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sublimequine
Sep. 11, 2009, 05:54 PM
So with the weather cooling down my little mare is feeling good. TOO good. :lol:

Whenever we pick up the canter now, she will often just brace her neck like a bratty little pony, and just plow ahead like a freight train. The strange thing is she does NOT pull, my reins are NEVER taut. She just kind of turns her neck into stone, and trucks right on along.

I know the issue is she just wants me to get up into a two point, let out the reins completely, and let her run her silly little brain out. Unfortunately for her I don't want to do that every single time we canter. ;)

Any advice? Please be gentle, I'm a trail rider with a heavily halter-bred QH. I do not ride Dressage. We're not from your world, but it's a subject you folks might be able to help with. :lol:

(If equipment has anything to do with anything, she goes in an english mechanical hackamore. Bitless is preferred for her, much happier trail horse with no bit. But I would consider any other bitless options, or even a few bitted options if I think it'd help. :) )

Bogie
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:09 PM
How about using a one rein stop?

When my TB gets bratty or distracted I will use the one rein stop as a way of giving him a time out.

Your horse has to give in the neck and bend which also breaks their momentum.

Once you've done that a few times, then you can just use an opening rein until you get your horse to relax and give into the bend.

sublimequine
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:12 PM
How about using a one rein stop?

When my TB gets bratty or distracted I will use the one rein stop as a way of giving him a time out.

Your horse has to give in the neck and bend which also breaks their momentum.

Once you've done that a few times, then you can just use an opening rein until you get your horse to relax and give into the bend.

That's pretty much what I'm doing now, but either I'm doing it incorrectly or it doesn't help very much to actually break the habit. Once I feel her neck start to brace, I give a light open rein cue in one direction. No response, I ask a bit more. No response, ask more. Usually it ends up me just having to do a one rein stop like you said to break her momentum. It works, but doesn't prevent it from happening again in the future.

JackSprats Mom
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:20 PM
The only advice I have for you is not a quick fix I'm afraid.

My Arab likes to hold tension at the base of his neck so I work hard on long and lows so that he learns to reach for the bit and relax which sould prevent your issues.

sublimequine
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:25 PM
The only advice I have for you is not a quick fix I'm afraid.

My Arab likes to hold tension at the base of his neck so I work hard on long and lows so that he learns to reach for the bit and relax which sould prevent your issues.

I guess the problem is she is pretty relaxed most of the ride, it's just the canter gets her going. I'm not quite sure how I'd do long and low at the canter when she's wanting to go a million miles an hour? :confused: :lol:

sayyadina
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:43 PM
What about free lunging her before you ride her? I have a hot little Welsh/Arab mare who loves to run, and I always free lunge her as part of her work. I let her loose in the arena and let her run around for as long as she wants. When she's done, she'll usually stop & walk over to me.

I've tried a lot of different bitless bridles, and my experience has been that my 2 mares have more of a tendency to brace against a bitless than a bit. The bit that's worked best for me, with both my ponies, is a plain curb bit. And very, very light hands.

JackSprats Mom
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:43 PM
If you get her truly stretching for the bit at the walk and trot all you need to do for the canter is move your inside hand forward for her to stretch which will release the tension in the neck at the canter...it takes a while but my horse is now, finally, going from a relaxed collected trot to a relaxed canter instead of getting tight and tense (and strong).

Your horse doesn't have to stretch all the way down but even a little will start to release the tension.

sublimequine
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:50 PM
What about free lunging her before you ride her? I have a hot little Welsh/Arab mare who loves to run, and I always free lunge her as part of her work. I let her loose in the arena and let her run around for as long as she wants. When she's done, she'll usually stop & walk over to me.

I've tried a lot of different bitless bridles, and my experience has been that my 2 mares have more of a tendency to brace against a bitless than a bit. The bit that's worked best for me, with both my ponies, is a plain curb bit. And very, very light hands.

What kind of curb bit? There's quite a few types that are "plain". :)

cutemudhorse
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:55 PM
From what I've seen that works;


Just keep doing your one rein stops when she gets to a pace you do not want/did not ask for. Alternate sides. Give her the opportunity to be good. Lather, rinse, repeat. May not be fun, may take 15 minutes or more but I have seen it work at many clinics. Don't be too soft but take control.

sublimequine
Sep. 11, 2009, 06:59 PM
From what I've seen that works;


Just keep doing your one rein stops when she gets to a pace you do not want/did not ask for. Alternate sides. Give her the opportunity to be good. Lather, rinse, repeat. May not be fun, may take 15 minutes or more but I have seen it work at many clinics. Don't be too soft but take control.

