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Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 28, 2007, 12:21 PM
Recently I taught Frodo all about his butt. How he can move it to the left and right (turn on the forehand) and how he could move it to the side (leg yielding). It very cute now how wiggly he has become as he begins to realize how to use everything and puts it together with my aids. However, now he is popping his should out when going to the right and I am struggling with trying to fix it. The methods I have used in the past to correct this are not working consistently and I was hoping you guys had some more suggestions for me. I do NOT have a trainer yet as I am stuck in western world with no trailer and our trainer at my barn is a hunter trainer and his methods are not what I want to use for Frodo.

Also, what exercises do you guys use to help make the transition to canter more crisp. I have been working on transitions but I was wondering if you guys have any other exercises you use for this. Bugs always loved to canter so this was not an issue, Frodo is a bit lazier that she. :lol:

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 28, 2007, 12:39 PM
Recently I taught Frodo all about his butt. How he can move it to the left and right (turn on the forehand) and how he could move it to the side (leg yielding). It very cute now how wiggly he has become as he begins to realize how to use everything and puts it together with my aids. However, now he is popping his should out when going to the right and I am struggling with trying to fix it. The methods I have used in the past to correct this are not working consistently and I was hoping you guys had some more suggestions for me. I do NOT have a trainer yet as I am stuck in western world with no trailer and our trainer at my barn is a hunter trainer and his methods are not what I want to use for Frodo.

Also, what exercises do you guys use to help make the transition to canter more crisp. I have been working on transitions but I was wondering if you guys have any other exercises you use for this. Bugs always loved to canter so this was not an issue, Frodo is a bit lazier that she. :lol:

Regarding the shoulder popping out--just try leg yielding away from the side on which the shoulder is popped. One or two strides, that's all to get him back in alignment. When he pops the shoulder you will feel that his rib cage is also bulging against that leg, so it will feel like you are pushing the rib cage back over. I have found that this works so much better than trying to fix the problem with your hands--which often just results in another, more subtle evasion which is difficult to correct.

Regarding the canter transition--I assume that you mean the canter depart? From the walk or the trot? Please be more specific.

retrofit
Dec. 28, 2007, 01:10 PM
More forward.

BigHorseLittleHorse
Dec. 28, 2007, 01:25 PM
I have a very bendy Arab, and he is great for telling me when even one of my aids is not on correctly. I was totally stumped about the shoulder-popping, until a dressage friend of mine said, "when he pops his shoulder, press the side of your knee against his shoulder." (note: she wasn't talking about gripping with the knee, just pressing the side of your knee against the saddle briefly).

Works like a charm.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 28, 2007, 07:46 PM
Regarding the canter transition--I assume that you mean the canter depart? From the walk or the trot? Please be more specific.


I am asking for transitions from the trot and walk, and yes, the depart. Starting with the trot to canter depart would be fine. He was better today but should be a lot more crisp than he is.

As far as leg yielding for a stride or two, that is what I have been doing but I can feel him lean against that leg for a few strides before he straightens again. I guess I feel like it is not effective enough. I also try and keep firm contact with my outside rein.

EqTrainer
Dec. 28, 2007, 07:56 PM
I don't know how else to say this other than just saying it. So I will :)

You don't want to move his haunches around. You want to move his shoulders over to straighten him. If he is popping his outside shoulder, then your outside aids are not clear enough/effective enough and you will have to work on this. Indeed, do work on this, and not moving his rear end around. All you want his rear end to do right now is push evenly with both hind legs.

All horses are stiff and hollow. I am continually surprised at how many people do not seem to get taught this. It is one of the basics of dressage and of straightening any horse. The stiff side is the side he seems to "not bend" on, the hollow side is the side he seems to "bend well" on - and the one he is most likely popping the shoulder out on. Remember that regardless of what direction you are going to, he is STILL stiff and hollow in exactly the same way. Your goal is to have him stepping evenly with both hind legs into the rein contact.

Work on having him a little more forward.. and then a little straighter.. and then a little more forward.. and then a little straighter.. you cannot have a truly forward horse that is not straight NOR a truly straight horse that is not forward :lol: so you get the idea.. you do it in small steps that he can handle. But please, do not swing his haunches around. And do not leg yield or go sideways until he is reasonably straight, or you will have taught him one more evasion to use against you ;) the only thing to do right now, at this stage, is to work on straight and forward. Together.

onetempies
Dec. 28, 2007, 08:09 PM
I'd back off the lateral work for a bit. Work on straightness and forward.... lots of forward & almost to the point of lengthenings. Usually, with more lateral work comes a lack of forward impulsion which then comes crookedness. It sort of creeps up on you until a bigger problem evolves. :yes: But more straight line FORWARD work should help with straightening that shoulder out. Chevy tends to drop a shoulder. When he does that we move him more on an oval so he has a nice long straight line to get himself back up again. It's just sometimes easier to regain control of the shoulder with the straight lines.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 28, 2007, 08:13 PM
Ok, I can stop doing the leg yielding and moving the hauches, no problem. However, I must say that I felt as though he WAS forward and straight when I started working with him in those exercizes. He did not start popping that shoulder UNTIL I started leg yielding.

