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  1. #21
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    Quite frankly, I disagree with both Karoline and Tonja

    I don't bend much the horses head and neck at all with this kind of problem. I make an isosceles triangle between the hands (really the backs of the shoulders with the hands down low and, at least, as wide as the horse's ass. Sometimes even wider depending how long the reins are) and the bit. Then I bump with my legs (sometimes using an small tap with the whip behind the leg) to put the hind up to the bridle. Once horse releases the hind over the back and to the bit, then you can give. If you give (the rein) for nothing, you get nothing. I rather like to make it a clean, swift aid rather than a bunch of nagging aids that don't get the message across until forever. If you don't give a horse a place to step (bit,) he will never learn where to step. If you are constant with the intermittent contact, you will get constant intermittent stepping through of the hind legs. Get the job over and done with and go on. A horse much perfers this type of aid (a clear, concise aid) rather than a bunch of nagging aids. Once he understands where to put his haunches, you won't have to deal with this problem of him evading the connection.



  2. #22
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    Mar. 28, 2004
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    Sacramento area
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    Default

    Karoline wrote:
    Not blocking with outside rein
    ________________________________________
    Tonja is talking about having a spiral seat when riding circles and not blocking the turn with the outside rein . She is not saying to drop the contact, but to swivel your torso slightly to allow the bend to happen. Think of where your shoulders and hands are when you ride a bicycle on a circle (this is a great exageration) your outside shoulder/arm/hand is slightly forward off your inside shoulder. Same in the circle on the horse.

    And yes, your weight is on your inside seat bone, weight on the inside of the bend, your shoulders follow the horse shoulders your hips follow your horse haunches.

    And you want to ride your horse from your inside leg to your outside rein and maintain an elastic contact. Not pull, not hold. Giving.

    And you definitely need core strenght in order to carry your body in balance.

    You might want to buy Sally Swift "Centered Riding" books, they give very basic and easy to apply information and exercices for both horse and rider.
    That’s a good explanation,Karoline. I second Sally Swift’s book, Centered Riding.



  3. #23
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    If you don't, during the timing of your aids, block the outside rein, you allow the horse to run away from your leg aid or run out of his outside shoulder. There ARE times that you have to block the outside rein. Horses, in particular the OP's horse, is obviously not elastic in one direction. He needs to become elastic and the elasticity isn't going to happen by giving the outside rein because by giving it, you take away the very place that you are trying to teach him to step If he has no place to step he will never learn to bend his inside hock. The bending of the inside hock is what creates the elasticity of the outside rein.



  4. #24
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    i've had super luck with using circles to help the horse bend..... i use cones to make sure that the circles are very circular. and then i ride forward with even contact giving on the heavier rein. the circle itself will create the bend and the horse will "give" to the bend. i work inside leg to outside rein and i use enough o/s rein to not allow any shoulder popping.... but i have found that it is in the opposite direction that the shoulder will pop .

    give your horse enough time to develop the ability to bend... basically it is elongating the mucles just as you would if you wanted to bend down and touch your toes but were short a few inches - it would take time to get the flexibility to be able to do it....

    i do not do anything with my hands other than have steady receiving hands and hh if the tempo gets too fast..... so i ride with with even contact (giving on the heeavy rein) and i make sure that the horse is forward with even active tempo.



  5. #25
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    Sep. 16, 2005
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    Default There is always contact

    Sab, I want to clarify that there is never a moment when you drop the contact, you absolutely always have contact on your outside rein but its a live contact as opposed to a static "holding" contact. In your shoulder mirroring your horse' shoulder, you do not loose the contact because all your are doing is allowing the arc to happen. You ask the horse to stop dropping on the inside of the circle by driving him from your inside leg into your receiving outside hand. And the outside hand is a giving, breathing hand- some people use a knitting or sponge-squeezing analogy.

    Also, we are not speaking of having the neck come in, that would not be bend that would be lateral flexion, we want to see the eye lash of the horse, no more.

    You can do some leg yielding on the circle spiraling out to get the horse on your outside rein and off its inside shoulder. You can do it going down the centerline, when horse falls on shoulder, do leg yields in opposite direction for a couple of steps.

    What also blocks the horse is pulling on the inside rein, which is something that a lot of amateurs do because they are trying to create bend by pulling the neck in, or they pull to stay on the circle. Usually you see the inside hand drop, pull back towards the knee or groin. And the rider also hangs on the outside rein so the horse twist its neck, shots its haunches out and pretty much cant go forward.

    This is stuff that I have had to work on extensively because I was the queen of dropping contact, and this approach works very well to supple the horse and teach the rider to have even contact in the rein but have a spiral seat when needed: circle, corners,etc...



  6. #26
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    Maryland
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    Karoline, And what is this little girl with a stiff horse suppose to make of understanding "live" contact. This is what you get AFTER you supple the inside hind. How do you get there?????????? I'm sorry, but it is not via little, "gentle bending" exercises!! Nor am I recommending force. But it sure doesn't happen the way you and Tonja have described.



