• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Leaning on the bit

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Leaning on the bit

    Do you guys have any suggestions for working with a horse who leans on the bit, especially during downward transitions? I am starting to ask her to use herself more and that is what I'm getting. Now I'm starting to wonder if she doesn't respond to my trying to get her to stretch f/d/o, not necessarily because she doesn't know how, but perhaps her back is stiff and she simply can't. She will bend laterally very well, but when it comes to getting her to stretch over her back, and engage her hq...it's nearly impossible. I hesitate to even ask her to use herself much anymore because I don't want to hurt her. She's such a sweet, willing mare and I know she wouldn't just "evade" for the sake of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. FYI: I do not own this horse.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

  • #2
    First, you must be strong in your core with shoulders that lie flat, otherwise you two will just get into a tug of war. If she's leaning it's because she doesn't understand the correct muscles to use in the downward transition, or there is a physical ailment preventing the correct response (could be as simple as muscle fatigue, or wonky pelvis, or needs hock injections, etc).
    Another thing to consider is the cause and effect you are predicting (that she'll stop seeking the hand) tells me you may need a clarification in how you are asking for the downward transition. There is no "taking of the hand" (ie pulling back) the downward should come from your core with a soft closing of the thigh, and a ceasing of follow of the torso. Once a horse fully understands how to halt correctly the rider should be able to uberstreichen DURING the halt transition. For a horse that is leaning on to the hand, the hand must not give, but rather the core should continue to block. If the horse becomes defiant in using the correct muscles, I may "drop them" with a sudden forward of the reins while they are leaning so that the threat of splatting onto their face becomes evident to them.

    Since she likes lateral work, I'd use that to your advantage. Put her in a nice shouder in, one where you can uberstreichen the inside rein and she maintains correct bend. Be sure not to turn it into 4 tracks, it must remain 3 so that you are loading that inside hind. Now ask for the downward while maintaining shouder in (remember the whoa is coming from your core as described above). Don't get discouraged if the first 50 attempts fail to solve it (I wouldn't attempt 50 times the first introduction; you'll sour her)

    If you are skilled in hand, I'd also take the exercise to the wall in hand with non elastic side reins. A stiff donut style will do. Of course, do your due diligence to accustom her to the equipment if you don't already work regularly on the lunge (which in her case I HIGHLY recommend you start each ride with 10-15 minutes on the lunge, and one day a week of just lunging so she can explore her topline). Do some trot walks and trot halts in hand. Make sure the hind end is coming under. if it doesnt, give a light tap to the offending leg until she moves it up, and then praise. ask for a bit of school halt (not much but enough that you see her rock back), and then cue her promptly to trot off with power. I am not against a good pop with the whip to inspire that promptness as it only takes one or two pops til they understand now means NOW. Then start to ask for that same promptness in your halts. lift up with your bit hand to help her to understand the weight goes back to stop. On the first correct halt (with hind legs under her, and abs engaged, looking like a landing airplane with lifted base of the neck) immediately praise, remove the side reins and give her a treat. end the day there with lots of pats.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

    Comment


    • #3
      Sometimes it can help to change bits. I have had to go from a regular, smooth snaffle, to a twisted wire snaffle until they learn not to pull on themselves.

      Then when she stops pulling, start keeping her framed when stopping from a walk. i do this by slightly bumping the snaffle, side to side, to keep her face in before (in preparation for), during, and after the stop, until she takes one step back. Repeat. Then, when she's got this, do the same thing transitioning from a slow trot to a free walk.

      Comment


      • #4
        A little more background, please? Might she be weak over the back? Has she been out of regular work for a while or newish under saddle? What was her previous training? Breed or body type?

        With horses that like me to "hold their head up", I do what PSJ suggests -- I occasionally "drop" the reins -- either one or both, so the horse learns I'm not going to hold the front end up. If she lacks a "whoa", I teach it by walking the horse straight into a corner or wall while applying the halting aids.

        Sometimes these types would rather go fast on their forehands than balance themselves nicely between hand and leg.

