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equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 03:23 PM
www.equusvilla.blogspot.com

One of my friends came to watch and photograph a lesson I took on a young horse. It was cold and very windy ...and the last 15 minutes of my lesson was a real show! ...and no - I did not come off of him!

Bayou Roux
Jan. 12, 2009, 03:55 PM
I'm glad you didn't come off.

Now I'd like to see the horse checked for pain-- teeth, ulcers, and most importantly, saddle fit. One-sided misbehavior is often a sign of pain.

Good luck with him; he looks quite handsome.

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 04:15 PM
I'm glad you didn't come off.

Now I'd like to see the horse checked for pain-- teeth, ulcers, and most importantly, saddle fit. One-sided misbehavior is often a sign of pain.

Good luck with him; he looks quite handsome.

Opps - you must have missed the post prior to the lesson photos. He has had his teeth floated, been completely vet checked, seen a EQ. chiropractor and massage therapst (just 1 week prior to this lesson) and he also has mulitiple pads beneath the saddle - recommended by the massage therapst. I really do appreciate the suggestions though :0)

Ibex
Jan. 12, 2009, 04:18 PM
Ohhhh.... my trainer has one like that. Nothing wrong with her, saddle was fine. She was just being a mare who didn't. want. to. do. it.

Then she reared, stayed up, and fell over to the side (no one got hurt thankfully), and seems to have scared herself into good behaviour. :eek:

SmartAlex
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:12 PM
Man, you ARE a glutton for punishment! :winkgrin: There is no WAY I'd come over here with those pics!!!

Although, there have been many times when I wished I have photographic evidence for my own satisfaction. Up until last year, Grey used to do a "Pegasus the flying horse" routine. These guys sure can get a LOT of air.

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:24 PM
Man, you ARE a glutton for punishment! :winkgrin: There is no WAY I'd come over here with those pics!!!

Although, there have been many times when I wished I have photographic evidence for my own satisfaction. Up until last year, Grey used to do a "Pegasus the flying horse" routine. These guys sure can get a LOT of air.

Snicker snicker...most horses have their moments!

Case in point..the lady who takes a lesson after me has the most laid back Quarter Horse ever. I mean everything is almost Slo-Mo! I looked at my teacher and said, "Do you ever think Dominus will be that calm?" She was laughing so hard I almost could not understand her when she pointed out a newer section of fencing. "See that?" she said..."That is where that mare took the bit, took off and crashed through the fence last year!" She then told me that bad behavior is NOT breed specific.

I am so thankful that this teacher does not believe that bad behavior means evil horse. I think a lot of good horses have just been given up on too easily. My geldings Mama answered a canter cue by leaping the rail and going into the stands, so he comes by it honestly! grin...

Laurierace
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:26 PM
I agree, no way I would post those pics for all to see. Looks like the poster child for the Darwin award to me.

Raquel
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:33 PM
Kudos for staying on a riding through it.:D

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:34 PM
Also - let me brag on what we have accomplished!!

1. He follows me right into the trailer without someone showing him a whip!
2. He stands quietly while I mount him from a mounting block, something he was freightened of when we started just 4 weeks ago.
3. He walks quietly on the lunge line when I ask him to and moves gently away (not jumping into a trot) if I flip the lunge whip at him.
4. He used to give me all kinds of grief at the trot, now he is working so much better in this gait and the photos you saw were the first time we started working at the canter...although professional trainers have already tought him the cues. I was not 'teaching' him this gait - he was just objecting to doing it on one lead.
5. This horse runs to me when I go to the gate and is well behaved in the cross ties.

tidy rabbit
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:39 PM
I don't know why you all say you wouldn't come over here with those pictures?

It looks like a cute horse acting badly with a novice-ish rider. If people give you crap for a naughty horse outside on a cold windy day then they're lame and shouldn't be listened to anyway and clearly they don't ride enough to know that sometimes horses are just nuts. Not because something is *wrong* with them, but simply because they're horses.

The pictures made me laugh. Your friend has a nice camera! Your horse is adorable, all fuzzy and naughty! :)

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:46 PM
I don't know why you all say you wouldn't come over here with those pictures?

It looks like a cute horse acting badly with a novice-ish rider. If people give you crap for a naughty horse outside on a cold windy day then they're lame and shouldn't be listened to anyway and clearly they don't ride enough to know that sometimes horses are just nuts. Not because something is *wrong* with them, but simply because they're horses.

The pictures made me laugh. Your friend has a nice camera! Your horse is adorable, all fuzzy and naughty! :)

Wow! Thanks. That made me smile!

mjrtango93
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:51 PM
Well lets see I have 2 guys right now, 1 has been just walking since August because he had a momentary lapse of judgement in turn out, so yeah pretty much everyday looks like that and I am just trying to walk him. The other guy is new, about 3 weeks or so, spent some time at the track but never raced and has been off for like 6 months with not much because of a series of abcess's. He decided the other day that he could indeed walk on his hind legs and decided to prove it to me. Then again on Saturday he was having a ball jumping so decided that bucking would be really fun to throw in while cantering between fences. Good thing I can sit a buck, but geez guys can't I just enjoy the ride from time to time :confused:

LexusBoBexus
Jan. 12, 2009, 05:52 PM
I don't know why you all say you wouldn't come over here with those pictures?

It looks like a cute horse acting badly with a novice-ish rider. If people give you crap for a naughty horse outside on a cold windy day then they're lame and shouldn't be listened to anyway and clearly they don't ride enough to know that sometimes horses are just nuts. Not because something is *wrong* with them, but simply because they're horses.

The pictures made me laugh. Your friend has a nice camera! Your horse is adorable, all fuzzy and naughty! :)

Agreed;)

EventFan
Jan. 12, 2009, 06:03 PM
Bravo for the show and for staying on! And WHY is it that people always assume that if a horse misbehaves he must have teeth/saddle/bit/back or some other issue. Sometimes they are just devils because they can be.

Is your boy still fairly young? It sounds as if you guys are making wonderful progress, and he is really cute! Stick with him, the naughty boy! :winkgrin:

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 06:08 PM
He is very young...legally only 4 ...in reality 3 1/2.

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
Here are some things my instructor told me.

1. "We have worked together for several years on several different horses and I know what you can handle."...(gave me confidence)

2. She said, "I could have easily let you off and I could have gotten on him until he behaved...but what would you have learned from that - and what would you have done if he started this when you were riding him at your farm without me there?"

3. "A lesson is a lesson. They are suppose to only be an hour long - but some horses demand a two hour lesson!"

I reallllllllly like my teacher! Thank you Kelli..

enjoytheride
Jan. 12, 2009, 06:23 PM
My mare didn't go to the right AT ALL. She'd tense up then bolt, run backwards, or spin. I think it was months before she'd canter to the right and that was "clear the ring" worthy. Good job sticking with him and great job for having a trainer there to help you out.

My suggestions are to get a little unorthodox with him. Do all your work to the left first and do it until he really relaxes. Then make itty bitty turns to the right at the trot while posting on the wrong diagonal. So go right for a stride, then left a bit, then right a bit, then left a bit. So you're sneaking him to the right. Eventually work on the bend to the right. At the canter try picking it up across the diagonal by cantering all the way across the ring, trotting for a stride or two, then getting into it again so you trick him into it.

Can you feel when he's going to rear and spin him around?

On a side note, you mentioned him not doing well in training. Have you thought about trying dressage with your saddlebred? There is a lot involved with relaxing, putting the head down, loosening the back, and he might find it more enjoyable.

This is a saddlebred gelding doing Grand Prix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xnBo8ybJpQ

equusvilla
Jan. 12, 2009, 06:43 PM
My mare didn't go to the right AT ALL. She'd tense up then bolt, run backwards, or spin. I think it was months before she'd canter to the right and that was "clear the ring" worthy. Good job sticking with him and great job for having a trainer there to help you out.

My suggestions are to get a little unorthodox with him. Do all your work to the left first and do it until he really relaxes. Then make itty bitty turns to the right at the trot while posting on the wrong diagonal. So go right for a stride, then left a bit, then right a bit, then left a bit. So you're sneaking him to the right. Eventually work on the bend to the right. At the canter try picking it up across the diagonal by cantering all the way across the ring, trotting for a stride or two, then getting into it again so you trick him into it.

Can you feel when he's going to rear and spin him around?

On a side note, you mentioned him not doing well in training. Have you thought about trying dressage with your saddlebred? There is a lot involved with relaxing, putting the head down, loosening the back, and he might find it more enjoyable.

This is a saddlebred gelding doing Grand Prix
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xnBo8ybJpQ

Awesome advise..and are you ready??... Kelli is a dressage teacher. One of the things that broke him out of being so afraid of trotting to the right was constant serpentines down the straight away. I think we are headed in the right direction.

Posting Trot
Jan. 12, 2009, 11:41 PM
The pictures are amazing. I was puzzled though about the horse's tail: is there something attached to it? I blew some of the pictures up and I couldn't figure out what was at the end of the tail.

I also wondered, and I don't mean this as a criticism at all, why you're wearing spurs?

sublimequine
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:55 AM
Haha, I've had a few of THOSE rides before. Go you for showing them to the world. :lol:

If you don't mind me asking, what kinda bit are you using? The reason I ask is I took a couple of Saddleseat lessons, and noticed that nearly every horse went in a COMPLETELY different bit! It was wild, seeing all the bridles on the wall with totally different setups. So now I'm kinda curious what other Saddleseat-ers use! :)

Ambrey
Jan. 13, 2009, 01:08 AM
Please don't take this wrong- you and your horse are very cute, but I just have an observation :)

He is very short backed and you are very long legged, and I have to wonder whether he's having balance issues. Have you considered using a dressage or AP saddle that would put you more forward on his back until he's fitter in that direction?

If his right rear leg is feeling weak I just wonder if it would help you to get up off of it until he's more comfortable and stronger on that side.

This isn't a horse-savvy idea, it's an engineers mind at work. Always looking to shift around the stress points ;) Glad you stayed on!

CA ASB
Jan. 13, 2009, 02:26 AM
I was puzzled though about the horse's tail: is there something attached to it? I blew some of the pictures up and I couldn't figure out what was at the end of the tail.



Tailbag.

kookicat
Jan. 13, 2009, 07:50 AM
He's cute. Well sat! :D

Can you tell me about the tack you're using? I'm an eventer, so I've never seen anything like it! :)

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:21 AM
The pictures are amazing. I was puzzled though about the horse's tail: is there something attached to it? I blew some of the pictures up and I couldn't figure out what was at the end of the tail.

I also wondered, and I don't mean this as a criticism at all, why you're wearing spurs?

His tail is braided and the braid is in a tube sock! His tail drags the ground and that is the best (and most economical) way to protect it.

I always wear nub spurs. He only knows they are there after he has bucked me. These still shots do not show the whole picture. This horse will go forward...and then his ears give away what he is thinking (evil thoughts - ha ha ) and he will try something. Many times I can stop it and sometimes I cannot....but each time he rears, he comes down, we do the one rein stop and then he goes forward again...and all is well until ?? If he bucks, he gets hit with the nub spurs. He stops - processes the thought and then he goes forward and all is well.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:33 AM
Haha, I've had a few of THOSE rides before. Go you for showing them to the world. :lol:

If you don't mind me asking, what kinda bit are you using? The reason I ask is I took a couple of Saddleseat lessons, and noticed that nearly every horse went in a COMPLETELY different bit! It was wild, seeing all the bridles on the wall with totally different setups. So now I'm kinda curious what other Saddleseat-ers use! :)

All he is wearing is a large slow twist snaffel. It is very smooth. He is very light in the mouth. I hate to see any horse in a severe bit and think it is cruel if an amatuer is using one.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:40 AM
Please don't take this wrong- you and your horse are very cute, but I just have an observation :)

He is very short backed and you are very long legged, and I have to wonder whether he's having balance issues. Have you considered using a dressage or AP saddle that would put you more forward on his back until he's fitter in that direction?

If his right rear leg is feeling weak I just wonder if it would help you to get up off of it until he's more comfortable and stronger on that side.

This isn't a horse-savvy idea, it's an engineers mind at work. Always looking to shift around the stress points ;) Glad you stayed on!

Thank you for the suggestion! Since I do not ride dressage though - I do not have a dressage type saddle. Most of his weekly work is not done in the saddle. It is done in long lines - lots of bending, flexing and working to the right. It is paying off. This horse was taken out of full time training before I wanted to take him out because of personal economics....but I know that I know that I know he is going to be great. No one can tell me differently. That is why I am doing everything I can for him, with what I have to work with.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:41 AM
Tailbag.

Tailbag for the seriouly $$ conscience.... (husband's Hanes sock!) - but hey - it is a name brand!

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:47 AM
He's cute. Well sat! :D

Can you tell me about the tack you're using? I'm an eventer, so I've never seen anything like it! :)

Thanks for asking! Cutback saddle - standard for any 'english' style saddleseat class or Park class for other breeds (Morgan or Arab). The bridle is a basic training bridle with lower rein going through the martingale which helps keep his nose from going up into the air. He is really light in the mouth though so if you see a photo where the reins look tight ....probably just me trying to hang on! Bit is a thick smooth single twist snaffle. In the show ring he will wear a Weymouth bridle - double bit ...a lot like what upper level dressage riders use.
Did that answer your question?

chai
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:53 AM
That's some great bronc riding. :-) He looks like a cute baby who got some wind under his tail on a chilly day and couldn't help himself. My only question is, do you lunge him with the line attached to his bit? I'm an old Pony Clubber and even though I see this now and then, I was taught that it is taking too much of a chance with a serious mouth injury if he should get away, pull too hard or get tangled in the line.
It will be fun to watch his progress, so I hope you will continue to post as he comes along. Good luck with him.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:54 AM
Let me stop and say Thank You!!!! I am so appreciative of your advice and questions. I have lurked on this sight for a long time ...and yeah - I did realize that my post may have attracted a troll or 2...but there are just so many more good experienced riders who are willing to share their experiences.

I know this horse is tough. He is a lot like his Mama was...but ahhh - what a show horse she still was at 20! I pray that he inherited that from her and if so - all this is worth it!! I had to take him out of professional training because of a family illness and an unsure economic situation over this next year. Obviously - I could not sell him in good conscience - unless it was to a professional and honestly I did not want to. Doesn't everyone dream of breeding their own winning show horse...me too!

Again - thank you from the bottom of my heart!

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:57 AM
That's some great bronc riding. :-) He looks like a cute baby who got some wind under his tail on a chilly day and couldn't help himself. My only question is, do you lunge him with the line attached to his bit? I'm an old Pony Clubber and even though I see this now and then, I was taught that it is taking too much of a chance with a serious mouth injury if he should get away, pull too hard or get tangled in the line.
It will be fun to watch his progress, so I hope you will continue to post as he comes along. Good luck with him.

I do lunge him inside of an arena with the lunge line connected to his bit. He is very responsive to it (even to the right - ha ha). He will work in small circles and as large as the line (and I) will permit. He is not responsive though when I have lunged him off of his halter - pulling so hard one time, my shoulder ached for days.

chestnutmarebeware
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:04 AM
What a cute stinker! I had a baby like that—good for you for sticking to your guns (and the saddle) with him.

I can't tell you how many times my butt hit the ground when Rosie would go up. (Note to self: keeping a baby's mane pulled short while she's in her rearing phase is not the best idea! You need something to grab.) Just keep reminding yourself, "He will outgrow this..." :)

S1969
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:08 AM
Thankfully I've never had a lesson quite like that! I'm not sure I would have stayed on!

I have to say I sort of agree with the person who made the short back comment; I think that the saddle you're riding in might make it look shorter. I have never tried to ride saddleseat but it looks really uncomfortable - as if you could slide off the back of the saddle. It also looks like it could make you unstable as well. E.g. in this picture:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrEuu5rFI/AAAAAAAAFW4/uCBk7A6H-Ks/s400/391.JPG

and this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWk0jUzWCZI/AAAAAAAAFXo/I6I2BBOG3Ow/s400/260.JPG

Someone else commented that saddleseat riders sit back farther to let their horses "come up" in front? I do wonder if maybe your horse is a bit uncomfortable with the weight distribution? Not that horses can't carry the load, per se, but it could contribute to the grouchies.

Good luck.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:19 AM
Thankfully I've never had a lesson quite like that! I'm not sure I would have stayed on!

I have to say I sort of agree with the person who made the short back comment; I think that the saddle you're riding in might make it look shorter. I have never tried to ride saddleseat but it looks really uncomfortable - as if you could slide off the back of the saddle. It also looks like it could make you unstable as well. E.g. in this picture:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrEuu5rFI/AAAAAAAAFW4/uCBk7A6H-Ks/s400/391.JPG

and this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWk0jUzWCZI/AAAAAAAAFXo/I6I2BBOG3Ow/s400/260.JPG

Someone else commented that saddleseat riders sit back farther to let their horses "come up" in front? I do wonder if maybe your horse is a bit uncomfortable with the weight distribution? Not that horses can't carry the load, per se, but it could contribute to the grouchies.

Good luck.

Nope - never slipped off of the back or even felt like I came close. If it was going to happen - I would image it would have during one of the 3 big action pictures I posted.

Ambrey
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:25 AM
I do lunge him inside of an arena with the lunge line connected to his bit. He is very responsive to it (even to the right - ha ha). He will work in small circles and as large as the line (and I) will permit. He is not responsive though when I have lunged him off of his halter - pulling so hard one time, my shoulder ached for days.

equusvilla, I think you'd find a lot of great information in dressage training books, since so much of it is about getting a horse physically fit, straight, and supple- even if he's a stinker, horses are usually stinkers about something that bothers them, not just random stuff ;)

Anyway, two ways to use the longe line so that it doesn't pull the bit through his mouth are put it through the inside snaffle rein, up around his poll, and clip to the outside snaffle rein.

But my dressage trainer also has me sometimes work him with the longe line going through the snaffle rein and clipping to the girth, to give him more flexion. More flexion/bend when you're longing before the ride would stretch/warm up that inside right hind a bit more.

EqTrainer
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:35 AM
I don't see a baby horse just acting silly at all here.

I see a baby horse who is in a bradoon snaffle w/a leverage device attached to it, with weight on his dropped back and he is pissed off about it. I would be, too. How is he supposed to go forward like that? He's just fighting it all.

If Kelli is a dressage instructor, perhaps she could teach you how to get him to stretch down and lift his back so he can carry your weight comfortably. Better yet, have her get on him and show you how to do it. Then both you and he will be able to do it. Be sure to get some pictures of that, that would be fun to see and it would help you a lot to see them.

Before you think I am just anti-ASB or anti-saddleseat - I'm not. Training principals are training principals. I have worked and boarded in barns who trained saddle seat horses and in the barns who were successful, the three year olds were not going around like this.

jmbnsyd
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:38 AM
Cute horse and bravo for staying on!! I know working with challenging horses is tough on the body and mind, but believe me it is so very rewarding when those type of horses come around!!!

Back in my horses naughtier days, he use to go up and refuse to go forward. What helped for me is after he went up, i kept asking him to go forward. I tried the bending to a stop, wait a minute, then go forward and while that allowed me to regroup, it was kinda giving him what he wanted...to stop. By continueing to ask him to go forward he learned that rearing didn't accomplish anything. Does that make sense?? Anyway, that seemed to help him.

Good luck!

kookicat
Jan. 13, 2009, 11:38 AM
Thanks for asking! Cutback saddle - standard for any 'english' style saddleseat class or Park class for other breeds (Morgan or Arab). The bridle is a basic training bridle with lower rein going through the martingale which helps keep his nose from going up into the air. He is really light in the mouth though so if you see a photo where the reins look tight ....probably just me trying to hang on! Bit is a thick smooth single twist snaffle. In the show ring he will wear a Weymouth bridle - double bit ...a lot like what upper level dressage riders use.
Did that answer your question?


Fantastic thanks. :) Can you tell me more about your martingale? It looks like the reins run through rings on the neckstrap. What effect does that have? :) (I can see that it might have a more direct action on the rein rather than the running martingale that I use) :)

CA ASB
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:02 PM
Rearing is usually a sign of "I don't wanna go forward." To me, you're rewarding him by stopping and letting him "process" after he rears. He needs to move out after a rear - even if it's a trot.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:02 PM
I don't see a baby horse just acting silly at all here.

I see a baby horse who is in a bradoon snaffle w/a leverage device attached to it, with weight on his dropped back and he is pissed off about it. I would be, too. How is he supposed to go forward like that? He's just fighting it all.

If Kelli is a dressage instructor, perhaps she could teach you how to get him to stretch down and lift his back so he can carry your weight comfortably. Better yet, have her get on him and show you how to do it. Then both you and he will be able to do it. Be sure to get some pictures of that, that would be fun to see and it would help you a lot to see them.

Before you think I am just anti-ASB or anti-saddleseat - I'm not. Training principals are training principals. I have worked and boarded in barns who trained saddle seat horses and in the barns who were successful, the three year olds were not going around like this.

Dropped back?? Are you assuming that my horse is low backed?

This was just my 4th lesson with Kelli. She is the one who discovered how rigid he is to the right and he is much more supple to it now than he was 4 lessons ago. This lesson was the first time I cantered him and he cantered perfectly (without any ear backing) to the left. In fact - during this lesson, trotting to the right was almost without incident. All but one of the 'bad' photos were taken when I was asking him to canter to the right.

I took some offense to someone talking critically about Kelli..."IF" Kelli is a dressage instructor..

This was a smattering of photos from a lesson and the photographer did not show up until I was almost done lunging. We had already done ground stretching exercises and the massage therapist showed me how to work his back muscles so he would stretch the center of his back as well.

This is a work in progress and I am doing all I can with the resources I have to work with. Please do not criticize someone you do not even know.

Posting Trot
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:05 PM
If you are lunging and long-lining a lot between rides, be careful, because what you are partly doing is making him super fit. A super fit horse bucks a lot harder than one that isn't quite so fit.

A couple of questions: does he act like this when you're long-lining him? If he doesn't that might suggest that there's something to the suggestions made by other posters that the weight distribution on his back may be setting him off.

Second, do you ever get on him and do nothing except walk around the ring? Maybe set up a little (on the ground) obstacle course or put some ground poles down for him to step over. These would keep his mind engaged, and he might (possibly) learn that he can be calm when he's being ridden. I'd suggest trying it anyway, perhaps instead of long-lining on a daily basis. Walk him for 20 minutes, tell him he's a good boy, and have that be it for the day. I understand that you're trying to teach him to go forward through all the gaits, but to me he looks like he's overfaced. (He's also being naughty, but the root of the naughtiness maybe his lack of really understanding what you want).

Third, what about turnout? How many hours is he outside just being a horse? Particularly for a young horse that's growing and whose balance may change from day to day, letting him be out to run and buck on his own can be very helpful.

Good luck.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:05 PM
Cute horse and bravo for staying on!! I know working with challenging horses is tough on the body and mind, but believe me it is so very rewarding when those type of horses come around!!!

Back in my horses naughtier days, he use to go up and refuse to go forward. What helped for me is after he went up, i kept asking him to go forward. I tried the bending to a stop, wait a minute, then go forward and while that allowed me to regroup, it was kinda giving him what he wanted...to stop. By continueing to ask him to go forward he learned that rearing didn't accomplish anything. Does that make sense?? Anyway, that seemed to help him.

Good luck!


Yes - yes - yes!!! This is what we are doing and it is working for Dominus! He has an "incident" - lets say I was not able to stop him before he rears....so he rears - comes down and I immediately do the one rein stop with him. The minute he gives - I reward and let go of the rein. Then his ears are up and forward we go again! I get a second to recoop as well ...but there is not enough time for him to think he has 'gotten away with something"

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:06 PM
equusvilla, I think you'd find a lot of great information in dressage training books, since so much of it is about getting a horse physically fit, straight, and supple- even if he's a stinker, horses are usually stinkers about something that bothers them, not just random stuff ;)

Anyway, two ways to use the longe line so that it doesn't pull the bit through his mouth are put it through the inside snaffle rein, up around his poll, and clip to the outside snaffle rein.