  7. #27
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    Mar. 28, 2004
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    Sacramento area
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    sabryant wrote:
    ...And what is this little girl with a stiff horse suppose to make of understanding "live" contact.
    As the rider is able to get the hind legs to swing more evenly in rhythm so that the horse reaches forward for the rein on the hollow side, the contact becomes even, elastic and ‘alive’.



  8. #28
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    Aug. 7, 2005
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    Southern California/Muenchen
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonja
    sabryant wrote:


    As the rider is able to get the hind legs to swing more evenly in rhythm so that the horse reaches forward for the rein on the hollow side, the contact becomes even, elastic and ‘alive’.
    Tonja- that's all good and nice and sounds like a good weather report- except= tell me how the rider is supposed to get the hind legs to swing more evenly-- we are talking about most likely physical blockages in the rear end- that make it harder for this horse to do that.
    Now you can pray and hope that eventually he lets loose and becomes more even- which sometimes actually can happen after a long and thorough warmup- but most likely- some PT and other aids are needed to remedy this problem- including setting up a training scenario that helps with 'obliging the horse' to step into the contact evenly...via some of the techniques SAB explained...you can not get there- unless you use some methods- my dear!
    Once you ARE there- you can ride like you describe- that's just fine.

    The biggest challenge in training is: YOU HAVE TO AFFECT CHANGE!
    This can be done in short increments or in seconds of direct aids- but in order to make something happen you have to do something..outside of your comfort zone.....just hobbling along hoping for the best does not cut it in my book and does not create REAL results....plus it can take a year to solve a simple problem such as the one described.



  9. #29
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Default

    whoa -- haha look try to think of it as a change of direction -- well thats how the horse sees it -- so dont let him antispate --



  10. #30
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    Sep. 16, 2005
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    995

    Default Why is the horse stiff in the first place

    Is what I would ask. The answer is that it either not ridden correctly consistantly, ie the rider is blocking the hind leg, blocking the bend without realizing it, or the horse has such physical problems and it needs to be gymnasticized to be able to be straight first, and then slowly exerciced to be able to stretch and bend.

    If its a rider issue, then its a matter of riding correctly and understanding that it takes time for the horse's body to adjust to new demands on its musculature.

    If my horse falls on the inside of the 20 meter circle as the OP mention, riding inside leg/outside leg, doing spiraling circles, using the leg yield on the circles are all easy ways to get the horse using his inside hind leg. You do a few steps, you reward. And you accept that it will take a few days/weeks/months to see a consistant change. And you do things like figure 8, serpentines start with few and build up as the horse becomes more supple. TTT: things take time.

    I would not want to compromise the straight line elbow to bit by lowering my hands and widening them.

    Perhaps as an upper level rider and trainer you can be a little more creative with solutions, but for an amateur on a slightly older horse, I think the method Tonja and a few other posters outlined are a safe course of action that does yield results.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karoline
    Is what I would ask. The answer is that it either not ridden correctly consistantly, ie the rider is blocking the hind leg, blocking the bend without realizing it, or the horse has such physical problems and it needs to be gymnasticized to be able to be straight first, and then slowly exerciced to be able to stretch and bend.

    If its a rider issue, then its a matter of riding correctly and understanding that it takes time for the horse's body to adjust to new demands on its musculature.

    If my horse falls on the inside of the 20 meter circle as the OP mention, riding inside leg/outside leg, doing spiraling circles, using the leg yield on the circles are all easy ways to get the horse using his inside hind leg. You do a few steps, you reward. And you accept that it will take a few days/weeks/months to see a consistant change. And you do things like figure 8, serpentines start with few and build up as the horse becomes more supple. TTT: things take time.

    I would not want to compromise the straight line elbow to bit by lowering my hands and widening them.

    Perhaps as an upper level rider and trainer you can be a little more creative with solutions, but for an amateur on a slightly older horse, I think the method Tonja and a few other posters outlined are a safe course of action that does yield results.
    Karoline- you are well-meaning and perpetuating failure with your post....how many of those have you trained out of that bad habit???
    PLease be realistic. I don't want to sound mean or accusing or agressive- but I do beg to differ- what you describe is taken out of a text book and makes me wonder if you ever ride???
    It also has no value to the OP - in the sense that it does not give actual advice on how to get out of this problem.

    Sad reality is that problems like these need some deliberate and decisive training- if only for a couple of days- to get the message across. You are telling the OP that hoping for change is going to work...how can you justify this and make yourself sound like you have been through this and done this before...???

    Sorry - I don't get that. I think we have to be honest enough to relate to the OP and give 'useable ' ways of solving the problem...

    bowing out...



  12. #32
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    Sep. 16, 2005
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    995

    Default What is sad

    Is that you do not even recognize riding 101 advice. This is not even dressage advice, it is simple riding.


    You are getting tiresome with your implications that anyone who does not agree with you must ride a hobby horse.

    The precise reason I can respond to this post is because it is a situation that most ammies run into because getting a horse straight and flexible and supple is hard work, especially for those of us who have older horses. Mine are 18 and 22 now, my departed one was 12 when he passed.