        You might find "head to the wall" leg yields helpful, too. If she does this because she's weak, she will need frequent breaks. There's no point in making the horse so sore and tired she learns to dislike work.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by rtph View Post
          Sometimes it can help to change bits. I have had to go from a regular, smooth snaffle, to a twisted wire snaffle until they learn not to pull on themselves.

          Then when she stops pulling, start keeping her framed when stopping from a walk. i do this by slightly bumping the snaffle, side to side, to keep her face in before (in preparation for), during, and after the stop, until she takes one step back. Repeat. Then, when she's got this, do the same thing transitioning from a slow trot to a free walk.
          She's always been in a twisted wire. I'm not sure I understand the point of bumping the snaffle--to remind her not to lean?
          I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

          Comment


          • #6
            Good Lord! She leans in a twisted wire?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
              First, you must be strong in your core with shoulders that lie flat, otherwise you two will just get into a tug of war. If she's leaning it's because she doesn't understand the correct muscles to use in the downward transition, or there is a physical ailment preventing the correct response (could be as simple as muscle fatigue, or wonky pelvis, or needs hock injections, etc).
              Another thing to consider is the cause and effect you are predicting (that she'll stop seeking the hand) tells me you may need a clarification in how you are asking for the downward transition. There is no "taking of the hand" (ie pulling back) the downward should come from your core with a soft closing of the thigh, and a ceasing of follow of the torso. Once a horse fully understands how to halt correctly the rider should be able to uberstreichen DURING the halt transition. For a horse that is leaning on to the hand, the hand must not give, but rather the core should continue to block. If the horse becomes defiant in using the correct muscles, I may "drop them" with a sudden forward of the reins while they are leaning so that the threat of splatting onto their face becomes evident to them.

              Since she likes lateral work, I'd use that to your advantage. Put her in a nice shouder in, one where you can uberstreichen the inside rein and she maintains correct bend. Be sure not to turn it into 4 tracks, it must remain 3 so that you are loading that inside hind. Now ask for the downward while maintaining shouder in (remember the whoa is coming from your core as described above). Don't get discouraged if the first 50 attempts fail to solve it (I wouldn't attempt 50 times the first introduction; you'll sour her)

              If you are skilled in hand, I'd also take the exercise to the wall in hand with non elastic side reins. A stiff donut style will do. Of course, do your due diligence to accustom her to the equipment if you don't already work regularly on the lunge (which in her case I HIGHLY recommend you start each ride with 10-15 minutes on the lunge, and one day a week of just lunging so she can explore her topline). Do some trot walks and trot halts in hand. Make sure the hind end is coming under. if it doesnt, give a light tap to the offending leg until she moves it up, and then praise. ask for a bit of school halt (not much but enough that you see her rock back), and then cue her promptly to trot off with power. I am not against a good pop with the whip to inspire that promptness as it only takes one or two pops til they understand now means NOW. Then start to ask for that same promptness in your halts. lift up with your bit hand to help her to understand the weight goes back to stop. On the first correct halt (with hind legs under her, and abs engaged, looking like a landing airplane with lifted base of the neck) immediately praise, remove the side reins and give her a treat. end the day there with lots of pats.
              Oh, I know not to pull back. I just keep my contact steady without giving, either. I was taught to push with the leg also in this situation, but that isn't working and I'm afraid the mare might actually be uncomfortable which is why I posted this thread. Also, I think you might be misunderstanding me. I don't expect/want her to stop seeking the hand. On the contrary, when I try to get her to seek the rein downward, she does not. It's like she would rather hold her neck in a certain position. So, not being able to convince her to stretch her neck down (during warm-up), I just maintain the appropriate level of contact where she wants to be. I never pull my hand back. I try to still my seat first, and when she doesn't quite respond to that, I close my outside hand and she's good about that right away. "Dropping" is a good idea, but again I'm afraid this may be a physical problem (i.e. pain.) If she were mine, I would get a good chiro/vet workup. Is it possible that she can jump 3 ft fences and yet have some kind of issue going on? One thing I've noticed that may or may not be related is that she never wants to hold up her left hind foot for me to pick out. She lifts it up, but wants to drop it down again right away. The other feet are no problem. Yet I've never noticed any offness under saddle..

