View Full Version : bridle/tack setup for hot and claustrphobic horse?

Mar. 29, 2011, 10:11 PM
I have a 12yrs ex eventer (ran up to prelim fairly unsuccessfully) who is extremely broke and talented on the flat but is extremely hot. He is beautiful at the beginning of the ride (long and low, light etc.) But gets really hot towards the middle to end (pretty much after the first canter). When he gets hot and tries to scoot forward he will rear/plunge if you hold too much. Currently we are doing a lot of walking between the gaits to try to keep him more relaxed, and he has gotten better over the last 6 months I have been working with him. I ride him in a loose ring snaffle as I have found he is more explosive when you try to bit him up. Ocassionally we ride in a de gogue to encourage him to stretch over his back, and he actually tolerates this fairly well. Any ideas tack or exercise wise going forward? Riding him down is not an option. His breaking point is about 20 mins, can get about 40 if he stays relaxed. Thanks!!

Mar. 29, 2011, 10:58 PM
Just IMHO, YMMV, etc.

Leave him in the loose ring, or bit down to a flexible loose ring (nathe, happy mouth, rubber, whatever) if he's manageable. You're not going to fix a mental issue like that with a tack change. That's going to come from endless hours of working him and showing him that a melt down is not necessary.

Personally, I'd ask him to work when started to meltdown, and when he gives you some try, reward him. My TB loves a big lengthened trot across the diagonal as a reward. Trot is lovely for letting them stretch out without things getting too out of hand. With the hot ones, you can't leave them bottled up. You need to ask for them to give, then reward them with what they want. As they understand that they won't be held bottled up forever, you can extend how long you keep them shortened up. It sounds like you've already made progress, so I'd keep chugging along.