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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2012
    Posts
    65

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    I have a few suggestions --
    1. When you used your leg in the trot video, you kicked him and he kicked back at you- this happens for a few reasons.-

    --the first being that you kicked him and added/increased pressure up front with the hand. --you gave him NO room to move forward.
    --
    Also- when you apply your leg aids, you lean forward and tilt your pelvis downward and "pull" your hands towards your midsection.- BOTH of these "issues" will create a "mixed cue" to the horse- "go!!- but DON'T!!!!!"--

    IMO I would suggest getting comfortable "leaning back" and sitting on your butt further back when you use your leg aid- opening your hips upward so the horse has a "place to go"- also when you ask for forward in this manner, you must slightly release your hands forward UP the neck towards the ears so the neck can lengthen/lift to "open his shoulder" to allow the FORWARD.
    When you try this a few times, his reaction will be what it always has been-- "forget you"-- but when you are comfy sitting back- the next step is to get comfy lifting your knees off the saddle and your lower leg away from his sides so your power comes from your seat,quad and knee when you kick.- you will have to REALLY kick him hard and a few times until he gallops- I mean GALLOPS--(really get after him- SMACK him with the whip until you GET the reaction you want) for a few strides. then bring him back to the gait you want (trot) while pushing your heal and lower leg AWAY from him. REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT until he is CLEAR that when you use your leg- He GOES!!!
    ****** Eventually you want to be able to gently touch his side (like a fly landing) and for him to GO LIKE HELL. {think "how much power do I want from THIS cue/aid" and DO NOT settle for "what he gives you" GET what YOU want!}

    He is confused and sour to your "nagging leg and hand" (it is what he thinks) so you MUST become CLEAR- one question, one answer!!-- this is not an insult, it is a change of discipline thing!!!

    2. Your hands are very busy working on "suppling and pulling the nose in and down"-- While you "supple" you are pinching with your knees and not creating a connection to his hind end. Rather you are stopping any ability for him to step under your seat with the closed hand and closed knees. You must have completely relaxed leg muscles and butt muscles for the hind end to move thru your body and up and out to the Contact. --Again, get comfy riding on your Butt, relaxing your butt cheeks(think of your muscles as wet noodles) and sit back and "think riding off the back side of your thigh" not the top side/knee
    DO NOT worry about his head/neck position UNTIL he GOES from a single leg aid---- the "push/pull" (not that you are really pulling) you have going on now will turn into rearing and complete shutdown (not moving at all) if you continue on in this way.

    Horses are usually behind the leg ONLY as long as the rider has NO clear expectations.- which may be every time you get on until his "lightbulb switches on"- *which may be only when you get after him.***

    - I will look for some video links for you to see the "ugly" of behind the leg and "getting out in front" success stories.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,902

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Video doesn't exist
    Thanks, I'll stop looking for it!
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2007
    Location
    (throw dart at map) NC!
    Posts
    5,315

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    Removing the videos makes sense! I kept trying all of these different approaches to watching the videos with my computer, thinking there was something wrong with my computer!

    Honestly, I don't think the discomfort is due to your riding unless this is a super-sensitive horse. There ARE some horses that are super-sensitive to rider errors, or sensitive to any leg, or simply don't want to move forward for whatever reason. I knew two horses that were very finicky under saddle, very difficult to move forward in a relaxed state, and thousands of diagnostic dollars for each later there was no definitive reason for their behavior. (not to say there wasn't a reason, but it wasn't identified). Some horses are stoic, some are overly sensitive drama-queen/kings. I'm not saying your horse falls into this category, but your horse looks willing and capable to me, just uncomfortable for whatever reason. How is he when he trots and canters on the longe line with side reins? Is he even and reaching to the bit? Can he easily trot over a ground pole or 4 without hitting them? Try longing a friend on him to see if he is different with the weight of a rider. It seems to me like you know the story - he's recovering and just needs time to get there. I would give this horse the benefit of the doubt in my training approach, and make sure that I preserve a willing attitude if there is pain/discomfort that is slowly resolving. I'd also involve my vet. you seem to have a good plan.

    Oh, lastly, as a former jr. jumper, jumping saddles can easily be ridden in a smaller size than dressage saddles. I used to jump in a 16.5" jumping saddle but I fit best into most 17.5" dressage saddles. Many 17" dressage saddles didn't work to keep me unhindered (Pommel too close to my crotch, knee rolls too much under my knee rather than supporting my leg). I HONESTLY doubt you need a 16" dressage saddle, or even a 16.5" dressage saddle. Many tack shops will fit you to a dressage saddle, taking into consideration your height, weight, thigh and calf length, for free. ALso keep in mind the relationship of the deepest part of your saddle to the stirrup bar. Some saddles will put your leg out in front of you, some won't. So go get yourself properly fitted to a dressage saddle. YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF! Trust me!

