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moukoyui
May. 28, 2010, 08:24 PM
Here is a video of some of our work from today. Critique any and everything, but 2 things first - 1. he was stung by something last night and was very stiff in the neck, 2. we have been going back to basics to try and get him to strech down into the bit instead of curling over it.
We are trying to fix both of our insecurities, by going back to the basics. Dutch is a huge rusher, and we have for that his 'button' is too much motion on his back. So I am fighting myself to absolutely not move. My insecurity comes from his rushing, its like riding an inanimate object. He is not always fast but he just ignores EVERYTHING the rider does, which scares me. I can ride out almost anything if I can feel the horse thinking, when they go blank its awful.
The biggest things I see are my hands in my crotch, I need to push them forward more, and I am moving my upper body WAY too much at the canter. I think the upper body might be me readjusting to the jumping saddle after so long in the dressage, but it still needs work. On his part I need to find a way to keep him moving forward and into the bit through transitions and slowly work back up to a closer contact between the reins and his mouth.
What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umHWCevBrz8

doublesstable
May. 28, 2010, 08:40 PM
First I will say - your horse is really cute.... looks like he is working for you really hard... You look to be extremely capable of riding well..... but....

Things that stuck out to me is your saddle is bad. It puts you in a chair seat and when you are posting you are coming down hard on his back.. sitting on your rump like a western rider.... Your hands... no no..... not out to the sides.. ever. But this is what I have been taught.. your hands should be in front of the pomel and near the mane. not at your knees. You can ask for the head with hands where they should be and work the corners of his mouth.... and use more leg to bring the horse from behind....

When approaching the cross rail your arms are too straight.. need to bend the elbow, shorten your reins, hands out of your lap and be in more of a two point...

Your lower leg looks pretty good considering your saddle is not helping you at all. When you jump, dont duck to the neck w/ your chest... stay sitting up.

Very nice horse, rider and beautiful facility....

moukoyui
May. 29, 2010, 11:12 PM
... hmmm the saddle issue is a big one... my trainer is getting rid of her tad coffin for a mono flap, but I cannot afford the 3,500 price tag

Besides that I have a question - I know that my hands are WAY too low but what would your advice be for a super sensitive horse that likes to curl over the bit. I am try to learn how to 'quite' my leg and ride very soft until he uncurls THEN push him into the bit... which did not happen yesterday. I am not really the most tactful rider and sometimes with him I think I let him drift along because I am not sure how to push him forward calmly. When I have my lessons it only takes my trainer 5-10 mins to get him powering off his hind and then I am able to maintain that self carriage easily, but creating it, not so good.

How do I become a tactful rider without making my ultra sensitive wiggle worm of a horse crazy?

HealingHeart
May. 29, 2010, 11:39 PM
Hello Moukoyui, beauiful pair. I see two very capable, strong individuals that are working to find themselves with each other. Sometimes, we get to much in our mind, critiquing, critiquing, instead of just going with the flow, his energy, your energy. You both have power., I see power in him and power in your riding. Believe in the feel, allow yourself to feel and go with him.... just let go of the thoughts, and feel. Your horse maybe so smart that he is reading your mind and knows the next move before you ask, thus, he is not feeling, but rather thinking too much ...

I think you guys make a nice pair. Find that heart connection and go for the ride, rather than make the ride happen.

doublesstable
May. 29, 2010, 11:49 PM
... hmmm the saddle issue is a big one... my trainer is getting rid of her tad coffin for a mono flap, but I cannot afford the 3,500 price tag

Besides that I have a question - I know that my hands are WAY too low but what would your advice be for a super sensitive horse that likes to curl over the bit. I am try to learn how to 'quite' my leg and ride very soft until he uncurls THEN push him into the bit... which did not happen yesterday. I am not really the most tactful rider and sometimes with him I think I let him drift along because I am not sure how to push him forward calmly. When I have my lessons it only takes my trainer 5-10 mins to get him powering off his hind and then I am able to maintain that self carriage easily, but creating it, not so good.