Maybe that's it, I just need more repetitions. It's a new problem, like I said with the weather changing is when it started popping up.

twofatponies
Sep. 11, 2009, 07:13 PM
Not sure if these ideas will help, but my Morgan mare started out with a really unbalanced and fast canter and a strong old habit of bracing hard against the bit with her head up. It took longest to "fix" at the canter - in fact, it is still the thing we work on most.

There were two different issues, sort of, initially her simply being unbalanced and unfit, so her canter tended to be sort of scrambly and jarring. Once that had been developed (lots of miles!), then the other issue remained or became apparent:

On trails she is very competitive and prefers to be first, something I seem to need to tune up each spring! Plus can be really bracy in her "I used to go in an overcheck, so just try to flex me!" neck if I hang on the reins at all. I worked on it psychologically by going out with friends, finding a flat 50+ yard spot, and taking turns cantering and galloping back and forth, passing each other, etc. I had to learn to really give up fear - she actually is SO responsive if I make sure I am following on a soft rein, even riding on a long rein, and just used one rein for slow strong half halts and using my body to indicate the speed I want - not jerking or fast at all with the rein, but a drawing in of one rein over the span of two strides, then out two strides, in two strides, out two strides, with the word "easy" spread over that rhythm. After a few sessions of that in the spring, or when we haven't been out in groups for a while, she then will slow down with a very small couple of squeezes of a fist, my sitting back, my voice or combinations thereof (depending on whether we need to crash to a sudden halt or just slow down a bit).

So I think it's a combo of having the guts to not fight the horse about it, and setting up repeated scenarios for practicing. Practicing up a longish hill can help, because horses tend to want to stop after running up a hill, and the hill tends to put you in a good seat for cantering. In the ring I think it can be harder, because I know I have a nearly subconscious fear of hitting the walls or doorways. I ride much better out in a big paddock where there's plenty of room and you don't have to plan turns as quickly.

When my trainer was helping me with this she wisely told me to stop trying to slow the horse down all the time - sometimes make her go - go hard and fast and let her know you are the one who asks for speed, and says when. Took me some guts to try it, but once you've flown around like a mad thing a few times, a canter seems pretty boring.

Anyway, too long a suggestion, I'm sure... but perhaps something useful?

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 01:41 PM
before doing one reins stops which are supposed to be the last ditch effort to stop a bolt, you might try just putting your horse on an appropriately sized circle and allow the circle to slow it down, bend it so that it softens in the neck.

also you need to ask why is this happening? horses dont do things to be "bratty" , they do things as a result of how they are ridden.... so, maybe you are sitting too heavy, or maybe the horse is going with a dropped back , or maybe ..... there are a lot of possibilities.

anyway, try circling, and keep on the circle until you feel the horse soften, then try again going straight, then circle again if the horse braces.

good luck.

Ambrey
Sep. 12, 2009, 01:42 PM
How does she canter on the longe line?

Is it possible that she's just not strong enough for a slow canter? I am under the impression that a slow canter without a braced neck requires a great deal of fitness.

Tiffani B
Sep. 12, 2009, 01:48 PM
before doing one reins stops which are supposed to be the last ditch effort to stop a bolt, you might try just putting your horse on an appropriately sized circle and allow the circle to slow it down, bend it so that it softens in the neck.

also you need to ask why is this happening? horses dont do things to be "bratty" , they do things as a result of how they are ridden.... so, maybe you are sitting too heavy, or maybe the horse is going with a dropped back , or maybe ..... there are a lot of possibilities.

anyway, try circling, and keep on the circle until you feel the horse soften, then try again going straight, then circle again if the horse braces.

good luck.

This is what I was going to suggest.

Ambrey
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:04 PM
Wasn't there a thread recently on the use of one rein stops in dressage training?

slc2
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:11 PM
Your horse doesn't pull on the reins, but he seems to get tight in his neck, and canter too fast.

