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  1. #41
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    granted, counter flexion or counter bend might help to straighten a horse, but what i am saying is, what i see very often, is that people are doing that when the horse is not touching the reins and has no contact, no connection. it's pointless if that's not yet there.

    i'm saying that has to be there to some extent first. to some degree, THEN these exercises can improve the connection, AFTER that, yes, i agree, you can use it to help with a lot of things (site argument above about WHICH things, LOL).



  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by slc2 View Post
    granted, counter flexion or counter bend might help to straighten a horse, but what i am saying is, what i see very often, is that people are doing that when the horse is not touching the reins and has no contact, no connection. it's pointless if that's not yet there.
    yes, but you shouldn't assume that the people posting are not capable of understanding the replies they receive. you have to assume that the OP is competent enough to ride at the level that her question applies to. otherwise this board would just be people repeating "more forward" and "don't pull on the reins" again and again. there was nothing in the OP's statements that reflects that she is having the issues that you assumed she was having.

    i would think that the problems are related to him not wanting to step under and carry with his inside hind leg like i metioned before. i don't mean to gripe at you, it's just that i get tired of people constantly assuming that no one in the world is capable of riding a horse.



  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    Forget ' getting the horse on the bit ' ( sigh) for a second and just think about the connection and the rider discovering the importance of the outside aids and developing an understanding of the inside leg to outside rein principle.


    The use of counterflexion for the issues raised here makes perfect sense. It can be a real eye opener for the rider. It has many benefits including showing the rider she can get off the inside rein and the world won't end, showing the rider the importance of the outside aids (includng no more popping shoulder), and, as you then add in the bend from the inside leg to outside rein on the circle, and go from true flexion to counter flexion and then back again, and so on, often there can be a 'lightbulb moment'. It's the type of exercise that a smart trainer will employ with success.
    Yes in fact, most exercises that riders think "get their horse on the bit" are actually exercises that force them to start riding better/differently/riding at all.

    I have seen many people who never get the concept of what their outside aids are supposed to do, until they counterflex a horse and then push them from their inside leg to their outside rein and the horse actually *bends* in his body. It's a lightbulb moment. This is what a trainer is supposed to be able to do for you.. set you up to feel what is correct.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  4. #44
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    Yes, I have to say, I am WAY beyond the point of making my horse "assume the position". I am also fully capable of counter bend/flexion exercises which I think are great suggestions! Thank you for the suggestions.
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
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  5. #45
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    Ok, sorry for the short reply, I got distracted by kids and my SO wrecking the kitchen!

    Anyway I appreciate the suggestions you guys have given me. I think I will continue to work on my transition both between and with-in gaits, the counter bend you guys are suggesting and some of the other things we have been working on. I believe he needs to know how to move off of my leg, not just forward but also laterally. His wiggles are just my way of describing him figuring out my aids, he's making sense of it. I do not want to create the visual of him not being able to go in a straight line. This horse actually moves off of the seat VERY well for his stage of training and experience, IMO. He's a good ride and good worker and fun to teach. I was just looking for other suggestions for the shoulder popping (I have figured out that it is happening where the entrance to the ring and the feed room, I should have figured that out sooner, but I have been being dense )
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
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  6. #46
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    Where's the bang head here icon?
    *bad shoulder clique * Member of "OMGiH, I loff my Mare" Clique! * Proud owner of a CANTER Cutie!
    My Horses; COMH Page; My Blog



  7. #47
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    Lisa, I do not know, but I feel the need to use it quite often... In life as well!
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
    My Facebook



  8. #48
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    Yeah, it's just been that sort of week. The redhead was a bad bad bad girl on Saturday. I had REALLY good connection.... with my back and head hitting the arena wall as Sunshine veered left in the midst of bucking/rearing/leaping/galloping. So now I'm laid up with great body bruising and sprained ankle.... and it's making me cranky!
    *bad shoulder clique * Member of "OMGiH, I loff my Mare" Clique! * Proud owner of a CANTER Cutie!
    My Horses; COMH Page; My Blog



  9. #49
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    There are (at least) two schools of thought on this issue, and this thread encapsulates them both pretty well. Some schools (of thought and perhaps of equitation) believe you must ride the horse forward, straight and through before you do any exercises with him. Other schools believe you can do the exercises (leg yield, sh/in, counterflexions, etc) to straighten the horse, strengthen him and make him more forward and through.