How do I become a tactful rider without making my ultra sensitive wiggle worm of a horse crazy?


Sounds like you are riding my horse... :lol: I am dealing with the very same thing.. just in my lesson today we were working on this. It's me. I need to use "more" leg... yea more..

Hand askes and then softens, but hands stay in front of the saddle.. make sure you are not bending your wrists and work the corners of the mouth. My horse curls too and using my leg and really feeling what he is doing helps.. But let me also say something many of us AO's don't really want to admit.. we spoil our horses! I don't want to nag him forward, but if I get too soft (and nicey nicey) he takes advantage and thinks he doesn't need to work... and makes my job harder getting him to "self propel".....

Maybe I will try to get my trainer on my horse and take a video??? If I do I will let you know so we both can understand it better...

paintmare
May. 30, 2010, 12:25 AM
My mare tends to do the same thing and she is very sensitive, so can over react and get a little too perky if I ask for something the wrong way.

This is something that may work as it is for me. Start with putting your hands in the correct position, thumbs up and in front of you. working trot on a good sized circle push him into the outside rein constantly (lightly) bumping with inside leg, if he's like my mare, don't use your heel to bump, more calf and keep your thigh relaxed and heels down. Open your inside rein towards your thigh, not down or up, just open and it'll free his inside shoulder and loosen his ribcage. Constant light contact with outside rein, half halts with it if he speeds up and imagine squeezing your ankles together to drive him into the bridle. just make sure you're always pushing him into the outside rein and don't let his shoulder bulge out. As he relaxes, bends, and starts using his backend, bring your inside hand where it should be, opening it and bumping him as needed. It took me awhile to grasp this as all your limbs are doing something different but it has helped a ton if you can work it out! I do this a lot working on figure eights and serpentines so that the constant direction changes keep her thinking and also add transitions to the halt, walk, canter. it gets her really working and paying attention to me and working in the bridle.

moukoyui
May. 30, 2010, 06:10 PM
See thats where I have problems, any bumping him up into the rein before he is soft and relaxed just creates for us tense and running or almost like a bad pleasure arab head set with his nose almost between his forearms, and him even more broke at the 3rd vert. I am going to video my lesson this week and a free ride of a good warm up where I feel like I have him going really well, and post those for comparison.

What my trainer seems to do that really works is to just throw it all way and go FORWARD for a few minutes then half halt and bend and turn (small) until he steps under himself. Then she leaves him alone again, and if he gets 'suck' going up and down she throws the rein away and goes forward again. When I try this its just go, stop, go, stop - this is why I feel that I need to be more tactful in feeling how much to do. I thike the figure 8 idea and will try to switch directs more often.

FineAlready
May. 30, 2010, 06:36 PM
Your arm is extremely locked and straight and you've got your hands waaaaayyyy too wide and your reins waaaayyyy to long. I also agree with the chair seat comment, but I find that to be slightly less of a problem than the whole arm issue. I disagree with your assessment that you have too much upper body movement at the canter. Looks to me like you need to close your hip angle a little bit (i.e., tip your upper body forward very slightly to stay with the motion), shorten your reins and RELAX your arm. Your elbow should be bent a little with a straight line from elbow to bit. Your horse is heavy on the forehand, not really rocking back on his hocks and in self-carriage. Long reins and a locked arm will produce this result every single time.

The relaxed arm is hard to master. I'm constantly working on it myself and am just now starting to have a breakthrough where I can consistently get it. It helps me to get my reins the correct length and then just envision my arms as sort of a flexible rubber from the shoulder to wrist. Not sure if that image will work for you, but it helps me. Sometimes I think of my arms as mush, depending on how much help I need unlocking the elbow on a given day.

With some horses, the locked arm, long reins, trying-very-hard-to-sit-still-and-becoming-stiff-instead ride will actually make them hotter/rushier. You are better off just riding them correctly in a relaxed but firm/correct manner. Watch some videos of top hunter riders. They are not sitting up there trying not to move a muscle - they are fluid and soft but still maintain a proper rein length, leg contact, etc.