J-Lu
Dec. 28, 2007, 08:26 PM
Hmmmmm, wiggly is not necessarily a good thing. You want to make sure that his butt is connected to his withers, neck and poll all the time. In other words, when you displace is butt, make sure that the bend is in the ribs and not in the neck.

If he's popping his shoulder out in one direction, try counter-flexing him to move the shoulder back in front of the hind legs. Do this in both directions and on different lines and large circles. Another thing to try is a GENTLE leg yield down the long side where his shoulders are to the inside and his hind legs are on the track. It's like a shoulder-fore but with no hint of bend. *think* counterflexion to keep the horse straight in this movement. You can do it with the head slightly to the rail, too, but these exercises gets cumbersome for your horse if you have a well worn track around your arena. When he figures it out, you should really feel him filling up the outside rein, and you can resort to one-two steps of small counterflexion to head off a popping shoulder in the future.

Good luck!
J.

onetempies
Dec. 28, 2007, 09:23 PM
J-Lu.... that would have been my next suggestion as well. I do this with Sunshine as moving her ribcage around.

JackSprats Mom
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:24 PM
EQ trainer
You don't want to move his haunches around. You want to move his shoulders over to straighten him

I'm confused by this statement. I know that you move the shoulders to straighten the horse (not the haunches) BUT surely you need to be able to move the haunches to do travers- else how else would you do it?

ride-n-tx
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:31 PM
well, i think this is perfectly normal and he is just figuring it all out. he is just starting to learn that he can move the front end and the hind end separately. you just taught him a whole new meaning to your aids and it will take some time to sink in.

i am going through this with my gelding too. sometimes i think he gets it, but next time a new interpertation may emerge :). just have patients with him. when it seems like something has "gone wrong" or he is trying to "get away with something" he may just need a little clarification. if he pops his shoulder out just use your outside aids to gently correct him. also maybe try to work on turn on the haunches as a reminder.

as for the canter depart i think the other posters are right about the forward. he may initially lose a little of it during lateral work, so you just have to keep after him. insist on a little jump into canter.

EqTrainer
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:47 PM
EQ trainer

I'm confused by this statement. I know that you move the shoulders to straighten the horse (not the haunches) BUT surely you need to be able to move the haunches to do travers- else how else would you do it?

Travers is not to straighten the horse, it's to strengthen and supple the horse.

JB
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:56 PM
However, I must say that I felt as though he WAS forward and straight when I started working with him in those exercizes. He did not start popping that shoulder UNTIL I started leg yielding.

Hehe, welcome to my world. One of the worst things I started was doing some lateral work before I had a forward horse. As ET said, it did (and will for you if you don't fix it now) become an evasion to forward and was much harder to fix the forward at that point.

onetempies
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:09 AM
The one thing I keep getting yelled at with Chevy right now is forward. I feel like I've got enough but trainer wants more. Trainer wants me to the point where I feel like I'm going bigger than what I need. That's where thinking lengthening helps out. So I'd re-establish that right now for a few rides. Once you feel like Frodo is 100% in front of your leg, then slowly reintroduce lateral work again. Then alternate days with forward and lateral work. Teaching lateral work just opens the door for the horse to use new evasions. :lol:

J-Lu
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:09 AM
EQ trainer

I'm confused by this statement. I know that you move the shoulders to straighten the horse (not the haunches) BUT surely you need to be able to move the haunches to do travers- else how else would you do it?

I'm not EqTrainer, but I agree with the statement. Personally, I don't think this horse is ready for travers, and when the horse isn't ready for travers, the horse will pop the shoulders.

The horse should first master the leg yield - that is, crossing the legs while remaining straight poll to tail. Here's where the shoulder first starts to pop if not ridden straight. Yes, you want the horse forward, but if he's too forward, he'll run through this and the exercise is mute. The rider must starrt to think about giving the horse air time to cross his legs and this is where the rider has to learn to slow down the legs while keeping impulsion. This of course depends on the horse but alot of people make their horse run when they think they're riding forward. The next step is shoulder-in. Here, the horse learns not only to bring the shoulders in but step underneath with the inside leg - this leg carries the weight and is the first real step to collection. The only way the horse can perform this correctly is if the horse is connected and straight with the outside aids/rein and is bent through the ribcage and not the base of the neck, and this comes from the inner seatbone and outside aids of the rider. The outside rein is critical in the shoulder-in to kee the spine straight through the withers so that the shoulder doesn't pop. The NEXT step is haunches in, or travers. Again, the outside rein is critical to keep the horse straight through his body, and only the hips are displaced. Here, the shoulders stay straight on the track but the haunches come in and the weight bearing leg is the outside hind, as opposed the the inside hind for the shoulder-in. This requires the horse to shift the weight behind in order to do correctly. In other words, this requires collection. It comes from the rider's inside seatbone and the outside aids. However, it's worth noting that travers doesn't show up until higher Second level tests for a reason. It's very easy to pop the shoulder and do the movement incorrectly (without shifting any weight behind), which negates the purpose of the movement (weighting the hind end).