He might be fresh because he hasn't been ridden in a day or two, or because other horses are egging him on. A little longeing or playing in a paddock before the ride, might help.

The usual remedy, not specific to dressage, is to 'give and take' with your reins, first on one rein, then the other, kind of bend his head slowly to the left, then bend it around slowly to the right every couple seconds, circle, and just sit back and relax, and try not to lean your upper body forward, tighten up your seat, legs or reins. Give and take on the reins, rather than pull back on both reins at once, take one rein, then take the other. Another thing you can do is just not keep on cantering. Have him canter a little ways, and then walk and say good boy and pat him, then do it again. Walk a ways so he isn't as excited about it. Ask him to canter from a walk, he will have something a little harder to do and it can get him thinking. Keep breaking to a walk, even if it's a little bit of a struggle first. Use your voice and talk to him, only saying whoa, whoa, when you want to stop and walk. Act real relaxed and loose like it doesn't really bother you.

sid
Sep. 12, 2009, 02:35 PM
A lot of horses can get silly at the canter, especially if they are not balanced themselves, much less try to balance a rider. Some just get revved up at their own speed - I can't tell you how many times I can see my horses trotting around the field, then break into the canter and get "silly"...;).

I'd work her on the lunge, particularly the canter departs -- let her get silly there, balance herself and it might just break her habit and take the "fun" out it (not to mean in a punishing way at all). This is so common with young horses and unbalanced horses. I'm not a fan of lunging for "exercise" or but for teaching the horse to balance itself in the transitions...and of course obedience (changing gates when requested). Once she "gets it" on the ground, that should surely help you under saddle, IME.

I'm not a huge fan of side reins, but OTOH balancing reins -- set at the least restrictive setting -- can be helpful after the horse has gotten rid of the goofiness and charging around on the lunge.

BTW, I was a trail rider too, but balance is balance, obedience is obedience. Probably more important for safety on the trails than in an arena (grin)...

sublimequine
Sep. 12, 2009, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the input folks, I really appreciate it.

I should've mentioned, this mare does have some limitations. She's got an older shoulder injury (with rehab taking over a year :dead: ), and the vet says that I basically need to avoid longing and excessive circling. She's sound, but the vet just doesn't want me risking reinjury, I guess? To be honest I'm not sure. But he says "No longing or lots of circling", and I obey. :lol:

As for the reason she's doing it, I don't really think it's my riding that's specifically CAUSING it (although I'm sure I can ride in a way to help fix this too!). She's just feeling silly and good, and wants to go. She's too polite to pull on the reins, so the next best thing is to set her neck and GOGOGO. :lol:

I will try the left-right-left-right rein thing, and also we'll try not cantering for so long, and doing more transitions. It's hard to keep her brain in the game when we're cantering sometimes, she just thinks "Weeee!". :lol: So exercises to keep the brain in the game are definitely good.

sublimequine
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:01 PM
BTW, I was a trail rider too, but balance is balance, obedience is obedience. Probably more important for safety on the trails than in an arena (grin)...

Oh I totally agree. I was just saying that because I didn't want to be murdered for using a mechanical hackamore, or told things in weird terms like "breathe through your hips" like you crazy Dressage riders say. :winkgrin:

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:07 PM
no, no!!! You have to breathe FROM your hips up through the top of your head and recycle it back. Now, doesn't that make SO much more sense??

Having an OTTB, when we'd go out on trails, if he was looking for an excuse to have an OTTB moment, I feel your pain. I cans till remember suddenly we were off! and there were trees and I remember that my knees would hurt so badly when we went into them, and so I needed to avoid that.

So - I'm not knowledgable enough about the bitless options, but I would also suggest she get some of her ya yas out first!

sublimequine
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:09 PM
no, no!!! You have to breathe FROM your hips up through the top of your head and recycle it back. Now, doesn't that make SO much more sense??

Having an OTTB, when we'd go out on trails, if he was looking for an excuse to have an OTTB moment, I feel your pain. I cans till remember suddenly we were off! and there were trees and I remember that my knees would hurt so badly when we went into them, and so I needed to avoid that.

So - I'm not knowledgable enough about the bitless options, but I would also suggest she get some of her ya yas out first!

