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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2013
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    Default Bungee cord

    I half lease a horse from a lovely person and work with the owner's dressage trainer.

    I am new to this world of dressage but have noticed that there are definitely two schools of thought at this barn (and two trainers who don't talk to each other).

    One uses a harsher method (in my opinion) of teaching and training, where the other slows things down and helps you build the right foundation for the person/horse partnership.

    I feel very sad and guilty for riding my lease horse the way the owner and trainer want me to ride him. Because I am "not strong enough to hold him in frame" yet, I have to use a very tight bungee and other devices whenever I ride him.

    The bungee was tightened again and I could not get him into a nice forward trot. His balance seemed off due to the bungee. I felt so bad I could not finish the ride.

    How should I approach the owner and trainer to let them know I feel uncomfortable using such a tight bungee if at all.



  2. #2
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    Default

    What the....how is this bungee attached?



  3. #3
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Lancashire UK, formerly Region 8
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    Fwiw, bungees aren't necessarily harsh though I'm personally not a fan. Most diplomatically is to ask them to explain to you how the bungee works, and why, and how you can avoid over-tightening it yourself. But honestly, I'd think about finding another horse to lease as it sounds like this situation isn't going to teach you very much.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    The words very tight never bode well in riding except maybe for girths...I've never heard of bungees used in riding--please 'splain. Is this a version of elastic sidereins?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2006
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    504

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose123 View Post
    I half lease a horse from a lovely person and work with the owner's dressage trainer.

    I feel very sad and guilty for riding my lease horse the way the owner and trainer want me to ride him. Because I am "not strong enough to hold him in frame" yet, I have to use a very tight bungee and other devices whenever I ride him.
    I fail to see how you are going to "ruin" this horse if he doesn't "go in a frame". Yeah, you might not be strong enough to collect him, but that's your issue, not the horse's.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012
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    210

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunsets View Post
    I fail to see how you are going to "ruin" this horse if he doesn't "go in a frame". Yeah, you might not be strong enough to collect him, but that's your issue, not the horse's.
    Especially if this trainer wants you strong in your arms to pull the horse together, as suggests by the use of a bungee... That is frightening. Collection comes from your core muscles, not your arm muscles. And if you are new to dressage it is not likely that you are looking for collection since that doesn't come until second level.

    My advice is to ask its purpose, as others have suggested. Maybe check out other instructors lessons in the area, watch some if you want and see if you like their riding methods any better. Forward should always come first and you are correct to think that something is off here in my opinion. Correct riding comes from behind and goes into a soft contact... Not a contact "wall" that a horse is run into.


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  7. #7
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    I used to have some Vienna reins made out of bungee cord. My horse was a big giraffe-headed spook, so my trainer, who used the reins for lungeing, would clip them on when I rode just so I could feel what it was supposed to be like. Later on my own, I used a running martingale or else he was unrideable by me. Wrong horse for me.

    But it sounds to me like it is not a training issue for this horse. I strongly suspect that the horse is light in front and they don't want him to go up on you.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


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  8. #8
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    If OP is real and not a troll...

    I read the post differently. The statement in quotation marks seemed to me more like something the OP has been told, which certainly goes hand in hand with cranking an elastic device so tight that the horse couldn't freely move forward, in that some highly questionable "dressage training" is going on at this barn. Sounds like someone other than the OP is tightening the bungee-trainer and/or owner, not OP. At least that is my read. What a mess.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Lancashire UK, formerly Region 8
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    I understand a capital-B Bungee to be an elastic device that runs from one side of the girth, through the bit, over the horse's poll, and back to the other side of the girth. There is a sliding button/clip at the top of the poll that can be tightened or loosened while riding. Essentially it's a poll pressure device. I've seen them more since moving back to the UK, and what boggles my mind is that they're quite well-loved by people who otherwise consider themselves ultra-"classical" - I think some people use them to seek long-and-low.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    I understand a capital-B Bungee to be an elastic device that runs from one side of the girth, through the bit, over the horse's poll, and back to the other side of the girth. There is a sliding button/clip at the top of the poll that can be tightened or loosened while riding. Essentially it's a poll pressure device. I've seen them more since moving back to the UK, and what boggles my mind is that they're quite well-loved by people who otherwise consider themselves ultra-"classical" - I think some people use them to seek long-and-low.
    This is a neck stretcher. Never used one until a couple weeks ago, but my current trainer has me lunging in one. For my half arab all it does is keep her from going full Arab it's actually been helpful as it does not force a horse into a frame or behind the bit. But I would never use it tight or while riding, only very briefly as a warm up in hand.


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  11. #11
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Deep South
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    RUN AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY .
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


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  12. #12
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    I haven't been at this dressage thing for all that long, and I ride a horse that, in the beginning, had a head and neck position that would make a giraffe proud. Never, has anyone I've ridden with ever suggested such a thing. We did it the hard way - that is, the horse and I learned what contact was and we struggled til we got it.

    So, with my vast experience, all I can say is what you describe just doesn't sound right.