Most horses go with their shoulders out of alignment with their hind end as a bit of an evasion. It's easier. Most horses accomplish this by putting their haunches in or out. It is easiest and most effective to ride the shoulders, which is in between the seat and the reins and where the horse tends to "break", than the haunches to straighten a horse. Following, since most horses evade by swinging the haunches, exacerbating this tendency by riding haunches in on a horse who pops the shoulders often makes the problem worse unless the rider is REALLY on top of making sure that the horse is straight and curving equally from poll to tail.

I think this stage of riding is very difficult to do without a qualified dressage trainer acting as eyes on the ground. If I were the OP, I'd find a *qualified* dressage trainer to send videos to for feedback if I couldn't get one to my barn or get my horse to their barn. If the horse can't do leg yields well, he is *definitely* not ready for haunches in.

My two cents,
J.

JackSprats Mom
Dec. 29, 2007, 12:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSprats Mom http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=2897833#post2897833)
EQ trainer

I'm confused by this statement. I know that you move the shoulders to straighten the horse (not the haunches) BUT surely you need to be able to move the haunches to do travers- else how else would you do it?

Travers is not to straighten the horse, it's to strengthen and supple the horse.

Ahh ok misinterpreted what you were saying, I thought you meant you never move the haunches around, you just mean to straighten the horse :)

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 29, 2007, 01:12 AM
Ok, first, I think my description of wiggly was probably not the best way to describe what is going on. I do not mean that he is wiggling back and forth constantly, what I meant was EXACTLY what ride-n-tx said. I do not feel that the wiggles are evasions, he is figuring things out and the aids that go along with it, my mare did that when she was young too, so I figured it would have to Frodo it. I am not that converned about the "wiggles", I probably should not have even mentioned that, I just though it was so young horse-like. Also, I am not working travers or anything like that yet. We do a few strides of leg yield then straighten and we have worked on turning on the forehand and on the haunches. The should popping IS an evasion. My answer was to try a little shoulder fore to help straighten but that is not working. I am not trying to do anything fancy to correct it. Also, the shoulder popping happens when I am trying to ride a circle (a LARGE circle, as in half of a large arena) not when I am asking for leg yields.

Sorry I was not clearer in my earlier posts. I have been so busy today and have been posting between running around like a chicken with my head cut off. :lol:

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 29, 2007, 01:20 AM
He did not start popping that shoulder UNTIL I started leg yielding.

Gosh, I am reading back through my posts and realizing that I was not communicating what I was intending to communicate.


Popping his shoulder ON A CIRCLE did not start until I started working with him with the leg yielding, he is straight for the leg yields and we only do a few strides of that and then straight again. 3 strides, straight a few, 3 strides, straight, you get the picture. He pops the shoulder when I am just bending around a turn or in a circle for only part of the circle.

I am, once again, sorry for being so unclear. <blush>

Vuma
Dec. 29, 2007, 02:10 AM
Bugs-n-Frodo, couldn't help noticing your post. It's very similar to a thread on the eventing forum going on right now. I posted the following for Debra; maybe it can help your guy as well. The question was a bit different (She was stating that her horse is traveling "haunches in" at canter), but you'll find the exercise to be relvant to your situation, especially as you are also asking for help with canter departs. This exercise has always helped the young ones I have worked with and I hope it can help your both as well.

A GREAT exercise for horse cantering in "hauches in"...

"Hillary is correct. Even as your horse works up the levels, straightness at the canter can only be achieved through "positioning". The best way to describe this; if cantering down the long side the horse's outside hind and fore should be parrallel/straight against the rail if on true canter. Because of the width of the haunches exceeding the width of the shoulders, the inside hind has to be carried slightly to the inside. This is not "haunches in", however, as the outside fore and hind are tracking straight on the rail.

I find that the "haunches-in" problem you are having is usually a "drifting shoulders" problem which is usually a problem with the horse being on the forehand. A GREAT exercise for youngsters to achieve straightness/lighten the forehand at the canter is to start parrallel to the long side with a turn on the haunches to the right, then strike off in left lead canter, canter half of a 20M circle to the opposite long side, halt, turn on the hanches to the left, then strike of on right lead canter, canter half the 20M circle back to where you started then halt. Repeat.

*A good tip for this exercise is to start and finish your turn on the hanches in the corners. This helps the horse make the down transition easier as there is a wall in front of him.

Yes, you will not have canter/halt, halt/canter transitions on a youngster and may need to even trot a few steps in to the canter. But, the idea of the excersise is to 1.) straighten by teaching the horse to move off of your outside aids and straighten the shoulders, "placing them in front of the haunches" (!) and, 2.) lighten the forehand "allowing" you both to stike off in a balanced and straight canter. Then is is up to you to maintain the balance/straightness which is much easier than starting off with a crooked/forehand canter and then trying to correct it. Because you are only traveling half of a 20M circle you should be able to keep the balance/straightness for this brief period and come into your down transition "still" balanced and light on the forehand. You will be amazed at how this excercise will also help your horse move on to walk/canter, canter/walk transitions much quicker....this is the basis for flying changes work later on.

The rider's key to riding this correctly is to keep your outside aids "on" through the 1/2 circle keeping the shoulders in front of the haunches.

I hope this helps!"

