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View Full Version : OTTB training exercise: WOW.



WW_Queen
May. 22, 2012, 11:21 PM
I just tried some new stuff with my OTTB... a refresher for me, and new to him. It definitely wasn't rocket science, just working on the basics, but the difference was so immediate in one schooling session I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner!

To get the bend, it just meant turning your palm upwards for turning on the direct rein, and to ask for flexion and a rounder outline, keep your hands slightly above the bit, especially when you have a giraffe neck in front of you, and then give through the hand immediately as a reward.

Just... wow. I'm still in shock it was so easy and worked so darned well. (Here was the link to the original clinic review by another rider, and what I did/how it worked for me.)

http://www.myhorsechat.com/2012/05/22/ottb-training-problems-try-this/

What I don't understand... is WHY does turning your palm upward work so well? Is there some secret effect on the horse's mouth/changes your body position/secret voodoo magic that makes it work like it does? :)

DownYonder
May. 23, 2012, 05:58 AM
I recently watched a rider struggle with keeping her horse soft and connected and stretched through the topline while turning. The horse wanted to either put its head up or lean on the bit and prop on the inside shoulder while drifting out through the outside shoulder. Instructor told the rider to slightly rotate the inside hand so her thumb was pointing in the direction she wanted to go - same action you mention as "turning the palm upward". It worked like a charm - horse stayed round, elastic and soft, and not falling on the inside shoulder. Rider was amazed and thrilled to have learned this "secret". I'm not sure I have figured out the mechanics of why it worked, but it apparently did.

AzuWish
May. 23, 2012, 06:04 AM
My guess is that is stops tension from the rider and because the horse has nothing to lean against, he is unable to brace.

It takes two to brace! And it is particularly very easy to brace without knowing it on an ottb.

I just had a lesson yesterday on an ottb and was reminded again it takes two to brace. It's amazing how easy our down transitions became when I stopped the tension on my body and tension on the inside rein :)

BoyleHeightsKid
May. 23, 2012, 06:31 AM
I think it's a way to get the rider from pulling back and using too much inside rein.

merrygoround
May. 23, 2012, 06:49 AM
It is harder to lock and be rigid with your wrist rotated that way.

So much of a soft hand is in small relaxations in the elbows, forearm, and wrists, along with soft but closed fingers.

Maude
May. 23, 2012, 07:54 AM
Rotating the inside thumb away from the neck and pointing it in the direction you are going uncrosses the radius and the ulna (long bones in the lower arm) and opens and brings the rider's inside shoulder back. This softens the forearm and positions the rider's upper body in a way to facilitate the bend and softening of the inside of the horse.

Petstorejunkie
May. 23, 2012, 07:57 AM
What you described isn't bend, it's flexion. Bend doesn't come from the hand.
It changes the action of a snaffle and allows energy to go all the way back into your lats

carolprudm
May. 23, 2012, 08:16 AM
I just tried some new stuff with my OTTB... a refresher for me, and new to him. It definitely wasn't rocket science, just working on the basics, but the difference was so immediate in one schooling session I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner!

To get the bend, it just meant turning your palm upwards for turning on the direct rein, and to ask for a softer jaw and rounder outline, keep your hands slightly above the bit, especially when you have a giraffe neck in front of you, and then give through the hand immediately as a reward.

Just... wow. I'm still in shock it was so easy and worked so darned well. (Here was the link to the original clinic review by another rider, and what I did/how it worked for me.)

http://www.myhorsechat.com/2012/05/22/ottb-training-problems-try-this/

What I don't understand... is WHY does turning your palm upward work so well? Is there some secret effect on the horse's mouth/changes your body position/secret voodoo magic that makes it work like it does? :)

That's "Turning the Key"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcH2XVNSAUI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VytQUTUCvs4&feature=channel&list=UL

BoyleHeightsKid
May. 23, 2012, 08:46 AM
That's "Turning the Key"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcH2XVNSAUI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VytQUTUCvs4&feature=channel&list=UL

Yep! :yes:

quietann
May. 23, 2012, 08:53 AM
"Turning the key" definitely. And it works! My only problem with this is that, well, my thighs are seriously huge and my whip gets in the way. I would like to work back to using mild spurs and no whip, but have some leg stability issues to work on first, unless I want an explosion underneath me!

ideayoda
May. 23, 2012, 09:11 AM
The rider can do this minutely w/o whipping the horse, merely use a slightly opening rein then a little. There are several reasons turning the key in the lock 'works'. Flat hands cross the bones of the arm over, and take the elbows away from the body. Turning the thumb over stabilizes the elbow, it makes the 'funnel you are riding into larger, it raises the hand slightly, it closes the elbows to the trunk, AND it PREVENTS the use of a fist steadily against the mouth. For the horse, it works on the corners of the mouth (rather than bars...esp if the horse is up/open in the first place) to mobilize the jaw, and rarely will the rider get STUCK there. It is to establish FLEXION (laterally...although light longitudinal flexion can be a added benefit because of the relaxation)...and has been said the actions of the inside rein are for flexion, NOT bend (bend originates in the seat and/or placement of the legs).

leahandpie
May. 23, 2012, 09:13 AM
My old instructor always said "hitch hiker thumbs through the turns!"
Really great visualization helped me make this a habit!

WW_Queen
May. 23, 2012, 09:48 AM
Whoops on the bend/flexion mix-up...it was late when I wrote it! Will be sure to go back and correct.

"Turning the key" sounds familiar, I have definitely heard that description before.

I am planning on grabbing this guy's book, I was just so impressed with how effective his exercises were! Has anyone done a clinic with him before?

katarine
May. 23, 2012, 10:07 AM
Jane Savoie talks about turning the key in leg yielding. I do it, it works. I haven't used it in turning, I'll have to play with it....So LY from centerline to the right hand long side, turn the key with your left hand, look where you intend to land on the rail (let's say M), and encourage both forward and right with your body and legs while maintaining/massaging that left-hand turned key posture...your right hand is still holding it's little chicken in a head's up position (mixing keys and Sally Swift)....

cyberbay
May. 23, 2012, 10:30 AM
Thanks, p'storejunkie and Ideayoda... the OP is describing flexion, not bend.

Flexion is the first step to bend, and it is the application of bending and/or turning aids on top of the flexion that will make for a good-quality bend or turn or whatever.

Ambitious Kate
May. 23, 2012, 10:35 AM
this is what I'm working on, and I'm looking forward to trying 'turning the key'.

fairtheewell
May. 23, 2012, 10:48 AM
It is a Saumur thing. Works like a charm.

roesie
May. 23, 2012, 10:54 AM
I'm going to try this too! I have developed an awful habit of keeping my arms thrust forward, with my elbows locked. I'm working on keeping those elbows by my waist and getting a softer elbow that can give and take, but I tend to get super tense because I'm not used to keeping contact with my arms so far back. As a result, we completely lose it around bends. Our circles just get smaller and smaller, and they actually start looking more like squares because we are both stiff as a board haha. We've done a lot of work on flexion in the past few days though, and he is really starting to give his jaw to the bit at the walk. It's when we trot that I tense up like I've been electrocuted and everything falls apart... hopefully "turning the key" will help us out!