But my dressage trainer also has me sometimes work him with the longe line going through the snaffle rein and clipping to the girth, to give him more flexion. More flexion/bend when you're longing before the ride would stretch/warm up that inside right hind a bit more.

I copied this and am going to ask Kelli about it. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

Posting Trot
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:10 PM
I think we were posting at the same time (above), but I do think the horse is cute, and I respect you're trying to work with him and through his issues.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:17 PM
Fantastic thanks. :) Can you tell me more about your martingale? It looks like the reins run through rings on the neckstrap. What effect does that have? :) (I can see that it might have a more direct action on the rein rather than the running martingale that I use) :)

In a show, I am required to use a Weymouth bridle...probably one of the most complex bridles you can use. It consists of both a snaffle and a curb bit and 2 sets of reins. This is NOT something I want to use on him while "we are learning each other". Although he has worn one with a trainer before, my hands are not as steady as a professionals. The snaffle bit controls speed, direction and you can use it to raise his head. The curb bit asks for collection in the head. The bridle set up minics this with only 1 bit, keeping some pressure on the bottom so that he does not throw his nose into the air.....although with the amount of times Kelli told me to pick up my 'curb' rein, I don't think that there was much consistant pressure during this lesson!

Ambrey
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:24 PM
EV, I didn't take eqtrainer's post like that at ALL! What she meant (I think) was that Kelli, being a dressage trainer, should be helping you deal with the root cause rather than just the symptom (behavior difficulties). She was saying what I was trying to say in a blunter and more informed fashion ;)

Dropped back is what horses do when they are uncomfortable. To carry your weight, they need to use their back muscles to lift their backs and support you- in the photos, you can see that he's not doing that, he's trying to drop his back out from under you and avoid you. That's not an insult, it's a valuable observation :)

I make tons of valuable observations looking at my own photos that I can't make from the saddle. If I have a photo of my horse not going well I can always see 10 things I'm doing to cause it, so I've totally stopped thinking of my horses misbehaving without first thinking what I did to cause the behavior :) My trainer says "when your horse does the wrong thing, you're either causing it or allowing it." I find it's usually a combination of both (but more the first ;)).

eta: dressage uses the double bridle as well, but not until the horses are more solid in their training.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:33 PM
If you are lunging and long-lining a lot between rides, be careful, because what you are partly doing is making him super fit. A super fit horse bucks a lot harder than one that isn't quite so fit.

A couple of questions: does he act like this when you're long-lining him? If he doesn't that might suggest that there's something to the suggestions made by other posters that the weight distribution on his back may be setting him off.

Second, do you ever get on him and do nothing except walk around the ring? Maybe set up a little (on the ground) obstacle course or put some ground poles down for him to step over. These would keep his mind engaged, and he might (possibly) learn that he can be calm when he's being ridden. I'd suggest trying it anyway, perhaps instead of long-lining on a daily basis. Walk him for 20 minutes, tell him he's a good boy, and have that be it for the day. I understand that you're trying to teach him to go forward through all the gaits, but to me he looks like he's overfaced. (He's also being naughty, but the root of the naughtiness maybe his lack of really understanding what you want).

Third, what about turnout? How many hours is he outside just being a horse? Particularly for a young horse that's growing and whose balance may change from day to day, letting him be out to run and buck on his own can be very helpful.

Good luck.

Great questions!

He gets turned out every non-bad weather day - all day and down here in South Texas - that is most days!

In lines - sometimes he is perfectly mannered and sometimes NOT! He has laid his ears back at me and kicked in lines as well....

I do the 'little rides' at home. I won't lie. I am still intimidated by him and at home means that I am all by myself....no one to even dial 911 if needed...so we keep the KISS rule at home!

EqTrainer
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:48 PM
Dropped back?? Are you assuming that my horse is low backed?

This was just my 4th lesson with Kelli. She is the one who discovered how rigid he is to the right and he is much more supple to it now than he was 4 lessons ago. This lesson was the first time I cantered him and he cantered perfectly (without any ear backing) to the left. In fact - during this lesson, trotting to the right was almost without incident. All but one of the 'bad' photos were taken when I was asking him to canter to the right.

I took some offense to someone talking critically about Kelli..."IF" Kelli is a dressage instructor..

This was a smattering of photos from a lesson and the photographer did not show up until I was almost done lunging. We had already done ground stretching exercises and the massage therapist showed me how to work his back muscles so he would stretch the center of his back as well.

This is a work in progress and I am doing all I can with the resources I have to work with. Please do not criticize someone you do not even know.


You have totally misunderstood my post and are being defensive about what I said.

First, no, I don't think your horse is low backed. In your pictures, he is going around w/his back dropped down. To comfortably support your weight, he needs to lift his back UP. ALL of his evasions could be centered around this one very important thing.

Second, the "if" were your italics. I was simply stating that if you are working w/a dressage instructor, ask her to teach you how to do this. She will know how. I was not doubting anything you said about her at all, simply stating that this is something she should be able to help you with. Better yet, to see someone else do it. This is how we learn....

I am not criticising you. You posted pics on a public BB and asked has anyone ever had a lesson like this. To answer your question more directly, no. I have never had one and I have never taught one. I've been riding for over 35 years and teaching for over 15. If I got on a horse and his back was this dropped I would focus ONLY on getting his back up. I would not care about his head, his knee action, NOTHING but that. If I were teaching a lesson and someone's horse looked like this, I would focus ONLY on getting the horses back up and nothing else, no matter what they wanted to do instead. When I was learning how to ride, and I was on a horse in this posture, that is ALL my instructors would work on. No trot, no canter, no head set, no nothing but getting the back up and stretching. Because otherwise, you can expect the buck, the rear, the bolt, the gaping mouth, the twisting head, etc. etc. etc. It's pure biomechanics.

Lilykoi
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:55 PM
He's just figuring out his place in the herd. He hasn't found out you're Alpha yet. Don't worry, he will.
The fancy show hunter people in my barn wouldn't dream of riding outside on a cold windy day without cotton stuffed in their horse's ears and 1/2 cc in the vein.
Saddlebred people know, "no guts no glory"
Good job riding and staying on him. Remember, you are the alpha mare!!!:D

kookicat
Jan. 13, 2009, 12:58 PM
In a show, I am required to use a Weymouth bridle...probably one of the most complex bridles you can use. It consists of both a snaffle and a curb bit and 2 sets of reins. This is NOT something I want to use on him while "we are learning each other". Although he has worn one with a trainer before, my hands are not as steady as a professionals. The snaffle bit controls speed, direction and you can use it to raise his head. The curb bit asks for collection in the head. The bridle set up minics this with only 1 bit, keeping some pressure on the bottom so that he does not throw his nose into the air.....although with the amount of times Kelli told me to pick up my 'curb' rein, I don't think that there was much consistant pressure during this lesson!

Yep, I've used a double. :)

I was really curious about the martingale's action. I have a horse here who hates a standing martingale, barely tolarates a running. I'm always looking for new bits of kit to add to my tack box!

Kaeleer
Jan. 13, 2009, 01:05 PM
He's just figuring out his place in the herd. He hasn't found out you're Alpha yet. Don't worry, he will.
The fancy show hunter people in my barn wouldn't dream of riding outside on a cold windy day without cotton stuffed in their horse's ears and 1/2 cc in the vein.
Saddlebred people know, "no guts no glory"
Good job riding and staying on him. Remember, you are the alpha mare!!!:D

I BEG your pardon! Are you suggesting that a horse will play up simply because he doesn't know who is the boss?

I agree with Equine Trainer. If you put pictures up on a BB, don't be offended if you receive criticism. If you can't take it, take the pics down.

FWIW, I had a TB who was known, to most people who met him, as The High Lord of Hell. I was banned from lessons by three different instructors ("It's not you, Sweetheart, just come back when you've found a new horse"). He reared, he bucked and he napped.

What he did NOT do was hollow his back and pin his ears the way the horse in these pictures does.

I hope that your instructor is able to help you with this horse, and that you overcome these issues. I'm not entirely sure what the reason was behind your post - did you want us to congratulate you on sitting it out (because I'm quite happy to do that!), did you want us to comment on how pretty your horse is (some folks have done that), or did you want input as to how to prevent this from recurring (because, in all honesty, you've HAD that from Equine Trainer, and you've poo-poohed what she had to say).

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 01:19 PM
You have totally misunderstood my post and are being defensive about what I said.

First, no, I don't think your horse is low backed. In your pictures, he is going around w/his back dropped down. To comfortably support your weight, he needs to lift his back UP. ALL of his evasions could be centered around this one very important thing.

Second, the "if" were your italics. I was simply stating that if you are working w/a dressage instructor, ask her to teach you how to do this. She will know how. I was not doubting anything you said abou

t her at all, simply stating that this is something she should be able to help you with. Better yet, to see someone else do it. This is how we learn....

I am not criticising you. You posted pics on a public BB and asked has anyone ever had a lesson like this. To answer your question more directly, no. I have never had one and I have never taught one. I've been riding for over 35 years and teaching for over 15. If I got on a horse and his back was this dropped I would focus ONLY on getting his back up. I would not care about his head, his knee action, NOTHING but that. If I were teaching a lesson and someone's horse looked like this, I would focus ONLY on getting the horses back up and nothing else, no matter what they wanted to do instead. When I was learning how to ride, and I was on a horse in this posture, that is ALL my instructors would work on. No trot, no canter, no head set, no nothing but getting the back up and stretching. Because otherwise, you can expect the buck, the rear, the bolt, the gaping mouth, the twisting head, etc. etc. etc. It's pure biomechanics.

Thank you. I have never heard the term 'Dropped back' unless it was used in the sense of describing Lordosis. I may have that spelled incorrectly.

grayarabpony
Jan. 13, 2009, 01:21 PM
You did a good job sitting the horse, but that horse is not being playful -- he's pissed off and trying to tell you in no uncertain terms that something is wrong. He is uncomfortable.

You're sitting on his loins -- way too far back. His neck looked cranked in and way too far back. He's as hollow as he can get and can't get any more hollow. Lose the gagdetery in front, get a different saddle, and see how he does.

SmartAlex
Jan. 13, 2009, 02:02 PM
Wow, this is going rather well. Julie, you're getting even better suggestions than what I had to offer.

As for kookicat who asked about the martingale. Almost all Saddleseat people run a strap over the neck from ring to ring. It is for safety and convenience and keeps us from having to put those blocker thingys on our reins. We usually adjust the martingale quite long, and without the strap it would be up by the bit every chance it got.

For anyone who needs to longe in a bridle prior to stepping aboard, I have a great "longing caveson" I got from Schneiders. Its just a regular work caveson with a drawtite strap, and rings on each side to snap a longe to it. It's my standard work equipment and I loff it.

goeslikestink
Jan. 13, 2009, 02:22 PM
a professional dressage trainer or anyone that qualified to va expreince with young horses regardless of breed type
wouldnt have the rope as its only a rope and not a lunge line whatever on the same side your lunging from
2nd they wouldnt have his head in the birdle set up you have

your very handset and supporting your weight through the bridle which agian is very unfair on a baby horse that knows nothing
look here at my helpful links page and pay perticular attention to the 1st 3 links and then the lunging ones at the bottom but make sure you read it all
as some of it is written by proffessional or qualifed trianers

and if you question my self theres no way on earth i wouldnt do what you and your trianer are doing with such a young horse

also his legs are tied together
and i have been breaking and schooling or re training and re habbing horses for over 35yrs
and i agrre with eq and kaleer as to thier opnions

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=178116

the horse is tied down and not something i would agree with in any triaining method
hes a baby but i wouldnt do it on any horse anyways its barbaric and thats my honest opnion which i am entitiled to

katarine
Jan. 13, 2009, 02:51 PM
ehh, kudos for posting and facing the throngs of spectators with good will, so far at least. I've had lessons like that, and learned better lessons, for having had them. Here's somethings to consider, ok?

If, for argument's sake, he comes by this tension and overwrought behavior naturally (meaning the comments about his dam side) then I am going to venture out there and ask why, when you see 'pissiness' coming on, you don't avert his attention to another line of work...maybe spiraling down to a small, steady circle at a trot, stay there, ask him to soften and listen and get right in his mind, then spiral back out. I put pissiness in quotes as I think he may be losing his balance, his confidence, something, and that's tweaking his feelers some and blossoming as a rear or buck or both. Just a thought. I appreciate that he's been seen by the chiro/masseuse/etc...but - I don't think most horses fight to fight. some do, maybe 1 in a 100. Esp youngsters, they are going to try various things but they are also the most honest of all horses, the babies. Flaws in our approach are shown to us in glowing letters if we'll see them.

Also, if you are tense and waiting for the blow up, your butt is hitting that saddle hard every stride and he doesn't appreciate it one bit. That doesn't mean there's any residual damage for the therapists to see...but he doesn't appreciate that hard sensation in the moment, and he's letting you know. It's like rubs vs pats. I don't pat horses, boy I try not to. Rub them, rub that neck and shoulder as a reward, some horses will absolutely lose it if patted. They are too sensitive to like patting.

Just my 2 cents from the peanut gallery. Slow down, way down. No cantering until he's happy and ok with trotting, and you are more confident and centered and soft on his back. You are getting ahead of him in his confidence and he is telling you, slow down.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 03:10 PM
ehh, kudos for posting and facing the throngs of spectators with good will, so far at least. I've had lessons like that, and learned better lessons, for having had them. Here's somethings to consider, ok?

If, for argument's sake, he comes by this tension and overwrought behavior naturally (meaning the comments about his dam side) then I am going to venture out there and ask why, when you see 'pissiness' coming on, you don't avert his attention to another line of work...maybe spiraling down to a small, steady circle at a trot, stay there, ask him to soften and listen and get right in his mind, then spiral back out. I put pissiness in quotes as I think he may be losing his balance, his confidence, something, and that's tweaking his feelers some and blossoming as a rear or buck or both. Just a thought. I appreciate that he's been seen by the chiro/masseuse/etc...but - I don't think most horses fight to fight. some do, maybe 1 in a 100. Esp youngsters, they are going to try various things but they are also the most honest of all horses, the babies. Flaws in our approach are shown to us in glowing letters if we'll see them.

Also, if you are tense and waiting for the blow up, your butt is hitting that saddle hard every stride and he doesn't appreciate it one bit. That doesn't mean there's any residual damage for the therapists to see...but he doesn't appreciate that hard sensation in the moment, and he's letting you know. It's like rubs vs pats. I don't pat horses, boy I try not to. Rub them, rub that neck and shoulder as a reward, some horses will absolutely lose it if patted. They are too sensitive to like patting.

Just my 2 cents from the peanut gallery. Slow down, way down. No cantering until he's happy and ok with trotting, and you are more confident and centered and soft on his back. You are getting ahead of him in his confidence and he is telling you, slow down.

Thanks! I wish I was the perfect rider...sadly I am not and there were several times incidents could have been averted if I was a better rider. Do I tense up? - You-betch-a...and I try so hard not to..and I will continue to try harder! He is young..4 legally, 3 1/2 realistically. The reason we progressed to the canter with this lesson is that we only had 1 small incident at the trot and remember - the left canter was as soft as I could have asked for. 2 weeks prior he was acting up at the trot.

EventFan
Jan. 13, 2009, 03:45 PM
I have to say that you are very graciously accepting the comments on here. For the poster who wanted to know what you expected by posting those pictures, I think it's quite obvious. You wanted to know if you were the only one working out the kinks on a new horse and not a perfect rider. My response is that you aren't the only one. Anyone who has taken lessons has had a bad day, or a bad moment, or a bad year.

I also think some of the comments come from peeps who are not familiar with the SS style of riding and tack.

To the OP: I'd love to see updates and how your youngster is doing, and how you are doing as you work hard to improve your skills too.

CanterQueen
Jan. 13, 2009, 03:56 PM
Also - let me brag on what we have accomplished!!

1. He follows me right into the trailer without someone showing him a whip!
2. He stands quietly while I mount him from a mounting block, something he was freightened of when we started just 4 weeks ago.
3. He walks quietly on the lunge line when I ask him to and moves gently away (not jumping into a trot) if I flip the lunge whip at him.
4. He used to give me all kinds of grief at the trot, now he is working so much better in this gait and the photos you saw were the first time we started working at the canter...although professional trainers have already tought him the cues. I was not 'teaching' him this gait - he was just objecting to doing it on one lead.
5. This horse runs to me when I go to the gate and is well behaved in the cross ties.

I think you forgot number 6:
He hasn't killed me yet. YET. ;)

3horsemom
Jan. 13, 2009, 04:20 PM
I think you forgot number 6:
He hasn't killed me yet. YET. ;)

:lol:

BEARCAT
Jan. 13, 2009, 04:31 PM
Maybe it's just me, but that horse looks pretty miserable to me.
It appears that the basics have been skipped and he is being rushed into a frame he is not ready for, and is trying to tell the world about it! ... but most will see it as "misbehaving."

He is not happy at the trot, and naturally even unhappier at the canter. Something is amiss here.


That's what I get from the photos anyways...

katarine
Jan. 13, 2009, 04:35 PM
EV what does he do to the right on the longe line? Does he canter well on that side? Or act a fool there, too?

Do you do any carrot stretches pre and post ride to help him loosen up? Google that term if you're not, stretching him may help him loosen and soften

I guess I don't care if he's 4 or 40. He's unhappy, and if his way of managing unhappiness now is amateur bucks and rearing, what's he going to do when he's solid, fit, strong, and mad? I agree with the other responses about the rearing and how you're managing it..using a one rein stop (ORS) is relatively harmless, but useless for it, too. It won't help. I don't care that he walks off ears up. He's still rearing, right? So it ain't working. Look, I understand that Saddlebreds are bottomless wells of juice...but rearing is best dealt with, with forward motion...getting mad and holding him in a ORS position until he gives his face, doesn't cure the rearing. Averting the rear by goose goose goose forward, slack reins go anywhere forward NOW then immediately be ready to soften, rebalance, ease off the gas pedal and go on like nothing happened. Lose the spurs, you don't need them!

Look, I have a very funny youngster at my place whose ability to buck puts yours to shame. It's a long way from my house to my arena and you can hear this one's teeth snappin' and him squalling and bellowing from the front porch. Scary good bucker. It's his go-to when he's worried, the fuse that leads from thinking he's worried to fully worried is about this long <>. Yeah, it's short. I'm having to think outside the box with him and really be alert, ready, but soft, too- ready to help. Building his confidence, doing 8 million ground work things to build up his confidence but at the same time, not taking any BS off him, either. I'm not scared of him, but I'm respectful and being careful and thorough and thoughtful. For you, I think you are going at your colt with emotions like desperation and fear. This must work. This lesson we must progress. This is it for this horse. Just looking at your blog, I see a lot on this colt's shoulders. Ease up, you can relax. He doesn't have to be a show horse This Year. He needs first to be ok, and for that, you have to be ok, first.

equusvilla
Jan. 13, 2009, 04:54 PM
Catch up with guys tomorrow. I have to leave the computer to see about my dog..

Thank you again for taking the time to help me learn so much..

S1969
Jan. 13, 2009, 05:06 PM
Nope - never slipped off of the back or even felt like I came close. If it was going to happen - I would image it would have during one of the 3 big action pictures I posted.

Well, just because you haven't *actually* falllen out the back of your saddle doesn't mean a whole lot. I guess my point was that you appear waaay far back in your saddle which is waaay far back on his back; your weight is over his loins in a couple of pictures, and you're balancing against his mouth. Not being an expert in saddleseat tack, maybe you're supposed to sit like this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrFPqEUWI/AAAAAAAAFXA/2CwPEhWP7Q8/s400/389.JPG

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrEuu5rFI/AAAAAAAAFW4/uCBk7A6H-Ks/s400/391.JPG

I totally disagree with the person who suggested this is a "place in the herd" issue. Making a horse miserable is not a requirement in training.

Again, maybe this is proper saddleseat equitation, I don't know. What these two pictures look like to me is a miserable horse ridden by someone way off balance and hanging on the reins in a leverage bit.

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2009, 05:58 PM
I think she looks fine for saddleseat, saddleseat riders are always much further back because the theory is that it frees up the front end where all the action is. Maybe take a look at some other people riding saddleseat before you comment on a different discipline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yRE3fFv0Ak&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfaPnFU1vHE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ku_NAMjHFg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26fkrEPwKk&feature=related
I think some of you guys are being nasty cows, obviously she isn't happy with the way he's acting, obviously she has a trainer, and obviously she has checked out all the physical aspects. Is she the best rider for a hot reactive horse like this? Probably not. Would someone else want this horse? Probably not. Is she working on the problems with lessons and is she aware of her limitations in training? Yes she is. Do I think he'd enjoy some long and low work? Yes I do. Do I find the world of saddleseat a little freaky? Yep!

How about some of you post pictures of your horse being an ass and see how well it goes for you.

To answer the question about the martingale. It's an arabian or saddleseat martingale. It is adjusted shorter so that it can be used as leverage with the bit and set the head UP. The belief is the extra strap is for safety, personally I find that it restricts the use of the reins steering wise which is why you always use a second set of reins with it.

Here is a 10 ring one with different adjustments, and a one ring one.
http://www.sstack.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=546&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=67&iSubCat=85&iProductID=546

http://www.sstack.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=573&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=67&iSubCat=85&iProductID=573

grayarabpony
Jan. 13, 2009, 06:06 PM
I think some of you guys are being nasty cows, obviously she isn't happy with the way he's acting, obviously she has a trainer, and obviously she has checked out all the physical aspects. Is she the best rider for a hot reactive horse like this? Probably not. Would someone else want this horse? Probably not. Is she working on the problems with lessons and is she aware of her limitations in training? Yes she is. Do I think he'd enjoy some long and low work? Yes I do.




Perhaps you think that I am one of the "nasty cows" -- not that it matters. I posted because I am actually trying to help the OP. Sorry, but sometimes vets and saddle fitters don't catch everything. Ask me how I know. I think that horse is hurting somewhere. Sure saddleseat riders do sit on the horse's loin, but it's not something you want to do unless you want the horse to be inverted.

PS I've watched Saddlebreds go round and round at the State Fair until I couldn't take it anymore. Saddleseat is just not something that I have any respect for.

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2009, 06:23 PM
It's not being helpful if you tell someone who is riding saddleseat to stop riding saddleseat. It is being helpful if you work within the sport of her choice to make her horse happier and her a better rider.

I don't care for it either, but it's an entirely different riding style that many people on this BB don't know anything about so they are comparing and judging it based on what they know about their riding style.

shawneeAcres
Jan. 13, 2009, 06:32 PM
I do not ride saddleseat BUT I ahve been around a lot of people that do, and they LOVE their horses. Their ways of riding and training are quite different from hutners, dressage riders and western people. And each of THESE disciplines is different from the others. It is hard for anyone here to equate to that "world" of riding! It is possible the horse has a physical reason to be acting up so badly BUT it is equally possible it was the day, his nature etc. We have a lovely Dutch WB mare at our farm but she has some moments and they don't stem from training problems, physical problems etc. We work thru them and emerge with a better, more willing horse and I think this rider too needs to do that. I admire her for her ability to stick with this horse thru some pretty wild antics, and I admire her for trying to listen to the other, not so tactful people on this board who really do not know anything about the saddleseat world. Would I train a horse in this way, "frame" or whatever you want to call it, well no because that is not what my horses are expected to go like. But I think some restraint might be used if you do not udnerstand her style of riding. In the saddleseat world this is what is expected of the horses, and the amateurs and junior riders that I have known that ride saddleseat care immensly for their horses well being. Of course, jsut as in ANY riding style/discipline therir are professionals that do not, but please dont equate this girl with them!

TB or not TB?
Jan. 13, 2009, 06:46 PM
Awwh I think some of you guys are being a little mean. I can't imagine that if someone with a western saddle posted, you'd be criticizing how much of the horse's back it sits on. :p Saddle seat is just a totally different discipline. Some of that fire-breathing-dragon look that you guys are picking on is encouraged and expected, and often desired.