    I do agree that you should move the shoulders, not the haunches, to straighten the horse, and this is the main reason travers is not done at the Spanish Riding School. But, that's another topic.

    Generally when a horse is crooked, it is because he is stronger in one hind one leg than the other, by nature, by birth, by accident, or by perpetual riding by a crooked rider. So, to strengthen that hind leg, you will have to do adduction, abduction and pushing exercises to improve the range of motion in that hind leg. That translates to lateral work. That's where the turn on the forehand, the travers, etc. have a great place in the rider's toolkit, although they do indeed move the haunches. Transitions, within the gaits and between the gaits, will help the pushing power, but will not improve the the rotational range of motion in the limbs.

    When you start lateral work, it is natural that it makes the horse softer and "wiggly." It also brings out any inherent crookedness, as one hind leg overpowers the other, the horse loses straightness, and falls out his shoulder. I have also seen young horses who were perfectly even behind, but with big, burly shoulders, who would promptly lose balance and fall out in the shoulders when pressed for tighter turns or lateral work.

    If the horse falls out in one direction and falls in in the other direction, that is almost always one hind leg stronger than the other. If the horse falls out routinely in both directions, it is almost always just a misunderstanding and a loss of balance.

    Personally, I probably would not send the horse more forward, as that could compound the loss of balance. Every time the horse falls out, I would probably bring him right back to a walk and work on connection and straightness issues with the lateral work in the walk until he understands. Then I would try again in trot. I would also start tightening up the trot work with 15 and 10 meter circles, keeping the energy.

    I think many, many horses do not inherently understand the inside leg to outside rein connection and must be taught it very methodically in one direction, then very methodically in the other direction. Then they must be taught it again when the complications of lateral work are added.

    The should popping IS an evasion.
    Probably just semantics here, but I don't think Frodo (even the bright boy that he is) is thinking, "I am traveling a bit too much sideways here for my taste, and I am working too hard. I think I shall get out of work by overbending my neck and throwing all my weight in my right shoulder. This should rattle my rider so that she lets go of the outside rein, and voila! I am a noodle. My, it's so much easier being crooked than being straight." I think it's always a loss of balance. If you consider it a loss of balance and not an evasion, that can change the way you decide to correct him.

    And of course, examine the rider.
    There was a crooked girl and she walked a crooked mile.
    She found a crooked saddle and rode a crooked style.
    She bought a crooked horse, a crazy, crooked thing,
    And they all rode together in a little crooked ring.

    As my coach once said, "I am obsessed by straightness."
    Last edited by Kathy Johnson; Dec. 31, 2007 at 07:41 PM.



  10. #50
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    Kathy, you bring up some good points and frankly, just looking at this from another perspective is helpful.

    If you consider it a loss of balance and not an evasion, that can change the way you decide to correct him.
    That is just the change in perspective I think I needed. Thank you for your suggestions.
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
    My Facebook



  11. #51
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    I do agree that you should move the shoulders, not the haunches, to straighten the horse
    I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.



  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.
    You don't know any GOOD trainer who would say otherwise

    Unfortunately, there are plenty of trainers of all disciplines to get soooo caught up on moving the butt around. I know a lot of Western folks (this is NOT to start a debate!!!!) who get VERY caught up in how much they can swing the hiney around. Many of them train lead changes by swinging the butt around (dressage folks know that's death, but it's a different discipline, so let's not go there ).
    ______________________________
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  13. #53
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    No, personally speaking, I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.

    It's pretty standard thinking.



  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by egontoast View Post
    No, personally speaking, I don't know any trainer who would say otherwise.

    It's pretty standard thinking.
    Oh Eggy, I dunno. I really try to rein myself in, but I am shocked at how often people in this forum (the DRESSAGE! forum!) do not know this. Even more shocked at how many people do not know about stiff and hollow.