I hate that stuff! "Pretend your legs are shovels"... wtf does that MEAN!??! :lol::lol::lol:

Luckily she's pasture boarded 24/7, so if she wants to run around, she always has the option to. Unfortunately she's a big fat lazy-butt just sitting in her pasture, and only gets playful when provoked with work. :winkgrin:

Ambrey
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:10 PM
Err, coming to the dressage board for advice when your horse can't do circles is like asking a carpenter for advice on hair styling ;)

sublimequine
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:14 PM
Err, coming to the dressage board for advice when your horse can't do circles is like asking a carpenter for advice on hair styling ;)

Got a problem with it, talk to my vet. ;)

mbm
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:17 PM
well, i think what ambrey meant is that for us dressage folks, lateral flexibility (ie bend) is one of the foundations of our work. so for a horse that cant circle, you lack an excellent way of getting "in"....

if she can't circle my only other suggestion would be to ride her in shoulder fore , flexed and as bended as you can get her.... this will dissallow her from getting her neck set against you. ..

hmmmm....

can you hand walk her or pony her when she is silly?

Ambrey
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:18 PM
Got a problem with it, talk to my vet. ;)

LOL, I have no problem with it, I just think a lot of dressage exercises will not go along with his restrictions.

Haven't you ever noticed? All dressage riders do is go around in circles all the time! :winkgrin:

Ambrey
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:19 PM
if she can't circle my only other suggestion would be to ride her in shoulder fore , flexed and as bended as you can get her.... this will dissallow her from getting her neck set against you. ..



Isn't that going to put the same stress on her shoulder as circles, though? :( Even more in the direction that requires her to cross slightly with that injured joint.

sublimequine
Sep. 12, 2009, 09:23 PM
She CAN circle, just not excessively. As in, I couldn't set her on a circle for 5 minutes straight. A few circles I can do though, as well as an occasional sprial and serpentine. :)

Totally didn't mean to sound defensive or anything either, Ambrey. I just didn't know what else to tell you, as it's vet's orders. :lol:

sid
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:26 AM
I prefer to breathe through my mouth...:lol:

slc2
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:55 AM
A horse that cannot circle cannot shoulder in or shoulder fore; they are both the more difficult step after circles are mastered, and rely on the schooling of the circle. Therefore I don't think 'if he won't circle, do shoulder in'.

http://www.nimportequi.com/video_rocky_is_back.html

"coming to the dressage board for advice when your horse can't do circles"....(followed by analogy that suggests this is inappropriate).

Ambrey, 'I am sorry' (I'm not, really) to inform you that your assumption is off base, most of the questions posted here are extremely basic. Always have been.

People go to dressage boards with basic, basic questions. How to bend, how to stretch, how to ride a training level test. In fact, many of the questions asked here aren't about dressage at all, they are about something even more basic and general, like basic control, how to keep the horse from going too fast, how to choose a bit, how to keep a horse from spooking.

Very few people come here asking how to tune their performance because they're in Germany practicing and showing on the Olympic team a month before the Olympics, and Klaus Balkenhol is busy teaching another lesson.

Ambrey
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:19 AM
LOL, it was meant totally tongue in cheek, SLC. But the issue isn't with the basics (gawd, I'm still learning the basics!) but that much of the "basics" in dressage involve types of movement that just might not be good for this particular horse.

If riding with bend is really not good for this horse, even intro might not be good. And most of the things Klaus would do to promote strength in the back and suppleness for more "speed control" in the canter would involve bending.

But the reason it was tongue in cheek is that of course dressage riders could have lots of advice that would be helpful that don't include circles. I do think that she would have to do a lot of thinking before she moved on to actual dressage training, though.

eponacowgirl
Sep. 13, 2009, 11:41 AM
When I rode my last two horses in a mechanical hack, I had the same issue with both of them- which may carry over to your mare- it was very hard to create any kind of lateral flexion.

The reason I say this is because I think, in this case, the one rein stop is probably appropriate (I do that with several of my trail horses who will never claim to be dressage horses) just so they understand that anytime they go to a pace that is NOT okay, they get a ORS with head brought around until they SOFTEN, and then they can go on again. I will do it for hours and hours if I have to, but it works to teach them for their owners that they can do whatever they want in the realm of what has been asked for, but nothing more. It works nicely for my purposes.