    Good luck!
    J.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
    Posts
    6,944

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    Quote Originally Posted by aWp View Post
    I'll be sure to point all my hunter/jumper barn mates to these threads to justify being one of the only riders at the barn who won't use them.
    You don't have to justify anything. Just say, "Thanks for your interest," and do what you know is right for you and yoru horse.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
    Posts
    3,341

    Thumbs down

    Maybe put a heads up in your first post that you removed the videos.
    I was interested in watching them as it sounds very similar to my own horse's behaviors and I was looking for pointers also.
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    I did get to see the video and commented on the other thread, too.

    I wanted to add this.

    A lot of horses refuse to go forward if they are not straight. We have debated the old saying "straighten your horse and ride him forward" here before LOL the fact is, you cannot *force* a huge animal to go forward. You cannot intimidate him into it, either. You have to show him, convince him, that it is easy and pleasant, actually, to go forward. If he feels he cannot go forward unless he is straight first, you can beat him until he is bloody and he wont go because he feels he cant.

    OP, I would talk to your trainer about that concept and see if she thinks maybe that is part of his problem. If so, you will need to ride him mostly with your outside rein and every time he even remotely begins to suck back, tap him with the whip and push your inside hand forward, stroking his neck a little. Your leg will need to be OFF, 100% OFF unless you are using it, and then it can only be a slap, no squeeze. Once he is just straight and forward and happy on your outside rein, you can begin bending.

    I have ridden an awful lot of horses that were supposedly dull, not forward, phlegmatic, that when treated with a relentless attention to straightness first and a sympathetic hand to forward that suddenly came alive and enjoyed going forward and working.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,985

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    Do you allow him to stretch at the canter (staying out of the saddle) before you ask for trot work like this? Sometimes that loosens them up and wakes them up. I do that if my mare is just poking along at the trot. And it helps.

    I'm no pro, but I agree your horse isn't moving forward. And draw reins won't fix that (or much else, except for a couple issues like major spooking).
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2010
    Posts
    163

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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I

    A lot of horses refuse to go forward if they are not straight. We have debated the old saying "straighten your horse and ride him forward" here before LOL the fact is, you cannot *force* a huge animal to go forward. You cannot intimidate him into it, either. You have to show him, convince him, that it is easy and pleasant, actually, to go forward. If he feels he cannot go forward unless he is straight first, you can beat him until he is bloody and he wont go because he feels he cant.

    OP, I would talk to your trainer about that concept and see if she thinks maybe that is part of his problem. If so, you will need to ride him mostly with your outside rein and every time he even remotely begins to suck back, tap him with the whip and push your inside hand forward, stroking his neck a little. Your leg will need to be OFF, 100% OFF unless you are using it, and then it can only be a slap, no squeeze. Once he is just straight and forward and happy on your outside rein, you can begin bending.

    I have ridden an awful lot of horses that were supposedly dull, not forward, phlegmatic, that when treated with a relentless attention to straightness first and a sympathetic hand to forward that suddenly came alive and enjoyed going forward and working.
    This is AWESOME, EqTrainer, thank you! I think you've pinpointed the problem precisely here! Going to the right especially, historically, he has been very testy and pissy about the left rein, which is the outside one in that direction. In the first video, this is the direction where he kicks out and is just blucky to ride.

    I had the chiropractor work on him since the video, and he said that my horse was stuck on the right side of his neck. Since the adjustment, he has been worlds better in that left rein. It's been way too cold here to ride the past couple of days, but hopefully tomorrow, I'll be able to get on him and work on nothing but the straightness first and foremost, and see what happens next. Thank you so much!

    What I noticed most from the video (other than being occasionally horrified by how riding this horse can compromise my riding :-) is how unbalanced he is going to the right. The moments where he is in that left rein are the best, and when he evades it, we spend too much time arguing over it, at the expense of forward. Hopefully, the neck adjustment and this suggestion will help make everything more consistent.