For the OP, I think your young horse is green enough still that he takes offense to any aid that is not perfect (and you know, no one is ever perfect!). He looks to need a very, very quiet and tactful ride, but at the same time his antics seem to be encouraging you to more drastic measures in turn - like you're feeding off each other. I don't mean that as a personal insult, because lord knows everyone has been there at some point!! :lol:

It sounds like your trainer is really on the right track. Is there another horse you can sit on now and then to boost your confidence? When riding an explosive greenie, it's easy to let your position decline in favor of expedience. If you work on quieting yourself in a non-threatening situation, it will pay off in spades with this guy. He seems like the type who will overreact to every little thing. Part of the challenge will be finding the fine line of insisting he obey without antagonizing him into fireworks. Hmm that reminds me of a lot of TBs I know. ;)

S1969
Jan. 13, 2009, 06:49 PM
[QUOTE=enjoytheride;3802008]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26fkrEPwKk&feature=related
[QUOTE]

OK, now THAT is freaky. What the heck is that trainer throwing in the air? That dog in the arena is freaky, too.

[QUOTE=enjoytheride;3802008]
I think some of you guys are being nasty cows, obviously she isn't happy with the way he's acting, obviously she has a trainer, and obviously she has checked out all the physical aspects. [QUOTE]

Maybe I'm being a nasty cow. I didn't think so, but maybe it's being interpreted that way. I didn't get the impression that she was actually unhappy with the way he is acting. I'm not sure what the OP is looking for in terms of advice....how to keep him from rearing, I guess, but I think the obvious answer is to figure out why he's so miserable...

I guess the saddleseat thing is my error....I guess it's supposed to look something like that. :confused: Weird, but whatever. Nevertheless, the horse is 3, almost 4, and doesn't appear all that happy about his job. Perhaps he's just not ready?

goeslikestink
Jan. 13, 2009, 07:00 PM
[QUOTE=katarine;3801781]EV what does he do to the right on the longe line? Does he canter well on that side? Or act a fool there, too?



I guess I don't care if he's 4 or 40. He's unhappy, and if his way of managing unhappiness now is amateur bucks and rearing, what's he going to do when he's solid, fit, strong, and mad? I agree with the other responses about the rearing and how you're managing it..using a one rein stop (ORS) is relatively harmless, but useless for it, too. It won't help. I don't care that he walks off ears up. He's still rearing, right? So it ain't working. Look, I understand that Saddlebreds are bottomless wells of juice...but rearing is best dealt with, with forward motion...getting mad and holding him in a ORS position until he gives his face, doesn't cure the rearing. Averting the rear by goose goose goose forward, slack reins go anywhere forward NOW then immediately be ready to soften, rebalance, ease off the gas pedal and go on like nothing happened. Lose the spurs, you don't need them!

i go along with that, kat didnt notice the spurs boy op
no wonder hes fighting you, your not listening or giving to the horse

good or bad what ever you teach a horse he will remember it fr the rest of his life i see a young horse that knows nothing being treated without respect for him
be kind rather than rough, ask politely and he will obey you

Come Shine
Jan. 13, 2009, 07:44 PM
I think she looks fine for saddleseat, ...

How about some of you post pictures of your horse being an ass and see how well it goes for you.

I guess this is where I am confused. I initially thought it was a post about what an awful lesson it was. However, when people posted some constructive thoughts, then it became this is 'normal' because this is how it is in SS? Huh?

All I can say is that the horse sure looks like one unhappy camper - whatever discipline you pick. :(

grayarabpony
Jan. 13, 2009, 07:56 PM
Awwh I think some of you guys are being a little mean. I can't imagine that if someone with a western saddle posted, you'd be criticizing how much of the horse's back it sits on. :p

Well, I wouldn't be one of those people. Western riders don't sit on the horse's loins, and Western saddles spread the pressure better than English saddles.

Now what I'd really like to know the answer to is why I bother to post most of the time. ha

grayarabpony
Jan. 13, 2009, 08:03 PM
It's not being helpful if you tell someone who is riding saddleseat to stop riding saddleseat. It is being helpful if you work within the sport of her choice to make her horse happier and her a better rider.



Oh, how stupid. I am trying to help her, which thanks to nasty cows like yourself I won't bother to do anymore. Good going.

EqTrainer
Jan. 13, 2009, 08:03 PM
The saddle is irrelevant to me.. no matter what tack he was in, if he looked like he does now, I would have the same thing to say.

For anyone who has any doubts as to how uncomfortable that posture is, get down on your hands and knees and do "cat/cow" (invert your back, lift your back). Now put a child on your back and do it. See which posture is easier to carry the child in.

You may want to make that chiropractic appt. before you do this ;)

CA ASB
Jan. 13, 2009, 08:11 PM
Okay, I ride saddle seat (two words, folks, just like hunt seat, stock seat and balanced seat). I also ride Western and side saddle.

I have a hunch that because there are no rolls to hold her in place that in some of the photos, his acting up threw her into a further back position than you'd like to be in if you were riding saddle seat. She looks (sorry Julie) as if she's riding defensively. Feet ARE too far out in front of her for good saddle seat positioning, but I'm going to remind some of you that a cutback saddle is about the closest thing you can come to bareback (other than a racing saddle) on a horse with leather on its back. I don't think I've seen anybody in any discipline riding perfect equitation during a rear or a buck - so that sure as heck isn't saddle seat specific.

That said, just like the other disciplines, we want a horse that is going forward. If he's letting out some yee-haw bucks here and there, that's being a youngster. If he is seriously engaging like this on a regular basis, then there's a problem, and, as I said before, I don't think the one rein stop is going to help. Contrary to what many of you are expressing, saddle seat is not supposed to be a discipline where the horses are forced into a frame. It may not be your cup of tea, but it's as difficult as heck to ride correctly.

Also, contrary to many statements here, you aren't riding on the loins, but rather where the CG should be on the horse. I have put Western saddles on, cutbacks, dressage and sidesaddles on my horses and with the exception of one seat, all of them ended with you sitting in just about the same place on the horse's back. The one that puts you back the furthest? A sidesaddle.

The biggest difference is in where you sit on a cutback. You sit "on your pockets." This is going to make it look to many as if you are sitting further back when in reality, you are sitting on the BACK side of your bum rather than over your pelvis. In proper saddle seat eq, you should still have your heel, hip and shoulder in alignment (does that sound familiar?).

My vote is that this horse is not happy, for whatever reason and it doesn't matter what seat she's sitting right now. Back to the basics is needed.

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2009, 08:44 PM
I don't have a problem with constructive posts, but some people are going past being constructive and trying to compare saddleseat to their discipline. Other people are saying they hate saddleseat and suggesting that the rider change saddles, bridles, and riding styles. This isn't being helpful.

Yes, this horse is being an ass no matter what tack he has on. No that is not good for saddleseat! I'm not defending the horse's behavior, just saying bashing a discipline you don't understand and don't like isn't being helpful. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the way he is being ridden.

Saddlebreds are usually very "forward" horses and are pretty obedient about being stuffed forward past anything scary, this guy obviously has some issues he needs to work through.

To the OP, have you had a trainer up on him? Someone with a more secure seat and quieter hands might help to program that forward button in him while you might benefit from some confidence lessons on a nice school horse.

For the person asking about the "powder" Saddlebreds are supposed to look like firebreathing monsters when showing and tossing powder at him, cracking a whip, or yelling is supposed to increase the "brilliance" of the horse. He is expected to go forward past the powder or noise and look nice and snorty in his expression and snap his legs up with extra animation.

Foxtrot's
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
Agreed. As usual, on this board, some posters cannot resist the urge to be snarky.
Not necessary, and not asked for. The OP was very gracious about accepting genuine advice.

I scrolled down the blog and love her place, especially the home/barn. I even have the sitting fox in hunt attire!

SmartAlex
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:16 PM
It's not being helpful if you tell someone who is riding saddleseat to stop riding saddleseat. It is being helpful if you work within the sport of her choice to make her horse happier and her a better rider.

I don't care for it either, but it's an entirely different riding style that many people on this BB don't know anything about so they are comparing and judging it based on what they know about their riding style.

Hats off to you!

Angela Freda
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:16 PM
It's not being helpful if you tell someone who is riding saddleseat to stop riding saddleseat. It is being helpful if you work within the sport of her choice to make her horse happier and her a better rider.
It's not helpful to the horse to not recognize that the box you wish to shove him into [ in this case saddleseat] at the moment is perhaps making him unhappy, uncomfortable, or both either.

I guess I do not get how it's sooo important to get a good saddle fit in almost any discipline, but when people mention that the rider in this case [for whatever reason] appears to be sitting with her weight very far back and the horse is unhappy [whether related or not] suddenly saddle fit [or appropriateness for the horse at his age or fitness level] is no longer a possible cause. Because it's saddleseat? Whaaaaa...?

If I showed pictures of me riding out of balance on my horse in either my Dressage or Jumping saddle and reported my horse acted like an arse, routinely in one direction only undersaddle, I would not be shocked and would see the logic to have people suggest that the saddle may not be appropriate for me, him, or us or any/all of those at the present time.

Try the horse in different saddles that change where your center of gravity rests, and then give it a few rides to sink in that you are not waaaaay back there to see if it helps. If it does not help, try a different saddle.
Or keep doing what you're doing.
*shrug*

Tiffani B
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:26 PM
OK, now THAT is freaky. What the heck is that trainer throwing in the air? That dog in the arena is freaky, too.

I guess the saddleseat thing is my error....I guess it's supposed to look something like that. :confused: Weird, but whatever. Nevertheless, the horse is 3, almost 4, and doesn't appear all that happy about his job. Perhaps he's just not ready?

The trainer is poofing baby powder. It serves two purposes - gives the horse a challenge to overcome (trotting in circles can get boring) and it helps desensitize the horse. I for one love this sort of bomb proofing, which is a common practice for Saddle Seat riding, especially since six of my shows each summer involve an outdoor show ring with a food stand and grill right next to it - can you say gads of smoke wafting across your path as you come into the ring? :eek:

As for her position, no, it is not correct, not by a long shot (sorry Jules!!! I'm certainly one to talk LOL). She IS sitting too far back, and her legs are shot out in front of her, and she is balancing on his mouth... all of which are not helping. Unfortunately it's very easy to do when you have a horse who's throwing you off balance, or if you are riding defensively. The ideal position is more like this:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/liA_g-Osujq0cd0-y1bybw?feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eOhcJP7IsN4AmA4A988VoA?feat=directlink

Heels in line with hip in line with shoulder. Straight line from snaffle bit to wrist to elbow. Soft gentle wrists and hands. Well balanced rider and horse. Rider seated to match the horses' center of gravity. The saddle clears the horses' shoulder, which on a well conformed Saddlebred, will be VERY laid back with a prominent wither, requiring the saddle and rider to be set back a few inches further than where a Dressage saddle/rider would sit. The horses' backs are strong and level - not dropped, but also not rounded per Dressage. We do not strive for "rounded" using your definition - but we DEFINITELY do not want DROPPED!

Jules - your horse looks unhappy. I know you said he's been thoroughly vetted, but I would get a vet out there to watch you ride him. A lot of horses won't display any soreness or pain issues unless they are REALLY hurting, and having a vet palpate him or watch him on a lunge line may not be enough for him to react.

I would suspect he has some kind of lower back or rear leg issues. Stifle and pelvis/sacrum come immediately to mind. I would definitely do some work on strengthening his back - you can find lots of posts to that effect here on COTH as well as a few posts on trot. I'd do a lot of walking and trotting in large circles, serpentines and eventually spirals, as well as hillwork and cavaletti. Backing is also a great hind end/back workout.

I'd also use a Cashel pad under the saddle. Not sure what you're using, but a Cashel can make a big difference in absorbing any big jolts you might make when landing a buck.

I'd stop cantering him, period, until you can get him going forward happily at the walk and trot in both directions consistently.

Also, JMHO here, but the martingale looks too short. A short martingale can cause a horse to fight it in the opposite direction - up. I'd lengthen it and work on teaching him to flex and give to the straight rein so you don't need the curb. That will come in most handy when it's time to show.

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:32 PM
She definetly isn't riding in the correct position, and I imagine a lot of this has to do with her being a novice and him not behaving. I would continue to suggest some lessons on a schoolmaster type horse and putting him back in some training after vetting him again.

Tiffani B
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:35 PM
It's not helpful to the horse to not recognize that the box you wish to shove him into [ in this case saddleseat] at the moment is perhaps making him unhappy, uncomfortable, or both either.

I guess I do not get how it's sooo important to get a good saddle fit in almost any discipline, but when people mention that the rider in this case [for whatever reason] appears to be sitting with her weight very far back and the horse is unhappy [whether related or not] suddenly saddle fit [or appropriateness for the horse at his age or fitness level] is no longer a possible cause. Because it's saddleseat? Whaaaaa...?

If I showed pictures of me riding out of balance on my horse in either my Dressage or Jumping saddle and reported my horse acted like an arse, routinely in one direction only undersaddle, I would not be shocked and would see the logic to have people suggest that the saddle may not be appropriate for me, him, or us or any/all of those at the present time.

Try the horse in different saddles that change where your center of gravity rests, and then give it a few rides to sink in that you are not waaaaay back there to see if it helps. If it does not help, try a different saddle.
Or keep doing what you're doing.
*shrug*

Perhaps the suggestions of "try a different saddle" are being interpreted as "try a different seat" instead of "try a different saddleseat saddle?"

Just a thought, for those who are reacting to the suggestions of trying a different saddle.

I've ridden in about two dozen different Saddle Seat saddles over the years, and they ALL feel different. Some sit you forward on your pelvis. Some shoot your legs out in front of you. Some are rock hard and flat as a piece of plywood. Some have such a high cantle and pommel you wonder where you're supposed to fit...

So Julie - maybe if you can borrow someone elses' Saddle Seat saddle and give it a try, it might help you feel more secure. I know when I switched from my Norman to my Shively, it made a WORLD of difference in my seat and balance and security - and confidence!

TheOrangeOne
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:38 PM
I'm going to ask a stupid question, but this is what I, personally would do: Can you take the rigging off and just let him go lower without the headset and focus on going right at all, then right with the headset? Sometimes the hot ones need things to be broken down into pieces, if you ask them two new things at once they go ballistic. It might not work, I know nothing about saddleseat, but I think it might give both of you just one thing to focus on and then once his muscles are built up, you can ask him to go back into your frame of choice. I have a 10 year old made show hunter and some days I have to just put him on a loose rein and focus on him keeping all 4 feet on the ground, and then ask later for more engagement:
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c348/gracetw22/heyyy.jpg
He has a pretty killer buck too. :winkgrin:

enjoytheride
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:38 PM
I read the "try a different saddle" as "try a different riding style" as well. I don't know enough about saddleseat to tell if that one fits her, but I have seen saddleseats with a deeper seat and people schooling in dressage saddles. I admire the saddleseat riders for those flat saddles and long stirrups because I value having my jumping saddle with the short stirrups and blocks for when my horse is misbehaving.

Ambrey
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:40 PM
Perhaps the suggestions of "try a different saddle" are being interpreted as "try a different seat" instead of "try a different saddleseat saddle?"

I suggested she try a different saddle until he gets stronger, one that made it a bit easier for her to stay closer to his center of gravity. Certainly didn't mean to imply that she should give up saddleseat ;)

There have been some comments that I think are lacking in understanding of the discipline. And there have been some that are snarky and rude. And there have been some that are informative and helpful. I think the OP is capable of figuring out which are which and sorting out the information given ;)

Tiffani B
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:48 PM
A better video of good Saddle Seat...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6xea0fBfSk

Angela Freda
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:54 PM
Perhaps the suggestions of "try a different saddle" are being interpreted as "try a different seat" instead of "try a different saddleseat saddle?
I am coming from the frame of mind that says "try shifting your weight to a different place-towards the horses natural center of gravity- he may appreciate better, regardless of what saddle [or none] gets you there." Nothing is forever, but trying something else can't hurt and may provide vital clues to why this horse is unhappy.
Maybe it's not even the saddle or where she is, but a developmental issue with a very young horse?
I just hate to see a young horse unhappy with his/her job.

Cnn I ask, OP why you ride Saddleseat with a Dressage trainer?

And of course before swapping out tack, get a vet out to check him out undersaddle to see what we all are seeing. Maybe s/he will tell you we're all armchair quarterbacks who are best ignored?

I think the OP may be at a place where setting aside what you want to do and what you think the horse should be able to do to consider what he is telling you... is in everyones best interest.
Been there, done that. No T-shirt was available at the time.

Tiffani B
Jan. 13, 2009, 09:58 PM
I'm going to ask a stupid question, but this is what I, personally would do: Can you take the rigging off and just let him go lower without the headset and focus on going right at all, then right with the headset? Sometimes the hot ones need things to be broken down into pieces, if you ask them two new things at once they go ballistic. It might not work, I know nothing about saddleseat, but I think it might give both of you just one thing to focus on and then once his muscles are built up, you can ask him to go back into your frame of choice. I have a 10 year old made show hunter and some days I have to just put him on a loose rein and focus on him keeping all 4 feet on the ground, and then ask later for more engagement:
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c348/gracetw22/heyyy.jpg
He has a pretty killer buck too. :winkgrin:

I daresay, with most Saddlebreds, there is no "letting them go lower." They don't LIKE to carry their heads low. Their first reaction, to EVERYTHING, is to raise their heads UP.:cool:

So to "let" a horse go lower first must mean he WANTS to do so... in the case of this horse, I would venture a guess that she would have to MAKE him go lower. Or, TEACH him to go lower. That might help, it might not. It's hard to assume one way or the other without spending time with the horse.

Tiffani B
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:01 PM
I think the OP may be at a place where setting aside what you want to do and what you think the horse should be able to do to consider what he is telling you... is in everyones best interest.
Been there, done that. No T-shirt was available at the time.

Agreed. I've seen many Saddlebreds who were ideally conformed for Saddle Seat, talented beyond belief, but could not do it happily. Their protests took many forms, but they were there... better to find them another job than force the issue.

BTW, I'm still waiting for my t-shirt. :winkgrin:

Deuce
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:09 PM
Just found this now. No time to get into anything much, but ditto those who said try a different saddle. Like maybe a deep seat equitation saddle? One with adjustable bars. Put the bars WAY back. It will help you get your legs under yourself. You are supposed to sit back on your pockets in saddle seat, but not quite THAT far. The equitation seat saddle will help. It's deeper with a higher cantle.

Oh, and I don't know if World Champion will still do this, but they used to let you take used saddles out for trial periods.

And as Tiffani B said in her very nice post, a cashel pad might help. They're fantastic for absorbing shock.

The way your feet are way out in front, without your knees/thigs rolled on, I think you may be using your spurs more often than you think. And in a few photo's you appear to be pulling down sharply with one hand. I know he's giving you A LOT to think about, you need to think about your position. It appears to me you're giving him a lot of mixed signals.

I'm a little curious about the bit you're using, too. It looks like a standard bradoon for a full bridle? If that is the case, get yourself a snaffle with a thicker mouthpiece. A bradoon and a martingale set up like that could be asking for trouble. And as someone else has said, loosen up the martingale a little.

You did a good job of sticking on him... and I'm glad you've progressed, but I also agree that getting back to basics with him is probably the way to go. Lots of ground work. LOTS of ground work. Forget the canter for now. Dont check him up, let him flex and just keep him moving forward. He's just not happy....

Best of luck...

Deuce
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:17 PM
I daresay, with most Saddlebreds, there is no "letting them go lower." They don't LIKE to carry their heads low. Their first reaction, to EVERYTHING, is to raise their heads UP.:cool:

So to "let" a horse go lower first must mean he WANTS to do so... in the case of this horse, I would venture a guess that she would have to MAKE him go lower. Or, TEACH him to go lower. That might help, it might not. It's hard to assume one way or the other without spending time with the horse.

heh heh... yeah, make them go lower. It's true. So many of them reject the idea of lowering their heads except to eat from birth.

I had one who was god awful in the full bridle when I got him. He would climb out of that thing, nose in the air, and just become uncontrollable... it took me a month to teach him to drop his head and just flex in the lines. And another month or two of keeping that thought in his head and regularly jogging him that way, low and flexed. It paid off in the end though.

Angela Freda
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:18 PM
Agreed. I've seen many Saddlebreds who were ideally conformed for Saddle Seat, talented beyond belief, but could not do it happily. Their protests took many forms, but they were there... better to find them another job than force the issue.
Maybe he's just not ready now for whatever reason. Maybe it's not ever going to be his thing.
Look at all the TBs, bred really well for racing, who flunk off the track and find incredible success at something else.

I'm really speaking more hypothetically here, because this is the internet and what the heck can we know from a few pictures? But because a horse is ____ [breed] does not mean that the job that horse was bred for is what s/he is best suited for. I'm just more a fan of finding out what the horse needs and wants to do and going from there.
The horse centered approach so to speak.

TheOrangeOne
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:22 PM
Shows my ignorace. In that case can you just try to work on a loose rein, and let him do with his head what he wishes? Perhaps a standing really loose to protect yourself from a bloody nose?

Amwrider
Jan. 13, 2009, 10:23 PM
Hey Julie, I had a very alpha Rare Treasure mare that acted a bit like your boy when she was a youngster. Whenever she would balk and not go forward I would spin her in a tight circle and then send her forward again.

I would do the same thing whenever the *thought* of rearing started to cross her mind....I could tell and could feel it coming. Spin around and around. Eventually she caught on to the fact that if she went forward quietly then I would leave her alone.

If this is all attitude with him and not a pain issue, then try what I did above (instead of the one-rein stop). You have to make the right thing to do be the easy choice for the horse. He can go forward quietly or he can go in miserable little circles. Going forward quietly will be its own reward for him.

I agree with whoever mentioned it before but if he acts up and you "stop" him with a one rein stop, you are giving him permission to continue to do it. You are rewarding him with not working when he acts up so what is his incentive to go forward when he doesn't want to?

The mare I mentioned got injured early in her show career but went on to be the best lesson horse you could ask for and took countless little walk/trotters into the ring. I could trust her with anyone.

What is your boy's breeding?

Bayou Roux
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:04 AM
This thread has really weighed on my conscience a lot.

We've all ridden at the clinic with the rider who wants to be told she rides beautifully and her horse is pretty, so the OP's glib posts and utter refusal to hear and digest any of the suggestions that the horse looks unhappy, either from pain, from training, from fear, from rushing too fast isn't unfamiliar. As the Dutch clinician I ride with says to these ladies, Yes dear, your horse is pretty and you're a lovely rider.

But, dammit, horses that get cranked into a frame, pushed too hard, too fast, particularly Saddlebreds, burn out, get hurt, fail out of Saddlebred School, get sold to the Amish, and 15 years later, get pulled from the kill pen at New Holland by Saddlebred Rescue.

I know; I have one who went that way.

She's got a bad suspensory. I know what one-sided pain looks like, and how it manifests behaviorally. But I'm a troll for suggesting it. So be it; I'm a troll. But I'm a troll with only the best interests of the horse in mind.

I'm not saying this to be mean to the OP or any of the defenders of the OP. I'm just begging you all to look hard at why a horse is behaving badly and consider backing off a bit. There's no hurry. A good horse takes time, lots of it. Give it a chance. It'll be worth it in the end.

Oh, and maybe I am saying this to be mean, but no real dressage trainer would ever allow that horse to be ridden inverted like that and pushed to that quality of canter at that age.

SmartAlex
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:31 AM
What is your boy's breeding?

Grandson of Catalyst, and a little Great Day thrown in for effect :D.
Of course, he has a lot of other terrific horses in there, but since you mentioned Rare Treasure...;)

I for one always preach against spinning a horse to discipline it. Two of the dirtiest SOBs I ever met would spin to fight you. It scares the begeeses out of me to this day.

Sdhaurmsmom
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:45 AM
I think she looks fine for saddleseat, saddleseat riders are always much further back because the theory is that it frees up the front end where all the action is. Maybe take a look at some other people riding saddleseat before you comment on a different discipline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yRE3fFv0Ak&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfaPnFU1vHE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ku_NAMjHFg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26fkrEPwKk&feature=related


One thing I noticed about all of these horses are that yes, the riders are all sitting just as far back, or farther, than the OP; but the horses don't look as if this is causing them distress or discomfort. Maybe it takes a little more time for the topline to build to the extent that makes this work comfortable for the horse.