              You gave lots of good ideas there. Unfortunately, shoulder-in is the only one I could try. I have not asked the owner about doing in-hand work or lunging. I am not even sure how to approach this to her. I don't want to come across sounding like I think I know something she doesn't. Not only is she the horse's owner, she's also a trainer. Nor do I want to make it sound like I think the horse is not being cared for. She IS very well taken care of--I just think that because the trainer/barn is hunter/jumper rather than dressage, the focus is on jumping rather than flatwork. And like I said it's not like the horse is lame, so it wouldn't necessarily be a glaring concern for the owner. I'm not sure where to go from here, since she isn't my horse. It doesn't seem like she is in distress--no ear pinning or tail swishing when I ride--just unable to work the way I am trying to. I guess I can continue to exercise her but not ask her to use herself like I have been.
              I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                Good Lord! She leans in a twisted wire?
                Yeah. :-( So this is worse than I even thought?
                I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                Comment


                • #9
                  I give my reins a bit and then take again at more of a supple angle in the neck and body or in the bend. If they are at a certain early level trying to halt halt may or may not work depending if they understand how to engage more vs it becoming a halt halt war.

                  Another idea is to follow the half halt down to a downward transitions a few times. Or volte letting the figure do the work.

                  Depending on the horses ability to understand what is being asked I differ.
                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                  http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cu.at.x View Post
                    She's always been in a twisted wire. I'm not sure I understand the point of bumping the snaffle--to remind her not to lean?
                    I generally use a standard, smooth snaffle, just so the twisted wire will be there when i need it. Maybe you can find a slightly smaller twisted wire that she won't want to lean on. I would try if for a awhile (a few days to a few weeks depending on the horse). Then try going back to your regular bit. I would use it as little as possible so she doesn't get used to it. Or she might have to stay in it to stop pulling, just depends on the horse.

                    I mentioned SLIGHTLY bumping from side to side to keep her from leaning when stopping from a walk because this is the slowest, most basic "downward transition" that you can do. I ride reiners usually and i cannot over emphasize how SLIGHT this needs to me. Maybe bump is the wrong word. I usually do this by flicking my two little fingers intermittently, just a little signal so they know somethings coming and to flex and be ready. But she does not need to be leaning on the bit when you start this. After you get her to stop leaning generally, then practice starting and stopping from a walk and standstill while keeping her face in without pulling.

                    Good luck!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                      A little more background, please? Might she be weak over the back? Has she been out of regular work for a while or newish under saddle? What was her previous training? Breed or body type?

                      With horses that like me to "hold their head up", I do what PSJ suggests -- I occasionally "drop" the reins -- either one or both, so the horse learns I'm not going to hold the front end up. If she lacks a "whoa", I teach it by walking the horse straight into a corner or wall while applying the halting aids.

                      Sometimes these types would rather go fast on their forehands than balance themselves nicely between hand and leg.

                      You might find "head to the wall" leg yields helpful, too. If she does this because she's weak, she will need frequent breaks. There's no point in making the horse so sore and tired she learns to dislike work.
                      Nope, she is ridden 3-4 times per week, mostly in jumping lessons. She's actually a cute little jumper. She is about 20 years old, so not new under saddle. To my knowledge, she's been ridden hunter/jumper her whole life. She's a Thoroughbred. I have a video of me riding her if you're interested. I had it posted on the Off Course forum but I took it down for the privacy of the owner/trainer.
                      I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        rtph Im guessing you are new Before it becomes a dog pile, I will try and jump in!

                        We dont use Twisteds in dressage since we dont "throw away" enough for that to be comfortable.

                        They are not a bit meant to be in "contact" with. So they are not a good bit to keep a horse supple while also in contact with the hand.
                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                          rtph Im guessing you are new Before it becomes a dog pile, I will try and jump in!

                          We dont use Twisteds in dressage since we dont "throw away" enough for that to be comfortable.

                          They are not a bit meant to be in "contact" with. So they are not a good bit to keep a horse supple while also in contact with the hand.
                          I'm new to this forum, but I'm not new to reining. That said, I agree with everything you said. But her horse is leaning on the bit, she's already using a twisted wire.