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 29, 2007, 02:36 AM
Interesting exercise. I wonder if it could be done in a variation to help the trot too?

goeslikestink
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:43 AM
look here you not the only one with the problem as its a common problem
most people do find a horse is stiff one sided becuase they often ride how they write you have to give as in you give then the horse becomes even
look here have explained using the half stride to help balance your horse in each transition you do- as it collects the horse up giving him clear signals something going to change
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=126952

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:38 AM
Oh...god....this comes under the heading of 'Life in the Key of EEEEEEEEE!'

We started calling them 'e-points' because there was one instructor we saw years ago who would yell, eeeeEEEE-No! when she saw this sort of thing going on. We loved her but oh god did we love that EEEEEEE even more. I don't think she realized she was doing it...

DON'T DO THIS!!!! PLEEASE don't leg yield like that - wait til you have help unless you can get this connection forward and solid, and then do leg yields with the horse properly framed in the aids - which you can ONLY do if you have a solid connection. .

The statement 'you don't want to move his haunches' is correct - but only partly.

To straighten a horse, you NEVER push the hauches around to line up with the front end. Instead, you move the SHOULDERS. That's critical to straightening work. How do you move shoulders? The answer is - '
well, how do you do a circle?' Doesn't how you do a circle tell you how you control shoulders...because 'the outside rein draws the circle line' (and no, not always daintily, especially when it's been underused for a long time).

----example ------
Years ago we were at a clinic in which a horse was going all around the ring - long sides on the straight, as well as around the corners (which are parts of circles), the hind quarters were ALWAYS in off the track. The rider was trying to straighten the horse by putting her INSIDE leg way, way back, and pushing the haunches OUT - back to the track. The clinician, Kay Meredith, made it VERY clear - this is incorrect. The rule is always - 'oppose the haunches with the shoulders' and this never changes. Having had a lot of dressage lessons, I was completely confused that anyone would ever even TRY to do that (and this person was an instructor teaching ALOT of local riders!!!) - and I have to say I was stunned by the debates here and the 'but WHY' questions on this issue. As my SO whispered at the clinic...'Oh SH**!'

People just resist this idea for some reason I can't exactly understand. Anyhow, Kay painstakingly explained to the person that they just can't get decent results that way, and the horse, when ridden correctly, using the outside rein to bring the shoulders into line, was VERY happy to go straight.
-----------------

However, you do, in a very limited and careful way, move the haunches by putting your outside leg further back and pushing ONLY the haunches over. This is a turn on the haunches. This however is NOT something you do to straighten a crooked horse - again, you move the shoulders to straighten your horse. OCCASIONALLY, when circling, you have to 'guard' the haunches on the outside with your outside leg a little back of the girth, just to keep your horse from having his haunches fly out on turns like the back of a fire truck!

A fire truck actually has a guy in the back that steers the BACK of the fire truck - the dressage riders outside leg behind the girth OCCASIONALLY has to perform this function.

The leg yield is NOT moving the haunches in the same sense as a turn on the haunches,, and the rider's leg is NOT taken way back - it should ideally be right at the girth, aiding the horse in time with his stride, in response to which, the horse moves his hind leg over, under himself, and goes sideways, JUST A LITTLE BIT, JUST A STRIDE AT A TIME, and you are sitting up there with your outside rein WORKING OVERTIME trying to keep him all straight and his shoulders NOT popping out and that may seem like a HECK OF A LOT of outside rein!!! Especially if you ALREADY have a fundamental issue of not using it enough...then the leg yield becomes not a leg yield, but an opening up of the old kimono, as they say in the corporate world!!!!

Instead of a nice straight controlled little balanced side step, you get your horse holding up a SIGN that says, 'Mommy does not use her outside rein! Over here! Look at me! See my shoulder flying out???!!!'

The leg yield is NOT about moving haunches. It is about 'pressing the horse's hind legs inward'. The fact that the horse side steps is almost completely immaterial!

the key movement that teaches the horse what 'leg aid' means - it means to get his legs under him. Fortunately it's also a very nice suppling exercise - BECAUSE it teaches the horse to put his legs under him it supples his hind legs! Not that the horse so much swings his legs forward up under him, but in towards the centerline of his own body.

The problems you're having are typical of someone who works on their own alot.

The 'wiggle' thing is not good - I'd advise you to stop leg yielding and lateral work til you get someone to give you a framework and some guidance.

What you have is incorrect. Sorry. And it's VERY important that it be corrected. Your horse isn't going to 'put it together' in time - you need to stop with the leg yielding, and get him forward into a connection with the bridle.

What you are describing PROVES you do not have a sound connection on the foreward. No if's and's or but's - this does not happen if you are schooling off a correct, forward connection.

If you are schooling off a forwward, correct connection, you practically have to STRUGGLE to get your horse to leg yield even one tiny step over, and you do it in a rhtthm that is exactly the same as your other work, with a VERY TINY amount of movement to the side (or a very tiny angle, if you're doing it along the wall, which is usually harder for riders new to this work to maintain a rhythm, and the RHYTHM IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOING SIDEWAYS!!!! EEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Teaching a horse to go sideways from your leg pressure is NOT what a leg yield is about. I know that sounds contradictory, but it's the truth, and until you have a REAL connection in the bridle, your horse WILL be wiggly.