My young OTTB gets hot and rushy and just plain fast if I have a locked arm (especially at the canter). If I have a nice, fluid arm, he puts himself into a nice relaxed frame, comes up under himself, and relaxes into a nice flowing canter.

Good luck with your horse. I can see you are a try-hard rider and he is very cute. I do second someone else's comment that he looked off in front at times. You may want to check into that, as pain can also cause rushing.

rabicon
May. 31, 2010, 12:10 AM
First thing out of the box I see is your hands and arms. They are so straight and locked to far out and down and you are constantly bumping him in the mouth. I all honesty if you constantly bumped me in the mouth to make me have a "headset" I would curl up to and get tense to try to get away from your hand. Not trying to be mean but that is one of my peeves, I've just seen bad trainers use this as a short cut. I don't personally know the horse but from what you say I'd start every ride with a nice warm up. PUSH him forward with your leg on and with your seat to pull his rear under him and forward with impulsion. If he runs around quick and tense at first let him. Help him to understand that his is what we need and to do it relax before you can properly get him using himself and pushing into the contact. Right now you have those low wide hands that forces him into a tense headset from pressure. Its not a true connection from butt to bit. You should ride with a straight line from elbow to bit. Now I have ridden this way before on greenies that needed a little cowboy ride or two for issues with breaking but not for training issues. It forces him to put his head down and then curl to get away from it looks like his evasion of choice. Work on the forward on a loose rein first and don't worry about his head. And then start working on proper half halts and connection once he can relax with moving forward with impulsion. For jumping I'd set ground poles before and after the jumps right now. He is a cute horse and looks nice, take your time with him as he looks like a sensitive horse (and was their a lot of bugs out that day or does he usually wring his tail all the time? ) that is going to take finasse not force.

2 tbs
May. 31, 2010, 01:27 AM
I didn't read all the responses so this might be a repeat or maybe not but...

I don't see anything *really* wrong but I would suggest, aside from getting you legs under you, not out in front of you, shortening your reins!! :D

I know what you are going after but getting it with mile long reins will not translate to getting it with shorter reins/more contact.

You can still keep your hands wide-I ride my horse with wide hands sometimes--did it all the time when he was a greenie. It really makes a difference!! But, do it with consistent contact. As you come around the turns your outside rein loses the connection to the mouth therefore is completely ineffective.

Now, the reins being too long might be a result of your leg being in front of you--you aren't as able to give with your arms/elbow because you are too far "behind" the center.

If he's sensitive (which seems like the case) they tend to want more reassurance therefore much more leg. This is a supportive leg, not necessarily a driving leg. You need to always be asking him to come forward into your hands which is why you need more contact (shorter reins) and steady consistent contact on both sides of the mouth. Definitely not hands in the lap ;) More leg, sending him forward into that steady contact will keep him from curling over as well.

But, it's a work in progress. I'm sure you won't "get it" over night. I can say exactly what I need to do with my horse but executing it is quite different :winkgrin: Best of luck! You seem to be on the right path! You and your horse make a lovely pair!

LaraNSpeedy
May. 31, 2010, 12:21 PM
OK my response is a little different. I applaud you for the concentrated dressage basics. I LOVE IT. However, you need to watch that you switch to forward seat when jumping.

I think your saddle may be an AP which is why a lot of people on here hate it. Dressage lovers hate AP saddles - HJ hate them - it's an inbetween saddle BUT often needed for some riders and horses depending on where you are at. Like it seems from what you are saying and apparantly from how you are riding - that the AP saddle is appropriate. You are not really sitting with a chair seat - you are doing dressage work - you will tip forward a little more than you would in a dressage saddle because it is an AP - but looking down the whole time will tip you more forward onto your pelvic bones. So I would open your shoulders and look up more in the dress flat work. This is great work to do on a horse that rushes and doesnt listen because dressage is about a horse mentally riding in the moment and listening to the rider. And about sitting back and engaging instead of rushing ahead.

