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Transfer of Energy

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  • Transfer of Energy

    I have a lovely little Appendix mare, and we have recently begun to focus on Dressage. I used to board my horse at a barn with very little turnout, so lunging used to be our "get-the-kicks-out" tool. Now, she is at a barn where she is gets daily turnout, so I don't lunge her nearly as much. BUT when I do lunge her she still (even with daily turnout) has there incredible bursts/fits of energy that I can't seem to find when I'm riding. Under saddle she tends to be somewhat of a slug and aids, such as whips and spurs, seem to just agitate her. Anyone have any ideas about how I can 1) control this energy and 2) how I can find it while riding?

    Thank you!!!!

  • #2
    I have an arab that was trained for 30 days before being brought to me, what we did was constantly make her think...transition, change way of going-turns, serpentines, etc. to control her energy...allowing them to just fly around outside of the arena does nothing for them
    as far as her having more energy---I prefer a tap from a dressage whip-after using my heel. I don't ride in spurs and never had to. I did have a lazy anglo/arab, but once he got the message to do what was asked, he was great.
    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


    • #3
      If she becomes agitated from the whip it is because she does not understand what it means. Teach her in hand and then transfer that to the longe line and undersaddle.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


      • #4
        I had a VERY lazy draft cross...try getting 18 hands/1900 lbs moving forward! I did use spurs and a whip, but those were not to crack him/gouge him, more to refine my aids/add more buttons. What helped him get forward was getting out of the ring and doing big long straight trots/canters outside. He wasn't fit enough to maintain his impulsion in the arena. Is she strong enough to do the amount of work you are asking her for? Working over the back in a dressage posture can be very tiring for a horse used to carrying herself different...
        When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


        • #5
          Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
          If she becomes agitated from the whip it is because she does not understand what it means. Teach her in hand and then transfer that to the longe line and undersaddle.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
            If she becomes agitated from the whip it is because she does not understand what it means. Teach her in hand and then transfer that to the longe line and undersaddle.
            I think you are absoulty right about her not understand what I am trying to say. I recently started warming up on the ground, going through side-passes, turn on the forehand and such on the ground first before asking for them under saddle.

            Thanks for the help!!


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by fizzyfuzzybuzzy View Post
              He wasn't fit enough to maintain his impulsion in the arena. Is she strong enough to do the amount of work you are asking her for? Working over the back in a dressage posture can be very tiring for a horse used to carrying herself different...
              Thank you for your reply. You could be right about not having the right muscle development yet because we just transitioned from jumping to dressage. She was in great physical condition after 3 months of being in training for jumping, but I find I don't have to ride her nearly as long for her to become tired under saddle now that I’m doing dressage. I bet that explains why she has so much energy when she is longing and moves how SHE wants to, but becomes tired under saddle when I am telling her how she has to move and what muscles she has to use.

              Thank you for the insight!


              • #8
                When you lunge do you use side reins and make her work from back to front? I see some people letting their horses fly around on the line thinking they will "tire them out."They have to work harder and benifit so much more from "using themselves" just as you would want them to under saddle. They also seem to gain a great amount of trust and respect from proper ground work. You may already be doing this..just a thought. Good luck!
                "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by EasyStreet View Post
                  When you lunge do you use side reins and make her work from back to front?
                  I have been using side reins as of recently, but when I was using lunging to get some of her energy out, I was not. I generally let her walk and trot both directions without them to warm up, then put her in side reins. Although, last time I lunged her she had a fit in the side reins. She did not like the idea of having to work while lunging, instead of just playing. I think I need to work with her on learning that lunging is no longer "fun time" and is a training exercise.

                  Thank you!


                  • #10
                    If she has been conditionned to think lunging is play time, then you will need to recondition that response with patience. Lunging AFTER you ride, as a cool down, may be one way to show her that you don't expect her to run around on the lunge. You could also consider long lining her rather than lunging. With long lining you have more control and can do figure-8s and excercises to keep her focused.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                    • #11
                      I would say transitions within the gaits. I'd drop the whip if its ineffective and get the horse lighter to the leg keeping your hands quiet and allowing forward.

                      Then pick it back up and everything will be fine for a while...

                      Then it starts again lol, until you are in much better balance with quick consitant aids.

                      Dont we all wish
                      ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~