I've watched for YEARS as people who work alot on their own delightedly show me how 'goosey' their horse is off their leg, and how quickly the horse runs to one side when they use one leg way back on the horse's side - I know people who have gotten their horses so goosey off their leg that another rider can't even get on the horse and walk it down the long side of the ring on a loose rein! The horse is wandering all over the place like a drunken sailor!

I recall years ago we went to see a really super European dressage trainer - sorry I don't recall who he was. But this very eager home schooled rider came into the ring and proceeded to have her horse just go all over the ring sideways....he watched for quite some time, silently, and then said very quietly, in a polite voice, 'Do you work by yourself alot?' DEAD silence among the railbirds, LOL.

I can recall with great embarrassment a girl riding her mom's horse, explaining to me how 'highly trained' the horse was, that it went sideways all the time, and how she was 'learning to ride such a highly trained horse'. She was 'learning to ride the highly trained horse' by holding her leg from the knee down, out in the air, because the horse was taught to be so wierd and goosey off her leg, instead of going forward normally*.

Imagine the predicament, sitting there yelling, 'Well bless your HEART!' when you know the training of the horse is totally wrong, there's no connection with the bit, and that the whole dang thing has to be redone and fixed before the poor girl can EVER show the horse...dear god...LOL....repeat after me.....'WELL BLESS YOUR HEART!'

*When your horse is 'framed by the aids', he moves forward willingly into the bridle, and the rider's legs and reins can direct and channel him. If you train your horse to ricochet off your aids like a pinball every time you touch him with the leg or rein, he is not 'on the aids', he is actually 'OFF the aids'. To ride a horse in dressage, he has to live right next to the aids hand in glove - connecting with the bridle, connecting with your leg, which has a conversation with the horse - breathes with the horse, works in harmony with the horse.

JB
Dec. 29, 2007, 11:19 AM
Then alternate days with forward and lateral work.

I wanted to add to this - even on days when you work on some lateral work, DON'T until you (re) establish forward first ;)

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 29, 2007, 01:51 PM
slc, as I said before, I am NOT having the problem during leg yields and I am NOT asking for leg yields that go side ways, I am asking for a YIELD, then we go straight, then a couple of strides of YIELD, then straight. The way I read what you wrote was that I was asking all of the way across the arena with a dramatic sideways motion. NOT the case. Also, I NEVER said I was correcting the shoulder bulge with movement of the haunches. I have been trying to move the shoulders to straighten him, I never said anything about moving the haunches to straighten. I SAID we have been working on turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches... at a completely separate time. I am NOT getting dramatic leg crossing when he yields, nor am I trying to.

I am not trying to argue or deny help, I just want it to be clear what is going on and it is my fault for not being clear right off of the bat. He is popping his shoulder when I am working in at a regular trot, not doing anything else but circling. It happens at a certain point in the arena regularly and sometimes at other points of the arena, but with much less frequency. The shoulder popping is COMPLETELY separate from the yielding other than the fact that he starting to do it around the same time I started teaching him to yield to my leg. I was asking if there were other ways to straighten him in ADDITION to trying to move the shoulders. I keep firm contact with my outside rein but he is evading.

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 03:36 PM
I understand that, it doesn't matter.

J-Lu
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:11 PM
counterflexion is your friend.

:)

slc2
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:38 PM
getting a connection is your friend before counter flexion is your friend :winkgrin:

goeslikestink
Dec. 29, 2007, 04:49 PM
dont do circles till you have the horse striaght forwards and balanced hes young
its the same thing if you lunging a young horse to much on the circle is adding stresses and starins on undeveloped legs

same to with any unfit horse-- large large llarge if no areana then mark out an area in a field with cones or tyres to represent corners 60x80 at least and work the horse in shortening and lenghtening strides so he learns to shift his weight from hind leg to other hind and work him butt to poll keeping his hocks underneath him --

egontoast
Dec. 29, 2007, 06:53 PM
However, you do, in a very limited and careful way, move the haunches by putting your outside leg further back and pushing ONLY the haunches over. This is a turn on the haunches.

nope

J-Lu
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:06 PM
getting a connection is your friend before counter flexion is your friend :winkgrin:

Actually, slc2, this is what counterflexion does. It is an exercise that helps to straighten the horse and improves the connection while softening the poll and improving balance. True flexion to counter flexion to straightness is a great exercise if done in a flowing way. Having actually read through Bugs-n-Frodo's posts, I think this will exercise will help her catch/manage her horse's bulging shoulder better and help prevent the horse from resorting to this evasion through training. He'll 'get' the exercise.


J.

LudgerFan
Dec. 30, 2007, 01:36 PM
Bugs...double-check what is happening with YOUR outside shoulder whenever he does this. Many times the horse pops his shoulder because the rider is popping THEIR shoulder or the weight aids are not quite correct. I went through this same thing very briefly with my young horse, too. It was clear that he was understanding the weight/seat aids so well that when I was not ABSOLUTELY correct he would do EXACTLY what I was inadvertently telling him to do. Easy to fix. I have also known another horse that would pop his shoulder whenever I had too much weight in the inside stirrup, and fall in a bit through the shoulder if too much weight in the outside stirrup. So also check the weight distribution in your irons. If nothing else, at least it might rule out a few more things...

