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  1. #1
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    Oct. 6, 2004
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    Default Training FORWARD

    I was wondering what seems to be the prefered method of training for FORWARD. This young horse would prefer to be a slug and a pasture pet. I don't like nagging with my leg or actual kicking. I've been lucky in that all of my horses before her where very sensitive to the leg. A nudge with the heel was usually the most aggressive I ever needed to be. I've seen some trainers who prefer a spur and some that would rather a pop with a stick to 'wake them up to the leg'. Just wonder what eveyone's experience has been.



  2. #2
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    Jul. 25, 2005
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    Ontario
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    Default

    Take some dressage lessons The dressage scene is all about the forward.

    IME ride with a whip and any time the horse doesn't go forward from a polite aid.. he gets a good spank and sent very forward. (making sure of course the horse is healthy and capable of forward ie nothing hurts) I personally don't like the slow escalating of aids. I want the horse to move briskly forward the first time I ask from a light aid.

    Spurs, IME are for subtle aids not for remedial training. Pretty much horse, even some full drafts I have ridden can learn to move off the leg from a polite aid.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 17, 2012
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    Default

    What was just said above I'm in total agreement with. But he may not really ever have had a true "forward impulse" trained in his muscle memory. How does he go on the longe line? You may have to back up to that, and if he's lazy on the longe he gets a smart pop with the whip right where your leg would go until that gets "hardwired." Then you graduate to the dressage whip u/s, then hopefully he'll obey your leg.

    One thing to also be aware of; you might be unconsciously "opposing" your aids, IOW expecting him to go "on contact" before he is ready. Try "separating" your aids--legs without hands, hands without legs. He may be just shutting down to what he perceives as a "muddy" signal.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 5, 2012
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    Default

    Definitely agree with Aven.

    Both of my horses even still (at 12 and 19) sometimes need a reminder of going forward. I can tell when they get a little dull to my spurs or whip. Usually fixed with a couple rounds of "when I kick/hit, you RUN". Not in a mean way of course, but I'll go out on our track and really get them up into a gallop for a few minutes. No different than using a full halt if they're not listening to a half halt.

    Might be harder with a younger horse if they have absolutely no "go" button installed. If it's there though I'd probably use the above method. Remind them you're in charge (assuming you're not liable to get bucked off though).



  5. #5

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    Agreed with the above. No need to nag or "peck" at them.
    My basic rule of thumb is to ask nicely twice. If I have to ask a third time, I mean business and I MAKE it happen. It might not look pretty, but I'm determined to get what I've asked. They get a firm "WAKE UP" whack with my stick (behind my leg), combined with strong leg and a cluck at the same time. In my eyes its poor training to let them get away with it after 3 attempts; its a MUST to get what I'm asking by the third try. No more horsin' around.

    GM is a fan of teaching the meaning of a cluck this way. Cluck and stick at the same time eventually gets the message across that cluck means forward. (and leg too, for that matter)



  6. #6
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    Oct. 4, 2008
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    Default

    When I deal with the slugs, we canter early, often and at the beginning of the training session. Then I ask for a downward transition, and ctach that big trot and hustle it, when they slow, we canter again for 1/2 lap and take a break. Then repeat.

    I also carry a dressahe whip on a some, while trotting, I use the whip like a metranome behind my leg, in time with the inside hind coming forward and it really helps to get them out in front, and stay there.

    Satin Filly, cluck/ crop is a great method too.

    We kiss/ smack... ( I am a failed clucker) the kissmack is a staple in our dictionary, and the pony kids think it's a hoot.



  7. #7
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    Default

    Besides the above GET IT OUT OF THE RING.

    It's kind of hard to teach a horse to want to go forward if all they get is 8 to 10 strides and then they have to go around a corner. Or endless small circles and pick pick pick when they do go forward.

    Go someplace. Get it going then leave it alone and let it go. Make the horse enjoy going forward with no interference.

    IME, unless you mean what you say and never let them say no, however you chose to do that? They will never give it to you. "No" to any of the aids is unacceptable. Afraid I am not very polite when they say No. I like a quick smack behind my leg with a longer then normal stick so I don't have to move my hand.