    I just watched the video again, and there is a real difference in willing forwardness between the right and left directions. He still fusses with the contact to the left, but is not nearly so testy or bratty about it as he is to the right. So, thank you again for your sharp observation!
    Last edited by aWp; Jan. 24, 2013 at 02:55 PM.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2010
    Posts
    163

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Lu View Post
    Honestly, I don't think the discomfort is due to your riding unless this is a super-sensitive horse. There ARE some horses that are super-sensitive to rider errors, or sensitive to any leg, or simply don't want to move forward for whatever reason. I knew two horses that were very finicky under saddle, very difficult to move forward in a relaxed state, and thousands of diagnostic dollars for each later there was no definitive reason for their behavior. (not to say there wasn't a reason, but it wasn't identified). Some horses are stoic, some are overly sensitive drama-queen/kings. I'm not saying your horse falls into this category, but your horse looks willing and capable to me, just uncomfortable for whatever reason. How is he when he trots and canters on the longe line with side reins? Is he even and reaching to the bit? Can he easily trot over a ground pole or 4 without hitting them? Try longing a friend on him to see if he is different with the weight of a rider. It seems to me like you know the story - he's recovering and just needs time to get there. I would give this horse the benefit of the doubt in my training approach, and make sure that I preserve a willing attitude if there is pain/discomfort that is slowly resolving. I'd also involve my vet. you seem to have a good plan.

    Oh, lastly, as a former jr. jumper, jumping saddles can easily be ridden in a smaller size than dressage saddles. I used to jump in a 16.5" jumping saddle but I fit best into most 17.5" dressage saddles. Many 17" dressage saddles didn't work to keep me unhindered (Pommel too close to my crotch, knee rolls too much under my knee rather than supporting my leg). I HONESTLY doubt you need a 16" dressage saddle, or even a 16.5" dressage saddle. Many tack shops will fit you to a dressage saddle, taking into consideration your height, weight, thigh and calf length, for free. ALso keep in mind the relationship of the deepest part of your saddle to the stirrup bar. Some saddles will put your leg out in front of you, some won't. So go get yourself properly fitted to a dressage saddle. YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF! Trust me!

    Good luck!
    J.
    Thank you so much, J! I knew one of those sensitive drama kings! My old trainer had a horse like that. He was amazing, but he picked his riders very very carefully. If he didn't like you, he just wouldn't go. At. all. I've never seen anything like him. Nothing worked. He was too big to muscle around even in a pulley-rein tight circle. Nothing.

    If he liked you, he'd go around all day long soft and round and adjustable and floppy-eared. He wasn't overly sensitive or hot, or anything like that. Everything was on his terms. It was his world, and we all just lived in it.

    My horse isn't quite that bad, but there have been a few riders he hated. He didn't hump his back or try to get them off entirely, but he would double barrel kick out as soon as they got on, and refuse to walk forward. No amount of prodding would move him on. He definitely did not like that GP trainer, and told her so in no uncertain terms.

    I'm lucky he likes me (most of the time), and he is generally willing and capable most of the time that I'm on him. I think EqTrainer nailed the problem I have with him exactly, and I'm excited to go to work on it.



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2010
    Posts
    163

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    Quote Originally Posted by tchuki513 View Post
    I will look for some video links for you to see the "ugly" of behind the leg and "getting out in front" success stories.
    Thanks so much, I'd love to see them!



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,931

    Lightbulb

    As the video vanished I couldn't view it.

    Reading the comments by tchuki513 could, though, give some insight to your problems. There is more to the equation that just "kicking on", and the problems they observed are not uncommon when the rider is using the upper limits of their strength and tool box to try to get the job done.

    It would appear that you are confusing"going forward into contact" with "going round". You need the first before you can have the second, and the second comes when the horse is capable of carrying himself round. This requires a certain amount of engagement.

    At this point in his life I would focus on going forward into a light steady contact,and working basic school figures, accurate
    20 m circles, precise serpentines with a moment of straightness on the centerline before the bend change. Downward transitions without hauling on the reins, and once you have those, almost handless half halts. And yes, you will most likely need help from your trainer with this.

    Oh! and yes! Those accurate figures do require straightness.
    Last edited by merrygoround; Jan. 24, 2013 at 04:28 PM.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2008
    Posts
    206

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    I am sad I didn't get to see the videos!

    Not to throw any tomatoes, just to learn... I have never started a young horse and to see the video in addition to the discussion would be enlightening.



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Posts
    695

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    OP - in your spare time, while you're mulling this whole forward issue over (trust me, I've been there!!), watch these sessions:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvWZ8n3vWfk

    Absolutely brilliant and clear explanations on how forward remains the common theme from training level all the way up to grand prix. THEY need to take YOU to be on the bit - you can't make it happen from the front. Trust me. I tried for a really long time and only recently saw the light.

    Have fun and enjoy - your horse looks like a lovely and fun sort! Let us know how it goes.



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