EqTrainer
Dec. 30, 2007, 02:03 PM
I actually think that counterflexion is the RIDERS friend because it teaches them what it means to have effective outside aids.

Regarding the riders outside leg, that leg should always be sure that the haunches are not drifting out or pushing on it. But it does not push the haunches in, unless asking for travers. It's a fine line but important.

J-Lu
Dec. 31, 2007, 12:41 AM
[quote=EqTrainer;2900629]I actually think that counterflexion is the RIDERS friend because it teaches them what it means to have effective outside aids. quote]

Yes, which is why I think it'll help the rider initiating this thread. ;)

slc2
Dec. 31, 2007, 06:52 AM
I think if the horse isn't connected to the bit, you can;t ride any counter flexion.

ride-n-tx
Dec. 31, 2007, 08:57 AM
Actually slc2, sometimes counterflexion can be a good way to get a horse on the bit when you have the bulging/hollowing problem. it is a good suppling exercise for young horses and helps them learn straightness. like J-Lu eloquetly stated...


Actually, slc2, this is what counterflexion does. It is an exercise that helps to straighten the horse and improves the connection while softening the poll and improving balance. True flexion to counter flexion to straightness is a great exercise if done in a flowing way. Having actually read through Bugs-n-Frodo's posts, I think this will exercise will help her catch/manage her horse's bulging shoulder better and help prevent the horse from resorting to this evasion through training. He'll 'get' the exercise.

slc2
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:07 AM
i still don't agree with you. you can't get a horse 'on the bit' by counter flexing unless that basic connection is there first....unless 'on the bit' means getting the horse to 'assume the position'.

egontoast
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:21 AM
i still don't agree with you. you can't get a horse 'on the bit' by counter flexing unless that basic connection is there first....unless 'on the bit' means getting the horse to 'assume the position'.



Forget ' getting the horse on the bit ' ( :no: sigh) for a second and just think about the connection and the rider discovering the importance of the outside aids and developing an understanding of the inside leg to outside rein principle.


The use of counterflexion for the issues raised here makes perfect sense. It can be a real eye opener for the rider. It has many benefits including showing the rider she can get off the inside rein and the world won't end, showing the rider the importance of the outside aids (includng no more popping shoulder), and, as you then add in the bend from the inside leg to outside rein on the circle, and go from true flexion to counter flexion and then back again, and so on, often there can be a 'lightbulb moment'. :) It's the type of exercise that a smart trainer will employ with success.

ride-n-tx
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:33 AM
No slc2, counterflexing is not about cranking the horse's head to the outside. If the horse is bulging the shoulder out/hollowing to the inside then the horse is not on the bit. in counter flexing the rider gets the horse to straighten their bodies using their legs and their seat to get the horse to change bend to the outside (just like in an inside bend). i think that in many cases what causes the bulging to happen is the horse is not wanting to carry with their inside hind leg. when you counterflex the horse has to carry with that leg.

egontoast
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:49 AM
i think that in many cases what causes the bulging to happen is the horse is not wanting to carry with their inside hind leg. when you counterflex the horse has to carry with that leg.

I think of it differently. I don't think counterflexion helps the horse to carry with the inside leg. That's not the purpose. If anything it makes it easier for the horse to NOT carry with the inside leg. Counterbend, different from counterflexion, actually helps to engage the outside hind if it tends to trail out. You have to pick the right exercise for the issue at hand.

slc2
Dec. 31, 2007, 10:00 AM
granted, counter flexion or counter bend might help to straighten a horse, but what i am saying is, what i see very often, is that people are doing that when the horse is not touching the reins and has no contact, no connection. it's pointless if that's not yet there.

i'm saying that has to be there to some extent first. to some degree, THEN these exercises can improve the connection, AFTER that, yes, i agree, you can use it to help with a lot of things (site argument above about WHICH things, LOL).

ride-n-tx
Dec. 31, 2007, 10:14 AM
granted, counter flexion or counter bend might help to straighten a horse, but what i am saying is, what i see very often, is that people are doing that when the horse is not touching the reins and has no contact, no connection. it's pointless if that's not yet there.

yes, but you shouldn't assume that the people posting are not capable of understanding the replies they receive. you have to assume that the OP is competent enough to ride at the level that her question applies to. otherwise this board would just be people repeating "more forward" and "don't pull on the reins" again and again. there was nothing in the OP's statements that reflects that she is having the issues that you assumed she was having.

i would think that the problems are related to him not wanting to step under and carry with his inside hind leg like i metioned before. i don't mean to gripe at you, it's just that i get tired of people constantly assuming that no one in the world is capable of riding a horse.

EqTrainer
Dec. 31, 2007, 12:18 PM
Forget ' getting the horse on the bit ' ( :no: sigh) for a second and just think about the connection and the rider discovering the importance of the outside aids and developing an understanding of the inside leg to outside rein principle.


The use of counterflexion for the issues raised here makes perfect sense. It can be a real eye opener for the rider. It has many benefits including showing the rider she can get off the inside rein and the world won't end, showing the rider the importance of the outside aids (includng no more popping shoulder), and, as you then add in the bend from the inside leg to outside rein on the circle, and go from true flexion to counter flexion and then back again, and so on, often there can be a 'lightbulb moment'. :) It's the type of exercise that a smart trainer will employ with success.