And take a look at the third video...the rider is able to maintain a straight line connection between their elbows and the bit, making for less 'static noise' in the bridle.

I am sure the OP wants the best for her horse. She has said that she can't have him in full training because of financial issues right now.

Maybe the trainer could do the trot & canter riding for a couple of months, rather than having lessons like this repeating themselves. It could be that the young horse just needs a quieter ride at this stage of his training, so he can get a series of positive experiences built up under his belt for the trot and canter work.

OP can keep walk-trotting him at home as she says she already does, and instead of her riding him in these lessons, the trainer might ride him instead for a couple of months, until it's more routine for him and he has more topline (and tolerance) built up. Then try the OP in a lesson again. In the meantime, if the OP has another more seasoned horse to do trot-canter work on, all the better when they come back together. I think that's what I would try.

Good luck to all concerned.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:53 AM
Well, just because you haven't *actually* falllen out the back of your saddle doesn't mean a whole lot. I guess my point was that you appear waaay far back in your saddle which is waaay far back on his back; your weight is over his loins in a couple of pictures, and you're balancing against his mouth. Not being an expert in saddleseat tack, maybe you're supposed to sit like this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrFPqEUWI/AAAAAAAAFXA/2CwPEhWP7Q8/s400/389.JPG

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SWkrEuu5rFI/AAAAAAAAFW4/uCBk7A6H-Ks/s400/391.JPG

I totally disagree with the person who suggested this is a "place in the herd" issue. Making a horse miserable is not a requirement in training.

Again, maybe this is proper saddleseat equitation, I don't know. What these two pictures look like to me is a miserable horse ridden by someone way off balance and hanging on the reins in a leverage bit.

When riding saddleseat - you do sit straight up and further back on a horse...probably the same saddle position and riding as a sidesaddle. Equitation riders would have their hands level with their elbows. Where I have my hands very low - I was 'asking' for a canter. Saddleseat canters, the horse lowers the head and rounds the body more (when it is being done correct and relaxed) ..and it is called "cantering in a tea cup" Kind of sound like what a lot of you have told me dressage strives for in other gaits. Saddleseat trots, the head is raised straight up out of their shoulders but with collection in the throat latch so that the chin drops down. Please do not look at my photos for what is 'equitation correct' as I am sure you all have figured out by now that is not why I posted them...ha hah

As for the horse being in such pain. I will continue to check and recheck this horse. This boy is not as large and long as most Saddlebreds, but he is still not as short coupled as an Arab and Arabs have been shown in Park for years - using the same saddle I am riding on.

I laughed out loud when I read that I was balancing against his mouth...YEPPERS... I sure was at times and at times against any other object I could, to stay on and keep my balance. On his Mama, whom I lost just 2 months ago, I rode with good equitation form and very soft hands. She was very go-forward, but way past doing any nasty antics.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:02 AM
Perhaps you think that I am one of the "nasty cows" -- not that it matters. I posted because I am actually trying to help the OP. Sorry, but sometimes vets and saddle fitters don't catch everything. Ask me how I know. I think that horse is hurting somewhere. Sure saddleseat riders do sit on the horse's loin, but it's not something you want to do unless you want the horse to be inverted.

PS I've watched Saddlebreds go round and round at the State Fair until I couldn't take it anymore. Saddleseat is just not something that I have any respect for.

I am sorry you feel that way about Saddleseat - but the good thing is that through my first inquiries about this horse ...inbetween the vet, the chiro., the massage therapist, and here etc. I have changed out his saddle pad - ordered a new one and while I am waiting for it, I am using egg crate padding as well. We did discover something that was irritating his back - but it was not the saddle, it was a tail set. It is tossed to the side until everything else is in order and then if I need to use it again, it will be addressed or should I say re-dressed with padding until it does not bother her.

3horsemom
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:06 AM
good or bad what ever you teach a horse he will remember it fr the rest of his life i see a young horse that knows nothing being treated without respect for him
be kind rather than rough, ask politely and he will obey you


this is very good advice. not every young horse, regardless of who his mama was, can handle an amatuer rider.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:06 AM
It's not being helpful if you tell someone who is riding saddleseat to stop riding saddleseat. It is being helpful if you work within the sport of her choice to make her horse happier and her a better rider.

I don't care for it either, but it's an entirely different riding style that many people on this BB don't know anything about so they are comparing and judging it based on what they know about their riding style.

Well said. I fell madly in love with Saddlebreds and saddleseat riding when I was a child and my Grandfather used to take me to the infamous Pin Oak Charity Horse show. I saw everything from hunters going over what I considered fortress walls, to stunning Arabs dressed in costume, but it was the Saddlebreds that stole my heart. To this day the only thing that makes my heart beat that hard is my hubby!

grayarabpony
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:11 AM
It's not helpful to the horse to not recognize that the box you wish to shove him into [ in this case saddleseat] at the moment is perhaps making him unhappy, uncomfortable, or both either.

I guess I do not get how it's sooo important to get a good saddle fit in almost any discipline, but when people mention that the rider in this case [for whatever reason] appears to be sitting with her weight very far back and the horse is unhappy [whether related or not] suddenly saddle fit [or appropriateness for the horse at his age or fitness level] is no longer a possible cause. Because it's saddleseat? Whaaaaa...?

If I showed pictures of me riding out of balance on my horse in either my Dressage or Jumping saddle and reported my horse acted like an arse, routinely in one direction only undersaddle, I would not be shocked and would see the logic to have people suggest that the saddle may not be appropriate for me, him, or us or any/all of those at the present time.

Try the horse in different saddles that change where your center of gravity rests, and then give it a few rides to sink in that you are not waaaaay back there to see if it helps. If it does not help, try a different saddle.
Or keep doing what you're doing.
*shrug*

Well said.

Well Foxtrot's has a minor point. The barn is lovely and it's supercool that she has the same fox as the OP, BUT what about the unhappy horse? Seriously -- that horse is not just being stubborn. He is trying to tell you something, and a good horseperson listens to the horse. In fact, I think he's pissed off because no one is listening to him, and he's tired of being uncomfortable.

Both of my horses when injured were very reluctant to pick up a lead. Both actually had vets say they were OK when they were not. On the other hand, the OP's horse may not be lame at all, but he may be very sensitive as to where the rider's weight is located.

Edited to add: OP I missed your post on the last page, and just now read it. Hopefully he will be happier with different padding and without the tail set for a while.

I like the horse. He looks sensitive and intelligent, looking at his eyes -- if you can get him happy he looks like she will be a good show horse.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:15 AM
The trainer is poofing baby powder. It serves two purposes - gives the horse a challenge to overcome (trotting in circles can get boring) and it helps desensitize the horse. I for one love this sort of bomb proofing, which is a common practice for Saddle Seat riding, especially since six of my shows each summer involve an outdoor show ring with a food stand and grill right next to it - can you say gads of smoke wafting across your path as you come into the ring? :eek:

As for her position, no, it is not correct, not by a long shot (sorry Jules!!! I'm certainly one to talk LOL). She IS sitting too far back, and her legs are shot out in front of her, and she is balancing on his mouth... all of which are not helping. Unfortunately it's very easy to do when you have a horse who's throwing you off balance, or if you are riding defensively. The ideal position is more like this:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/liA_g-Osujq0cd0-y1bybw?feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eOhcJP7IsN4AmA4A988VoA?feat=directlink

Heels in line with hip in line with shoulder. Straight line from snaffle bit to wrist to elbow. Soft gentle wrists and hands. Well balanced rider and horse. Rider seated to match the horses' center of gravity. The saddle clears the horses' shoulder, which on a well conformed Saddlebred, will be VERY laid back with a prominent wither, requiring the saddle and rider to be set back a few inches further than where a Dressage saddle/rider would sit. The horses' backs are strong and level - not dropped, but also not rounded per Dressage. We do not strive for "rounded" using your definition - but we DEFINITELY do not want DROPPED!

Jules - your horse looks unhappy. I know you said he's been thoroughly vetted, but I would get a vet out there to watch you ride him. A lot of horses won't display any soreness or pain issues unless they are REALLY hurting, and having a vet palpate him or watch him on a lunge line may not be enough for him to react.

I would suspect he has some kind of lower back or rear leg issues. Stifle and pelvis/sacrum come immediately to mind. I would definitely do some work on strengthening his back - you can find lots of posts to that effect here on COTH as well as a few posts on trot. I'd do a lot of walking and trotting in large circles, serpentines and eventually spirals, as well as hillwork and cavaletti. Backing is also a great hind end/back workout.

I'd also use a Cashel pad under the saddle. Not sure what you're using, but a Cashel can make a big difference in absorbing any big jolts you might make when landing a buck.

I'd stop cantering him, period, until you can get him going forward happily at the walk and trot in both directions consistently.

Also, JMHO here, but the martingale looks too short. A short martingale can cause a horse to fight it in the opposite direction - up. I'd lengthen it and work on teaching him to flex and give to the straight rein so you don't need the curb. That will come in most handy when it's time to show.

At the vets office - we not only worked him in a round pen on the ground - but I rode him too.

I love watching Belle Owen ride...but I imagine her Equitation Horse cost more than my home!

Someone else pointed out the martingale being too short and I have lengthened it. Thanks.

I only walk and trot him at home - when no one else is there and he has been doing fine.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:19 AM
I'm going to ask a stupid question, but this is what I, personally would do: Can you take the rigging off and just let him go lower without the headset and focus on going right at all, then right with the headset? Sometimes the hot ones need things to be broken down into pieces, if you ask them two new things at once they go ballistic. It might not work, I know nothing about saddleseat, but I think it might give both of you just one thing to focus on and then once his muscles are built up, you can ask him to go back into your frame of choice. I have a 10 year old made show hunter and some days I have to just put him on a loose rein and focus on him keeping all 4 feet on the ground, and then ask later for more engagement:
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c348/gracetw22/heyyy.jpg
He has a pretty killer buck too. :winkgrin:


His bridle with the martingale is not a new set though. He has been wearing it from the beginning of his training after graduating from the rubber bit. The martingale may have been too tight though - this bridle is mine - not the trainer who had him and although it is the exact equipment, I probably had it set differently.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:29 AM
I guess this is where I am confused. I initially thought it was a post about what an awful lesson it was. However, when people posted some constructive thoughts, then it became this is 'normal' because this is how it is in SS? Huh?

All I can say is that the horse sure looks like one unhappy camper - whatever discipline you pick. :(

This is a post about my lesson. This is not normal. This is my 7th Saddlebred...all trained pretty much the same way, except the others were allowed to stay with their professional trainers until they were esentially finished. The shortest time this was accomplished was with one of my mares - I showed her after only 4 months of training with a flawless ride. She was broke not only to saddle - but also to drive since that is how most Saddlebred trainers start their horses. She was trained by the same trainer who was working with Dominus before I had to bring him home.

Dominus on the other hand has been a difficult colt from the beginning and has taken the longest....but so I am told was his Mother. This same trainer had him for a year and he was not finished. I cried my eyes out when we made the decision to bring him home.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:38 AM
We've all ridden at the clinic with the rider who wants to be told she rides beautifully and her horse is pretty, so the OP's glib posts and utter refusal to hear and digest any of the suggestions that the horse looks unhappy, either from pain, from training, from fear, from rushing too fast isn't unfamiliar. As the Dutch clinician I ride with says to these ladies, Yes dear, your horse is pretty and you're a lovely rider.


Oh, and maybe I am saying this to be mean, but no real dressage trainer would ever allow that horse to be ridden inverted like that and pushed to that quality of canter at that age.

I don't see how she's "not accepting any advice." I am completely baffled by that- she's been gracious and said thank you and she'll think about it- what exactly do you want her to say?

"OMG, I'm so sorry, I didn't realize I was such a *&^%-up! You guys are sooooo right, I am going to immediately change my ways and be just like you say I should be!"

Her dressage trainer is trying to help her with saddle seat and "inverted and head up" is how they want them to go (yes, I know that's not exactly right, but still...).

She posted photos, people gave their advice, she accepted it with a thanks. Just deal with it. If that bothers your conscience, you need to consider what response you think people who are having training problems with their horses should give to make you satisfied that they are doing their best.

p.s. as far as "normal" I don't see why people are confused about that either. Some comments are about his tack and his carriage and her seat, which are relatively "normal" for saddleseat. The part that wasn't normal was the bucking and rearing.

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:46 AM
p.s. as far as "normal" I don't see why people are confused about that either. Some comments are about his tack and his carriage and her seat, which are relatively "normal" for saddleseat. The part that wasn't normal was the bucking and rearing.

And yet the blog title is "A Typical Lesson - for Dominus Anyway!"
If typically my horse acted this way, I would be very concerned about him- saddle be damned.


This is one of those futile discussions, I guess.
ETA on the idea of this bothering ones conscience. This does bother my conscience. I can not explain why, and I certainly wish it didn't.
What would make me happy to see the OP write [and believe was honestly felt]- not in this specific case but hypothetically cause these threads come up now and again and even when the majority is on one side and the OP appears to not want to hear it?
I dunno. The horse is young, is it vitally important that he be a saddleseat horse tomorrow, ext year, next show season or a happy saddleseat horse until he's 25? You could say the same for those Dressage riders who bit up their horses and cram them in a frame with draw reins, the WP horses, the porky pig halter horses,...
Rather than taking ones time to do it right, sometimes it just seems like people are in a danged hurry to get the end.

I am at that end with my horse, and I can tell you from my vantage point that all of that hurry I was in makes me so sad today.... I was in such a rush and in much of that rushing around to get to_____ [we got nowhere, I have no idea anymore where I thought we were going!] I missed out on alot of what this horse had to teach me. Simply because I thought what I had to teach him was so much more important.

Again why is someone who wants to do Saddleseat riding with a Dressage instr?

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:48 AM
If she wasn't concerned, she wouldn't have sought training, and she wouldn't be posting and asking questions.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:52 AM
Perhaps the suggestions of "try a different saddle" are being interpreted as "try a different seat" instead of "try a different saddleseat saddle?"

Just a thought, for those who are reacting to the suggestions of trying a different saddle.

I've ridden in about two dozen different Saddle Seat saddles over the years, and they ALL feel different. Some sit you forward on your pelvis. Some shoot your legs out in front of you. Some are rock hard and flat as a piece of plywood. Some have such a high cantle and pommel you wonder where you're supposed to fit...

So Julie - maybe if you can borrow someone elses' Saddle Seat saddle and give it a try, it might help you feel more secure. I know when I switched from my Norman to my Shively, it made a WORLD of difference in my seat and balance and security - and confidence!

Good suggestion. I have been able to try 3. One was sooo scarry. It just did not fit me at all. Pretty sure it was way too big because I could not find my 'center' at the trot - (when he way bahaving) This was my trainers saddle 22" I think. Another was my instructors - felt the same as mine...and then mine. Dominus was a pill in all of them.

***Note - my 'trainer' was the man who broke all of my babies, who lives out of state. My 'instructor' is the lady in the pictures whom I have taken lessons from in the past. Her main focus is dressage - but she is experienced in saddleseat (and sidesaddle - yeah!..but that is another topic) but she ROCKS at makeing horse and rider a team! and remember - this 'project' is only 4 weeks in the making.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:55 AM
I read the "try a different saddle" as "try a different riding style" as well. I don't know enough about saddleseat to tell if that one fits her, but I have seen saddleseats with a deeper seat and people schooling in dressage saddles. I admire the saddleseat riders for those flat saddles and long stirrups because I value having my jumping saddle with the short stirrups and blocks for when my horse is misbehaving.

I do know my stirrups are too short...but I would be in such a peril if I lost contact with them during an eppisode.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 11:59 AM
I am coming from the frame of mind that says "try shifting your weight to a different place-towards the horses natural center of gravity- he may appreciate better, regardless of what saddle [or none] gets you there." Nothing is forever, but trying something else can't hurt and may provide vital clues to why this horse is unhappy.
Maybe it's not even the saddle or where she is, but a developmental issue with a very young horse?
I just hate to see a young horse unhappy with his/her job.

Cnn I ask, OP why you ride Saddleseat with a Dressage trainer?

And of course before swapping out tack, get a vet out to check him out undersaddle to see what we all are seeing. Maybe s/he will tell you we're all armchair quarterbacks who are best ignored?

I think the OP may be at a place where setting aside what you want to do and what you think the horse should be able to do to consider what he is telling you... is in everyones best interest.
Been there, done that. No T-shirt was available at the time.

I am playing catch up with all of the posts ...but I think I answered your questions in the posts i did today. If not ask again!

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:02 PM
I do know my stirrups are too short...but I would be in such a peril if I lost contact with them during an eppisode.

That is interesting.
Have you ever tried any of the ideas from Sally Swifts Centered Riding?
This may sound crazy, but when things get [got] hairy I throw [threw] my stirrups because I feel [felt] more secure without them- more balanced and centered. Regardless of what saddle
I was using or the length of the leathers, I am [was] way better off without them- more able to 'stick'.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:04 PM
I daresay, with most Saddlebreds, there is no "letting them go lower." They don't LIKE to carry their heads low. Their first reaction, to EVERYTHING, is to raise their heads UP.:cool:

So to "let" a horse go lower first must mean he WANTS to do so... in the case of this horse, I would venture a guess that she would have to MAKE him go lower. Or, TEACH him to go lower. That might help, it might not. It's hard to assume one way or the other without spending time with the horse.

True - a well bred Saddlebred has his neck coming out of a different place than some other breeds - much much higher. This gelding can trot with his neck so upright - I would be eating his mane. During my lessons though - I never asking him to raise his head more or to give me more leg action. We are just working on the simple basics of walk trot canter in both directions and with a slow rated speed. Trust me - it is easy to 'air him up'...not something I am interested in and will be the last thing we will do...maybe 2 seconds before we go into the show ring (if at all)...ha ha

grayarabpony
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:06 PM
I do know my stirrups are too short...but I would be in such a peril if I lost contact with them during an eppisode.

That would be an argument to try a different saddle -- for now. A dressage saddle could give you a lot more security. The deeper seat, cantle and knee roll are very helpful in maintaining position. And if you didn't slide backward the horse would probably get less irritated.

winegum
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:12 PM
congratulations on staying on and wearing a helmet.

rearing is very scary. Bucking isn't too bad, but rearing terrifies me. I just bought my first horse and he is young and when we really started asking for him to do work, he began rearing. This scared me because they we weren't really asking him for anything too difficult (simply moving his shoulders) and he would go sky high. It was only to the left that he did and he would also do it in the roundpen and I have really big trouble not being pulled off the ground. he is 16.2 and a big boy!

I had just had his teeth floated right after the purchase, so I knew it couldn't have been that and I had put him on an ulcer medication when he refused to eat his food for four days in a row, so I new the chances of him having ulcers were slim. I decided to get him checked by a reputable equine chiropractor and he was very much out. The different after the adjustment was phenomenal. he was very supple. I would have to turn his head like you do to unlock his stiffness. I get him adjusted regularly now and I haven't seen a rear out of him in months and he is picking up his leads very well.

if it is in your budget and something you think will help you horse, then you should definitley look into getting your horse adjusted. It is very painful for them to be asked to work when their whole body is just out!

Tiffani B
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:16 PM
I used to use an equitation (Saddle Seat) saddle for breaking colts because it is much more secure and you can't slide back. On a finished horse, it was too restrictive, and impossible to ride a gaited horse in, but I loved it for those unruly ones!

Julie, see if you can get your hands on an eq saddle. Or at least one with adjustable stirrups bars - it looks like your bars are too far forward which might be contributing to the balance issue.

On a personal note, I've considered buying a Wintec dressage saddle for trail riding - it looks more secure and I wouldn't have to worry about scratching my show saddle!

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:23 PM
What would make me happy to see the OP write [and believe was honestly felt]- not in this specific case but hypothetically cause these threads come up now and again and even when the majority is on one side and the OP appears to not want to hear it?

Because this is the internet, and she doesn't know everyone here. Advice gotten on the internet needs time to be digested and interwoven with knowledge one has gained elsewhere- real life, trainers, experience, books, etc. Nobody should jump gung ho on the bandwagon just because a bunch of people on the internet say it's so.

Calling someone hopeless or helping them futile because they aren't adopting your point of view quickly enough for your tastes is so hurtful and unkind :(

And just because everyone on a horse board agrees something is so based on 6 photographs and a tongue-in-cheek blog entry doesn't mean they are actually correct. So it's totally appropriate that she bring this up with the professionals who she trusts and take any changes to her routine slowly so she figures out whether it's actually helping.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:26 PM
Hey Julie, I had a very alpha Rare Treasure mare that acted a bit like your boy when she was a youngster. Whenever she would balk and not go forward I would spin her in a tight circle and then send her forward again.

I would do the same thing whenever the *thought* of rearing started to cross her mind....I could tell and could feel it coming. Spin around and around. Eventually she caught on to the fact that if she went forward quietly then I would leave her alone.

If this is all attitude with him and not a pain issue, then try what I did above (instead of the one-rein stop). You have to make the right thing to do be the easy choice for the horse. He can go forward quietly or he can go in miserable little circles. Going forward quietly will be its own reward for him.

I agree with whoever mentioned it before but if he acts up and you "stop" him with a one rein stop, you are giving him permission to continue to do it. You are rewarding him with not working when he acts up so what is his incentive to go forward when he doesn't want to?

The mare I mentioned got injured early in her show career but went on to be the best lesson horse you could ask for and took countless little walk/trotters into the ring. I could trust her with anyone.

What is your boy's breeding?


One rein stop is only after he rears. Tiny circles is what we do for bucks. Neither seems easier than just going forward to me!! ..but what do I know - I only have 2 legs..snicker snicker...

He is out of Mike's Choice - an interesting mare who ribboned in a huge 5 gaited class at the WC when she was only 2. She was hot hot hot until the last day of her life. She must have had the large heart too because you could rack her all day long. She only got pissy at the flat walk...and in her later years when I tried to show her 5 gaited show pleasure, she could be winning the class ...until the dredded flat walk!

Here is a pic of her at age 20 winning the fast racking class:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SSjHn3SX9nI/AAAAAAAAE-Q/FNZ6Ag2LWNE/s1600-h/049.JPG

Dominus is by El Dorado's Stonewall Jackson. Amazing stallion with an super temperment and talent to boot. Here is a picture of my daughter showing him:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SW4R3Ji9zNI/AAAAAAAAFaM/CnHzbBsI8J0/s1600-h/Julie%2527s%2520Horse%25203%5B1%5D.JPG

Tiffani B
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:34 PM
I have always been taught to never STOP a horse after they rear. You do whatever you need to do to make them go FORWARD!!!!! Spur, whip, yelling, anything... forwardforwardforward. Stopping is what they want - that is WHY they rear.

You stop a bucking horse.

Anyways, you have a PM.

mbm
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
i hesitated to post on this thread....

but i thought about this horse all evening...

so to the OP my post is meant in all kindness and not meant as a snark and i hope you take it as such.

ok that said - what i see is a novice rider over horsed. and a young horse that is completely and utterly confused.

the fact that his behavior is continual is telling you loud and clear that what you are doing is not working.