THAT SAID - in that flat work - mix it up more for a rusher or horse that anticipates - serpentine, figure 8 - transition - more.

When I ride really green horses - I really teach them to stretch down and into the bit. So my hand do something similar to yours in the flat work but not near as much in the crotch. Your hands will certainly not be NEAR as forward as they would be for HJ flatwork as in dressage but not that buried either. I understand widdening the hands due to getting the horse into the bit - but again - your hands should not be resting on your hips almost. SO I would shorten the reins 2 inches and bring your hands forward a little - if you look up more - you will end up with the horse still wanting to round and such. Learn to feel it. Also, the horse is engaged - I think he is forward enough for flat work - BUT I would love to know what your warm up is - sometimes a rusher needs to move free -in a nice canter that is open and ground covering in the warmup in order to be able to be so controlled later in the 'work'.

Then when you jump, you need to pull up younr stirrups. You need to say to yourself - ok - dressage based flat work is over - time to go completely to the other side of the fence and now ride officially forward - hands have to be in front of you. I did not see a horse that was really rushing in the jumping pictures - I thought by watching you that you were sitting on him conservatively because he must have scooted out on you more than a couple times and you are making him be quiet. But that will only work to a degree. I was taught to ride the horse more forward and then I like the circle you did after the fence - though not probably needed because of how slow you are going - BUT my point is - when the horse rushes - to then circle him - do not try to slow him - just use the circle and your tools ot balance him and he should stop running. Most horses who rush are insecure with the job or - a lot of times its because they got forward and the rider got afraid and snatched them AFTER the fence. They rush after the fence because they anticipate getting their face grabbed....?

But you have to put your hands forward and stirrups up to jump - it is terrific IMHO you do dressage based flat work but you have to completely switch forward when jumping.

That said - teh critique I have left about you over the fence - are you a type A personality? You anticipate the fence - your hands do not give and are not in front of you but your body is ahead of him. You need to put your hands up and in front of you and tell yourself and your body to WAIT for the fence to come to you and sink into him - or with him as you jump.

RugBug
May. 31, 2010, 08:04 PM
Okay...so you've been told about the hands/reins. Your elbows are locked, reins are WAY too long (I would say almost 6 inches, give or take a few), hand are too wide.

I agree about the chair seat, but I think your dealing with it fairly well...although sometimes a chair seat can make you brace with your leg instead of relax down and into it. A hot horse is going to not tolerate a braced leg and will want to get quick.

Your horse is not going forward or using his hind end at all at the trot. He's doing a little better at the canter, but he still needs to go forward mroe. I disagree with the above poster that you are doing a good dressage type warm-up. You really need to push the horse forward, get him moving and THEN put the lid (half-halt, ask for contact) on the energy...that is what gives you impulsion. You've got the lid on, but it looks like you never went forward.

My suggestions:

1). Ride him forward. As loose reins as you can mentally handle. Remember, your reins can be loose, but still short. You control that by putting your hands forward more. right now, You can't do anything because your reins are much too long. Shorten those reins up, move your hands forward...they should be above an imaginary (in this case) martingale strap. If you have a hard time keeping your hands that far forward (especially without tipping your upper body as I suspect you may want to do b/c your reins will feel so short), put a neck strap or even a martingale on until you've taught your body to keep your hands forward and together.

2). Push him forward until he starts reaching for the bit. He should be chasing the bit, filling up the reins. Think long and low until he starts seeking the contact rather than you bringing the contact to him. I have the best rides when I go FORWARD! first... I'm may be over the pace at first, but then I have energy I can direct. If I never create the energy, I have nothing to work with and get a horse that is behind the bit and on the forehand.

3). Shorten your stirrups at least one hole for jumping. My TB can't handle me being in the saddle until after we've landed. If I sit too early, he starts rushing. Stay off his back and he stays calm and cool. The trick to this is a shorter stirrup and a stronger hip. I've been grabbing mane for months as well. Things clicked a bit ago, and I tightened my hip up and I can stay off of him (with the help of the shorter stirrup) without grabbing mane.