Yes :yes: in fact, most exercises that riders think "get their horse on the bit" are actually exercises that force them to start riding better/differently/riding at all.

I have seen many people who never get the concept of what their outside aids are supposed to do, until they counterflex a horse and then push them from their inside leg to their outside rein and the horse actually *bends* in his body. It's a lightbulb moment. This is what a trainer is supposed to be able to do for you.. set you up to feel what is correct.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 31, 2007, 02:12 PM
Yes, I have to say, I am WAY beyond the point of making my horse "assume the position". I am also fully capable of counter bend/flexion exercises which I think are great suggestions! Thank you for the suggestions.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 31, 2007, 03:13 PM
Ok, sorry for the short reply, I got distracted by kids and my SO wrecking the kitchen! :mad:

Anyway I appreciate the suggestions you guys have given me. I think I will continue to work on my transition both between and with-in gaits, the counter bend you guys are suggesting and some of the other things we have been working on. I believe he needs to know how to move off of my leg, not just forward but also laterally. His wiggles are just my way of describing him figuring out my aids, he's making sense of it. I do not want to create the visual of him not being able to go in a straight line. This horse actually moves off of the seat VERY well for his stage of training and experience, IMO. He's a good ride and good worker and fun to teach. I was just looking for other suggestions for the shoulder popping (I have figured out that it is happening where the entrance to the ring and the feed room, I should have figured that out sooner, but I have been being dense :rolleyes: )

onetempies
Dec. 31, 2007, 03:54 PM
Where's the bang head here icon?

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 31, 2007, 04:00 PM
Lisa, I do not know, but I feel the need to use it quite often... :lol: In life as well! :lol:

onetempies
Dec. 31, 2007, 07:30 PM
Yeah, it's just been that sort of week. :rolleyes: The redhead was a bad bad bad girl on Saturday. I had REALLY good connection.... with my back and head hitting the arena wall as Sunshine veered left in the midst of bucking/rearing/leaping/galloping. So now I'm laid up with great body bruising and sprained ankle.... and it's making me cranky! :mad:

Kathy Johnson
Dec. 31, 2007, 08:20 PM
There are (at least) two schools of thought on this issue, and this thread encapsulates them both pretty well. Some schools (of thought and perhaps of equitation) believe you must ride the horse forward, straight and through before you do any exercises with him. Other schools believe you can do the exercises (leg yield, sh/in, counterflexions, etc) to straighten the horse, strengthen him and make him more forward and through.

I do agree that you should move the shoulders, not the haunches, to straighten the horse, and this is the main reason travers is not done at the Spanish Riding School. But, that's another topic.

Generally when a horse is crooked, it is because he is stronger in one hind one leg than the other, by nature, by birth, by accident, or by perpetual riding by a crooked rider. So, to strengthen that hind leg, you will have to do adduction, abduction and pushing exercises to improve the range of motion in that hind leg. That translates to lateral work. That's where the turn on the forehand, the travers, etc. have a great place in the rider's toolkit, although they do indeed move the haunches. Transitions, within the gaits and between the gaits, will help the pushing power, but will not improve the the rotational range of motion in the limbs.

When you start lateral work, it is natural that it makes the horse softer and "wiggly." It also brings out any inherent crookedness, as one hind leg overpowers the other, the horse loses straightness, and falls out his shoulder. I have also seen young horses who were perfectly even behind, but with big, burly shoulders, who would promptly lose balance and fall out in the shoulders when pressed for tighter turns or lateral work.

If the horse falls out in one direction and falls in in the other direction, that is almost always one hind leg stronger than the other. If the horse falls out routinely in both directions, it is almost always just a misunderstanding and a loss of balance.

Personally, I probably would not send the horse more forward, as that could compound the loss of balance. Every time the horse falls out, I would probably bring him right back to a walk and work on connection and straightness issues with the lateral work in the walk until he understands. Then I would try again in trot. I would also start tightening up the trot work with 15 and 10 meter circles, keeping the energy.

I think many, many horses do not inherently understand the inside leg to outside rein connection and must be taught it very methodically in one direction, then very methodically in the other direction. Then they must be taught it again when the complications of lateral work are added.


The should popping IS an evasion. Probably just semantics here, but I don't think Frodo (even the bright boy that he is) is thinking, "I am traveling a bit too much sideways here for my taste, and I am working too hard. I think I shall get out of work by overbending my neck and throwing all my weight in my right shoulder. This should rattle my rider so that she lets go of the outside rein, and voila! I am a noodle. My, it's so much easier being crooked than being straight." I think it's always a loss of balance. If you consider it a loss of balance and not an evasion, that can change the way you decide to correct him.

And of course, examine the rider.
There was a crooked girl and she walked a crooked mile.
She found a crooked saddle and rode a crooked style.
She bought a crooked horse, a crazy, crooked thing,
And they all rode together in a little crooked ring.

As my coach once said, "I am obsessed by straightness."

Bugs-n-Frodo
Dec. 31, 2007, 08:41 PM
Kathy, you bring up some good points and frankly, just looking at this from another perspective is helpful.


If you consider it a loss of balance and not an evasion, that can change the way you decide to correct him.