    Just make sure they have a place to go and you are not in their face taking it right back away if they do try to give it to you.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 6, 2004
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    Thanks for all the input everyone! She is good on the line now but that took a bit. Under saddle she's gotten much better but there are still days where she's just a slug. I don't have a riding ring so all of her work is done in a field. I think half of her issues are that she's just unsure of herself on the rougher ground. We have a lot of hills and such that she appears to really have to think about when navigating it. The vet loved her and said she's just a low key girl but I have an appointment to have her saddle check in June also.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsbradbury View Post
    When I deal with the slugs, we canter early, often and at the beginning of the training session. Then I ask for a downward transition, and ctach that big trot and hustle it, when they slow, we canter again for 1/2 lap and take a break. Then repeat.
    This is exactly what I did when I had one that was very behind the leg. Ask for canter, demand it, and go from there. Also, whenever he gets slow or lazy, you have to have the same reaction each and every time. If they are allowed to get lazy without reprimand even once, they will do it again and again. Good luck!! It really does get you in good shape though



  10. #10
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    Feb. 5, 2011
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    Canada
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    Default

    Adding to what above posters have said, also reinforce it on the ground. The horse has to walk forward next to you at all times - no poking along. You can set up little "obstacle courses" and get them sharper to listening to you on the ground and that can really transfer to when you're riding. Trot to X, walk forward, turn, trot through some poles, whatever, just make sure they go when you go and they stop when you stop.

    How green is this horse? I was also lucky enough to have sensitive horses until my latest one, and he honestly just didn't "get" the forward thing. I worked a lot with him on the ground and some lunge work and that helped immensely even though it did take time, he is now much more forward and enjoyable to ride. Sometimes it just helps to get off their backs and go back to basics.

    Someone also suggested to me sometime last year to send them forward, and then stop and give them a break. So trot or canter forward across the ring and then stop for 30 seconds or a minute. I wasn't sure about it but I tried and it did help my horse to get that "break" and removal of pressure. I found he was more eager to go forward once he realized that he would be able to have a brief break.
    Last edited by AdrenalineJunky; May. 25, 2012 at 02:08 AM. Reason: Forgot the last paragraph



  11. #11
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    Nov. 22, 2003
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    Virginia
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    The saddle check is a good idea, but you might want to look a little further in the "pain issues" reasons for not wanting to move. So often, what we THINK is a "training" problem is a "physical pain" problem. Foot issues are something to explore. Including footing. Conditioning and physical ability is ALSO to be considered, especially since so many horses today are stalled, and don't spend their days in a herd running around a big pasture. Artificial environments create physical problems.



  12. #12
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    She has shown improvement lately with a quick pop behind the leg with the crop. Just a reminder once at the beginning and again when we first work on the other direction. She is also out of shape right now because I recent broke my finger in a couple places, so she might just be missing being a pasture puff. Since just getting back in the saddle again I also did a complete tack check. I moved her up to a 5.5 inch bit and also going to find her a larger browband. She just keeps growing! At 4 she's outgrowing everything I own.
    Last edited by Rebels_Princess; May. 26, 2012 at 09:37 AM.



  13. #13
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    Oct. 4, 2008
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    Just a quick thought, a fast growing four year old? She could be sluggish because of her stifles, IMO stifles do weird things in weedy young horses.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsbradbury View Post
    Just a quick thought, a fast growing four year old? She could be sluggish because of her stifles, IMO stifles do weird things in weedy young horses.
    I thought the same thing so I haven't really been pushing her much. My retired mare had weak stifles which after a ton of vets was determined to be coming from a VERY old hip fracture that they think she had got at a very young age and arthritis was going nuts in there and causing a ton of other issues.

    I had the vet check this one out because she does do the classic trip/hindend sinking away on the average of once at the very beginning of trot work. He doesn't think it's anything more then a fitness level problem at the moment. So I've started hill work on trails and in the field. Mostly walking and trotting still but yesterday I did have her canter up once on each lead.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 11, 2012
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    Default

    Quick question, should the whip be carried on the inside or outside?



  16. #16
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    Jul. 9, 2011
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    I always carry my whip on the inside since I like to use it in conjunction with the inside hind leg (particularly on circles and corners where it has to reach further). Plus, if you're riding in an enclosed arena, it won't continually knock the arena fence/wall!

    This thread is really timely for me too since my new guy is a little... slow off the aids. Just so that it's clear - you would use the whip for forward and spur for lateral, correct?
    All that is gold does not glitter;
    Not all those who wander are lost.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien
    http://theimperfectperfecthorse.blogspot.com/



  17. #17
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    Oct. 4, 2008
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    NSRider, yes, I use whip for forward, spur for lateral.



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