Also think about what you *have* taught him : to rear, to buck, to get out of work, to not go forward etc.

a good trainer would be able to ride the horse forward in such a manner that kindly shows him the correct way to go. sure youngsters can misbehave - but when they do it is important to really look at what you are doing and what the horses reaction is and not let it continue.

here is an example from my own life: i have a coming 5 yo off the track mare... i rode her for the first time this past weekend with my trainer in a lesson. everything went swell until i asked for canter. the mare exploded and it was very clear that she had done this before and gotten away with it and worse - gotten very good at it. so now i need to re-evaulate her training plan and adjust for this new development. i will NOT ride her the same as i was because what i did produced the rearing etc. and while i consider myself to be a advanced rider and well equipped to train her - someone else taught this mare how to rear really well. and now i get to pay for that so to speak.

so what i am trying to say is: no it is not "normal" for a horse to act like this continually - and you are over horsed if you are not able to change what you are doing so that he doesn't learn to be bad. otherwise you are just training him to be completely unridable and either you or the next person who gets him is going to get hurt.....

and also in general green on green is not a good idea and this is exactly why.

good luck and my suggestion would be to put him in training with a GOOD trainer - not one who will ride him in a twisted bradoon with a tight martingale etc. and find yourself a nice school master to work on your seat.... in this way will your horse become a good solid citizen and you a good solid rider.

danceronice
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:52 PM
I have to agree with Tiffani, I've always been told drive them forward if they try to rear and try to keep them from going up in the first place (on my friend's AQHA mare, who developed a dirty habit of going up, then spinning, I even resorting to whacking her between the ears with a fist as she started to come up, then driving her forward. It worked the first time.)

I confess to being of two minds on saddle seat. I knew a girl in 4-H who rode saddle-seat on a GORGEOUS Morgan (prettiest horse EVER). The only other two saddle seat people in our county (HUGE county--but we all did Western or Hunt Seat) rode Arabs. The first time I went to a saddleseat show (the Bonnie Blue at the VHC) I took along a friend from W&L who'd never been to a horse show. In the very first class, a young horse got halfway round the ring, flipped his $#!^, and flipped over on his rider, who had to be taken off in the ambulance. The Saddlebreds I saw that day looked hot, cranked into frame, and made me not want to get anywhere near them. On the other hand the Morgans and Arabs I have seen do it had similar high sets and actions and seemed perfectly happy. So I wouldn't be comfortable giving the OP much advice besides work with the trainer to fix the rearing problem and do not push for anything until it's gone because that's dangerous.

Joke piece of advice: maybe change his name? "Dominus" means "lord" in Latin and maybe he's getting ideas about who's head of household! ;)

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 12:58 PM
good or bad what ever you teach a horse he will remember it fr the rest of his life i see a young horse that knows nothing being treated without respect for him
be kind rather than rough, ask politely and he will obey you

this is very good advice. not every young horse, regardless of who his mama was, can handle an amatuer rider.

The pictures I show tell a story. They focus on the 15 minutes of a an hour lesson that were awful for me and the horse. I used these pictures because I wanted good advice and suggestions from a wide range of people...which I am happy to say I have received! Thank you!

However 3horsemom, the first part of your post is hateful. My horse does not "Know Nothing" and he was not "Treated Without Respect". It takes little effort offer good information and be kind at the same time.

The right lead canter request was asked with a soft kiss and a calf push with my outside leg - the same request for the left lead canter, which as I have said several times, he executes beautifully and without objection.

If all I wanted was attention, I would only post the "lovely pictures" of me claiming my blue ribbons on my older horses.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
That is interesting.
Have you ever tried any of the ideas from Sally Swifts Centered Riding?
This may sound crazy, but when things get [got] hairy I throw [threw] my stirrups because I feel [felt] more secure without them- more balanced and centered. Regardless of what saddle
I was using or the length of the leathers, I am [was] way better off without them- more able to 'stick'.

WOW!!! I don't think I could do that. I intentionally lift myself off of the saddle, escpeially during a buck - therefore I don't get hit and he does not get slammed after my 'hit'. I don't even think about it, I just raise up an inch or so.

mbm
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:07 PM
sorry i wanted to say one more thing... young horses are not trained, and that means they have a crooked side and a not crooked side... this means that MOST horses have a more difficult time going right than left.

so this means he is not being bad.... he just *can't* do what you are asking him to do which is why he is acting like he does - he is trying to TELL you something. you need to listen.

to be able to get him working as well to the right as he does to the left is a lifetime endevour....

if it were me i would not ecpext at this point mre than him going freely forward in walk and trot to the right. and understand that he is trying but clearly CANT do what you are asking.

agani he isnt trying to be BAD - he is telling you that he CANT.

and you may think - well yes he can because he did with the trainer.... but the trainer had better balance and timing that you do and was able t help him to control his body in a manner that allowed him to go to the right.

this is what you need to learn - just demanding that he GO and punishing him for telling you he cant is going to make him dangerous very quickly.

i suggest you get good young horse book (klimke etc) and your dressage instructor should be helping you with all of this too.

ETA; no amount of chiro/massage/ec etc will make up for lack of training and correct riding. in fact good correct riding & training should be therapy for the horse and help them be a better athlete.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:10 PM
And yet the blog title is "A Typical Lesson - for Dominus Anyway!"
If typically my horse acted this way, I would be very concerned about him- saddle be damned.



Sorry for the title humor. I think that once I said it was only my 4th lesson, why I am taking lessons on such a green horse instead of him being in FT training and then went into detail of what we had accomplished, it would have been obvious that the title was a joke. I know this thread is pretty long now and you may not have read every post though.

katarine
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:13 PM
EV, don't surf on his mouth-Put a neck strap on him to grab if it gets ugly- the ugliness won't improve if his mouth is what is helping keep you on. That is disrespectful to the horse, surfing on his mouth.. it just is, ok? Nothing hateful in that statement, just a plain truth.

Lose the spurs- please. Hot babies don't need them. Spurs are for lateral cues, which he's not learning. Hot babies in a slow twist bradoon, well, that's kinda ugly too. He looks unhappy. I hate that. He looks sucked back and unhappy. If he's soft in the face, a kinder bit is in order. He can't use that bit to help him find his balance, he's sucked back from it or else trying to get above it. Both suck eggs. Please just consider a kinder bit, a mullen mouth, 3 piece snaffle, something.

Too short stirrups aren't seat belts. If anything they are ejection buttons. A longer leg you can fully wrap round him, that's the ticket. A wintec saddle maybe, with the grippy feel, or at least full chaps for grip, something. Pegging him with spurs and hanging on his face when he gets mad/upset/tired/whatever...is not fair to the horse and won't help in the long run. It's great he was great for 45 minutes...but those last 15 shouldn't have to happen.

It's too easy to say his momma was tough, too. Too easy. We joke the colt I have here now is bred to either buck you off, or run off with you (QH that is heavy on the Poco Bueno and Jet Deck, weeee). But I am not starting his papers, I'm starting him.

I don't know. I think you are getting tired of the attention and spotlight and dissection. Lord knows that is a normal response right about now ; you've been very gracious thus far and I applaud you for that. Best wishes you improve the path with this colt, and find some ideas here you can agree with, that will help.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:14 PM
congratulations on staying on and wearing a helmet.

rearing is very scary. Bucking isn't too bad, but rearing terrifies me. I just bought my first horse and he is young and when we really started asking for him to do work, he began rearing. This scared me because they we weren't really asking him for anything too difficult (simply moving his shoulders) and he would go sky high. It was only to the left that he did and he would also do it in the roundpen and I have really big trouble not being pulled off the ground. he is 16.2 and a big boy!

I had just had his teeth floated right after the purchase, so I knew it couldn't have been that and I had put him on an ulcer medication when he refused to eat his food for four days in a row, so I new the chances of him having ulcers were slim. I decided to get him checked by a reputable equine chiropractor and he was very much out. The different after the adjustment was phenomenal. he was very supple. I would have to turn his head like you do to unlock his stiffness. I get him adjusted regularly now and I haven't seen a rear out of him in months and he is picking up his leads very well.

if it is in your budget and something you think will help you horse, then you should definitley look into getting your horse adjusted. It is very painful for them to be asked to work when their whole body is just out!

Ha ha - been there - done that! Chiro is coming back in a couple of weeks. We also have a massage therapist. This was one of the first suggestions I acted on.

rothmpp
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:15 PM
Excellent job sticking with him and not giving up!! Please always, always, always wear a helmet!!!

Here's my 2 cents - and it's probably not even worth that much...

Your horse is very young if I remember correctly. I know that what you will be riding/showing in the long term is SS, but maybe, just for a little while, you should think about borrowing a saddle that you will sit further forward on. He just doesn't have the muscle that he will in the long run, and he strikes me as being uncomfortable and expressing that by evading.

Second - I concur that you should not give up the idea that he has an injury. My greenie did much the same, much worse in one direction, when he had a stifle injury.

Third - can you take some lessons on a schoolmaster? It will help you maintain your equitation/position if you can occasionally work on your position without having to worry about what the horse will do. And sometimes that stuff feeds on itself. You ride defensively because the horse is acting up, the horse thinks that something bad is happening because you are riding defensively, etc... (ask me how I know;))

Finally, you're going to have to go through some disagreements with him. He's going to say "You won't make me". For those who said horses sometimes need to be reminded who is the alpha, I agree 100%, so long as it is done tactfully.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:16 PM
I used to use an equitation (Saddle Seat) saddle for breaking colts because it is much more secure and you can't slide back. On a finished horse, it was too restrictive, and impossible to ride a gaited horse in, but I loved it for those unruly ones!

Julie, see if you can get your hands on an eq saddle. Or at least one with adjustable stirrups bars - it looks like your bars are too far forward which might be contributing to the balance issue.

On a personal note, I've considered buying a Wintec dressage saddle for trail riding - it looks more secure and I wouldn't have to worry about scratching my show saddle!

Maybe my instructor has an EQ saddle I can try. I will ask her. My saddle has adjustable stirrup bars and I will check where they are postioned.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:19 PM
Because this is the internet, and she doesn't know everyone here. Advice gotten on the internet needs time to be digested and interwoven with knowledge one has gained elsewhere- real life, trainers, experience, books, etc. Nobody should jump gung ho on the bandwagon just because a bunch of people on the internet say it's so.

Calling someone hopeless or helping them futile because they aren't adopting your point of view quickly enough for your tastes is so hurtful and unkind :(

And just because everyone on a horse board agrees something is so based on 6 photographs and a tongue-in-cheek blog entry doesn't mean they are actually correct. So it's totally appropriate that she bring this up with the professionals who she trusts and take any changes to her routine slowly so she figures out whether it's actually helping.

Thank you. That was nice. :0)

CA ASB
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:22 PM
ok that said - what i see is a novice rider over horsed. and a young horse that is completely and utterly confused.

...
and also in general green on green is not a good idea and this is exactly why.



By her own words, the OP has been riding for years, so don't understand where everyone is getting "novice" from.

Again, it doesn't matter what the discipline is - this horse isn't ready for canter work and needs to go back to the basics. This horse has tons of Stonewall King in his genes, and they are notorious for being slow to mature BUT long lasting. They are also well known for not forgetting, so I'd want to make my experiences with them good ones.

SmartAlex
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:24 PM
Julie, had you ever ridden with one of those suede padded seats? You know, the kind that strap on to a lane fox? It might help you sit deeper, and allow you to lengthen your stirrups a bit. It's kind of like ass-velcro. And suede half chaps can help too. My sister has one of the seat pads. I don't think she would mind loaning it to you if you want to try.

I'm all for you trying a milder bit too. Like katarine suggested, a three piece mouth might help. That is what I am using right now.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:35 PM
I have always been taught to never STOP a horse after they rear. You do whatever you need to do to make them go FORWARD!!!!! Spur, whip, yelling, anything... forwardforwardforward. Stopping is what they want - that is WHY they rear.

You stop a bucking horse.

Anyways, you have a PM.

Thanks! I just sent you a PM back.

sadlmakr
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:38 PM
I agree that you should go back to the basics. Start over with this one. I'd ride a Hunt seat saddle until he gets over all this.
Something somewhere in his life went askew.
He is definitely not able to do what you are asking for, what ever reason.
You need a seasoned trainer who has had experiences with his kind of problems. It is going to take time to rehab this horse. But in the end it will be worth it.
He is from good blood.
Go back to square one. Same with you. Go back to basics. Then the two of you will do OK. Use a basic plain snaffle bit. There are no "Magic gimmick" bits. Be light on the reins.
He doesn't need to be bullied for his errors. Neither do you. Read all you can about basic riding and see where you need to brush up.
What might help also is to get video tape of you riding. That tells alot to see it for yourself.
I wish you the very best in getting both of you back on the right track.
regards, sadlmakr

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 01:49 PM
i hesitated to post on this thread....

but i thought about this horse all evening...

so to the OP my post is meant in all kindness and not meant as a snark and i hope you take it as such.

ok that said - what i see is a novice rider over horsed. and a young horse that is completely and utterly confused.

the fact that his behavior is continual is telling you loud and clear that what you are doing is not working.

Also think about what you *have* taught him : to rear, to buck, to get out of work, to not go forward etc.

a good trainer would be able to ride the horse forward in such a manner that kindly shows him the correct way to go. sure youngsters can misbehave - but when they do it is important to really look at what you are doing and what the horses reaction is and not let it continue.

here is an example from my own life: i have a coming 5 yo off the track mare... i rode her for the first time this past weekend with my trainer in a lesson. everything went swell until i asked for canter. the mare exploded and it was very clear that she had done this before and gotten away with it and worse - gotten very good at it. so now i need to re-evaulate her training plan and adjust for this new development. i will NOT ride her the same as i was because what i did produced the rearing etc. and while i consider myself to be a advanced rider and well equipped to train her - someone else taught this mare how to rear really well. and now i get to pay for that so to speak.

so what i am trying to say is: no it is not "normal" for a horse to act like this continually - and you are over horsed if you are not able to change what you are doing so that he doesn't learn to be bad. otherwise you are just training him to be completely unridable and either you or the next person who gets him is going to get hurt.....

and also in general green on green is not a good idea and this is exactly why.

good luck and my suggestion would be to put him in training with a GOOD trainer - not one who will ride him in a twisted bradoon with a tight martingale etc. and find yourself a nice school master to work on your seat.... in this way will your horse become a good solid citizen and you a good solid rider.

You post was not read as "snarky"...but did you read that this was only my 4th lesson and that this was the first time I had cantered on him? He was acting up at the trot (lesson 1-2) and during this lesson we only had one tiny bobble at the trot? Would that be considered "continual"? Did you also read where I wrote why I was taking lessons on him instead of having him in training? A person in my family is ill. FT training is not an option. I am trying to do ALL I can with what I have to work with.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:00 PM
Julie, had you ever ridden with one of those suede padded seats? You know, the kind that strap on to a lane fox? It might help you sit deeper, and allow you to lengthen your stirrups a bit. It's kind of like ass-velcro. And suede half chaps can help too. My sister has one of the seat pads. I don't think she would mind loaning it to you if you want to try.

I'm all for you trying a milder bit too. Like katarine suggested, a three piece mouth might help. That is what I am using right now.

Ass-Velcro! Ha ha LMAO!!! My neighbor has one of those ..I will ask if I can borrow it from her. Thanks for the offer. Don't have half Chaps and don't know anyone who does...and I will ask my instructor to review the bit. She has many and would loan me one if she thinks we should change it.

CA ASB
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:01 PM
EV, I too am not trying to be snarky, but when the title of the blog post is "A Typical Lesson ..." it's hard to read that this is only your 4th lesson on this horse (so you aren't a novice) and first time cantering. Also, the photos posted focus on the 25% of the lesson that was bad - which came at the end of the lesson. There may be something to that as well - an hour at his age and stage of development is awfully long. Quit before he gets tired (and grumpy) and says he just doesn't want to do it any more.

What about posting photos of when he was being good - to allow those commenting to see the difference? When you are only shown the bad, we have nothing to compare and contrast with, and then focus on the negative. Focus on the positive - and remember for 45 minutes he was being good. Perhaps even though in your human mind you weren't finished, you should have said, "good boy, we're done." And then, next lesson, pick up and start working in this other direction?

Tazzie
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:02 PM
Here is a pic of her at age 20 winning the fast racking class:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_q0y3aFaaLas/SSjHn3SX9nI/AAAAAAAAE-Q/FNZ6Ag2LWNE/s1600-h/049.JPG

Sorry, I don't have anything to add to the discussion, I just want to say this girl is beautiful and does not look her age! :D

bludejavu
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:14 PM
Julie - answer one question that I've seen many posters here wondering about (I'm one that is wondering too). What was your number one reason for starting this thread?

If you need help with a colt being ridden saddle seat - why not ask on a saddle seat board? I'm sorry - I just totally fail to understand why you started this thread - help me and others who have wondered the same thing, understand.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:24 PM
EV, I too am not trying to be snarky, but when the title of the blog post is "A Typical Lesson ..." it's hard to read that this is only your 4th lesson on this horse (so you aren't a novice) and first time cantering. Also, the photos posted focus on the 25% of the lesson that was bad - which came at the end of the lesson. There may be something to that as well - an hour at his age and stage of development is awfully long. Quit before he gets tired (and grumpy) and says he just doesn't want to do it any more.

What about posting photos of when he was being good - to allow those commenting to see the difference? When you are only shown the bad, we have nothing to compare and contrast with, and then focus on the negative. Focus on the positive - and remember for 45 minutes he was being good. Perhaps even though in your human mind you weren't finished, you should have said, "good boy, we're done." And then, next lesson, pick up and start working in this other direction?

wow - now I understand the misunderstanding!!! This was my 4th lesson WITH this horse. This was not MY 4th lesson. This was my first time to canter with this horse in this lesson program. Sorry about the confusion.

pony89
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:24 PM
I can really empathize with the troubles you are having! I have a smart, sensitive mare whose brain got fried somewhere along the way before I got her, and we struggled through the first year that I owned her before I ended up posting a similar "help" post! My mare was rearing and occasionally bucking, and everything was always just a big fight. Maybe some of what I had to try can help you!

I did notice that your saddle puts you in a chair position. I thought it might have been the saddleseat style, but some of the other saddleseat photos people have posted show heels aligned with hips. Even in the photos where you comment on how nice he is going, your heels are maybe 12-18 inches ahead of your hips. I mention this because my BO offered me her saddle, which everyone else loves, for me to try. For whatever reason, it puts me in an awful chair seat, and I cannot ride for beans in that saddle! It's a shame, as it's very comfy, but I cannot canter in it at all. I end up pounding up and down and cannot follow the motion at all, unless I drop my stirrups entirely. I wondered if it might happen to you, because in one of the pictures where you are commenting on his good behavior, there is definately daylight between you and the saddle, and it isn't because he is bucking.

We spent a lot of time doing suppling exercises. My mare had a hard time with her right lead, and would buck and misbehave when asked to canter in that direction. When she did pick it up, she would swap her back lead constantly in the corners. The trainer taught me how to soften and stretch her. I would put pressure on one rein to turn her head (similar to the one rein stop) and wait until she gave to release her. We did this both directions, and also at the walk and eventually the trot. When she is soft and supple, she can comfortably canter to the right now. We did have to work up to it a little. It didn't come right away, because she still expected it to be hard.

My mare is a very anxious sort, and it looks like your gelding is, too. She really, really worried about her mouth. As she misbehaved, I ended up being in her face more, and she got more worried, and around and around it went. After I started riding her after her stint at the trainers, I rode her for a long time (months and months!) with no contact whatsoever. I held the very very end of the reins, with big, droopy loops in my reins at all times. If I wanted to turn her, I would reach down to where my hand "should" have been, turn, and instantly release when I got the response I needed. When we cantered, even though it was hard to leave her alone, I just had to let her get her own balance. If she got fast, I turned her into a smaller circle, but I never ever touched her mouth other than that. Just let him do what he will, as long as he's forward - don't worry about his head, don't worry about anything, until he starts losing his anxiety. He can't think like that, he won't learn anything, he will just be worrying, worrying, worrying. Go as slow as you have to. Maybe you won't canter for 3 months - I didn't.

This had a couple of purposes. It let her get past her worries about her mouth. I had to keep this up past when I was prepared to take up contact, while she relaxed about it. Also, it made absolutely sure I was not balancing on the reins, ever. If you do this and find yourself losing your balance a little from time to time and having to catch yourself, you can almost guarantee that you were balancing on his mouth. By the time I was ready to take up contact again, my balance was much improved, my mare was less anxious, and my hands and seat were much more independent.

I know you have been riding for years and years. I had been, too. But when you come across a really sensitive horse, who is green and frustrated/confused, you sometimes have to take your riding up a notch. When I was in the midst of my problems, Thomas_1 told me "your riding may have worked for you before you found a pony that wouldn't put up and shut up." It is true! Sometimes there is a horse that really makes you reevaluate yourself, and if you will do what it takes to be able to fix it, you can ride at a whole new level. There were times that I felt like a total beginner, but in the end, I am so glad I put the time and effort in.

And to encourage you, in the last 1.5 years, my mare has turned into such a solid citizen. She is still sensitive, but now that is responsiveness instead of anxiety. I despaired at times, because it took nearly a year to get her built up to doing what we had been trying to do before, but when we were done, she did it correctly and willingly. That year is just a speck in the many years I plan to enjoy with her. I can literally try anything with her. She has every bit of the old spark of her personality, but now she is confident and game for anything.

I think your horse can be the dynamic show horse that you want him to be. Just go as slow as you have to. Build his confidence up, make sure he is soft and supple, let him feel really good about how things are going. Based on my personal experience, I would hold off cantering for another few months. Let him forget all about this little episode, and just start over. If it takes you another whole year to get him ready, who cares? You could have a truly great horse to show for another 15 years if he's like his mom, or you could go faster than he's comfortable, and end up with a neurotic horse that will never be truly successful.

Good luck!

shawneeAcres
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:27 PM
Julie - answer one question that I've seen many posters here wondering about (I'm one that is wondering too). What was your number one reason for starting this thread?

If you need help with a colt being ridden saddle seat - why not ask on a saddle seat board? I'm sorry - I just totally fail to understand why you started this thread - help me and others who have wondered the same thing, understand.

Just exactly WHERE did she "Ask for help" on her original post??? yet EVERYONE has offered up their "opinions" Nad remember opinions are like A**holes everyone has one! I think she was jsut wanting to SHARE not really ASK for everyone to make ASSUMPTIONS. I too have had my share of people jumping down my "throat" on this board from one or two pics/ or a short video clip! And I was only "sharing" but got all kinds of "advice". Sorry but I ahve been doing horses, teaching, training, running horse facilities for almost 40 years and REALLY am not going to take every word from someone who thinks they know it all, who posts on internet boards, as fact! And neither should the OP! She has been MORE than gracious to some pretty snarky folks (welcome to the NASTY COTH crowd!). There have been a few posts that are not this way, but overall people have been downright nasty and jumped to EXTREME conclusions about this hrose and rider. Many people offer up all kinds of "Advice" without reading what she has said! Her horse had a bad day, it happens to ALL of us. I've seen and had horses look and act this way too, and not because anything was lacking, done wrong, or the horse was hurting,but because the hrose was TESTING the rider to see how far they could go. I am not going to make ANY assuptions one way or the other about this horse or the OP. But I am going to say that most of you armchair trainers need to step back JSUT A LITTLE BIT here and listen to the tone of your posts, not just on this thread but on many others!

Sdhaurmsmom
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:31 PM
By her own words, the OP has been riding for years, so don't understand where everyone is getting "novice" from.

Again, it doesn't matter what the discipline is - this horse isn't ready for canter work and needs to go back to the basics. This horse has tons of Stonewall King in his genes, and they are notorious for being slow to mature BUT long lasting. They are also well known for not forgetting, so I'd want to make my experiences with them good ones.

I think people are getting 'novice' from her seat, leg, and hand position while riding. Time elapsed in the saddle is not the only thing that distinguishes a novice from a confirmed rider...

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 02:45 PM
Julie - answer one question that I've seen many posters here wondering about (I'm one that is wondering too). What was your number one reason for starting this thread?

If you need help with a colt being ridden saddle seat - why not ask on a saddle seat board? I'm sorry - I just totally fail to understand why you started this thread - help me and others who have wondered the same thing, understand.

I thought that this was an open horse forum where all diciplines of riding and breeds of horse owners got together to discuss everything from fly spray systems to riding success and failures. I understand that some things are specific to riding saddleseat, but this is just the basics and I thought here I would get a wide range of suggestions and information...to which I have! Again thank you all for what you took the time to type out to me.

Just because I ride Saddlebreds and choose saddleseat should not be reason for me to only associate and listen to one forum specific to that breed...at least I did not think so. I love horses. I appreciate all diciplines of riding and think that I can gleen the good from many methods. I also believe that what may work for one horse will not work for another..so having as much information as I can will work in our (my horse and myself) favor.

