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  1. #1
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    Question this may be a silly question...

    I am starting my tb up again after a four month winter off, and am trying to be as proactive as possible. He is my first horse with a "go" button in a looong time, and after riding my pokey qh for years, he has been a transition. One thing that stills gets me is slowing him without getting into a pulling match. I work hard to use my posting to slow him, but sometimes I feel like he runs through that. So here is my question:

    How long do you try to slow by posting and/or circling before giving a half-halt? How many strides, more specifically, do you try these before half-halting?

    *I know that a half-halt is whole body, not just hands.

    THANKS!



  2. #2
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    Apr. 18, 2006
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    One or two strides, then start a series of half halts.



  3. #3
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    what cougar said

    And he has to "get" your half halts. He has to at least pause when you half halt or you increase the half halt - maybe all the way to the halt at first. Otherwise he will simply learn to blow through the half halt. But be sure to add leg so he knows to keep forward/active with the hind end. I tend to forget the leg part because they are quick.

    My "forward" TBs get quick rather than carry "back" over their hindquarters. It's almost like they push themselves off their "platform" or hindquarters onto the front end OR their front end "runs away" from their backend.

    It's a strength thing coming back from time off (or at least w/ mine it is). I keep the dressage times short w/ correct work and add hill work and cavaletti and/or jump schools to build strength too.

    And no, it's not a silly question. Ok, so I'm just an adult ammie but the ones who get quick/run and disengage by being "forward" can be a challenge (for me) because balance is so critical... The answer isn't necessarily "foward"... Add drop behind the vertical as an evasion and, sigh...



  4. #4
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    I'm experiencing the same thing. I have a green six-year-old TB who also is very forward and pully if I'm not careful. I'll keep an eye on this thread for advice too. I usually half-halt, get ignored, half-halt again, etc. There are a few times during the ride that I have to halt him for him to get the message. The instant he stops I release all rein pressure as a reward. It is hard on these guys to remember not to pull though. I have to constantly tell myself to half-halt through my back and seat, and then GIVE or I'll forget and he just speeds up if you add pressure to the reins and keep it. He is improving slowly, slowly day by day. I also use a lot of 20 meter circles to try to slow him down without needing to go to the reins. Also, a series of poles set 4ft 3in apart has really helped. I set four poles at that distance down both long sides. He loves to start running on the long sides, so the poles set up this way really help slow him down and make him think about lifting his back and stepping under.



  5. #5
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    Remember too, that using walls or corners as you apply half-halts can help the horse "get the idea" of a half-halt. Ride straight for the wall or arena corner as you apply the half-halt. I had to do this with my jumper-trained Hanno who was used to being hauled on by big strong German men. We spent the first few months fine-tuning his steering and brakes.

    riding the half-halt while executing a 10M circle also helps.

    Furioso line -- hot "thoroughbreddy" characters!



  6. #6
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2boys View Post
    I am starting my tb up again after a four month winter off, and am trying to be as proactive as possible. He is my first horse with a "go" button in a looong time, and after riding my pokey qh for years, he has been a transition. One thing that stills gets me is slowing him without getting into a pulling match. I work hard to use my posting to slow him, but sometimes I feel like he runs through that. So here is my question:

    How long do you try to slow by posting and/or circling before giving a half-halt? How many strides, more specifically, do you try these before half-halting?

    *I know that a half-halt is whole body, not just hands.

    THANKS!
    By slowing with our post you are giving a half-halt. He is ignoring it!

    Time for a full downward transition. A rough one if necessary.

    Then repeat the question, ie; go back to posting, slow your post and if you get no response, Halt! Usually that is sufficient to remind a previously educated horse to stay under your seat.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  7. #7
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Since you are trying to be as proactive as possible, you might consider adding in some ground work in which you instill a voice cue.

    Start in a calm, familiar location. You can use a lead rope or reins. Hold a dressage whip. Stand facing him and using light backward pressure on the reins, ask him to back one leg one step. As soon as he does this, release your pressure totally.

