want her to go...and just as a side note I've worked with a lot of horses but none that didn't know the basics of lunging...
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I have a few issues with my 16 yr old mare...
1) she constantly tries to rip my shoulders out of their sockets by putting her head down...now normally she's a great horse but there are times she does this out of the blue...
2)she doesn't want to really canter and when she does she doesn't get on the lead I want but she loves running...
3)she doesn't like turning I have a sweet iron snaffle on her but she fights when I try doing suppling exercises, so I got her a full cheek snaffle but still the same problem...this turning problem is only under saddle on the ground she's perfect...
ok last horse:
My sister has a 9 yr old green broke horse she's working with and he's really progressing well with everything, except taking a bridle. He puts his head way up in the air and tries to back up or rear away from the bridle so it normally takes 2 to 3 people to get a bridle on him. While he's fine with a halter and my sister can do it with no problem and once you get the bridle on him he's fine and is very responsive to it.
Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
 

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First horse. Horses don't know how to lunge automatically. It is something that has to be taught. It is the beginning of teaching them how we communicate with them.

Having a horse turning in is a good problem, to me. Most like to turn away or just run around like a nutcase. Are you free lunging in a round pen or on a lead? When the horse starts to slow or stop, add a little pressure to get her going again. Make sure you're standing behind her driveline/shoulder.

Second horse. 1) Are you riding English or western? If english, is the mare used to riding with contact? If western, are you giving enough slack? Are you quick to release pressure? Are your hands quiet? Is she trying to put her head down to eat? What exactly happens just before she tries to put her head down? Without these answers, the only advice I could give is to not pull on both reins equally to get her head up. Pull slightly more on one than the other. 2) Don't worry about the correct lead until she gets consistent about going into the canter. Then you can worry about it. If she doesn't get the correct lead, bring her back down and repeat but have her go into a circle first. 3) Practice flexing and giving to the bit at a stand still.

Last horse. Bridling really isn't much different than haltering, except putting the bit in the mouth. If the bit has been hitting the teeth or has been used harshly, those are the main reasons horses refuse to accept the bit. Start with practicing and teaching the horse to keep his head down. Then practice putting the bit in and taking it out, only having the bit in for a few seconds and slowly increase how long it is in.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the first horse: when she turns in she wont move at all until I walk behind her shoulder and then when I do give pressure when she starts slowing I increase pressure only to have her go sideways and trying to turn and run.

second horse: I ride both but im never harsh on a bit and normally I can never tell when she is going to put her head down till im already being pulled up out of the saddle...I have tried the bending exercises but she just stiffens up and refuses to bend I try not to pressure her to much when she resists but what else should I do?
 

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Hi, I basically agree with Usand.

Firstly, whatever you want to teach your horse, ensure you do it in little, easy increments & reinforce the small successes along the way. So for eg. if the horse will start to move out onto a circle, accept & reinforce that & get it solid before asking for more.

I teach lunging just as an extention - literally - to yielding/leading up close. So that's where I'd start, not out & away from you. I'd ensure she understood how to respond to 'pressure' whether direct or implied, to yield different parts of her body, then when she's reliably doing it just with implied - ie bodylanguage, swung rope or stick/whip, increase the distance until it's 'lunging'.

1) she constantly tries to rip my shoulders out of their sockets by putting her head down...now normally she's a great horse but there are times she does this out of the blue...
Generally I find this is a problem of the rider not releasing pressure on the reins when the horse is doing what they should be. I imagine if you're holding the reins so tightly that you get wrenched forward when she does it, I'm guessing that's the case. Keeping your hands(inc fingers & wrists) soft, so you don't lose your seat, and taking ONE rein back strongly when she does it is how I tend to handle it. There could be other things going on too though, need more info.

2)she doesn't want to really canter and when she does she doesn't get on the lead I want but she loves running...
If you're keeping her on firm contact, she may be confused about what's wanted. Saddle fit & pain is also another common reason for not wanting to canter or go on a particular lead. After ruling out/treating physical problems, work on getting her cantering on a very light contact or loose rein, before beginning to ask for a particular lead or collection. Set it up to make the correct lead most likely and reinforce every improvement you get.

3)she doesn't like turning I have a sweet iron snaffle on her but she fights when I try doing suppling exercises, so I got her a full cheek snaffle but still the same problem...this turning problem is only under saddle on the ground she's perfect...
Saddle/back/neck/bit pain?

While he's fine with a halter and my sister can do it with no problem and once you get the bridle on him he's fine and is very responsive to it.
Quit forcing him & focus on *teaching* him that it's OK/good. So again, don't expect the whole job done on the first(or few) sessions, but break it down & reinforce the steps along the way.
 

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Horse 1 you need to be faster to get behind her and give her a crack with the lunge whip to drive her forwards, the moment she starts to turn in quickly get to the side of her and drive her forward.

The fact that when your older horse yanks on the reins says that you have a tight hold of the reins because if you didn't then they would slip through your fingers because you say she gives no warning.
You have two ways of stopping this. Put loose side reins on her so when she does it she jerks herself or, when she starts to do it jam both hands onto her withers so they are fixed and she catches herself. At the same time give her a good boot to send her forward and the head up.
Sounds as if the mare has you taped! She doesn't want to turn or canter and yanks of the bit! I would make her turn by taking her head around and if she tries to walk straight on, would use a whip on her shoulder to get it around. As for cantering just get her going forward from your leg, get a forward but not fast trot and ask from a sitting trot.

There are several good videos on youtube about bridling the difficult horse.
 

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If you are snapping the whip to get the horse to move, don't. By facing you she's protecting her hiney. Wiggle the tip of your whip near her jaw to turn her away. You may have to tap her. If she doesn't turn away do light rhythmic taps until she figures it out.
Horses can be very protective of their ears and care must be taken when bridling. The ear should be pushed forward and the headstall slipped over, then the other side. It is common to shove them back. Warrick Schiller has a good video on this bridling problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well I think her pulling her head could be a teeth problem because even when in her English bridle on and me holding onto the buckle she pulls her head down...and its not a saddle problem since I hardly ever ride in a saddle except for shows and she acts the same either way...and when I ask for a canter I release all pressure on her face
 
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