It is true that I have ridden for years. I have owned, bred and raised Saddlebreds. This boy is by far the toughest one I have ever worked with....and if that is not bad enough - I am just getting back into regular riding. When my Mother became ill, I stopped everything. All horses were stripped of their shoes and put into the back pasture. When mom died - it had such an effect on me, I was not sure if I ever wanted to ride again. I lost my desire. I tried to go back, but never stayed with it. Well, inbetween this horse and the old rescue Saddlebred, I am for the first time in 3 years back in the saddle on a regular basis.

I am sorry if I have dissappointed or embarassed anyone... I have no desire to stop posting on this board. Snarks are on every board... Some people just find it difficult to be polite, but most are not that way.

My long term goal was :
1. Get new ideas and suggestions
2. Slowly try some of them
3. Report back on what worked and what did not
4. ..and just track the progress and setbacks.

Julie

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:09 PM
Because this is the internet, and she doesn't know everyone here. Advice gotten on the internet needs time to be digested and interwoven with knowledge one has gained elsewhere- real life, trainers, experience, books, etc. Nobody should jump gung ho on the bandwagon just because a bunch of people on the internet say it's so.

Calling someone hopeless or helping them futile because they aren't adopting your point of view quickly enough for your tastes is so hurtful and unkind :(


Noooo, the idea that we can change each others minds is futile... there are 1,000,000 ways to get to Rome, telling someone your way is 'the way' is futile... I was not saying this person/horse are futile! All the differing opinion discussion are... horse slaughter, how to rescue, how to _____ [fill in blank]... futile.
Man, I can see how you took it that way, but noooo...
Same with accepting internet advice. Of course you do not take what each person says and run with it! Though I will say when the COTH members agree, ya' gotta' wonder.
Just accept that there are so many theories, and think about what might actually be an alternative route to your goals. Do *I* do that, every time? Of course not!

mbm
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:13 PM
there are many ways to get excellent pro training.... you could exchange work for riding time etc.

and in the end the bottom line is: it doens't appear that you, at this point in time - have the skills needed to help this horse succeed. and i dont mean that in a mean way... based on the photos that appears to be the truth.

also the number one thing with a youngster (or any green horse) is to set them up to succeed. so that means only 20 minute rides if they only have the strength for that. not hour + lessons .....

again i pull from my own horses - my greenies i ride for 20minutes tops.... and i always end on a positive note. and if something happens that i am not able to work thru very quickly - i re think my lesson plans so the horse doesn't learn that behavior.

all of this is just good basic horsemanship - not dressage specific.

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:23 PM
EV, I too am not trying to be snarky, but when the title of the blog post is "A Typical Lesson ..." it's hard to read that this is only your 4th lesson on this horse (so you aren't a novice) and first time cantering. Also, the photos posted focus on the 25% of the lesson that was bad - which came at the end of the lesson. There may be something to that as well - an hour at his age and stage of development is awfully long. Quit before he gets tired (and grumpy) and says he just doesn't want to do it any more.

What about posting photos of when he was being good - to allow those commenting to see the difference?
Check the blog. There are pics of this lady riding this horse in a field and he is lovely and looks much happier.
It makes me wonder what the difference is- the field being wide open? The lack of pressure of lessoning? the lack of confinement of a small [ring] space making the horse feel more comfortable? Something else completely?

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:37 PM
I just re-read your blog and te first few posts here by you, looking for where you note this is the 4th lesson you two have had... can't find it.

Then I noticed this:

Here are some things my instructor told me.


3. "A lesson is a lesson. They are suppose to only be an hour long - but some horses demand a two hour lesson!"

I reallllllllly like my teacher! Thank you Kelli..

Did you ride this horse 2 hours or am I misunderstanding?

JSwan
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
I apologize for not reading all the posts before responding. I usually do.

First, you're nuts... I mean brave to posts photos!:lol:

Second, I'm pretty ignorant about your discipline but that's a nice little horse you got there. Don't know why you're having trouble but I'm impressed you stayed with the rear. I've seen people "clench" and you know what happens when a rider pulls. Hard to overcome that instinct.

Third, you're nuts.... I mean brave to ride a youngster on a cold windy day. :lol:

If it helps at all good old fashioned boring dressage is usually the cure for flexibility and suppleness once physical causes are ruled out. You probably already know that but it's something I tend to harp about.

Nice horse - I'd not kick it out of my barn. You should see the wooly mammoth I just dropped off at a friends barn for training. Maybe I'll send you photos and we can compare our horse's airs above the ground!

Good luck.


ETA - Angela, I just read your last few posts. I don't know the history of this horse but one of my horses really loathes arena work. Get him out in the open, even schooling the same movements that I'd be doing in my arena and he's just more relaxed, moving freely.... etc. Maybe it's ME with the problem and not him - I don't know.


www.equusvilla.blogspot.com

One of my friends came to watch and photograph a lesson I took on a young horse. It was cold and very windy ...and the last 15 minutes of my lesson was a real show! ...and no - I did not come off of him!

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
Ah finally, post #40


Dropped back?? Are you assuming that my horse is low backed?

This was just my 4th lesson with Kelli. She is the one who discovered how rigid he is to the right and he is much more supple to it now than he was 4 lessons ago.

Thing is I think where some confusion is coming in is that you say this is the 4th lesson WITH KELLI. I think that may have left some thinking you had others lesson, not with Kelli and perhaps just started working with her. Esp when you note 'She is the one who discovered how rigid he is to the right...'
I read that wrong in that others had not discovered that right rigidity, meaning you had worked with others.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:46 PM
there are many ways to get excellent pro training.... you could exchange work for riding time etc.

and in the end the bottom line is: it doens't appear that you, at this point in time - have the skills needed to help this horse succeed. and i dont mean that in a mean way... based on the photos that appears to be the truth.

also the number one thing with a youngster (or any green horse) is to set them up to succeed. so that means only 20 minute rides if they only have the strength for that. not hour + lessons .....

again i pull from my own horses - my greenies i ride for 20minutes tops.... and i always end on a positive note. and if something happens that i am not able to work thru very quickly - i re think my lesson plans so the horse doesn't learn that behavior.

all of this is just good basic horsemanship - not dressage specific.

My hour lesson starts with tacking up and a discussion. I am the first lesson - so I get this luxury. We discuss what has been going on in the past week, good, bad, ideas etc. Then I lunge him. I am not riding him for an hour.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 03:54 PM
I just re-read your blog and te first few posts here by you, looking for where you note this is the 4th lesson you two have had... can't find it.

Then I noticed this:


Did you ride this horse 2 hours or am I misunderstanding?

No - I do not ride him for 2 hours. That was a joke. It was meant to mean that Kelli works through issues - she does not keep a stop watch. Every horse and rider stops on a good note.

CA ASB
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:10 PM
I laughed out loud when I read that I was balancing against his mouth...YEPPERS... I sure was at times and at times against any other object I could, to stay on and keep my balance.

In another post, you think that we'll all get the humor behind a blog titled, "A Typical Lesson ..." I didn't get it on trot and I don't get it here. Or, that we'll understand that the lesson wasn't two hours (I was also thinking that it went over an hour as well.) I also do not get anything to laugh about in the above quote that you were balancing against the horse's mouth. That's not funny. So, maybe there's a whole group of us who either had lemons for breakfast or just aren't getting any sense of humor or sarcasm through the Internet ...

While I did point out that many thought that you hadn't been riding for very long, the poster who pointed out that novice doesn't necessarily mean time in the saddle and then referred to your position is entirely correct. You have a green horse and, really, for this situation, you are a green rider. This is not a good combination. I realize that Kelli has faith in your riding skills and since you stayed on, that's a testament to your balance. But, horse first.

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
Please - Everyone Read this:

I thought that this was an open horse forum where all diciplines of riding and breeds of horse owners got together to discuss everything from fly spray systems to riding success and failures. I understand that some things are specific to riding saddleseat, but this is just the basics and I thought here I would get a wide range of suggestions and information...to which I have! Again thank you all for what you took the time to type out to me.

Just because I ride Saddlebreds and choose saddleseat should not be reason for me to only associate and listen to one forum specific to that breed...at least I did not think so. I love horses. I appreciate all diciplines of riding and think that I can gleen the good from many methods. I also believe that what may work for one horse will not work for another..so having as much information as I can will work in our (my horse and myself) favor.

***AS FOR MY RIDING HISTORY***

It is true that I have ridden for years. I have owned, bred and raised Saddlebreds. This boy is by far the toughest one I have ever worked with....and if that is not bad enough - I am just getting back into regular riding. When my Mother became ill, I stopped everything. All horses were stripped of their shoes and put into the back pasture. When mom died - it had such an effect on me, I was not sure if I ever wanted to ride again. I lost my desire. I tried to go back, but never stayed with it. Well, inbetween this horse and the old rescue Saddlebred, I am for the first time in 3 years, back in the saddle on a regular basis.

I took riding lessons with Kelli years ago and she did an amazing job with a huge gelding I owned and made us a team. Kelli - whose main dicipline is dressage, has experience with Saddlebreds/ saddleseat riding-training as well. She was Don and Sue Roby's assistant trainer years ago. By all of her experience - she is a well rounded instructor.

I bred Dominus. I raised him at my farm until he was about 2 1/2 and then sent him to a Saddlebred trainer in TN. He excelled - but was tough and a slow learner. What one of my horses learned in 4 months, this boy took over 12 months to learn, and his TN trainer was very honest with me..he told me he was tough. He had very good days and some roudy ones. Neither of us wantted this horse to come home. On top of that, I felt as though I was bringing home a horse I did not even know. I tried some different things with him, but most of what I did was in lines. Yes - I did get on him from time to time, but I can get the same 'happy' pictures now at home - when we are just walking and doing light trot passes.

I knew by posting this I would get lots of information. Yes - that is what I wanted. I have been totally honest with you all. I have a potentially super nice American Saddlebred Gelding whom I am extremely proud of. I had to bring him home because my husband is ill. He was not even close to being finished. Did he give the trainer grief? Yes... Was it this bad? - probably not because he is a good trainer (better balance, quicker response, could read what was going to happen before it did...etc) I don't want to ruin him. I am reaching out to an Equine Knowledgable crowd. Please do not make fun of me or call me names. Also - just because I posted the 'bad' pictures - that does not mean that I ride that way all the time. I don't think I ever called myself a Novice. I called myself an Amatuer to which I AM! I have had a big bucking horse before - but never one that reared. Thankfully - this horse prefers to buck..I just chose to post as many pictures of one as the other.

I am sorry if I have dissappointed or embarassed anyone... I have no desire to stop posting on this board. Snarks are on every board... Some people just find it difficult to be polite, but most are not that way.

My long term goal was :
1. Get new ideas and suggestions
2. Slowly try some of them
3. Report back on what worked and what did not
4. ..and just track the progress and setbacks.

Very Sincerely,

SmartAlex
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:45 PM
Did he give the trainer grief? Yes... Was it this bad? - probably not because he is a good trainer (better balance, quicker response, could read what was going to happen before it did...etc)

Don't forget, he also was able to be worked every day in a training facility.
The lack of time and facility is the downfall of many an AOTR. Myself included. In fact, I could be the poster child for "lack of time and facility".

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:45 PM
Noooo, the idea that we can change each others minds is futile... there are 1,000,000 ways to get to Rome, telling someone your way is 'the way' is futile... I was not saying this person/horse are futile! All the differing opinion discussion are... horse slaughter, how to rescue, how to _____ [fill in blank]... futile.

Except it ISN'T! It's just that when someone is bombarded with information, it takes time to sink in. If someone says "thanks for the info" it doesn't always mean "thanks for the info, I'm going to ignore it now."

Sometimes it means "Thanks for the info, I'm going to think about it next time I ride. And with that new way of thinking, maybe I'll notice something I haven't noticed before."

She needs to take all of this information on strength and soundness and such to her next ride with her and see if any of it makes sense in context. But certainly has gotten a lot of points of view she'd never have gotten if she stuck to a saddle seat only board, and that's good!

equusvilla
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:49 PM
Except it ISN'T! It's just that when someone is bombarded with information, it takes time to sink in. If someone says "thanks for the info" it doesn't always mean "thanks for the info, I'm going to ignore it now."

Sometimes it means "Thanks for the info, I'm going to think about it next time I ride. And with that new way of thinking, maybe I'll notice something I haven't noticed before."

She needs to take all of this information on strength and soundness and such to her next ride with her and see if any of it makes sense in context. But certainly has gotten a lot of points of view she'd never have gotten if she stuck to a saddle seat only board, and that's good!

Thank you...and I would never just go out on my own accord and do something totally new without my instructors help either.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 04:55 PM
Thank you...and I would never just go out on my own accord and do something totally new without my instructors help either.

Good, because 90% of the great ideas I get here don't pass my trainer's chuckle test (that's the one where I mention it and he chuckles with amusement and then goes on doing whatever he was doing). :lol:

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 05:04 PM
Except it ISN'T! It's just that when someone is bombarded with information, it takes time to sink in. If someone says "thanks for the info" it doesn't always mean "thanks for the info, I'm going to ignore it now."

Sometimes it means "Thanks for the info, I'm going to think about it next time I ride. And with that new way of thinking, maybe I'll notice something I haven't noticed before."

She needs to take all of this information on strength and soundness and such to her next ride with her and see if any of it makes sense in context. But certainly has gotten a lot of points of view she'd never have gotten if she stuck to a saddle seat only board, and that's good!
Again you misunderstood me.
I was explaining what I meant when I wrote 'futile'... basically what you wrote above- that things are not going to be lightbulb moment quick fixes that upon reading them the OP changes her mind/thought process.

BEARCAT
Jan. 14, 2009, 05:04 PM
and remember - this 'project' is only 4 weeks in the making.

This is what bothers me. This young horse appears to be rushed through training and does not have an understanding of connection, etc at the slower gaits. He is getting frustrated and "expressing himself" ;) , but really, I bet he would be a really willing partner if he could understand what was asked of him.

I have absolutely nothing against cantering young horses early on in their training IF they are ready and IF that is done to achieve having them learn to carry a rider at that gait, or if they have achieved a good forward walk and trot, but the horse in the picture is being forced into a frame he is not ready for.

Yes, we've all had the awkward photo where our horse has his ears back or teeth bare, but this horse is pinning his ears and grinding his teeth in most of the photos.

I bet he will make a great show horse some day if he is taught the proper way - back to basics!


As far as ever having a lesson like this, a friend was riding her 10 year old OTTB who raced for years and has been in training to event, and Dressage instructor said he absolutely was not ready for canter work. Yes, the horse can canter - duh!, but what she meant was that much, much work was needed at the walk and trot to teach him to carry himself, build proper muscles, soften, etc before achieving a proper canter.

Hope it helps you reassess your goals and I wish you the best of luck to you and that pretty horse of yours.

Sdhaurmsmom
Jan. 14, 2009, 05:42 PM
My long term goal was :
1. Get new ideas and suggestions
2. Slowly try some of them
3. Report back on what worked and what did not
4. ..and just track the progress and setbacks.

Very Sincerely,

This sounds like a good attitude! I have to say, you've been able to remain open-minded and gracious under fire here. Kudos to you for that, and for your intention to try new approaches in your work with your young horse.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 05:47 PM
This is what bothers me. This young horse appears to be rushed through training and does not have an understanding of connection, etc at the slower gaits. He is getting frustrated and "expressing himself" ;) , but really, I bet he would be a really willing partner if he could understand what was asked of him.

This is really applying dressage standards to another discipline, though. Saddlebreds are often showing under saddle at 2 years old. Clearly, they do things on a much different schedule!

And is "connection" even an issue in saddle seat?

And a lot of the things people are calling out about her seat and hands are, if not desirable, at least commonplace in the saddle seat world. Here's a winning show ride on a 4 year old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TarEaOr8tl4

3 year old futurity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgltt8A7l30

And for the OP, this horse belongs to a COTHer, a dressage saddlebred :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ynW0fDBuI

ASBnTX
Jan. 14, 2009, 06:04 PM
Hi EV,
I'd like to offer my input, for what it's worth, since we're in a sort of similar position...
I also have a coming 4 year old ASB gelding. I did about 6 months (yes 6 months!!) worth of groundwork with him before lightly backing him several times this fall. He's basically had the winter off, other than working on some good ground manners stuff, and lounging with tack. This Spring we're going to go to start working for real :) What I mean by that is 4-6 days of riding per week, no more than 20-30 minutes a session. The work will be teaching him to stretch, lift his back, and relax, at each gait, before we move on to the next. I expect it'll take quite a while before we're going nicely at all three gaits. I want him flexing, bending, and most of all comfortable and confident in everything we're doing. It's a long road, but he's a great horse, and worth the effort. I expect that it'll be soooo worth it in the long-run.
I'm telling you this because I know first-hand what happens when you try to force an ASB into anything they don't totally understand, and/or can't do. My horse has so much try, it would frustrate and upset him to no end if I ask him to do something that he simply wasn't physically capable of (I bet my results would look similar to your lesson) - and I know that right now, my boy is not physically capable of doing what you're asking your boy to do. They are SMART, SENSITIVE horses, but with you're experience, I'm sure you already know this. So my advice... take it slow! What's the hurry? ;)
BTW - I can tell you care very much for him. He's beautiful!!!!

S1969
Jan. 14, 2009, 06:45 PM
This is really applying dressage standards to another discipline, though. Saddlebreds are often showing under saddle at 2 years old. Clearly, they do things on a much different schedule!

And is "connection" even an issue in saddle seat?

And a lot of the things people are calling out about her seat and hands are, if not desirable, at least commonplace in the saddle seat world. Here's a winning show ride on a 4 year old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TarEaOr8tl4

3 year old futurity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgltt8A7l30

And for the OP, this horse belongs to a COTHer, a dressage saddlebred :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ynW0fDBuI

And TBs race at 2. It doesn't mean they are mentally or physically ready to do it, though, does it? My TB mare raced 4 times and despite good breeding and fast training times, she was "retired" at 3. Basically she sucked at being a racehorse. I suspect it probably wasn't her physical maturity that was the problem, but her personality and emotional maturity.

I haven't watched the videos you posted, but if the horses don't look upset and aren't rearing and bucking, then maybe *they* are ready for this much work. But the OPs horse is rearing, bucking, and fighting. So....maybe HE's not ready to move this fast, despite his age.

Deuce
Jan. 14, 2009, 06:49 PM
And a lot of the things people are calling out about her seat and hands are, if not desirable, at least commonplace in the saddle seat world. Here's a winning show ride on a 4 year old:



There isn't much on YouTube showing saddlebreds, or saddle seat to it's best. Most of it makes me cringe pretty badly. And I know one of the people in those video's... and have thought for years someone needs to take that persons stirrups up a half dozen holes and fix the legs. It's horribly distracting to watch.

It should look a little more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2QFNV3VMhQ

or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEEPIMB-2fI

or:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKK3QCmXZDo&feature=channel

...

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:13 PM
And for the OP, this horse belongs to a COTHer, a dressage saddlebred :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ynW0fDBuI
What I noticed is that in the vid above- of a lovely horse who looks relaxed and very fit for the work s/he is doing- the ASBs neck is not high up in the air a la a giraffe.
So while someone here on this thread said an ASB can not do that, obviously they can.
Those of us suggesting the OPs horse needs some down time, I imagine, are seeing some riding like this in their minds eye to let him get his balance and find how he wishes and can best carry himself.
Kinda' like this ASB at liberty:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsNq22amI_k&feature=channel_page

But heck I've been wrong before.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:14 PM
Two of the 3 videos you posted are still showing riders with their legs out in front, though. And look at the last video you posted when she goes into the canter? She comes way back in the saddle and the horse acts up.

I'm just saying it doesn't seem to be a good indicator of who is "novice" in saddle seat.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:17 PM
What I noticed is that in the vid above- of a lovely horse who looks relaxed and very fit for the work s/he is doing- the ASBs neck is not high up in the air a la a giraffe.
So while someone here on this thread said an ASB can not do that, obviously they can.

And completely unsuitable for saddle seat classes. Whether or not her horse COULD do that, she doesn't want it to, because that is not what she's going for. She WANTS his neck up.

According to some things I've read, they can have their neck up and still get their backs up and not be inverted, and that's considered more "ideal," but most of the horses I've seen in training for saddle seat are what dressage riders would call "inverted." It's not undesirable in saddle seat the way it is in dressage.

Angela Freda
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:44 PM
And completely unsuitable for saddle seat classes. Whether or not her horse COULD do that, she doesn't want it to, because that is not what she's going for. She WANTS his neck up.

According to some things I've read, they can have their neck up and still get their backs up and not be inverted, and that's considered more "ideal," but most of the horses I've seen in training for saddle seat are what dressage riders would call "inverted." It's not undesirable in saddle seat the way it is in dressage.
You [conveniently] edited my quote leaving this out:
'Those of us suggesting the OPs horse needs some down time, I imagine, are seeing some riding like this in their minds eye to let him get his balance and find how he wishes and can best carry himself.'

For the love of GOD!
The point most of I us I believe, and I know I, have been trying to make is that perhaps the horse could use some riding like this to get fit and strong and comfortable and to figure out what it is that makes him rear when he goes to the right. THEN he can be put into the ASB Saddleseat frame and do all that... hopeful more comfortably and without all the shenanigans to the right. I did not read any posts here who said 'forget doing saddles seat, this horse needs to do_____ forever'. I read posts by people offering that cross training and using techniques from other disciplines that might help him with the fitness that will certainly only help him with that venture into the Saddleseat ring. But maybe they never track right in a show? What do I know?

I want to be a supermodel, but at 42, 5'2" and 112#, I can prance around all I want... it still does not make it so.
Dressage riders with aspirations of going GP do not get up on their WB and crank and spank them into a frame, start them off piaffe'ing and call it Dressage - how successful do you think that approach is in the long run?
Some WP riders tie their horses head up so they will drop them way, waaaaay down in relief in the class. These, my friend, are called short cuts and are more likely to create an animal who hates his/her job than an animal who will stay sound and sane for the duration of their career.

The winner of the Hambeltonian this year, Deweycheatemanhowe, is an STB who swims in the pond and goes trail riding with a western saddle on to get fit as well as training on the track.

Every horse, regardless of discipline, is an athlete. The fitness needs to be there.
Great horses are not made in a matter of months or year... but many, many years...

grayarabpony
Jan. 14, 2009, 07:47 PM
What I noticed is that in the vid above- of a lovely horse who looks relaxed and very fit for the work s/he is doing- the ASBs neck is not high up in the air a la a giraffe.
So while someone here on this thread said an ASB can not do that, obviously they can.
Those of us suggesting the OPs horse needs some down time, I imagine, are seeing some riding like this in their minds eye to let him get his balance and find how he wishes and can best carry himself.
Kinda' like this ASB at liberty:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsNq22amI_k&feature=channel_page

But heck I've been wrong before.

I agree wholeheartedly with this.

I'd forget saddleseat training for now and let the dressage trainer help you get him going happily... he can do other things later. He's very young yet.

I have seen a few very nice Saddlebreds who were not naturally inverted and they were quite lovely. I'm sure a lot are like that -- I also knew a SB/ TB horse who was an excellent eventer. I think if this horse could use his neck to balance himself, stretch down through his back and didn't feel bottled up, he'd be a lot happier.

Does he only act up in the ring, or does he always act up going to the right?

pony89
Jan. 14, 2009, 08:16 PM
And completely unsuitable for saddle seat classes. Whether or not her horse COULD do that, she doesn't want it to, because that is not what she's going for. She WANTS his neck up.

According to some things I've read, they can have their neck up and still get their backs up and not be inverted, and that's considered more "ideal," but most of the horses I've seen in training for saddle seat are what dressage riders would call "inverted." It's not undesirable in saddle seat the way it is in dressage.