Anyway, I cannot achieve the correct results for this method with a leverage bit or mechanical hack. I often have problems explaining this to owners, but a simple side pull with a snaffle is my favorite for this. A lot of my horses will brace "above" a leverage bit, if you will, and I cannot teach them to reach or soften with any kind of curb chain.

This is just my experience, but if you're comfortable in a snaffle, you may give it a shot!

slc2
Sep. 13, 2009, 12:52 PM
"And most of the things Klaus would do to promote strength in the back and suppleness for more "speed control" in the canter... "

I had no idea you had worked with Klaus Balkenhol.

Ambrey
Sep. 13, 2009, 01:02 PM
I have read some of his work ;)

sublimequine
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:03 PM
LOL, it was meant totally tongue in cheek, SLC. But the issue isn't with the basics (gawd, I'm still learning the basics!) but that much of the "basics" in dressage involve types of movement that just might not be good for this particular horse.

If riding with bend is really not good for this horse, even intro might not be good. And most of the things Klaus would do to promote strength in the back and suppleness for more "speed control" in the canter would involve bending.

But the reason it was tongue in cheek is that of course dressage riders could have lots of advice that would be helpful that don't include circles. I do think that she would have to do a lot of thinking before she moved on to actual dressage training, though.

Oh don't worry.. Satan would need a pair of mittens for the cold day in hell when I step foot into the Dressage world with a 1300lb halter mare. :lol::lol::lol:

A mini update, I rode today. :)

I rode in a sidepull today, just for the heck of it. Surprisingly, she was actually more relaxed at the canter in this over her mechanical hackamore. It was kind of a double-edged sword though, as I don't get the super-precision in the sidepull.. it's kind of a crude device.

I may try riding in the mechanical hackamore with double reins, one on sidepull setting one on leverage setting. I'm not sure yet.

Anyways, equipment aside, I tried the left-right-left-right rein today, and it did seem to help a bit! At first she was a bit confused and broke gait (something she hardly ever does at the canter unless she's dead tired). But this is understandable, considering I rode on a loose rein. Whenever I pick up contact it USUALLY means slow down or transition downward to the next gait down.

Once she figured out I wasn't asking for a trot though (and I lightened the cues considerably), it seemed to kind of "break up" the cement-neck. Once the neck wasn't so braced, she also slowed down a bit. The ears were swiveling all over, something she does when she can't figure out what the heck is going on. :lol:

We'll keep trying, but I think I'm getting towards the right track. :)

slc2
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:16 PM
It's a good thing to keep those ears swiveling, LOL. Especially with a 'she'.

sublimequine
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:17 PM
It's a good thing to keep those ears swiveling, LOL. Especially with a 'she'.

Swiveling means they aren't pinned, so I'm happy. :lol::lol::lol:

Tiffani B
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:36 PM
A wise trainer once told me if you can't get through to them, confuse them. :cool:

sublimequine
Sep. 13, 2009, 07:39 PM
A wise trainer once told me if you can't get through to them, confuse them. :cool:

Well I'm definitely doing that! She's too busy wondering, "What on earth is going on up there?!" to be sassy! :lol:

Kaluna
Sep. 13, 2009, 08:28 PM
I do not know much about western training. But, I would suggest not focusing on her mouth for this type of problem. If your mare sets her neck and goes, then she is not flexible in her neck and jaw I think. Your LEGS and a sympathetic hand help her learn to bend through her body. Lots of serpentines and changes of direction and jaw flexion with and against the line of travel can help her learn to loosen her neck. By against the line of travel I mean counter flexion. Much of this is accomplished with your seat and legs, not hands, and western horses can do this very well. The whole point is to loosen her neck. In my experience, I do not react to a horse that sets the neck and goes in the canter. I say "ho hum". I make the horse decide to rock back and slow down by doing things, such as turns or cantering over ground poles or cross rails, or through cones, etc. I show the horse that they have something to DO at the canter and rushing just puts them out of balance. This way I do not TELL them to slow down, they figure out themselves that they are most comfortable by slowing down. No argument. Good luck!

mp
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:07 AM
I know the issue is she just wants me to get up into a two point, let out the reins completely, and let her run her silly little brain out. Unfortunately for her I don't want to do that every single time we canter. ;)

Actually, what she's telling you is "I'm in charge here."