4) Don't set your hands while jumping. In the freeze frames, the second picture you've got a nice short-ish crest release. This gives your horse freedom without stiffing him. This is good. The first freeze frame shot, you've set your hands, and are leaning with your shoulders: both things that will make a rushy horse even rushier.

You're a nice team, you just have to work on getting both of you a little more trusting of each other.

winfieldfarm
May. 31, 2010, 11:27 PM
OP - first let me say that you have received a lot of great advice, techniques and wisdom with this thread. And, after watching your vid, I can say that it looks a lot better than it feels! I see a good solid citizen going along with a fairly quiet head and just a little tail swishing.

That said, you spoke of getting your confidence back in this horse. Most horses that rush have a tendency to cause their riders to be really cautious, waiting for that shoe to drop and for them to take off.
That can lead to lots of bracing and defensive riding.

Before you can really grasp any of the majors body changes and techniques offered here (ALL Good!) you must be able to wrap your head around feeling in control of you and your guy. For that, I suggest getting into a smaller arena if possible, like a bull pen or use your jump standards and poles to make a mini arena at one end of the outdoor. Trying different body and arm positions in a smaller space can give you some canned bravery and help the big guy to keep his wits about him not being out in the big wide open.

Have your trainer work with you with just getting used to his speed in this smaller area. Many are telling you to put more impulsion into him. Try it in the smaller arena. Learn to give up some of the control to your horse when he motors up. He has to learn to take care of his own speed and you have to be comfortable letting him. Pattern gymnastics can help this a lot as you and the horse will start thinking about the pattern and not so much about perfect position.

this sounds nuts and very far out there but I would do some more ground work with your horse. Really work on speed and control on the lunge over obstacles. And work on desensitising him to body contact and stuff randoming flopping on him. Do it for hours, I mean it, until it ain't no big thing. It will translate to rider motion undersaddle, believe me.

Just came from a great clinic with a guy you folks probably don't want to hear about. (not PP but a breed trainer) anyway, I took a spooky junior horse I was really having a mental block about. Turns out I was handling her with kid gloves and it was sapping my trust in her! So we did three full days of sensitizing to Whoa and Go on the ground over, under, around obstacles, desentizising to body stimulous if I said whoa and was bombarding her body with stuff like raincoats, whip lashes, lead ropes, ect. then we also did basic lateral bending. Whenever we trotted down a line and she got tense and rushy, we tight circled off the inside rein or changed directions. I have continued the work this week and she is a new horse, way more relaxed and focused. Am trying techniques on 4 other horses and results are the same.

Also, trainer said so many riders don't address the root issue or work at solving it long enough. Horse give a few half hearted attempts and gets put away for the day.

Remember, don't practice till you get it right, practice till you don't get it wrong!

Good luck and we all expect another new and improved video soon!

Rescue Pony
May. 31, 2010, 11:51 PM
First of all...let me say....very cute horse.

Right off the bat I see my major weakness in you...your arms. I know it has been said over and over previously to this post but it would be something to work on. You tend to lock your elbows and don't "move" with the horse when posting. I'm actually a bit impressed that your horse is so calm with this! My TB tries to get me out of the saddle everytime I fall back to the "dark side" with my elbows. Shorten your reins and be more aware of where your elbows are to your body. If you struggle with this you may have to go back to baby basics on it.....I'm an adult and I put a grab strap on my saddle last summer because of the exact same problem. Trying to keep a hold of the strap attacted to the front of my saddle really showed me how much I was NOT moving my elbows in relation to the horse. It may help if you have mirrors to ride with also.