    You are looking to get this response in just a couple of seconds. If you don't, then tap with your whip on his cannon bone until he moves his leg back. Up the pressure of both rein/lead and speed of taps until he moves within a couple of seconds, and then release totally.

    Start with the amount of rein pressure you want him to stop with under saddle. It should be pretty light, but you increase rapidly until you get the response. So you are teaching, "Light aid, either react NOW or you can expect a strong pressure." The moment of release trains the horse. The moment you release, you are telling him, You are doing the right thing NOW.

    Once he will back one step right away from your light aid, go for a whole stride. Walk backwards with him. When you have the whole stride, you can start using this aid to stop him when he's moving forward.

    Stand facing him again and ask him to walk forward as you walk backwards with him. (I'm not going to go into detail on aid for walking forward, I'll assume he walks when you walk.) Now give your light aid to stop with the rein or lead. If he does not stop immediately (within a couple of seconds) do the same as you did to ask him to back. Increase the pressure rapidly and use taps on his cannon bone. The instant he slows, release the pressure.

    Repeat this, and he will quickly learn to slow and stop on the light aid.

    Now add in your voice aid. Just before and as you begin the light stop aid, say your voice aid. You are trying to condition him to hear that voice aid and know that the light aid is coming and that he is going to stop.

    Again, if he doesn't, increase your pressure and tap if need be until he responds immediately to the light aid with a halt.

    Always say the voice cue just before and as you are starting the light aid. It is meant to be predictive.

    Once you have him slowing the moment he hears your voice aid and completing the halt immediately from your light rein aid, then you can start over in a new place in the arena. Start from the beginning of the process, just asking for one step backwards.

    Go to another spot within view of the last one and do it again. Repeat the procedure, changing the location but keeping large elements of the surroundings the same. You are teaching the horse that a light backward rein aid ALWAYS means slow/stop, no matter where he is.

    Horses like dogs must learn something repeatedly in different places before they generalize the lesson and realize the aid means the same thing EVERYWHERE, All The Time. We humans generalize easily. Horses don't. So give him the change to learn what this aid means in depth by doing it on the ground in lots of different environments.

    Each time you move to a new one, start from the beginning. If things get exciting, know that he will go backwards in the training, so just patiently start asking at the beginning again until he will respond to the light aid.

    Now, back undersaddle, you do the same procedure. Just because he learned it on the ground, he knows it--but he's a horse and undersaddle is a "new enviroment" so he has to generalize the lesson to U/S. Hopefully you will find, if you are consistent with the rein aid (don't worry about half-halts and etc at this point, you are just teaching this one thing--the light pressure on the rein means slow down/halt), that he will very quickly respond to the light aid when you are in familiar places.

    So start generalizing further, and while keeping elements of location the same, train from the beginning in new areas.

    Once he knows this aid, then practice transitions btw gaits and within gaits every 4-5 strides. Start in walk, until he will halt immediately from your light aid. Go to slowing and extending within the walk, always working to get the reaction immediately from the light aid.

    Once you have that, you can go to trot-walk and changes within the trot.

    If things deteriorate at any point, go way way back to the very beginning and just work with one step at a time in a calm familiar location.

    It's like trailer loading, the smaller and easier and clearer you make every single step, the faster and more thoroughly the horse will learn, with fewer fights that arise from confusion on the part of the horse about what he is supposed to do.



  8. #8
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    Jul. 17, 2007
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    I'll just disagree with the advice to be "rough" if "necessary". It takes a lot of repetition of accurate aids for a horse to truly learn a correct response. If he's leaning on your hands, trust me, he's not having much fun, either. DO halt if you need to make a point, then walk/halt a few more times before going back to trot. But don't be rough. You want him to accept, respect and trust the rein contact, not fear it.

    It may also help you to take more frequent breaks from the trot. When a horse is green and not very strong/supple, he only has so much time where he can work in balance (relative to his stage of training). Trotting endless circles can be very counter-productive if most of them are on the forehand. Instead, make a goal of three good circles, using your half halt to help him maintain pace and rhythm. Then make a downward transition and let him stretch on a long rein for a bit before doing more work at trot. Keeping things short, simple and correct is a faster route to success.
    Athletic Horses. Educated Riders.
    www.Ride-With-Confidence.com



  9. #9
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Part Two (LOL)

    To reinforce his response to the slowing of your posting, you can use the voice aid which he now knows, and your rein aid.