I tried the left-right-left-right rein today, and it did seem to help a bit! At first she was a bit confused and broke gait (something she hardly ever does at the canter unless she's dead tired). But this is understandable, considering I rode on a loose rein. Whenever I pick up contact it USUALLY means slow down or transition downward to the next gait down.

And from this, it sounds like you ride more or less as a passenger until you want something else or you have to correct her.

Others have given you some specific things to do. But here's something else to consider. As Ray Hunt said "The horse knows when you don't know." In other words, if you're just up there enjoying the scenery, then don't be surprised when your horse takes over. She knows somebody has to be in charge.

If I were you, I'd make it a priority to "ride every step" on this mare. That doesn't mean you micromanage her. It simply means you're paying close attention to little changes in what she's doing. You prepare her for transitions and you plan ahead. And in doing so, you'll prevent behaviors you don't want. This has nothing to do with dressage or any other specific discipline or the fact that you ride a big bulldog mare. It has to do with riding an intelligent horse with a well-developed sense of preservation. I know because I ride one, too.

katarine
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:26 AM
Everything MP said. The equipment, her stature, your style, are irrelevant.

You need to plan what you are going to do and make it happen. If it's canter/lope from a to b at this pace...then make that happen. That may mean a half halt at A.1.4.2 to get back to the pace and shape you asked for, or it might mean she's perfect from a to b and AT b, you drop her to the exact trot you want.

she's taking over by bracing her neck, slack or taut reins are irrelevant. The simple answer/tips/advice: retain and maintain control of your horse.

sublimequine
Sep. 14, 2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the added input folks, I appreciate it. :yes:

goeslikestink
Sep. 14, 2009, 04:21 PM
Everything MP said. The equipment, her stature, your style, are irrelevant.

You need to plan what you are going to do and make it happen. If it's canter/lope from a to b at this pace...then make that happen. That may mean a half halt at A.1.4.2 to get back to the pace and shape you asked for, or it might mean she's perfect from a to b and AT b, you drop her to the exact trot you want.

she's taking over by bracing her neck, slack or taut reins are irrelevant. The simple answer/tips/advice: retain and maintain control of your horse.

echo you and mp and if one cares to look here i have said the same thing

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=223453

sid
Sep. 14, 2009, 07:28 PM
I've been thinking more about this regarding your horse's shoulder injury and your vet saying not to work on circles. If the vet has said it would be detrimental to do any circle work (I'm not talking serious work) even free of a rider on the lunge, that is worth noting. I could well be that the horse is bracing with the neck when a rider is on top because it is a biomechanical way to offset discomfort.

To find out if it is pain or behavior, you could try a regimen of bute for 3-4 days. Get on on day 2 of bute and ride each day through day 4 and see if there is an improvement.

I'm not "prescribing" as I am not a vet, but we use 2G twice a day for 3 days, then 1G twice a day for the last day to help see if we have a bonafide, subclinical pain issue or just a training issue. For horses sensitive to bute, we use Equioxx.

I'd hate to ask a horse to do something it simply can't do because it is compensating because it has to. An old injury to a joint can become arthritic with time and become a problem later (ask me how I know...not just for horses, but for me...:lol:)

Just a thought. Reluctant or fractious behavior can be mistaken for "freshness", when they may well be reacting from some level of discomfort.

If there is no change on the bute, then have at it...ride the horse..;)

sublimequine
Sep. 14, 2009, 09:30 PM
sid; I probably should've clarified about her shoulder injury. It was a muscle injury, she slipped and possibly fell in her pasture(never know for sure what happened, all I know is she came in dead lame one day :( ).

It was seemingly NEVER a pain-based lameness, oddly enough. When it happened, she was on bute therapy for a week. 4g a day for a few days, then 3g, then 2g, then 1g. With 4g of bute in her system she was still lame as ever, and would run and play while being a total gimp the whole time. Vet thought it was more mechanical considering the bute had no effect.

She is 100% sound now, but vet just wants to avoid things that will risk overexertion or excessive torque on the shoulder in order to KEEP her sound. I don't know if this is a forever thing or just for now thing.