The saddle is also an issue. I understand the cost thing.....and it is sad how much of me I see in this video cause I was here last summer. You are in a chair seat with him and do come down in the wrong place when sitting. I worry that as you start putting jumps higher or doing more difficult combos you are going to get way behind the motion of your horse. That being said...you do not need a $3500 saddle. Look for used. I got my new HDR off BCsaddlery.com for $600....and it had the 18" long flapped special stuff I needed. Shop around and find the deals.

Finally I would say to get your and your horse's confidence up you should be doing a ton of gymnastics. Poles on either side of jumps....poles in between jumps......poles that bend into more poles that lead into a jump......be creative and get your arms ready to haul out all the poles you have! Have fun with it!

All and all you both have a lot of potential. Don't be to tough on yourself.....your not really riding if you don't have some flaw to work on!:yes:

moukoyui
Jun. 1, 2010, 10:38 AM
I am going out today to video our ride, it will be in the MUCH smaller covered and just on the flat because we have had monsoon rains.

Two things that might not matter at all-

one the tail swishing is because the vertibrae right before his spin becomes his tail are broken and fused. This his just how he goes around - unless he rolls it over his hip like a dog - but that only happens when he bucks.

two - we are eventers (today I will ride in the dressage saddle to see if you like that better) and since I converted my trainer has had me work on bringing my feet forward. I have no idea if this is correct but she calls it a 'safety seat' for over fences cross country.

I hope my ride today gives you a bigger insight to my ridding.


A Question about ground polls. He is fine if there are just ground polls on the ground but once the is a jump he just jumps everything... Do I allow that even though it makes for funky distances, or do I just drill and drill and hope it goes away with miles?

rabicon
Jun. 1, 2010, 11:53 AM
He jumps the ground poles at the trot?? If so I would put up a smalllllll xrail that he can walk over and start him walking over the ground pole before the jump over the jump and walk over the landing side ground pole. Drill this in the walk and praise him. Then start a trot over the ground pole and ask for the walk over the jump and then trot over the next, do this a few times and then try to trot over all 3. He just needs to understand that he doesn't have to jump something on the ground. Also you can just try putting a ground pole in the jump standards at first and ask him to walk over all three then trot over them all. Then take him and jump a xrail thats larger and take him back to the one with ground poles and ask him to walk them and then trot them. For running xcountry you will have a more forward seat. Big reason is for the horse. You are galloping over terrian and asking your horse to go in the open so you get up and off their back so they can. As you come to a jump normally you will then sit back and use a driving seat to get the horse back up under himself and to get your distance to the jump. But when riding in the ring for jumping you don't have to use that concept unless you are just practicing for xcountry. Now the feet forward is not what you want. You will have your feet forward on some jumps xcountry, such as jumping down banks or jumping a jump with a lower landing side etc... You can have them a little forward xcountry but really you still want your leg under you on the normal jumps and just running, not ahead of you. The feet in front is just for certain jumps and terrian.

moukoyui
Jun. 1, 2010, 08:03 PM
Here is our ride today... I want to see if you think it is an improvement.

My hands were better still need alot of improvement as well as my upper body at the canter, however, he was running through the reins quite a bit at the canter. He never got fast, he just would lean on my half halt and run through my hands. His last leg yield was very nice and soft so I ended there.

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

RugBug
Jun. 1, 2010, 08:29 PM
I can see some improvement in your hands. I can tell you're trying. :yes:

I still see you shuttin him down and bracing against him though. You look quite tense, worried and stiff. There are a few moments of better trot, mostly as you do a downward transition from the canter, but you quickly slow him and get him back to the going nowhere, no impulsion trot...probably the one that makes you feel in control.

At the canter, you are better tracking right than left. You look much stiffer to the left, bouncing a bit, etc. IMO, you're position looks better, and you look more relaxed in the jumping saddle over this dressage saddle. Not sure why, but you look very "on top" of the horse in this saddle...like it's too small for you.

I like what another poster said about getting into a round pen or a smaller enclosed arena so you can let him go a bit without giving him too much opportunity to build excessively. You've got WAY too much hand and not nearly enough leg to back it up. It can be hard letting one you're a bit timid about go forward, but I think it's what is going to really help you. If you have to, start at the walk...on the buckle...or as close as you can get, making sure you don't put your hands in your lap...and make him march along. Ask him to reach to the bit, don't bring the bit to him. Get it at the walk first, and then try at the trot.