    What you are going to do is condition him to expect that when you slow your post, it's going to be followed by the light rein aid he knows already. You are effectively going to replace the voice aid with your slow posting aid.

    So first, slow your post two strides, then use voice aid, then use light rein aid. (I'm assuming here that his response to the light rein aid is very good already because you've done all the previous work to train him.)

    The sequence is very important. Slow the post, voice aid, rein aid. As you repeat this sequence, he's going to condition to the slowed rise (seat aid) as predicting that he should slow down.

    This is classical conditioning (in behavioral, not dressage terms)--same thing as he learns that banging the feed bucket means food is coming. Therefore the timing and the consistency is crucial in both training this aid and in keeping it trained, because if too many other things happen at the same time, or the sequence changes too often, then a classically conditioned aid will start to fade.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    here are the things i do/look for if i am having issues with HHs or "slowing down"

    1)make sure i am not tilting forward and/or unbalanced
    2)make sure i am not pulling or restricting with the reins
    3) use circles oif the appropriate size to get the tempo i want - and do this using theleast hand as possible
    4)use the arena walls to help get your point across. this does not mean run them into a wall - this means walk straight towards a wall and ask them to halt a step before the wall. the wall itself will act as a brake and get your point across with little hand.
    5) make sure yourare not tilting forward (yes, important enough to say twice)
    6)i also like to count as i trot 1 2 1 2 1 2 etc in the tempo i want - this really helps.
    7) it takes strenght and balance for a horse to carry itself. so give it itme.
    8) do lots and lots and lots of walk/halts, and trot/walks - if the horse ignores or falls on the forehand go towards the wall as above and or put them on a cirlcle. very horse friendly way of showing them what you want.

    eta: also dont let them go around on the forehand..... work hard to keep them in at least horizontal balance. the more they go in a way we dont want the more they are trained to go in that way.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa.Hare.Jones View Post
    I'll just disagree with the advice to be "rough" if "necessary". It takes a lot of repetition of accurate aids for a horse to truly learn a correct response. If he's leaning on your hands, trust me, he's not having much fun, either. DO halt if you need to make a point, then walk/halt a few more times before going back to trot. But don't be rough. You want him to accept, respect and trust the rein contact, not fear it
    To me, having to use a rein aid for a half -halt is "rough". As is having to use it for a halt.
    But then so is a strong "arret", on the longe. If done correctly, with quiet purpose, it seldom needs repeating.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    read this i explain how to do the half halt on page one also read all the links on page one so you know whats happening with your hands just as much as whats happening with your seat
    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=178116

    your not alone this is a very common problem and i ahve answered about 20 simular post on this bb inpast month plus god knows how many before that hence why i did a helpful links page
    as it shows you diagrams and also working diagrams

    also remember not to feed your horse if hes been out and you have fed him up to the nines for no work thn hes going to act like a time bomb ready to go off

    so knock the grian on the head for 2 weeks this will allow it to come out of the horses system
    as it only takes days to enter
    up and ab lib your hay instead as horse wont die as long as hes on good grass or good quality hay
    if the horse is a tad strong then change the bit to a volcanite kimblewick
    as this i have found with tbs to be the perfect bit to use, as its stronger than a snaffle but not as strong as a pelham so happy medium

    once the horse is working then slowly re introduce your grain and trial and error it
    as in if to much engery cut it back if to little increase it

    watch what your feeding as all packets have all ingrediants on them so you not overloading you r horse with high energy feed stuff ie beat pulp is fattening but also high energy
    flakw maze is fattening but also high on energy etc
    feed a calm or cool mix dont feed a complete nut as some are and do contain high energy feedstuffs so it really important you read the packet also by doing that then your supplements wont be needed
    so many people buy loads of supplements not realising that good quality hay has it already



  13. #13
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    Great replies, as usual. goeslike... I added that thread to my bookmarks. Great resource. Mel, I have been doing some groundwork with him over the past few months. I have been working on "and hoa", as well as flexing his neck to me, and stepping away when I touch his belly. These have been good for him because he loves to lock his neck, invade space, and can get ornery when asked to move away. He is a trip. I will absolutely integrate your suggestions. We do work on "back", but one thing I am trying to avoid is him curling up behind the verticle when doing this. I can always try it while asking him to hold his head higher. We'll see how that goes. Not only do I love your suggestions, but I love to hear that others have/are going through similar issues. Keep it coming!!