So it's not pain-related, I promise. She's just rarin to go. :lol:

sublimequine
Sep. 15, 2009, 06:45 PM
Another mini update! :)

Rode again today, just walk/trot because it was muggy as hell here today. :dead:

I thought about a lot of what you folks said and tried to really be super self-aware when I was riding today, and "ride every stride". I DO have a tendency to just sit back and become a passenger sometimes, and riding a mare I really can't do that. Once I become the passenger.. she becomes the driver! :lol:

So even though we didn't even address the specific issue at the canter today, I really seemed to have her attention better today. Every time she tried to speed up or slow down without me cueing, or turn a direction I didn't want, I made sure to take control. Hopefully this will also improve the bracing neck, once she realizes she cannot speed up if I SAY she can't. ;)

katarine
Sep. 15, 2009, 09:57 PM
Another mini update! :)

I DO have a tendency to just sit back and become a passenger sometimes, and riding a mare I really can't do that. Once I become the passenger.. she becomes the driver! :lol:

So even though we didn't even address the specific issue at the canter today, I really seemed to have her attention better today. Every time she tried to speed up or slow down without me cueing, or turn a direction I didn't want, I made sure to take control. Hopefully this will also improve the bracing neck, once she realizes she cannot speed up if I SAY she can't. ;)

Subby- mare, stallion, gelding, ridgling, chestnut, grey, appy, trak, tb, Perch, TWH, Arab, Akal- Teke, SSH, ASB, donkey, tall, short, Impressive, Investor, Zips Chocolate Chip, Native Dancer, Riverman, Coins Hard Cash, Wap Spot, Rugged Lark, out of Oklahoma by Trailer....none of that matters. NO one gets to pile on, kick off, and yeehaw. No one just gets to sit up there and hope it goes all right. The rider is supposed to ride the horse, not gee gaw and passenger and fart along. I mean seriously- her having ovaries means you actually have to ride???:eek: You frustrate her with your inconsistencies, so she takes over. That's people, and that's horses.

Consistency and a sense of humor, that's what makes riding, work.

sublimequine
Sep. 15, 2009, 10:29 PM
Subby- mare, stallion, gelding, ridgling, chestnut, grey, appy, trak, tb, Perch, TWH, Arab, Akal- Teke, SSH, ASB, donkey, tall, short, Impressive, Investor, Zips Chocolate Chip, Native Dancer, Riverman, Coins Hard Cash, Wap Spot, Rugged Lark, out of Oklahoma by Trailer....none of that matters. NO one gets to pile on, kick off, and yeehaw. No one just gets to sit up there and hope it goes all right. The rider is supposed to ride the horse, not gee gaw and passenger and fart along. I mean seriously- her having ovaries means you actually have to ride???:eek: You frustrate her with your inconsistencies, so she takes over. That's people, and that's horses.

Consistency and a sense of humor, that's what makes riding, work.

Durh.. that was actually a typo. I meant it to say "riding THE mare", as in my mare specifically. Sorry. :lol:

katarine
Sep. 16, 2009, 08:59 AM
Durh.. that was actually a typo. I meant it to say "riding THE mare", as in my mare specifically. Sorry. :lol:

She's just a horse and she's taking over because someone has to be in charge. If you are going to sit up there and count butterflies - any horse will take over. She is just a horse, any horse, taking over when the rider drops the ball. If you've always ridden lazy saints who didn't take over-those days are over :)

sublimequine
Sep. 16, 2009, 09:43 AM
She's just a horse and she's taking over because someone has to be in charge. If you are going to sit up there and count butterflies - any horse will take over. She is just a horse, any horse, taking over when the rider drops the ball. If you've always ridden lazy saints who didn't take over-those days are over :)

That's just it; some horses DON'T take over and that's pretty much what I've ridden in my life up until now. I rode a schoolmaster for a long time, and he was way too much of a gentleman to think of that. And the rest of the horses I rode where just what you said.. kind of lazy but good horses who didn't want to bother trying to be in charge because that required work. :lol:

So yes, my girl DOES need to be ridden differently than most of the horses I've ridden in my past because she's less forgiving and much more willing to take charge. She's not lazy, she's always been a pretty energetic horse and she's always been pretty opinionated too. That's not her as a mare, or as a QH, or whatever. That's just Joy. ;)

mp
Sep. 16, 2009, 10:20 AM
That's just it; some horses DON'T take over and that's pretty much what I've ridden in my life up until now. I rode a schoolmaster for a long time, and he was way too much of a gentleman to think of that. And the rest of the horses I rode where just what you said.. kind of lazy but good horses who didn't want to bother trying to be in charge because that required work. :lol:

So yes, my girl DOES need to be ridden differently than most of the horses I've ridden in my past because she's less forgiving and much more willing to take charge. She's not lazy, she's always been a pretty energetic horse and she's always been pretty opinionated too. That's not her as a mare, or as a QH, or whatever. That's just Joy. ;)

Yes, some horses don't seem to need as much direction as others. But it's not so much that they don't take over -- it's more like they've learned to tune out. ;)

I had a discussion about this with my instructor the other day. I was doing some lateral stuff -- not new, but I'm still working on getting a good feel for it. It's hard work for him and me. We'd get it sometimes and other times, not so much. :p

I complained that my horse wasn't being very generous because he wouldn't give me much at all unless my cues were right on. Instructor said, There are some school horses that will offer this stuff up more or less automatically. But they're not really connected with their riders. And that's fine for some people, but that 's not what you want from this horse. You have a connection with him. You have his attention and he's just responding to what you're saying with your body.

In other words, the horse is good. *I'm* the one who needs to get better. :lol:

I would imagine that Joy is like my horse. She pays attention when you give her direction. When you zone out, she takes over. No more zoning out, sub. Your horse is too good for that.

smm20
Sep. 17, 2009, 03:34 AM
Don't forget to use your voice!

I often forget that a great way to get a horse to slow down is an "Easy...." or a "Whoooooah...." As you work on riding every step at the walk and trot, you can work on reinforcing your voice cues - for you as well as for her. I find that if I remember to use my voice, the rest of my aids are more coordinated, for some reason - I think because I grew up riding western and using the voice was more common. If you aren't too embarassed, you can even talk quietly to your horse - that tactic is more to help you - if you are tensing in anticipation of her being bad at the canter, talking gently will calm you down and force you to breathe.

Side note: I remember one of my first English lessons in college with a proper trainer on an imported Warmblood and I made a kissing noise to ask for canter, and the trainer said "stop making that NOISE - she has NO IDEA what you are asking!" Trainer then explained that she would understand a click...

Obviously I am not a dressage rider either.

slc2
Sep. 17, 2009, 07:14 AM
Actually, I think the use of the voice needs to be considered very, very carefully in dressage training. One cannot use one's voice in competition without getting penalized, so one needs to think very carefully about how much one is training the horse to react to the voice.

Even if one does not show, there is a very, very long tradition in dressage that the rider does not need to use his voice, that he rewards and encourages horse quietly, subtly, with his legs and seat and rein. A good part of dressage learning consists of breaking habits from other types of riding rather than perpetuating them....that includes the use of the voice to cue the horse.

Why? because the performance is more correct and more through and balanced when the horse is straightened, suppled and positioned correctly with leg seat and rein, and the voice cannot supple and straighten a horse, all it can do is have him pick up the canter like a trick.

If one is actually trying to use his voice for something as basic as picking up the canter on other than a just backed youngster (and even then, only for a couple weeks), most of the time, the trainer will tell him not to. Just on the most practical level, it's inconsiderate when riding with others, but the real problem is a voice cue doesn't and can't straighten and supple a horse for a transition or figure.

I think to other people it seems snooty and unfair and nit picky, but most dressage trainers still praise and reward horses during training with the voice, they just don't cue them with the voice, instead, they use their aids to position, supple and energize the horse so his performance is more correct. Even then, eventually, the trainer will eventually reward the horse through just a pat, and even further on, a slight change in the aids will be the reward. It becomes more subtle as the horse becomes more trained.

sublimequine
Sep. 17, 2009, 09:38 AM
I do use a vocal cue to pick up the canter (kiss for canter, cluck for halt-to-walk or walk-to-trot). The mare is trained to roundpen/free longe (We don't actually use a roundpen much anymore due to the shoulder, we use the whole outdoor now instead) though, so vocal cues are fairly important. Also keep in mind that I'm not intending to follow actual Dressage training with this mare, ie I'm not headed for the showring to perform a test. :winkgrin:

I don't use reins to cue for canter, and I think my mare would probably get a bit confused if I asked with seat and leg only. One little kissing sound makes things a lot clearer for her, so I don't mind it. :)