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View Full Version : Best Tip For Teaching Long & Low or Stretchy Circle To The Horse



Just Not Native
Apr. 30, 2012, 10:49 AM
Ok, No Flames, I have the Happy Horse books/DVDs/CDs authored by Jane Savoie.

Having a really hard time teaching my mare long and low.

She is a little more receptive on a straight line (long side of the track) but my hands must be further apart than normal, sending forward, and indirect rein(s) signaling alternately.

Forget the circle... does not respond to - legs on for forward movement, inside leg on for bending, indirect left rein (tracking left) and stable right rein against the neck.

Any of you have problems teaching this? How did you do it?

Petstorejunkie
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:08 AM
I'm having trouble following what the heck you are trying that's not working

Set your flexion with the inside rein, set your speed with inside lower leg, bend with inside midleg. Talky Talky with the outside rein to encourage horse to telescope forward. When responds, follow with outside then inside to keep base of neck straight. Outside leg back, and used to ask outside hind to travel longer.

Valentina_32926
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:13 AM
So not understanding exactly what she is not doing. On a circle you are trotting and slowly let out the reins. If the trot is not correct with a slightly longer rein then stop at that point and correct her trot. Do not lengthen the reins more until the trot is correct - head arched, hind end engaged, rythm stays the same (fix that with riders posting rythm and pressing down MORE on stirrups as needed). You get the lowered head the same way on a circle as you do on the straight line.

What happens then - does she speed up instead of stretch forward with her head and neck and take the reins down?
If so half halt with you seat the second you feel her speed up. If she doesn't speed up but falls on her nose (forehand) then you need to get her butt engaged more, and work with your seat (make certain you are NOT leaning foreward, rather you are posting straight up and down and looking forward) and reins (pulse - NO holding).

Really hard to explain on a BB - what does your trainer say?

ponysize
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:21 AM
Forget the circle... does not respond to - legs on for forward movement, inside leg on for bending, indirect left rein (tracking left) and stable right rein against the neck.

Any of you have problems teaching this? How did you do it?

If I understand this correctly, you are basically telling us right here that your horse does not understand the rein and leg aids. If they don't understand that, you can't progress correctly. This problem needs to be fixed first, forget long and low, forget everything else. Fix this now. Your outside rein should also not be against the neck.

Just Not Native
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:24 AM
No Trainer - hence the Jane Savoie material...
Anyway, sorry I made it so hard to understand.

As I am tracking left, I apply both legs to get her moving forward. I keep my inside leg on for bending, bringing her head in with the indirect rein. As we trot I continue to apply my aids, legs on to go forward, bending and indirect rein. what am I missing?

Her usual response to this is to go faster and put her head up in the air.

Paddys Mom
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:31 AM
We finally seem to have a consistent stretchy circle.
How?
I stopped trying to "teach" him the stretchy circle.
I ride him forward and on contact and do lateral work.
When our ride is going well, I allow him to slowly take the reins longer and we do a stretchy circle.
When he is working properly, it is hard work, and he finds the stretchy circle a reward.
I shifted my thinking from the stretchy trot being a "movement to be ridden" to it happening as a natural result of him being forward and accepting/seeking contact.

Just Not Native
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:38 AM
Ponysize, sorry, I need to give more clarification.

The mare does know how to go forward to both legs on,
she does know how to bend to the indirect rein/flexion and inside leg being on the girth.

I always thought that the outside rein & outside leg slightly behind the girth help the horse from falling out.

What should I do with the outside rein?

kashmere
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:39 AM
The "stretchy circle" is just a way of testing that your horse is on your aids, really. Forget about riding the stretchy circle, and concentrate on getting your horse moving properly off your leg and seat and into your hands.

rizzodm
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:40 AM
We finally seem to have a consistent stretchy circle.
How?
I stopped trying to "teach" him the stretchy circle.
I ride him forward and on contact and do lateral work.
When our ride is going well, I allow him to slowly take the reins longer and we do a stretchy circle.
When he is working properly, it is hard work, and he finds the stretchy circle a reward.
I shifted my thinking from the stretchy trot being a "movement to be ridden" to it happening as a natural result of him being forward and accepting/seeking contact.

This worked for me too. Her ahah moment acutually came when there was a bit of hay that had been dropped in the arena right where I was letting her begin her stretch down. She reached her nose to the grown snatched the hay without loosing any of her cadence. I praised her immensley and ever sense she really stretches down (even if there is no hay):)

NOMIOMI1
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:54 AM
9 out of 10 people do not practice stretch in the walk with connection. Then transitioning upwards to trot without running onto the forhand.

Most people work freewalk but not true connected stretch walk and then attempt it at trot?