    If the trainers know, wouldn't their students be taught this most basic premise of riding? How can so many end users not know?!!!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  15. #55
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    Well, I was always taught to bring the shoulders in to correct when the horse falls in with his hindquarters. But using this approach to correct the popping of a shoulder when the haunches are not falling in did not work at all for me on a long necked youngster who simply started to put a lateral "s" curve in his neck instead of popping his outside shoulder.

    When I attended a clinic given by AVG, she advised the leg yield from the outside leg to correct this problem (outside shoulder popping without haunches falling in) and it worked like a charm. After just a few times using this technique, the horse self-corrected.

    I don't know whether you would consider this correction as "moving the hindquarters" to make the horse straight or not. To me, it was more like moving the whole horse over laterally for a stride or so. I've used it since the clinic on other horses and found it to be a very effective technique.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  16. #56
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    Use your left thigh to push the shoulder in. Also - be sure you have him straight on the left (outside) rein.
    Sandy in Fla.



  17. #57
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    Some other suggestions for addressing Frodo's shoulder popping out. (I've read page 1 and 3 so if any of this is repetition, sorry)

    Firstly is it you? Often a rider is asymmetrical and sits with one seatbone more forward than the other. Since Frodo is popping his left shoulder (pops it out when you are on the right rein?) you could be sitting with your right seatbone relatively too far forwards. Try physically picking up your left seatbone and putting it down 1" closer to the front of the saddle. You'll probably feel strange and twisted. Hang on it there! Now ride a trot circle concentrating on not letting that seatbone slip back. Has it helped the shoulder popping? If it has you have your cure!

    Another easy way to check if it is you or him is to put a good rider on him and see what they say. If he doesn't pop his shoulder with them then it's you. The cure is probably your seatbone, as above. To clarify in general to create a bend your inside seatbone should be more forwards than your outside seatbone. Not by a large amount but it is definitely there. Try riding a shoulder in to a shoulder out. You have to rearrange your seat don't you? This is because you are going from seat with positioning to the left to seat with positioning to the right. Positioning is just a posh word for slight bend. It is possible to have the seatbone too far forwards. This causes the horse to jack knife and pop a shoulder. Most people ride in position left (or right) all the time and do not swap between the two as they change the bend.

    If the shoulder popping isn't you then you could try riding him absolutely straight with no bend at all. This is harder than it sounds. You have to concentrate on your outside aids. Imagine your outside arm and rein are a fence that he cannot break through. With a baby you'll probably have to push him round the circle with your outside leg if you are riding straight. That is OK as it will be reinforcing to him that you don't want him to break at the withers and push his shoulder out.

    An exercise that might help is to ride a circle then leg yield IN on that circle when you are going the way that he pops his shoulder and leg yield OUT when you are on the other rein. In other words when his hollow side (the side where he finds bending easy and so finds overbending easy too) you leg yield him in so you are pushing him into his bend and making him straighten and step through with his inside hind. When his hollow side is to the outside he needs help to establish true bend so you leg yield him OUT on the circle. This helps him understand stepping under and across his body, helps the bend and establishes inside leg to outside rein aids. When he is good at this exercise you can pop in a suggestion of leg yield every time he pops his shoulder. So shoulder pops to outside, you put on outside leg and outside rein (make sure you keep his head pointing straight ahead though) and ask him to step into his bend. He has no option but to decrease the bend and the shoulder should unpop.

    As you become more advanced and can do shoulder in, put shoulder out aids on whenever he feels as if he is going to pop that shoulder. As he regains his balance ride him straight. You'll probably find that you do not have to ride the bend in his hollow direction, you'll always have to think about riding him straight this way. The other way you will always have to concentrate on creating and maintaining the bend because that way is more hard for him.

    Finally beware stiff and hollow sides changing over. As you work the stiff side it will improve and the previously hollow side becomes relatively stiffer. Always ride your horse and think about which side is which every time you get on. Having stiff and hollow sides changing with training is a good thing. It means your strengthening and suppling work is actually leading to improvements!



  18. #58
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    Thank you.
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
    My Facebook



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