    ETA: Sounds to me like your instincts are good. Such a shame you can't ride the horse with the other trainer.
    Last edited by oldernewbie; Mar. 4, 2013 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Another thought...


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  13. #13
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    Jan. 12, 2000
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    Gimmicks are for charlatans--not real trainers. This person obviously does not have even a basic understanding of how to ride, train and create a dressage horse.

    Run...
    "Relinquish your whip!!"


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  14. #14
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    Jan. 22, 2008
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    If you mean a neck stretcher, yes you can over tighten them.

    http://www.doversaddlery.com/neck-stretcher/p/X1-3053/

    Having ridden horses who wore these contraptions on a daily basis, all they do is create resistance in a different area from where there was originally resistance. They make the neck very braced and they dig into the poll so the horse tends to be stiff there as well. The also put constant pressure on the mouth so that gets hard as well. There is no relief for the horse and the result is learned helplessness. Of course they do not want to go forward, as the are restricted in using their neck at all to assist with balance and having constant pressure on the mouth all but screams "STOP!"

    IMHO, they are down there with flash and crank nosebands which are just more of the same gadget craze designed to torture horses into submission.

    If your trainers is making you ride in one every ride it is either time for a talk to the trainer about why this device is needed all the time (I can't really think of a valid reason) and if that does not satisfy then time to switch trainers.

    These gadgets have no place in correct training.

    If the reason is that the horse stargazes, try a properly fitted standing martingale. That will fix the worst of the problem, while you work at getting the horse to lower his head from your legs, seat and hands. When the horse lowers its head instant relief from the martingale.

    I know some school horses or some older horses with chronic resistance behavior can be tough to get together in the beginning of a ride and the smart ones take full advantage of the riders lapse in concentration or loss of timing. I would rather your trainer got on for a few minutes and got the horse a little warmed up and in the right frame of mind to make it a little easier in the beginning for the rider. As the rider gains in skill, the trainer should not have to get on at all.
    "You're horse is behind the vertical!"
    "Of course he's behind the vertical, I haven't jumped it yet!"
    - NLK
    "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo
    www.nshaonline.org


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  15. #15
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    Mar. 16, 2003
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    Wet and Windy Washington
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    Get a different horse and trainer, there's nothing you can learn from this one...cept bad habits!
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  16. #16
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Personally, I would just be concerned about my own safety, I cannot imagine riding a horse with one on, let alone one that tight. But I wont ride a horse in anything that could not be easily released from the saddle. I don't even like riding in a standing martingale unless it's loose.

    I had never seen one before a couple weeks ago, I find it much more forgiving and useful than side reins. But again, I'd never ride with one on ever.


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  17. #17
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    Mar. 8, 2009
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    Montreal, Qc
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    What is your riding level and background?
    What is the horse level?
    What is the goal with this horse? What is your goal with this horse?

    Why did you decide to lease that horse?


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  18. #18
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    Sep. 24, 2008
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    They make the neck very braced and they dig into the poll so the horse tends to be stiff there as well. The also put constant pressure on the mouth so that gets hard as well. There is no relief for the horse and the result is learned helplessness.
    German neck stretchers are not the work of the devil if fitted correctly and there is certainly relief for the horse as the horse learns what is being asked of him. No digging into the poll required, or constant pressure on the mouth.
    If anyone is seeing this, this training tool is being misused.

    NJR

    Editted to add:
    The neck stretcher has a purpose, mainly for the horse that goes above the bit. Case in point, one OTTB that wouldn't canter without throwing the head in the air. A few rides with the neck stretcher ad it was like a bulb went on..."I throw my head, I feel this thing, I don't throw my head, I don't feel this thing." Problem (mainly) solved. I really believe that this horse didn't KNOW it was possible to canter without trying to throw his head and shoulders into the air in the departure. Once he realized, through the neck stretcher coming into contact went he went way above the bit, that the could do the transition without the drama, he got better by leaps and bounds. (Sorry for the pun...)
    Just like draw reins, this equipment is not meant to give the rider a false sense of "Being on the bit", it is made for certain situations only and then put away.
    Last edited by Nojacketrequired; Mar. 5, 2013 at 08:38 AM.
    Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.


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  19. #19
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    Nov. 30, 2009
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    835

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    I would like to point out that this rider is not being EDUCATED about how to ride a horse correctly to produce roundness. It's not about the appropriate use of a training aid (and this doesn't sound like one to me). It's about what she is paying to learn...and it sounds like she is paying to learn to ride a horse from front to back.

    If they are telling her that "she is not strong enought to HOLD him in frame", She is not getting the work on her seat/core she needs, not the understanding of its importance. The basics are not being communicated to her, and her gut feeling is telling her tha she's doing something wrong. She should listen to her gut and get into another program with a trainer who will teach her how to use her body to shape a horse.


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  20. #20
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    Jun. 23, 2006
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    OP I think you need to listen to your gut... I would find another trainer and another horse to lease.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



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