Things to remember... You should still be able to ask for bend with the leg as you feed the reins... You should still be able to effectively us your half halts while you are feeding.


Before I get to the longest rein in stretch I have done both bend and half halts several times as I am going down asking for throughness and lightness.

Shiaway
Apr. 30, 2012, 12:33 PM
It's not something you teach. It's a test to see if the horse is really coming from behind into the hand.

Petstorejunkie
Apr. 30, 2012, 12:58 PM
indirect rein/flexion
Knock it off with the indirect rein stuff. Who taught you to use an indirect inside rein on a circle? :confused:
Up, yes, out like opening a door, yes, straight line from elbow to bit, yes.

What should I do with the outside rein?Connecting in an elastic manner

runnyjump
Apr. 30, 2012, 07:16 PM
Knock it off with the indirect rein stuff. Who taught you to use an indirect inside rein on a circle? :confused:
Up, yes, out like opening a door, yes, straight line from elbow to bit, yes.
Connecting in an elastic manner

Yup... this! Indirect rein is not indicated here. Be sure the horse is straight with your legs, hips and shoulders.

Stretchy should come from correctness in the other work.

paintlady
Apr. 30, 2012, 07:20 PM
We finally seem to have a consistent stretchy circle.
How?
I stopped trying to "teach" him the stretchy circle.
I ride him forward and on contact and do lateral work.
When our ride is going well, I allow him to slowly take the reins longer and we do a stretchy circle.
When he is working properly, it is hard work, and he finds the stretchy circle a reward.
I shifted my thinking from the stretchy trot being a "movement to be ridden" to it happening as a natural result of him being forward and accepting/seeking contact.

Ditto. Plus, my mare has figured out where it comes in the test which really helps me.

lorilu
Apr. 30, 2012, 07:57 PM
I watched a friend's lesson, working on trot stretchy circle. The trainer suggested he trot on the wrong diagonal and slowly feed out the outside rein. Worked a charm. He had to keep the circle round with his legs and body. Be careful not to throw the reins away.

However, the horse was working correctly on contact and forward up to that point. I have found that if the horse is correctly working, the stretchy circle is much easier to accomplish.

L

Keg-A-Bacchus
Apr. 30, 2012, 10:27 PM
OP I've been in the exact same boat as you! I couldn't get my mare to stretch into contact for the life of me. My trainer was not the greatest and she had me wiggle her down to appear to be stretching. Flash forward 6 years and I'm finally under a GOOD program and really understanding connection for the first time. What everyone is saying is right...if you have a proper connection with your horse when you feed out the reins he will naturally follow them out and down. No work needed. Jane is correct in her explanation of how to do it but for it to work your horse must be naturally connected and seeking contact. Not the answer you want to hear...I know! I'm sorry! :-(. SO the good news...75% of dressage riders I see don't have the connection and fake it...you're not alone in that it's HARD to achieve correctly. But you want to be the 25% who get it for real! To me...getting a horse correctly through and seeking the bit themselves is 99% of the dressage battle. Once you have that the rest is a breeze!! You just have to go back to the basics to get your horse reaching for the bit and for contact...then the circle will just happen! Jane has an AWESOME series and the answers are in there. But you must go back. It happens to us all!! She's very very accessible...perhaps shoot her an email! I wish you the best of luck! Been there!! Totally sucks! LOL

J-Lu
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:21 PM
Do you have a video? That would be a whole lot easier to see the whole picture.

I think that forward and over the topline is the key to the strechy circle, but you're doing that so hmmmmmmm. ??? Video?

katarine
Apr. 30, 2012, 11:36 PM
I don't understand the reliance on where it happens in the test. That's not training. That's learning where to fake the motions LOL

Let's all practice our spontaneity.

This is why you take lessons. If I feed rein to my horse, he seeks to stay with me and follow it down. I do have to encourage out + down, but following it down and using his back is not an issue.

this stuff is window dressing if it's not right. Get some real life help, boo.

BoyleHeightsKid
May. 1, 2012, 08:29 AM
It takes a lot of strength, balance and suppleness to be able to stretch down, keep the rhythm/tempo without falling on the forehand and rushing to get her balance. Let the reins out slowly (keeping a straight line from your elbow to the bit) and only as far down as she will maintain the contact. She's only going to be able to give you a few steps at a time. As she gets stronger and more supple through the back she will be able to stretch out more and for longer periods of time. My gelding is finally stretching nicely and not because I'm teaching him the stretchy circle, but because he seeks the contact and is working correctly over his back. When they are working correctly it's hard work and stretching is a reward and feels good.

You really need a trainer to help you with this.



Her usual response to this is to go faster and put her head up in the air.

This says to me she's not working correctly or being ridden correctly over the back and into the bridle. You really need a trainer to help you.