View Full Version : bridle/tack setup for hot and claustrphobic horse?
Mar. 29, 2011, 09:52 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. 30, 2011, 08:47 AM
Could be a couple of things. My first thought is since he gets hotter/harder as you do more, he's either ouchy and not fit. So I'd want to make sure there isn't a physical issue that he' saying "I can't do this" as you push more.
However, I'm guessing more likely that he's learned that he can push your buttons when pushed to do more, and is gaming you into taking your leg off. Hot horses can be hard to ride, because they tempt you to back off when they start objecting. With my own hot TB, I've found that I have to be very disciplined about keeping my aids on and giving him something to do/somewhere to go when he starts winding off. Making him work more, not less, but being careful to release when he gives to pressure has made him a much happier horse - and I think that helps with many hot ones. You might have a coach or trainer who is used to riding hot horses see what happens if they push a little while giving the horse appropriate releases of pressure when he gives.
Mar. 30, 2011, 09:18 AM
Also, not bitting up, but I have found that a fixed ring (D-ring or eggbutt) in a soft bit can be better for the hot horse (I ride most of my youngsters in a D ring KK or JP oval mouth).
Do you see any difference if you do long/low versus more on the contact, that might point to weakness that frustrates him when working in the more difficult position.
I second a coach/trainer who is used to the hot horses.