                          So.... what's your suggestion?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cu.at.x View Post
                            Yeah. :-( So this is worse than I even thought?
                            Well, I don't know for sure. It's surprising that she'd lean into a twisted wire, I guess.

                            I have a client who's horse does what this mare does when he needs a chiropractic adjustment. When he's "out", he will not or cannot keep his left front foot up for picking. Once he's been adjusted, he can hold it up all day. So maybe she does need an adjustment?

                            Yes, I believe a horse CAN jump three feet and be out of kilter somewhere. If she's been a jumper (or hunter?) for all her career, she may have adopted some defensive postures. Is she a school horse for this trainer or a training project? Schoolies develop defensive tactics to protect themselves from wobbly newbie riders.Standing or running martingales or German Martingales are often used. There might be a host of reasons she does what she does.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                              Well, I don't know for sure. It's surprising that she'd lean into a twisted wire, I guess.

                              I have a client who's horse does what this mare does when he needs a chiropractic adjustment. When he's "out", he will not or cannot keep his left front foot up for picking. Once he's been adjusted, he can hold it up all day. So maybe she does need an adjustment?

                              Yes, I believe a horse CAN jump three feet and be out of kilter somewhere. If she's been a jumper (or hunter?) for all her career, she may have adopted some defensive postures. Is she a school horse for this trainer or a training project? Schoolies develop defensive tactics to protect themselves from wobbly newbie riders.Standing or running martingales or German Martingales are often used. There might be a host of reasons she does what she does.
                              Ah, that makes sense. Mare is a schoolie...and all trainer's horses/client horses go in a martingale, I think it's a standing? It attaches to the girth and the noseband.
                              I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                For dressage? Im confused did the OP say she is not trying dressage?

                                My suggestion is above already and I dont use a twisted on anything if I ride in contact because the horse will lean into it worse almost attempting to avoid the pressure but only accomplishing the opposite
                                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ah yes a schoolie will many times root because of hands that are learning

                                  Please save her from the twisted and give her mouth a break :/
                                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                  http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                                    rtph Im guessing you are new Before it becomes a dog pile, I will try and jump in!

                                    We dont use Twisteds in dressage since we dont "throw away" enough for that to be comfortable.

                                    They are not a bit meant to be in "contact" with. So they are not a good bit to keep a horse supple while also in contact with the hand.
                                    I usually try to stay away from the Dressage threads. This person ask and I just responded before I realized that it was the Dressage forum. LOL

                                    My apologies to you Nomi and the all the other dressage "experts" on this forum. I will try to make sure I don't respond to any other post in the dressage forum.

                                    And let me make it very clear that I don like twisted wires either. But sometimes you just have more than one concern. SOMETIMES you have to worry about getting the job done as well as what's in the best interest of the horse. And sometimes getting the job done is exactly what is in the horse's best interest.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Whoops! I see a bunch more info posted while i was composing my reply!

                                      OK, she's 20, she's been a H/J all her life -- I think at this point she is what she is. As long as she's obedient, safe and happy in her work, there's probably little you can do. Likely she's got some arthritic changes (maybe very small ones) somewhere.

                                      If you are exercising the mare on the flat in between her jumping lessons, could you ask the owner if she has a plain snaffle that fits the mare? She might be more willing to stretch down into a smooth bit. You may sacrifice some "brakes" at first, so be ready to stop her in a corner. I think she'd soon adjust to the new bit and she may be more content in her flat work.

                                      She may still need the twisted for jumping. Agree with the other posters, though, it's not the sort of bit you ask a horse to maintain steady contact with, or seek to stretch into.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        RT its a whole nother world LOL

                                        I have no problem with a twisted wire either if the hand is kind and not attached to the mouth but in a "contact sport" LOL such as dressage you are attached to their face and intimately so. Every mistake you make is doubled with a "naughty" horse bit.

                                        If you make a correction in the other worlds you can throw away after or float the reins and leave them be. In dressage they use stretching and such but for the most part you are hand in hand or hand in mouth so a bit like that wont be friendly and a constantly negative gesture to the horse IMO.

                                        Im glad to see the new faces over here and its nice to know that Coth is becoming less "english" so to speak!

                                        I miss my reining days but dont tell anyone that LOL
                                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X