I would think that this would be a "refinement." First he needs to get comfortable and get a good foundation. Whoever said he needs to get his balance as if he were at liberty is on the money. If he is not comfortable and confident at all gaits, he isn't totally ready for refinements yet. OP, could you put him back in his "baby" tack until he will canter both ways? I think you mentioned a rubber bit? Maybe you just need to take him through the steps that the previous trainer did yourself, so he can gain confidence with you as well.

I know he has already been in training for a year, and I know some saddlebreds are showing at his age. To me, though, he just looks really young. He has a lanky look to him and doesn't look physically mature yet. All horses are individuals, and if he needs more time, he needs more time, regardless of what everyone else is doing.

It would be interesting to see a video of him. He certainly is a nice looking horse!

BEARCAT
Jan. 14, 2009, 09:02 PM
Also, who knows what happened to him at the trainer's... If my horse went to a professional trainer for OVER A YEAR, I would be a little miffed if that is what I got back...

"Colt #3 - Beautiful but laid back. Everyone thought he was so quiet - he was going to, at best, be a pleasure horse. Not much $$ to breed..yet still wonderful bloodlines. When it was time for him to be broke...he amazed everyone. Very talented, very energetic, but a pill under the saddle...lots of bucking and it took a long time to get him semi-broke. Well - after over a year in professional training this boy needed to come home. I am taking lessons on him and I feel like I am failing. He rears, he bucks, he fights me all the way through my lessons and since I am usually at home alone when I work horses - I do not feel safe riding him. I have to work him in lines."

OP, hang in there - I hope you find a solution, but evidently, this isn't it.


"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

CA ASB
Jan. 14, 2009, 09:03 PM
Not quoting, but trying to answer a few things.

Ambrey, very few Saddlebreds are shown their 2 year old year under saddle. Now, before I start, I don't think it's right to show two year olds US, but I think some of you believe it's far more common than it is.

I decided to do some stats. Last year, there were approximately 8500 Saddlebreds that showed at breed shows.

Only 11 shows had classes for two year olds under saddle, and only three of those had classes for 5 gaited horses (obviously far more stressful).

In 2008, there were a total of 62 two year olds shown under saddle (62 too many, but still). This is less than 1% of the total number of ASBs shown.

14 of those two year olds were 5 gaited. Of those 14, only five showed two times. All the rest were shown once in their two year old year. One of those five actually showed as a three gaited horse, so that means only four showed as 5 gaited horses twice.

Of the 48 that showed as 3 gaited horses, the most shown under saddle was three times. Only four horses did that. 16 horses showed twice. This means that 28 of the two year old 3 gaited horses only showed once in their two year old year (dang futurity $$s, don't get me started).

And no, good saddle seat horses do not have to travel inverted. They drop their rears in order to collect which still requires far more muscling than this youngster has at this point.

As to legs out in front, when watching saddle seat, watch the three gaited rather than five gaited videos. Even those who have the best eq will put their feet out in front on a gaited horse when it is slow gaiting or racking as the stirrups tend to jiggle off your feet unless there is a bit of leg bracing. At the three gaits most folks are used to, that heel should be back.

Ambrey - are you near the HB Equestrian Center? If that's where you are seeing saddle seat, PM me.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 09:50 PM
Ambrey - are you near the HB Equestrian Center? If that's where you are seeing saddle seat, PM me.

:yes:

But I wasn't trying to paint a picture of saddle seat ideal. I was simply saying that it might not mean the same thing in saddle seat training/riding as it would in dressage, and that without knowledge of the goals of saddle seat training forming opinions as to either this rider's ability or the trainer's ability based on the limited information we have might be premature.

Or maybe it does and I'm all wet, that's OK too.

CA ASB
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:27 PM
Here's a video of a Saddlebred that is the exact same age as the OP's. I just had the pleasure of speaking with his trainer who says that in all his years of working with horses, this is by far the fastest learning horse he's ever worked with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YHPP68yGS8&feature=channel


Ambrey - this guy is in So. Cal. I'm trying to get him to Equine Affaire.

Ambrey
Jan. 14, 2009, 10:34 PM
Wow, that's one gorgeous horse!

Incredibly solid and athletic for 3!!

cb06
Jan. 15, 2009, 10:39 AM
He's beautiful equusvilla! ...and I think you ride pretty darn well to stay with the greenie antics.
You've gotten some pretty good suggestions all in all...he may just not be quite ready, physically or mentally, for the canter work. For your sanity and his, I would stick with walk/trot under saddle for now when your trainer is not around and just do canter work on a large lunge circle...lots of transitions...let him find his balance (without rider or head set) and build some strength. I love that you mix in the lunging, long-lining and riding...I would continue with that and maybe even just saddle him up and do walk work/mini trail ride/cool down at the end of a long-lining or lunging session.

He does look very talented! Best of luck!

Blkarab
Jan. 15, 2009, 01:07 PM
OP--

When my arab was your gelding's age, she had the same look in her eyes, and tendency to throw her head up when she was agitated, angry, pissy, hot or whatever. She was being "naughty" in a sense, but it really was a reaction to her back being tight and her unwillingness to go forward due to having difficulty balancing a rider, and this was any rider, even trainers.

I have had her in consistent training with my current dressage instructor for 4 years now. After continual work on long and low, to get her back relaxed and supple, could we only then, start to work on more collection and contact with the bit.

What I see from your photos, is a young horse, who is uncomfortable. He's not strong enough in his back yet to have that much contact with his mouth, no matter the discipline. He's reacting by going up and going out with his bucks and rears and this is causing a dangerous situation for you.

My advice would be to take off the martingales and the curb bits, and just go back to very simple basics. The dressage basics are applicable for gaining a good, solid, biomechanical foundation on your guy, and then the finessing of the frame can happen later. He needs to become stronger in the back to carry a rider, first and foremost. To me, he looks like he needs to be lunged in side reins, with encouragement to stretch down, before any demands are made with contact to the bit.

The look in your guy's eyes from the very first picture says it all. He's not happy, he was energetic and his neck and back were very tight before you even started. He wasn't even relaxed when you mounted.

Have I had lessons like yours in the past? Sortof, not to that extent, and the reason was just like EqTrainers. We would not push the other gaits, until the back was relaxed and supple, the mind was engaged and the quality of the walk was established first and foremost.

I think you are on the right path, working with a dressage instructor. Ask her to help take you back to the basics. You can work on the other stuff later. Your guy is so young and has lots of time to become the great show horse you desire, but he won't be able to do it if his back is weak and he's rushed into the process. That will only cause him to break down and become sour with the work. If you look at the video of the Region 14 Saddleseat class riders, you can see that even though the horses are in the Saddleseat frame, there is still suppleness and relaxation in the necks and backs. The back has to be strong in order to accomplish this.

You have been given lots of advice that is very sound and appropriate, I hope that you will take it to heart.

Good luck.

CA ASB
Jan. 18, 2009, 11:23 PM
Here's one to compare and contrast with. This guy has been ridden 15-20 times total. No one is forcing him currently, although he is being ridden in a cutback. This video shows his first canter. There will be a buck in the second direction - more of a "I'm not sure what I'm doing" than a protest. Don't know his age, but this guy seems to be more ready mentally. EV, your guy just isn't yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXJM9hRxQt0

morrisfan1
Jan. 19, 2009, 08:08 PM
OH gosh! They didn't get a pony cookie later I hope.... :no:

FlashGordon
Jan. 19, 2009, 10:55 PM
This is really applying dressage standards to another discipline, though. Saddlebreds are often showing under saddle at 2 years old. Clearly, they do things on a much different schedule!

And is "connection" even an issue in saddle seat?

And a lot of the things people are calling out about her seat and hands are, if not desirable, at least commonplace in the saddle seat world. Here's a winning show ride on a 4 year old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TarEaOr8tl4

3 year old futurity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgltt8A7l30

And for the OP, this horse belongs to a COTHer, a dressage saddlebred :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ynW0fDBuI

Yum I'd take that 3 year old home... I bet he'd have been a super sporthorse prospect.

For what it is worth, I rode a really fun ASB for awhile last year. Both him and his get (ASB/WB crosses) had a tendency to reach DOWN.

These were horses being aimed at Sporthorse stuff NOT Saddleseat. But from the beginning, none of them had that head-up thing going on. Makes me wonder how much of that is trained in and how much is bred in? Probably a little of both I guess.

Personally I was surprised, I expected his head to be up in my face. But it was much the latter, and I've heard similar from other folks as well about ASBs.

SmartAlex
Jan. 20, 2009, 11:15 AM
These were horses being aimed at Sporthorse stuff NOT Saddleseat. But from the beginning, none of them had that head-up thing going on. Makes me wonder how much of that is trained in and how much is bred in? Probably a little of both I guess.

They try to breed it in, then they train it from there. Even the ones that are bred that way, can be trained to reach down, but it won't be easy. Especially after they have been trained to raise up, and really really tricky if they have ONLY been trained to raise up. Ideally, even a saddle seat horse should be trained both, but some aren't because they are rushed. In that case, what you can end up with is a horse that dives into the bridle asking to stretch. If he is never allowed to, or is punished for that, you will develop a really bad habit.

The ones that are being headed in the sport horse direction will most often be the ones that are not high headed enough to make them attractive prospects for Saddleseat.

I have two ASB at the moment. The grey horse, that I ride huntseat, can raise up (and trot level in keg shoes), but he would much rather stretch down. After attempting to get him into a double bridle, and saddleseat frame, I went back to a snaffle and a hunter frame, and I've never gotten so much "thankyouthankyouthankyou" telegraphed back through the reins. So, hunter is where he will stay.

My mare, is naturally very high headed. She has been shown both 5 gaited and western. She has been out of work for some time, so would require bridling in any case, but she will never be happy in a long and low frame, and would take a lot of work to overcome her initial training.

Remember, Saddleseat School teaches them to throw their heads up, look at stuff, and charge towards it bravely. We use a lot of visual stimulus. That's why we poof the baby powder, and wave the towels. However, sometimes we get one who is naturally too high headed, a stargazer. I can quote one story from the great Helen Crabtree. To get a fine harness mare to squat back, and arch her neck properly instead of star gazing, they buried a bag in the sawdust, and then when the mare came up to it, they pulled the bag out from under her nose making her look down at her footing. So, you see, some are so naturally high headed, they have to be brought down to even travel in a good Saddlebred frame!

hoser1
Jan. 20, 2009, 02:42 PM
OP, please don't take this as a criticism, but as I look at those pictures I say to myself "that lady is going to get hurt". Your horse is very cute and has a smart expression, but those shots depict a dangerous situation. He is starting to go up high and looks very fresh, and could easily lose his balance or make you lose yours. I have not read all the posts but I really think you should not focus on any discipline right now (saddleseat, dressage or other) and just get him going forward quietly and calmly in all 3 gaits with a gentle bit (jointed smooth snaffle with no leverage).

FlashGordon
Jan. 20, 2009, 04:09 PM
They try to breed it in, then they train it from there. Even the ones that are bred that way, can be trained to reach down, but it won't be easy. Especially after they have been trained to raise up, and really really tricky if they have ONLY been trained to raise up. Ideally, even a saddle seat horse should be trained both, but some aren't because they are rushed. In that case, what you can end up with is a horse that dives into the bridle asking to stretch. If he is never allowed to, or is punished for that, you will develop a really bad habit.

The ones that are being headed in the sport horse direction will most often be the ones that are not high headed enough to make them attractive prospects for Saddleseat.

I have two ASB at the moment. The grey horse, that I ride huntseat, can raise up (and trot level in keg shoes), but he would much rather stretch down. After attempting to get him into a double bridle, and saddleseat frame, I went back to a snaffle and a hunter frame, and I've never gotten so much "thankyouthankyouthankyou" telegraphed back through the reins. So, hunter is where he will stay.

My mare, is naturally very high headed. She has been shown both 5 gaited and western. She has been out of work for some time, so would require bridling in any case, but she will never be happy in a long and low frame, and would take a lot of work to overcome her initial training.

Remember, Saddleseat School teaches them to throw their heads up, look at stuff, and charge towards it bravely. We use a lot of visual stimulus. That's why we poof the baby powder, and wave the towels. However, sometimes we get one who is naturally too high headed, a stargazer. I can quote one story from the great Helen Crabtree. To get a fine harness mare to squat back, and arch her neck properly instead of star gazing, they buried a bag in the sawdust, and then when the mare came up to it, they pulled the bag out from under her nose making her look down at her footing. So, you see, some are so naturally high headed, they have to be brought down to even travel in a good Saddlebred frame!

Hey SA thanks for the perspective. By the way I loooove your grey horse!!!

Auventera Two
Jan. 20, 2009, 04:42 PM
[quote=enjoytheride;3802008]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G26fkrEPwKk&feature=related
[quote]

OK, now THAT is freaky. What the heck is that trainer throwing in the air? That dog in the arena is freaky, too.

That video is pretty effed up. And I just LOVE how the poor beast's legs are tied together too. What a joke.

Auventera Two
Jan. 20, 2009, 04:57 PM
Good suggestion. I have been able to try 3. One was sooo scarry. It just did not fit me at all. Pretty sure it was way too big because I could not find my 'center' at the trot - (when he way bahaving) .

Quit saying your horse is "misbehaving." HE'S NOT. HE IS IN PAIN AND YOU AS THE RESPONSIBLE ADULT NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHY. If you can't or won't, then sell him to the next person with 500 bucks so they can fix it. This whole thread is insane.

Tiffani B
Jan. 20, 2009, 05:00 PM
That video is pretty effed up. And I just LOVE how the poor beast's legs are tied together too. What a joke.

I'd agree with you if the legs actually WERE tied together. But since they aren't, and instead a length of elastic is being used for resistance and strength training to build muscle and endurance, it's fairly benign. You certainly don't have to use it if you don't like it. :)

goeslikestink
Jan. 21, 2009, 06:53 PM
i hesitated to post on this thread....

but i thought about this horse all evening...

so to the OP my post is meant in all kindness and not meant as a snark and i hope you take it as such.

ok that said - what i see is a novice rider over horsed. and a young horse that is completely and utterly confused.

the fact that his behavior is continual is telling you loud and clear that what you are doing is not working.

Also think about what you *have* taught him : to rear, to buck, to get out of work, to not go forward etc.

a good trainer would be able to ride the horse forward in such a manner that kindly shows him the correct way to go. sure youngsters can misbehave - but when they do it is important to really look at what you are doing and what the horses reaction is and not let it continue.

here is an example from my own life: i have a coming 5 yo off the track mare... i rode her for the first time this past weekend with my trainer in a lesson. everything went swell until i asked for canter. the mare exploded and it was very clear that she had done this before and gotten away with it and worse - gotten very good at it. so now i need to re-evaulate her training plan and adjust for this new development. i will NOT ride her the same as i was because what i did produced the rearing etc. and while i consider myself to be a advanced rider and well equipped to train her - someone else taught this mare how to rear really well. and now i get to pay for that so to speak.

so what i am trying to say is: no it is not "normal" for a horse to act like this continually - and you are over horsed if you are not able to change what you are doing so that he doesn't learn to be bad. otherwise you are just training him to be completely unridable and either you or the next person who gets him is going to get hurt.....

and also in general green on green is not a good idea and this is exactly why.

good luck and my suggestion would be to put him in training with a GOOD trainer - not one who will ride him in a twisted bradoon with a tight martingale etc. and find yourself a nice school master to work on your seat.... in this way will your horse become a good solid citizen and you a good solid rider.

echo and one that doesnt tied his front legs together theres no short cut to properly trianed horses -- you want a bucker or rearer the just keep going the way your lovely trianer teaches him, plus puff the powder or sand into his eyes great
i think i will go into the equine market of selling money for old rope - she no more a good trianer than a tin of dog food as in time if you dont sort it thats where your horse will end up

Renae
Jan. 21, 2009, 07:23 PM
This thread is pretty crazy, but I just wanted to make a few comments on saddle seat riding and tack.

A saddle seat saddle does not have any longer of a tree or sit any farther back on a horse's back than a western saddle or a sidesaddle. With horses that have such a great range of motion with their forelgs you have to make sure that the saddle tree is not impeding the shoulders, if it does the horse will get sore and that will be reflected in his behavior and performance. Hunt and dressage saddles do have shorter trees than saddle seat saddles as that is what works for those sports, but I have also seen many hunt and dressage horses with saddles placed much too far forwards who would be moving much more freely and comfortably if their saddles were not impeding the shoulders.

Rider position when riding saddle seat should be very similiar to the balanced seat position taught by centered riding oriented instructors with the exception of the lower leg should be let fall naturally away from the horse. You never grip a saddle seat horse with the lower leg or constantly nag one with it, you give a cue and release it. Most saddle seat riders choose to ride in a modern saddle that has either set back or adjustable stirrup bars so that the stirrups can hang at the correct point relative to the seat of the saddle and the rider's length of thigh. Riding in an older saddle seat saddle with forward bars is like riding in an older western saddle with forward set stirrups, its not the way people ride so much anymore and hinders you in finding a centered, balanced position with ears, shoulders, hips and heels aligned.

Auventera Two and goeslikestink developers/stretchies are not tieing a horse's front legs together. It is a piece of latex surgical tubing that I can easily stretch with my own hands. Nothing makes the horse pull them, in fact there are horses that won't pull them and will trot low or unevenly to avoid pulling them, these horses you do not use them on (and these horses are usually horses that are not forward enough to make good saddle seat show horses anyways). They are used for a few mintues semi-regularly in conditioning training to develop the forearm, arm, chest and shoulder muscles so that when the horse does not have them on work is easier. Just as you may lift weights or exercise on some sort of resistance machine.

grayarabpony
Jan. 21, 2009, 07:51 PM
A saddle seat saddle does not have any longer of a tree or sit any farther back on a horse's back than a western saddle or a sidesaddle. With horses that have such a great range of motion with their forelgs you have to make sure that the saddle tree is not impeding the shoulders, if it does the horse will get sore and that will be reflected in his behavior and performance. Hunt and dressage saddles do have shorter trees than saddle seat saddles as that is what works for those sports, but I have also seen many hunt and dressage horses with saddles placed much too far forwards who would be moving much more freely and comfortably if their saddles were not impeding the shoulders.



Yes, it's true that some English riders ride with the saddle too far forward. And while it's also true that a Western Saddle extends further back than a jumping or dressage saddle, the pressure is more evenly distributed than in an English saddle, and a Western rider does not sit at the back of the saddle. He basically sits in the same location that an English rider does.

Tiffani B
Jan. 21, 2009, 09:50 PM
I'd have to disagree with this. I've shown several horses Western and Saddle Seat (same horse, two seats) and I sit in the exact same place on the horse in either saddle. And a SS saddle feels remarkably like a Western saddle in terms of the seat... minus the bulk under your legs. If you haven't ridden Saddle Seat, you probably wouldn't be aware of this. :D

A Saddle Seat saddle is a LOT bigger than a hunt or dressage saddle in terms of square inches. This means the rider's weight is distributed over a greater area, just like a Western saddle. The panels are bigger, the seat/tree is wider, the seat is longer... and I adjust where I sit for the comfort of each horse. Just because the saddle "fits" in a certain spot on a horses' back, does not mean that it's the best place for the RIDER to be seated. The longer length of a cutback allows me to move forward or backward depending on the horse.

And we RARELY deal with the interminable fitting issues that seem to plague other English disciplines. Cutbacks FIT. Period. There are very few horses a cutback won't fit on properly. I've used the same saddle on Quarter Horses, TBs, Arabs, Morgans and ASBs, and it fit them all. Shark fin withers, short backs and long backs, 2x4s or barrels - it didn't matter. I don't know WHY this is, but it is. I think in the over 20 years I've been in the SS industry I've met maybe a handful of horses who had to have a saddle fitted to them, and most of those were horses with lordosis where saddle fitting is kind of a "duh.. a regular saddle won't fit THAT back."

Therefore, in Saddle Seat, we tend to focus more on the saddle fitting the RIDER and not worry so much about it fitting the horse, because quite simply, it most likely WILL fit the horse.

Anyways, this is seriously off topic. :lol:

grayarabpony
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:38 AM
I'd have to disagree with this. I've shown several horses Western and Saddle Seat (same horse, two seats) and I sit in the exact same place on the horse in either saddle. And a SS saddle feels remarkably like a Western saddle in terms of the seat... minus the bulk under your legs. If you haven't ridden Saddle Seat, you probably wouldn't be aware of this. :D



No, I haven't ridden Saddle Seat, just English and a little Western.

The only Saddle Seat riding I've seen is at the State Fair, and they were sitting much further back than I've seen in any other discipline. Perhaps I'm just remembering some really strong examples of that, and it's not typical..

I think we agree that English saddles are a pain to fit the horse, because of the pressure points.

Tiffani B
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:09 AM
Some riders tend to get tossed back in the saddle because of the strong impulsion of the horse and uphill carriage. I'm guilty of that myself... :cool: My current horse has a VERY lofty trot and WOW can it be hard to keep my balance centered on him when he gets revved up. I'm getting better though!

A lot of the trainers purposely ride further back because it helps the horse elevate in front. That doesn't mean it's correct. ;)

goeslikestink
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:09 AM
Auventera Two and goeslikestink developers/stretchies are not tieing a horse's front legs together. It is a piece of latex surgical tubing that I can easily stretch with my own hands. Nothing makes the horse pull them, in fact there are horses that won't pull them and will trot low or unevenly to avoid pulling them, these horses you do not use them on (and these horses are usually horses that are not forward enough to make good saddle seat show horses anyways). They are used for a few mintues semi-regularly in conditioning training to develop the forearm, arm, chest and shoulder muscles so that when the horse does not have them on work is easier. Just as you may lift weights or exercise on some sort of resistance machine.[/QUOTE]

ooh get out , its elasticated -- try having a rubber bands round your wrists then having them tied to gether then area of your wrist will blow up as the elastic restricts the blood flow
and the circualtion

the horse is 3yrs old and a baby the training methods arnt ones that would be used i education in a horse way of going its a cheap cheats way of trianing -- period
and does nothing for the horse except make him a uncomfortable

Bluey
Jan. 22, 2009, 09:34 AM
ooh get out , its elasticated -- try having a rubber bands round your wrists then having them tied to gether then area of your wrist will blow up as the elastic restricts the blood flow
and the circualtion

the horse is 3yrs old and a baby the training methods arnt ones that would be used i education in a horse way of going its a cheap cheats way of trianing -- period
and does nothing for the horse except make him a uncomfortable[/QUOTE]


GLS, you are in England and maybe have not seen those kinds of horses and training in person, so you can't even imagine what it is like when you have them in front of you.
Big shock, it seems utterly absurd, if you have been in horses and training as you and I have been in Europe.

On the other hand, I was clearly a little bit disturbed, if silently, watching all that going on in the stables and show arena at the Madison Square Garden Nationals.
I was there with the jumpers, after I was in the USA only a few weeks and someone kindly informed me that those gaited people with the to me grotesque horses, if asked their opinion of jumpers, would have told us how horrified they were that anyone would put themselves and worse, their horses, at such risks as trying to get around those horrifyingly big, scary jumps.
They had a point, as sometimes, if not that often, someone would crash.:(

So, you see, we need to learn to put what we see in perspective and, although we should not be silenced about what we think, we should understand that not all are seeing the same we do.

As for those pictures, well, to someone in any one discipline other than gaited horses, there is too much very basicly wrong there, but I think the OP is learning already what and why from what has been said.
In the context of what she does, it may not seem relevant to her, I would not know.:confused:

Then, in the context of what COTH represents, it is to many of the rest of us.:yes:

cb06
Jan. 22, 2009, 10:39 AM
"ooh get out , its elasticated -- try having a rubber bands round your wrists then having them tied to gether then area of your wrist will blow up as the elastic restricts the blood flow
and the circualtion"

Training shackles...
http://www.stagecoachwest.com/productDetail.asp?id=25012&md=d&mode=showDetail

are very often misunderstood by those who have not used them. They are a piece of leather (think short dog collar) covered in FLEECE and connected with surgical tubing. The fleece covered leather is NOT buckled on the pastern tightly. They are adjusted just tight enough to not slip over the fetlock or off the hoof....they are NOT tight. The length of the tubing can also be easily adjusted to each individual horse...ideally that would be just tight enough that the horse feels resistance only near top of its stride. (I have recut tubing many, many times). The tubing is connected to the rings by doubling it back and wrapping with electric tape. This serves two purposes 1) it is easily adjusted and 2) it is a weak spot and will break relatively easily should the horse become 'discombobulated'. As others have said, it is basic resistence training and some horses will use them, some will not.