Spud&Saf
Jun. 2, 2010, 10:20 AM
Agree with RugBug about most of what was said - especially the saddle.

Your hand positioning was better, but you still lack a bend in your elbows. When you are doing a rising trot, you have to let your elbow joint open up as you rise and close as you sit in order to stop your arm from getting locked. At the canter, you could benefit from using a driving rein so you learn a following arm. (I am currently working on this myself).

I think a lot of your problems are stemming from the fact that neither of your saddles are putting you in a position that will help you - although I the AP is slightly better than the dressage saddle. If you can't find the "sweet spot"
of the saddle, you will be stiff and off balance even without any confidence issues.

Your horse looks "bridle lame" to me - as in he is being ridden with too much restrictive hand and its affecting his movement. Does he get chiro work done?

I think ovreall your confidence issues are "taking away the forward" for you. You need to let this horse go. You want to bottle him up instead of letting him flow. You can't get a soft horse without having a forward horse.

Maybe try having someone lunge you on him?

danceronice
Jun. 2, 2010, 01:52 PM
I think ovreall your confidence issues are "taking away the forward" for you. You need to let this horse go. You want to bottle him up instead of letting him flow. You can't get a soft horse without having a forward horse.

IAWTC. And what RugBug said--my impression watching the video is you're very tense and you're bracing on his mouth. The locked elbows make you look like you're doing push-ups off the pommel on straight arms. On the new video I saw a couple moments where you relaxed and had bend to the elbow, and it's like you went "OMG must grab on again!" Believe me, I know it's incredibly counterintuitive, but you have to ease up on his mouth and put your leg on more. I know how it is--my old horse I got when he was young and only knew GO FAST FORWARD. It took a long time for me to be comfortable relaxing my hands and really putting my leg on, because 'forward' meant 'out of control' in my head.

Fancy That
Jun. 2, 2010, 02:29 PM
Great feedback on this thread!

I just wanted to show you how you can have a really short rein, but still soft and forgiving. Yes - it's about moving your hands forward! :)

I'm not perfect - at all - but there are a couple of pics of us schooling XC that show how a short rein, but forward, can be used to stay connected but "free flowing"

I am NOT working on a "headset" when I'm cruising XC....I want my mare relaxed and FORWARD. And she is just that :)

Example pic #1:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/IMG_5813.jpg

Example pic #2:
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/Windance_195-1.jpg

When schooling in the arena - I ask for alot of "stretchy"...she loves that. It's the foundation for a horse seeking the bit and getting them to relax over the topline. I wish I had a photo of us doing "stretchy trot".....but you can try that, too!

rabicon
Jun. 2, 2010, 03:43 PM
I see your trying but you are still blocking him up front. He has to go forward! You have to open up top and let him go forward, soft hand. Here is a soft arm running cross country
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2529622750103994293YqRcZg
I have contact but there is soft contact to let him go forward. This video is about 1 1/2 years old but its the only one I really have to show you. You look long armed like me which can sometimes make it hard to know where to put all of it. Soften up and bend those elbows, pick your hands up with a longer rein. I'm not perfect by no means, and this video is old and a greenie at the time but it gives you an idea of moving forward with a following hand that is softer.
http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3089028980103994293wcsMdT
This one is newer but hard to see.
http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3095709800103994293XVmZCQ

You seem alot like me with a control issue and the horse. You want to control every step he makes with your hands but you don't have enough leg to make that happen correctly. Like I said before I would go back to basics first and give him his reins and let him go!! He needs to relearn that he can go forward. If you are not able to do it maybe put someone more experienced on him and get him forward first. If he is hot and tends to get to fast learn how to shut him down with a one rein stop if need be but I also think a good warm up for him would be a looser rein gallop.