Horses that curl behind the bit do not use the bit properly. So that is the issue that should be addressed--just as you have explained.Quote:
Those neck stretcher things are NOT good for horses that already curl the neck. Just a warning.
The low-deep-round is great for SOME horses, but not ALL.
Riding the horse in the deep frame is too advanced for a curling horse. The curling first has to be addressed.
Actually I have found that horses who curl up into a little ball I do have to ride to fix and therefore I don't usually lunge them. I like to have control of the "bump".
I have worked curling horses through the issue with the help of the lunge. But I personally find it easier to ride--because basically you have to un teach them and then re teach them and I can do that easier in the saddle. But that's my personal issue.
The low/deep/round position is correct for every body type and is a very necessary step of top line body building for youngsters. It puts the right kind of beef on them, especially on the lower back and flank. Which is often over looked. Especially in those horses who have a great amount of natural talent.
Some horses, as mentioned, curl. This causes a issue not only with the ability to ride deep but also with the training scale.
Teaching a horse who enjoys curling to NOT curl is super fun. NOT. And it takes a very long time. But it absolutely must be addressed before moving on to more advanced schoolings. And if it is skipped, at some point along the way someone will have to address the issue.
"Why" one might ask, "should the curling be delt with even though the horse is scoring so well in the dressage due to it's very fake perma frame?"
Well, because one issue with curling is that horse is not stretching it's topline and reaching into the bit. It's not using it's back properly and though a rider can get through (possibly even 2nd level) with this type of frame, it will eventually catch up in a negative way. Maybe the horse will start to stop at large fences. Maybe the horse will go lame in the back.
Plus, I don't know about you guys, but galloping down to a very large box is super fun on a horse who is curled. Ever wonder if you are going to die? Try it. Super fun. For real.
So, if the horse does indeed hold the bit properly, the correct progression is to stretch them out and work them properly in the long/deep frame to eventually curl less and less until the horse always searches for the contact instead of hiding from it.
Remember, this all takes a very precise and technical ride with a very well educated hand. FEEL.
If the horse doesn't hold the bit then the rider gets to spend countless weeks or [usually] monthS teaching them how to hold the bit, and THEN teaching them to stretch the neck in order to work properly over the top line and to follow the training scale.
Until the body can be stretched, and the horse can be placed in ANY position by the rider, the horse is stuck at training level or the beginnings of 1st level.
And I just happen to have some experience with photo documentation. : )
1. Curling horse. (this is the TB in the videos)
2. fixed under saddle within several rides of forward and asking for stretch
no more curling. Also with lunging using the neck stretcher and side rein.
1. curling horse
2. fixed under saddle over the course of 1 year with the "bump" method:
no more curling:
Yes, this is the infamous HH as a 4 and 5 y/o. : )
1. I wish I had a curling pic of this horse. He was the WORST and had me in tears sometimes.
2. I fixed him with a bump technique incorporation the lunge and use of a veinna rein.
Allison Sprenger now rides him.
1. (my fav of course) curling baby Boomer at age 4
2. no curling Boomer at age 6
Long/Deep/Low technique used for 6 months or so..
That all being said, I don't think the OPs horsie is in danger of curling. He's fairly stiff and short necked.
It's usually the horses who have neck to spare and are made of silly putty who curl because it's sooo easy with a great long bendy neck.