That is just the change in perspective I think I needed. ;) Thank you for your suggestions.

egontoast
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:09 PM
I do agree that you should move the shoulders, not the haunches, to straighten the horse

I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.

JB
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:17 PM
I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.

You don't know any GOOD trainer who would say otherwise ;)

Unfortunately, there are plenty of trainers of all disciplines to get soooo caught up on moving the butt around. I know a lot of Western folks (this is NOT to start a debate!!!!) who get VERY caught up in how much they can swing the hiney around. Many of them train lead changes by swinging the butt around (dressage folks know that's death, but it's a different discipline, so let's not go there ;)).

egontoast
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:23 PM
No, personally speaking, I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise:).

It's pretty standard thinking.

EqTrainer
Dec. 31, 2007, 09:57 PM
No, personally speaking, I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise:).

It's pretty standard thinking.

Oh Eggy, I dunno. I really try to rein myself in, but I am shocked at how often people in this forum (the DRESSAGE! forum!) do not know this. Even more shocked at how many people do not know about stiff and hollow.

If the trainers know, wouldn't their students be taught this most basic premise of riding? How can so many end users not know?!!!

Eclectic Horseman
Jan. 2, 2008, 09:55 AM
Well, I was always taught to bring the shoulders in to correct when the horse falls in with his hindquarters. But using this approach to correct the popping of a shoulder when the haunches are not falling in did not work at all for me on a long necked youngster who simply started to put a lateral "s" curve in his neck instead of popping his outside shoulder.

When I attended a clinic given by AVG, she advised the leg yield from the outside leg to correct this problem (outside shoulder popping without haunches falling in) and it worked like a charm. After just a few times using this technique, the horse self-corrected.

I don't know whether you would consider this correction as "moving the hindquarters" to make the horse straight or not. To me, it was more like moving the whole horse over laterally for a stride or so. I've used it since the clinic on other horses and found it to be a very effective technique.

Valentina_32926
Jan. 3, 2008, 11:50 AM
Use your left thigh to push the shoulder in. Also - be sure you have him straight on the left (outside) rein.

stolensilver
Jan. 3, 2008, 12:43 PM
Some other suggestions for addressing Frodo's shoulder popping out. (I've read page 1 and 3 so if any of this is repetition, sorry)

Firstly is it you? Often a rider is asymmetrical and sits with one seatbone more forward than the other. Since Frodo is popping his left shoulder (pops it out when you are on the right rein?) you could be sitting with your right seatbone relatively too far forwards. Try physically picking up your left seatbone and putting it down 1" closer to the front of the saddle. You'll probably feel strange and twisted. Hang on it there! Now ride a trot circle concentrating on not letting that seatbone slip back. Has it helped the shoulder popping? If it has you have your cure!

Another easy way to check if it is you or him is to put a good rider on him and see what they say. If he doesn't pop his shoulder with them then it's you. The cure is probably your seatbone, as above. To clarify in general to create a bend your inside seatbone should be more forwards than your outside seatbone. Not by a large amount but it is definitely there. Try riding a shoulder in to a shoulder out. You have to rearrange your seat don't you? This is because you are going from seat with positioning to the left to seat with positioning to the right. Positioning is just a posh word for slight bend. It is possible to have the seatbone too far forwards. This causes the horse to jack knife and pop a shoulder. Most people ride in position left (or right) all the time and do not swap between the two as they change the bend.

If the shoulder popping isn't you then you could try riding him absolutely straight with no bend at all. This is harder than it sounds. You have to concentrate on your outside aids. Imagine your outside arm and rein are a fence that he cannot break through. With a baby you'll probably have to push him round the circle with your outside leg if you are riding straight. That is OK as it will be reinforcing to him that you don't want him to break at the withers and push his shoulder out.

An exercise that might help is to ride a circle then leg yield IN on that circle when you are going the way that he pops his shoulder and leg yield OUT when you are on the other rein. In other words when his hollow side (the side where he finds bending easy and so finds overbending easy too) you leg yield him in so you are pushing him into his bend and making him straighten and step through with his inside hind. When his hollow side is to the outside he needs help to establish true bend so you leg yield him OUT on the circle. This helps him understand stepping under and across his body, helps the bend and establishes inside leg to outside rein aids. When he is good at this exercise you can pop in a suggestion of leg yield every time he pops his shoulder. So shoulder pops to outside, you put on outside leg and outside rein (make sure you keep his head pointing straight ahead though) and ask him to step into his bend. He has no option but to decrease the bend and the shoulder should unpop.

As you become more advanced and can do shoulder in, put shoulder out aids on whenever he feels as if he is going to pop that shoulder. As he regains his balance ride him straight. You'll probably find that you do not have to ride the bend in his hollow direction, you'll always have to think about riding him straight this way. The other way you will always have to concentrate on creating and maintaining the bend because that way is more hard for him.

Finally beware stiff and hollow sides changing over. As you work the stiff side it will improve and the previously hollow side becomes relatively stiffer. Always ride your horse and think about which side is which every time you get on. Having stiff and hollow sides changing with training is a good thing. It means your strengthening and suppling work is actually leading to improvements!

Bugs-n-Frodo
Jan. 3, 2008, 02:46 PM
Thank you.:)