    I am not telling the OP to hope things will change, I am saying that improvement can be slow to manifest depending on the horse age, degree of soundness and stiffness, but if she takes her time, and rides him correctly and consistantly she will see an improvement.

    And it is safe and easy to apply by an amateur. Which is why I recognized that Sab is a trainer and GP rider and she may approach this differently.

    Frankly nothing I write is rocket science, I find it sad that you would think one would have to go to a book to explain something that is -again- riding 101. All I had to do is think about my lessons and my trainer's explanations and voila.


    And TTT is what my trainer lives by.
    Last edited by Karoline; Jun. 22, 2006 at 03:46 AM.



  13. #33
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    Sep. 12, 2005
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine
    Karoline- you are well-meaning and perpetuating failure with your post....how many of those have you trained out of that bad habit???
    PLease be realistic. I don't want to sound mean or accusing or agressive- but I do beg to differ- what you describe is taken out of a text book and makes me wonder if you ever ride???


    I hate it when people say things like this to people who have the guts and integrity to stick to classical principles.

    Sabine, the things in the books DO work, if you do them correctly.


    To the OP, your horse is simply lazy or weak with his right hind leg. Do excercises which engage the right hind leg. Leg yield left, shoulder in right, spiriling in on left circles, and spiriling out on right circles. You might have to tap with your whip some to make him make an effort, but when he is using the hind leg better, he will bend better.



  14. #34
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    one thing that i have observed over time is that most ammies dont have the timing, balance or knowledge to use "come to jesus" moments or "hard" riding effectively. to be able to make a dramatic point takes finesse if you are going to do it without doing more harm that good.

    mostly ammies do too much or not enough at the wrong time or etc.

    so i think it is far better to give ammies skills that they can use that will work. the methods outlined above by tonja, myself and caroline, are the ones i have used on my mare. we have recently made large progress since i found a trainer that trains in a more traditional manner.....

    traditional methods work and better yet - it works for anyone.



  15. #35
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    mbm

    Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabryant
    mbm

    Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.
    Yes, and there are always those fabulous instructors' barns where sooner or later every horse blows a suspensory.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  17. #37
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    EH,

    In my entire teaching/working career, I've had one horse blow a suspensory. So poohey on your statement!



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabryant
    mbm

    Ammies need to get to those instructors who can teach them those "moments" that you speak of above. A lot of time in the saddle with a good instructor, who is as vigorous about teaching you as you are about learning to ride, will improve your riding and the horse a lot faster than a book. I have found a lot of well meaning instructors will say to their students, "oh you need a chiro, you need to have his hocks injected...etc," because they lack the knowledge to really teach a horse/rider to train effectively. Developing the proper muscles corrects a lot of these problems very quickly. I've had many students that have come to me and say, gosh, I never need the vet or the chiro and my bills have gone to zero since I've been working with you. Developing the correct muscles, getting on the right track quickly can avoid a lot of the problematic anomalies seen in horses and to which instructors use the chiro/vet as crutches for their lack of knowledge.
    i agree with you. i think that most trainers dont have the foundation and experrince to teach let alone train horses and riders in a manner that results in happy progression for both.

    the internet is difficult becuase we dont really know how anyone rides unless they post videos..... i also think that there should be a certain responsibility to those posting that post only what the "average" ammie could accomplish becuase otherwise folks go home and try various methods that they are not skilled enough to perform.

    i have seen many many "top" trainers that ride very aggressively and the horses revolt. the entire ride is spent with tails wringing going backwards around the arena etc etc. these trainers do not teach this to their students.... in fact they teach complete opposite.

    luckily i have found a trainer that teaches as he rides and sticks to the tried and true metnods that work with all horses. is SUPER exciting and for the first time in a long time i dont see a huge differrence between what is being taught and what is in the standard texts and what the trainer does.

    and the horses & riders florish.

    to the OP please take into consideration your own skills and your horses background before embarking on a journey. if you trust your trainer listen to him/her.

    i know from experience that it takes time and effort to build proper muscle and flexibility in the horse - and it can be accomplished in the manner addressed above by the more "traditional" responses.

    good luck!




  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabryant
    EH,

    In my entire teaching/working career, I've had one horse blow a suspensory. So poohey on your statement!
    I'm not sure why you took my comment personally. Of course, I hadn't realized that you were patting yourself on the back either.

    My point was that to tell an amateur that a good instructor is necessarily one that does not tell his students to get a vet check when appropriate is not sound advice. In my entire training/working career, I have seen many an instructor who would prefer that the student spend his/her limited funds on lessons and training than on the vet. And I have seen more than one farm with very effective instructors that do not rule out physical issues where appropriate and the result is a lot of lame horses.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  20. #40
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    EH

    I think I can tell the difference between a gait anomaly, improper muscling, stiffness, and a real lameness problem that does require a veterinary visit. I have also seen the trainers who keep A LAME horse going for the lesson fees. Sorry, that is not my way of doing things. More frequently, I see the instructor who blames his/her lack of knowledge on the horse's need to see a chiro/vet when, in fact, it needs proper training.



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