Despite initial impressions and an unfortunate name, in practice this is a very benign training aid....very benign....does NOT hurt a horse in any way.

cb06
Jan. 22, 2009, 10:46 AM
Equusvilla, I meant to add, jingles for your puppy dog. I hope all goes well with the surgery...she is a cutie and I hope she will pull through this.

equusvilla
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:36 AM
I have closely read every single post. As I said before, I started this topic on COTH to get a wide range of ideas and to the many who have kindly advised me, I am so appreciative to you!!! We are taking a step back to basics, changing some equipment and will move forward - slowly...as slowly as Dominus needs.. as slowly as I need, so that we can become a team.

I understand that the saddleseat dicipline is vastly different from some other riding forms, in equipment as well as desired end results. Just as I do not understand other riding/training techinques, I imagine many do not understand Saddleseat, but I placed myself here to learn...and if in that course I can dispel a Saddleseat/Saddlebred myth - to which there are many, I would love to do that as well.

The pictures I posted were the worst of the worst. I love my Dominus and would never do anything intentionally to hurt him, nor do I myself want to get hurt. I look forward to reporting on our progress which as already started to manifest!

As for my Chrissy dog, she is home and I am happy.

Ambrey
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:42 AM
Can't wait to see some pics of you guys on a good day!

The saddleseat discussion has been really interesting!

goeslikestink
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:58 AM
ball and chain------ perhaps you humans should try having your legs ealastically tied together
as for the jumping point of view,
thats not in the same context horses arnt asked to jump with big elastic bands on
if the horses do it becuase they enjoy it all my horses love to jump they get excited and say yeah mum lets go but with added triaining helps the horse the same as dressage helps
the horses way of going

Bluey
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:02 PM
ball and chain------ perhaps you humans should try having your legs ealastically tied together
as for the jumping point of view,
thats not in the same context horses arnt asked to jump with big elastic bands on
if the horses do it becuase they enjoy it all my horses love to jump they get excited and say yeah mum lets go but with added triaining helps the horse the same as dressage helps
the horses way of going

It is all about perspective, what you do and what you know of what you do and what you think it looks when others do what they do.

Here, they say to walk in someone else's shoes before you crucify them too quickly.

goeslikestink
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:33 PM
It is all about perspective, what you do and what you know of what you do and what you think it looks when others do what they do.

Here, they say to walk in someone else's shoes before you crucify them too quickly.

exactly now put yourself in his shoes

we are not talking about jumping etc we talking about this horse in question
so tied your legs together

ok rubbar bands elastic band you dont think i know the prospective in how it works
the horse obviously will lift his legs higher to get away from the pull of the elastic
its logical but then think about pasterns and damage or the footfall of the horse as it twang back to where the elastic band should be before it stretched to the outer limits of the band
which is full force -- so the foot fall back ans then the horses tend to develope long pasterns due to this type of triaining - which isnt confromationaal fault but the fualt in how the horse was educated in this way by using elastic bands
plus added dirty great big shoes etc this poor old soul of a youngster wont last that long as he will have feet leg and all kinds of issues later in life

ask yourself put your horse in them then if you think they so hot to use as training aid

as for putting myself in others shoes as you call it i do often in the horse kind
i have had more horses and ponies than most have hot dinners as i often re hab and re school and re trian the ones people dont want or are rogue horses theres never bad horses just bad people

as its the human hand that teaches the horse right or wrong

Ambrey
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:49 PM
75% of the things done in any discipline that are aimed at winning shows are not done in the horse's best interests.

So let's all stay off of our high horses (ha ha, get it?) and accept that every discipline does things that are not abusive or pain causing, but might not be what the horse would prefer to be doing at the time. The video with the elastics wasn't the OP, was it? It was someone conditioning a show horse.

If this is going to turn into a debate on training methods, someone needs to start a new thread :yes:.

cb06
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:52 PM
They are used for trot work only....never canter.

They do not damage a horses legs in any way, long or short term...the rubber is not that stiff and they are not used for long periods of time.

equusvilla
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:07 PM
75% of the things done in any discipline that are aimed at winning shows are not done in the horse's best interests.

So let's all stay off of our high horses (ha ha, get it?) and accept that every discipline does things that are not abusive or pain causing, but might not be what the horse would prefer to be doing at the time. The video with the elastics wasn't the OP, was it? It was someone conditioning a show horse.

If this is going to turn into a debate on training methods, someone needs to start a new thread :yes:.

None of the videos are of my horse... Dominus does not have long feet nor is he wearing heavy shoes - only a plate - same as any pleasure Quarter Horse would wear. He was also not being ridden in stretchies. I agree with Ambrey - start another post if you want to have a debate.

Outside from a very few, this thread has been very curtious and informative. Being polite is such a simple effort. Can we please keep it that way?

Eventer13
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:17 PM
exactly now put yourself in his shoes

we are not talking about jumping etc we talking about this horse in question
so tied your legs together

ok rubbar bands elastic band you dont think i know the prospective in how it works
the horse obviously will lift his legs higher to get away from the pull of the elastic
its logical but then think about pasterns and damage or the footfall of the horse as it twang back to where the elastic band should be before it stretched to the outer limits of the band
which is full force -- so the foot fall back ans then the horses tend to develope long pasterns due to this type of triaining - which isnt confromationaal fault but the fualt in how the horse was educated in this way by using elastic bands
plus added dirty great big shoes etc this poor old soul of a youngster wont last that long as he will have feet leg and all kinds of issues later in life

ask yourself put your horse in them then if you think they so hot to use as training aid

as for putting myself in others shoes as you call it i do often in the horse kind
i have had more horses and ponies than most have hot dinners as i often re hab and re school and re trian the ones people dont want or are rogue horses theres never bad horses just bad people

as its the human hand that teaches the horse right or wrong

goeslikestink- have you ever used those elasticized rubber band type things for your own muscle conditioning? Like these: http://www.utdol.com/patients/content/images/emer_pix/Hip_abduction.jpg

You can get them in a variety of sizes and tensions. Now I've never done saddleseat, but that's what those things reminded me of. They dont hurt a person when used correctly and in moderation. If the previous posters are truthful when saying that it only comes into play at the top of the stride when the leg is the highest- I have a hard time thinking it causes that much tension or strain on the horse. And, like humans, I would expect the horse to decrease the knee action as they got tired so there was less resistence. Honestly- it looks very easy for a horse to totally evade the action of those things at all, simply by changing their stride. So they can't be causing that much stress on the horse if he is so ho-hum about it.

I also question the idea that they damage the fetlock. If that were the case, wouldnt there be a ton of saddleseat horses with ringbone?

SmartAlex
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:37 PM
Let me ask you this. Used properly, are the following devices abusive:

Hobbles
Running Martingales
Chambons
De Gouges

SmartAlex
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:39 PM
I also question the idea that they damage the fetlock. If that were the case, wouldnt there be a ton of saddleseat horses with ringbone?

The stretchies are only used for 5-10 minutes a couple times a week. The pressure of the cuff is directed downward and distributed around the coronet band, and upward against the fetlock.
In over 30 years I have never ever seen a single example of any Saddleseat horse with ringbone. Nor have I heard of one.

CA ASB
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:41 PM
FYI, stretchies break very easily and will break before any damage would be caused to the leg.

bludejavu
Jan. 22, 2009, 01:43 PM
As a person who has used stretchies on multiple horses over the years, I can definitely attest to the fact that a horse can choose to either use them or not use them. When given an ample amount of length in the surgical tubing, a horse can decide for themselves whether it's something they want to play with. When I buckle them on, there is usually about two inches of extra room in the collars themselves so they are not tight at all, and the leather collars are always enclosed in fleece covers. I've never had so much as a wear mark on a horse and I never use them more than 10 minutes at a time in a single work session, and usually they are used less than that, at the trot only. Some horses they simply aren't effective on and other horses think they're fun to stretch and trot with. It all depends on what the horse itself decides to do with them as to whether they are used regularly or not. As far as horses breaking down from usage, none of mine ever have. I lost one of my oldest ones this last March at 33 years of age. I rode him until he was 27 and he was never unsound but he became feeble. He wore stretchers many times before I reschooled him for the western divisions at age 17, and he loved them.

ETA - as for ringbone, my husband and I have owned over 60 Saddlebreds between us in the last 22 years. None of them have ever developed ringbone problems. The only time I have seen ringbone was with a friend's Saddlebred pony who she retired on our farm due to the problem. He had never worn stretchies in his life as he was a pleasure pony only.

Bluey
Jan. 22, 2009, 06:18 PM
Ringbone may have different causes, even a pasture accident may cause it, so you were lucky you didn't have a horse with it ever.:yes:

Tiffani B
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:39 PM
No, goeslikestink (love your name! :lol:) the elastic does not "snap" back pulling the leg back down. Remember, when a horse is trotting, as one leg is returning down to the ground, the other leg is on the way UP. They pass each other in mid air. So instead of the leg on the ground pulling the "up" leg "down", it's the complete opposite.

The leg in the air is effectively pulling the leg on the ground UP for a very brief moment. About halfway up the stride, when the legs pass in midair and there is no tension on the elastic, the leg on the way up begins to encounter tension and has to pull UP on the elastic. This provides a tremendous resistance workout for the forearm and shoulder muscles.

If a horse doesn't want to pull the elastic, they simply step "around" the stretchie. We call it "trotting under himself" when they do this. It's kind of funny to watch, especially if the horse naturally has very high knee action. Suddenly they have NONE! If you have a horse who won't pull the stretcher, you simply don't bother using them.

There is NO abrasion, no bruising, no injury or trauma to the leg. As knowledgeable horse people who are perfectly capable of recognizing minor pain or lameness symptoms in a horse, we'd all know it quite quickly if this device (or even the chain bracelets they sometimes wear) was causing ANY pain whatsoever. In decades of testing in what I like to call "the laboratory of life" ;) I'd have to say none of these action devices are harmful when used correctly. (When used INcorrectly? You bet they could cause harm! But then again, so could a spur or a whip).

Anyways, I realize a lot of folks consider using muscle-building techniques like this as taking a shortcut or somehow "cheating" instead of actually TRAINING. And you know what? That's an opinion that you're entitled to. I also realize that in Dressage, the entire focus of the riding is to control and adjust the horses' movement and balance. That's the whole POINT. That is NOT the point of Saddle Seat. We focus on other things - so improving muscle, coordination and balance are done in other ways so we can use our seat and bridle to create other types of desirable performance in the horse.

You might spend a whole hour doing gymnastic work, trotting spirals, doing cavaletti, whatever, to achieve muscling or balance adjustments. We incorporate those activities as well - but we ALSO use resistance training.

In human exercise, it's always recommended that you have a varied and well rounded workout consisting of stretching, cardio, and weights. In contrast, when working a horse, all you can give them is stretching and cardio. You can increase the difficulty of the movements in the stretching and cardio, but you are never incorporating WEIGHT training unless you add an outside device. For people, that is weights, whether they be cans of soup or barbells or elastic bands. With a horse, it's the same concept. We add the weight of a 6-8oz pair of loose chains, or an elastic band to pull on.

Wearing these devices will NEVER increase their knee action - but it CAN increase their strength and RANGE of motion (flexibility) and improve their timing, so if they naturally have the ability to roll that shoulder and pull their knee up to their nose, they can do it without much effort. And if they have a slightly "off" trot, for example maybe the hind leg wants to land a split second before the front, we can actually fix that timing issue with the chains. They help teach the horse to "feel" their feet and adjust their own timing so they match. Horses are naturally very rhythmic creatures - I'm sure you've seen some who adjust their stride to music. The little bit of weight around their ankle makes them time their stride differently, and eventually they time it the same way WITHOUT the chains.

I know it's foreign and easily misunderstood because it looks so darn WEIRD and to people used to everything being done "naturally" it probably looks forced. But IMHO, there is nothing more unnatural about muscling a horse up with an elastic stretchy band, or trotting poles for half an hour. In nature, if left to his own devices, the horse would NOT choose to do either one.

And really - the way a horse moves on their own, without human interference (or "training") is NATURAL. Human adjustments, whether via gymnastic work, stretching, cardio, hills, cavaletti, shoeing/trimming, resistance or weight training - is all unnatural because ALL of that will alter the way the horse naturally moves on their own. If you want judging to be based on a horses' natural way of going, bring them in from the pasture around age five, brush their coat, and turn them loose in the show ring. Don't ride them, don't trim or shoe them, don't do a thing to alter or influence their gait. But once you start adjusting their way of going, no matter HOW that is done, you are now out of the realm of "natural."

sdlbredfan
Jan. 25, 2009, 02:30 AM
I am still slogging through this thread, but the best, most helpful post I have read so far, among many good ones, is from pony89 on page 8! I agree too, that it looks like a different saddle may be needed, for now. Just for the record, I think Julie needs a huge round of applause for riding a young greenie outdoors on a windy day, that is far braver than I would be, at my age. That was fun when I was 18, but not anymore, LOL!

I have been riding since 1961. In my younger years I rode a huge number of greenies and problem child type horses. My lifetime horses ridden list is more than 100, I stopped counting at that point. So, I hope that this means I may have something helpful to share, I will do my best anyway!

I consider myself equally at home in either saddle seat or dressage, have had instruction in both, have attended numerous clinics, yadda yadda. I just wanted to remind this brave OP and the rest of you, that some of the very, very best saddle seat trainers of the past and present incorporate/have incorporated a lot of dressage techniques into starting young horses and this should be done. That means, among other things, is that you do ** not ** crank their heads up and noses in at this stage of their training. They, and OP should in this case allow this horse, teach him to if necessary, stretch out and lower his head. Those who have observed he does not yet have enough strength in his back are right on target, and working with his head low for awhile will help that.

This horse in particular is one that, if he were my project, I would first remove the martingale completely, and use a very, very mild snaffle (not the slow twist she mentioned). Many Saddlebreds are notorious for having low palates, and in many cases the 'fat' bit that another breed might find just wonderful may be a source of annoyance to them. I would put this horse in either a fairly thin diameter KK or a thin diameter smooth, not twist D-ring. I would longe him first, always a smart thing to do with a young greenie, but when I first get on, I would just walk, walk and walk some more until he is completely relaxed and not worried. I would do (what Julie said she is already doing) a lot of serpentines at walk and trot, as that does help with the bending. I would not canter him at all for a couple of weeks. When I might start cantering him again, it would be just for short distances, with a very, very loopy rein. Because of the rearing, I would completely stay out of his face until he has a firm understanding of the concept that forward is GOOD! I would most of all try to keep each ride fun and happy for him. No less a great horseman than Marty Mueller has been quoted as saying you must keep the colt happy. The horse is already telling you and us that he is very, very unhappy about something, probably multiple somethings. The key to having a great saddle seat show horse, as opposed to just a so-so one, is one that is bright, happy, using his ears and radiating joie-de-vivre.

So, I would suggest that you scale back what you are asking of this colt, and help him discover that he can take you for a ride without either of you becoming upset or tense. Once he starts to look like he is enjoying the rides again, then start asking for brief bits of cantering. If I think of something more, I will be back to edit, but please, know that I have the utmost admiration for her in posting this topic and those pictures, she is very brave and is obviously trying to do the right thing for her horse.

sdlbredfan
Jan. 25, 2009, 02:47 AM
Wow, the video of Samigator and Louie learning to canter was awesome! That is exactly the right thing to do with a young greenie, make the canter just an upshift from the trot at first, in a very relaxed manner and staying out of the horse's mouth. Eventually, saddle seat horses will canter from the walk, but that is, IMO, too much to expect from a greenie.

foggybok
Jan. 25, 2009, 04:23 AM
it's midnight and why not...

First of all for the OP, some positive things, looks like you handled the rear nicely without pulling him off balance and staying on the bucks was a good thing. That suggests your core balance is not so bad. On the other hand, I see you tensing up and your legs and upper body go forward and your back end goes way back and you collapse on yourself, which really diminishes the effectiveness of your riding and makes you less secure. You are going to need to work on your position to get this horse to go forward properly. I see you have been out of riding for a few years, that's all it takes sometimes....I know from experience! ;) I'd suggest that you work on a different horse until your strength is back, also do exercises on the ground for strength and balance. Let this horse sit for a while until your riding is solid again. This is all from personal experience, I used to ride all the rogues I could, but after getting a lot older, and then being without a horse for a few years, I had the exact same issue. Things are much better now, but it took getting off the green OTTB and onto a quiet and more finished horse for me to get back into it.

What does this horse go like for the trainer? After a year of training, if he is still going like this, I'd really consider physical issues. Some horses are tough, but that's a long time.... I'm assuming he went to a good trainer. If not physical, then something else, it's not normal for a horse to behave this way for over a year.

I saw you posted that the Chiro had difficulty working on him. If that's the case, he likely still has issues. Maybe massage or Acu?

As far as the horse not looking happy, he doesn't but you should see a pic my husband got of me on my old mare, she was NOT happy. But in general she is. On the other hand, your earlier blog post suggests that this is a bigger problem that one 15 minute episode. You posted that this behaviour is typical and that you are afraid of him. As long as this is true, you are not likely to progress with him. Again, that's why I suggest riding another horse until you get back into it again. Maybe you will never fell comfortable on him, but the better you feel riding in general, the greater chance you have. Once you are secure and solid in your seat, you can ride him forward and through this kind of behavior.


Good luck!

sdlbredfan
Jan. 27, 2009, 06:33 PM
I just came across this article online about rearing, and it has some good tips:
http://horses.about.com/od/commonproblems/a/rearing.htm?nl=1
Jeanie

Catmando
Jan. 28, 2009, 12:09 PM
"You're sitting on his loins -- way too far back."...thank you Greyarabpony

It took all the way to post #53 for someone to address WHERE the rider's weight is concentrated. A horse is not designed to carry any weight beyond the 18th rib....based on your photos, I'd say you were beyond it. That alone could explain the issues.

asb_own_me
Jan. 29, 2009, 02:37 PM
I will not be entering into the ongoing debate/criticism of saddle seat.

I DO want to comment on three things that jumped out at me immediately, and to agree with the posters who have previously brought these up.

Regarding rearing - the ONLY acceptable thing to do from a rear is go forward. I wouldn't do circles, one rein stops, or anything else. Forward forward forward. I own a rearer. She was RWC ASB Hunter in 2006 and she can be a complete nutjob. EV, CA ASB, bluedejavu, and probably several other folks on this thread know all about her. She is a rearer, it's not going to change, and she is simply mean about it. She will go all the way up and over. She's not in pain, she doesn't have an ill-fitting saddle, she's probably worn 100 different bits and even gone in a bitless bridle. Forward is the only acceptable thing to do when a horse rears. I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER REARER. If this behavior continues, shows up when trainers work with him, is brought on my different stimuli and not just one thing....I would get rid of him so fast your head would spin. My 3 y/o? He's a big gangly lug and not motivated enough to do something like that. I love him to pieces, he's quiet and honest for being such a young guy. If he reared tomorrow like my mare rears (no provocation, just to be mean) I'd sell his ass down the road in a heartbeat. No horse is worth getting yourself killed over.

Spurs - I'd lose the spurs. I'm not a big fan of them. I don't doubt your ability to keep them off his sides when they shouldn't be on his sides....I just don't like them very much. I'm a whip person. I think the reaction/punishment/reminder rendered by a whip is far more accurate and can be placed virtually anywhere on the horse's body. I think a whip is a far more useful tool.

Time - the length of the lesson. 45 minutes of good behavior. And you kept going? He's way too young, mentally, for that kind of work. I still stop with the 3 y/o (okay, I need to quit saying that, he's technically now 4 y/o) after far less time.

IMO. 23 years of riding. Hunters, jumpers, dressage, western, saddle seat, trail, foxhunting. Take it or leave it....but I'm not going to discuss saddle seat with anyone!

Wigwag
Jan. 31, 2009, 12:53 PM
I don't know why you all say you wouldn't come over here with those pictures?

It looks like a cute horse acting badly with a novice-ish rider. If people give you crap for a naughty horse outside on a cold windy day then they're lame and shouldn't be listened to anyway and clearly they don't ride enough to know that sometimes horses are just nuts. Not because something is *wrong* with them, but simply because they're horses.

The pictures made me laugh. Your friend has a nice camera! Your horse is adorable, all fuzzy and naughty! :)

No kidding. "There are no bad horses, only bad riders." Pish posh. Horses are free thinking individuals who often have opinions of their own, and they may or may not line up with the riders opinions that day! Nice pics, thanks for sharing. Took my mind off some things. :)

edited...wow, I absolutley did not realize this was an 11 page thread. I only read through the above quoted post which I think was on page 1. Hopefully ya'll have had an entertaining discussion. LOL

bludejavu
Jan. 31, 2009, 01:39 PM
Wigwag - it was truly a spirited discussion but a civil one for the most part. Just wanted to say that if all people had your's and Tidy Rabbit's open minded attitude's, we could totally dispense with breed bias and stereotyping - THANK YOU for your open mindedness!:yes:

fabuleux
Jan. 31, 2009, 06:43 PM
I haven't read all the posts, so please excuse me if this is just repeating what everyone else says. :)

I ride dressage, and have been riding for 9 years or so. I took a break from riding and am now riding a 10 yr old horse who was schooled up to 2nd and 3rd level dressage. I'm definitely not that advanced with dressage- long story short, I was riding with a bad instructor.

I have taken about 7 lessons on this horse who hasn't been ridden consistently in about 5 months. We are STILL working on walking and trotting.

Why must you introduce the canter so early? Wait till you have perfected the trot.

Good luck! :)

equusvilla
Feb. 2, 2009, 12:09 PM
Was not sure if I wanted to start another thread or just give you an update here ...but I chose the lazy route!

Progress!!! What we discovered...

Dominus was not "educated" in leg aids... (for those of you who have not read the entire post, he was out of state with a trainer and I had to bring him home before he was finished.) Anyway - when I put any pressure on his side ...just asking him to move over - he assumed I wanted him to move faster. Every leg aid was followed by an increase in speed by him - and a half halt by me...which confused him. This was the reason for all the sourness at the canter...using the leg aid as the canter cue.

What we have done (slowly) so far.

Lessened the angle of the martingale rings. Thicker saddle pad - not just one that wicks the sweat off of him. Moved the saddle up and when my trainer rode him, sometimes a Western saddle was used. The western saddle did not make any difference though. TONS of work at the walk just going back and teaching him what the leg pressure means. LOTS of serpentines and LOTS of small circle work. He has not reared up in over 2 weeks (Yippie!!) He has kicked out a few times ..again when asking him to move sideways with leg pressure but this is not the same as the big bucks we were getting. A thicker snaffel bit is being used. There is probably more..but those are the changes I remember right now.

I think that we are making big strides forward and I know both of us are a lot happier.

Again - I just want to thank everyone who offered constructive advice and suggestions. I knew we needed to go back to the basics and was looking for a wide range of thoughts from many dicipline worlds ...which is what you guys gave me.

Ambrey
Feb. 2, 2009, 12:15 PM
Good for you! Glad you're getting to the bottom of it!

S1969
Feb. 2, 2009, 01:13 PM
Good for you. My mare is also pretty new to leg aids as she was raced 4 times and then *retired* at 3. We do the exact same things and the lightbulb comes on for her and leg aids much better at the walk than the trot, so we (the trainer and I) often let her do a little bit of simple trot work while staying on the rail to loosen up and get focused, and then work on bending at the walk; then do some bending at the trot. I set up cones and make things really obvious at first while applying leg aids, then start asking her for things w/o cones. In my case I knew she didn't know the leg aids but it must be very confusing to both horse and rider if you think he knows them and he doesn't.

Good luck to you!

threemares
Feb. 2, 2009, 04:25 PM
I am glad to hear that things are getting better for Dominus. I hope things get better for your husband!