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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard quite a couple ways but I havent found one that exactly works yet. o.o

Ive heard of gently sea sawing.
And

Closing your outside hand and vibrating your inside rein.

And taking and releasing your inside while holding with the outside.

I wanna hear how YOU do it..?

How do you get YOUR horse ON the bit...?

Any tips on how to do it?

Now for some people ON the bit means different things.

I beleive what I mean is ON the bit is getting the horse to listen and go hm.. 'round' for you.
 

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I dont 'get him' on the bit, I just ride him foward and when he's relaxed it just happens..Sometimes if he's not paying attention and needs a little encouragement i'll half halt.
Theres so many threads on this forum about collection/on the bit, how to achieve it, what not to do etc...
 

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I get my horse 'on the bit' by riding correctly:

Legs/seat and THEN hands.

See-sawing is NOT an effective way to round your horse. He may hold his head 'nicely', but only because he's probably evading the bit. See-sawing creates hard mouths.

Honestly, you're not going to achieve a true collection by JUST doing any of the methods you listed. First and formost it is forward motion from your seat.

ThatNinja posted great links, check them out!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks,

xD I found out its not called seesawing.. its called like... sponging or something. lol.
 

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I ride with as little inside rein as I can get away with and use leg yeilding as a warmup to establish the inside leg to outside rein connection. Leg yeilding also brings the horse's hind end up under him a bit to help start shifting his balance to his back end. After that, I use shallow serpentines, stretchy circles and frequent transitions to further our warmup. "On the bit" ironically has nothing to do with the head. It's all about the shoulders and hind end.
 

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I'm trying to get out of my horrid habit of see-sawing. x_x

To get my horse working in a frame, I simply drive her, using my seat and legs, into the contact. When she gives to the contact, I give to her.
 

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^ Exactly. And you do have to play with it a bit and see what your horse responds to the best. Some horses respond to you taking the contact, and others need to seek it our on their own, that's what I've discovered at least. Also, a lot of the time my horse will give once I release, rather then when I take.

But I do not recommend "see-sawing" or really even too much "sponging" of the reins. Note, I said too much, not never. Every once in a while taking a feel of each rein for a moment can refocus my horse when he's getting distracted and strung out. However, it's MUCH more about your legs, your seat, and your upper body then your reins. Hands come last.
 

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Thanks,

xD I found out its not called seesawing.. its called like... sponging or something. lol.

Even this "sponging" that so many trainers teach is wrong.

While the concept has merits just squeezing and giving over and over will be ineffective for rarely does the "teacher" have a clue or fails to include that without proper timing of any aid it actually is worse than giving no aid at all. The hand must follow but also encourage and the horse just does not walk or trot or canter in the same beat as the rider doing the "sponging". As a result most of the time the "sponging" is out of sequence and the horse ends up just moving its head in and out in time with the "sponging".

Just as the term "on the bit" became a phrase commonly used...the term "sponging" is the same thing.
 

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You're always spot on, Spyder.
I think being "on the bit" is the ultimate connection-- not something you can make happen, but which is given and accepted when communication is perfect, along with physical balance. In my case, it comes and goes. I think of the bit-reins as a means of communication, not a tool like a screwdriver.
 

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I <3 this picture:

as far as I am concerned, the rider's hand should never ever work backwards. The elbows should be firmly planted to the rider's sides and from there, you have to ride a horse up into that contact. The more horse you ride up into there, the rounder the horse will get. This is why I love side reins while lunging. It teaches the horse to reach, bridge their back and swing through.
The rider's hands do not ever make the connection. The hands are stationary and the horse must push up into them, without leaning. From there the hands may feel the horse's mouth, but not to the extent of this "sponging" crap. Think of having two little birds in your hands and keep them happy or they'll fly away.
 

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There were a lot of good tings in that article dynamite mentioned, but what do you think about the picture of the Perfect Position? I thought the horse looked really tense and squashed and unhappy.
 

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I take it you mean how to get your horse in a frame. The way i teach it is to ride your horse forward, then gently [or with some pressure depending on how soft a mouth your horse has] do a seasaw motion and when the horse gives in just keep a steady pull and he should stay there, if not, repeat. Once you have that down, the more advanced way is to get him in a frame by riding him forward and simple keeping a steady pull [this way you are a quiet rider]. But the key is the horse is moving forward, if you are just poking along it will not work
 

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The way i teach it is to ride your horse forward, then gently [or with some pressure depending on how soft a mouth your horse has] do a seasaw motion and when the horse gives in just keep a steady pull and he should stay there, if not, repeat. Once you have that down, the more advanced way is to get him in a frame by riding him forward and simple keeping a steady pull [this way you are a quiet rider]. But the key is the horse is moving forward, if you are just poking along it will not work
Other than having the horse forward I would NEVER use any sort of see saw motion or pull. That goes against the very nature of good riding and horsmanship.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone !

I've gotten him on the bit a couple times but I cant seem to hold it. I know he'll get it over time. He seems to do it alot when we're turning on a sharp courner.
 

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Thanks everyone !

I've gotten him on the bit a couple times but I cant seem to hold it. I know he'll get it over time. He seems to do it alot when we're turning on a sharp courner.

You just discovered that turning involves a change in balance and it becomes easier to position the horse during this phase of motion. The horse knows that to stay in balance he must position the hind legs more under himself

Your next step in thought is how do I continue to keep his focus on his balance and hind legs which will allow YOU to utilize what he is doing under you.

That is what trainers do. Riders just do.....trainers think.
 
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