  14. #14
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    Tb's are a whole different ballgame if you are used to qh's. When you adjust your posting get behind the motion and let your legs melt. If after 20-30 strides heks not becoming a metronome, add lateral movement. Spiral in and out on a circle or shoulder in down the long wall. Something to get him supple and in front of you, listening.
    Tb's imho are the ultimate teachers in sensitivity. They make you a better rider

    Good luck, and have fun!
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  15. #15
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    For this work you are focusing on his feet, not so much on his head. He has to move and stop his feet when you ask him.

    If you give a light backward cue, and he doesn't move but flexes BTV, then use the whip taps on his cannon bone to make him move his feet. Focus there, keep pressure on until he makes a step, don't worry about his head.

    Remember it's the release that trains. You are creating a problem for him, and he has to be able to discern what he can do to solve it. So you communicate this information by ceasing the pressure when he does what you want, in this case steps back.

    If he goes BTV and manages to release pressure that way, he's learning that BTV works. You don't want that, you want to KEEP THE PRESSURE ON and TAP until he steps back, then instantly make a complete release. (This is the hardest part for the trainer, because it is very easy to not really make a true release.)

    He will learn through consistent repetition that BTV doesn't solve his problem, only moving his feet does. And because you always start with the LIGHT aid, he will learn to predict that the light aid means, "OH, if I move backwards then this other stuff doesn't happen, so I'll move now."



  16. #16
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    AWESOME advice. Thanks, to BOTH of you!

    Pets: I LOVE when he gets into his metronome phase! And he absolutely makes me a better rider. He has taught me more about TRUE riding, than ANYTHING else in the past twenty years!

    Mel: That is so insightful. And makes an immense amount of sense. I am on it tomorrow AM.



  17. #17
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    Mar. 15, 2009
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    Default TBs versus QH

    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Tb's are a whole different ballgame if you are used to qh's. When you adjust your posting get behind the motion and let your legs melt. If after 20-30 strides heks not becoming a metronome, add lateral movement. Spiral in and out on a circle or shoulder in down the long wall. Something to get him supple and in front of you, listening.
    Tb's imho are the ultimate teachers in sensitivity. They make you a better rider

    Good luck, and have fun!
    Yes! I can really relate to this statement. As a teenager, I owned an aged QH mix who was as hard as nails and rough as guts! Hard to get going, hard to stop, used to do 4H and was really put through the ringer, I'm guessing! My new horse (after 30 years!) is an aged TB mare, but her sensitivity is incredible! Feels like owning a Lamborghini after having an old pickup! She has made me not only a more sympathetic and sensitive rider but responds to such subtle shifts of weight - I have to be very alert and aware of what I'm doing every moment. Probably because I'm older I'm a little wiser too and assume in most cases that if I'm not getting what I want, it's my fault and look to myself for either causing a problem or giving an inappropriate cue. I'm learning something new from her every day.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    oops on liink 1 on my helpful links if you go to the bottom there are other links in red
    click on those to



  19. #19
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    Also do you have eyes on the ground that are familiar with tb's? I find that to be most helpful. Sometimes we know what to do but forget how and when to implement it. Just hearing mny instructors voice I ride better
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Also do you have eyes on the ground that are familiar with tb's? I find that to be most helpful. Sometimes we know what to do but forget how and when to implement it. Just hearing mny instructors voice I ride better
    I do have some people with whom I work. I have yet though, to find the PERFECT match for us. I am finding that pulling bits and pieces from everyone and applying what works best for us, is the best plan thus far. Don't worry though, I have "people".



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