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2 More Questions

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  • 2 More Questions

    I was just wondering what other people did regarding two different things.

    1. With horses that have "bouncy" trots, do others find it easier to absorb the movement with longer or shorter stirrup lengths?

    2. Does anyone have a horse who is happier and much more willing to work, bend, relax, etc... with a light contact? When I first started leasing my horse, I was informed he has always been heavy in the mouth (he is 11 years old now). He is a big horse compared to me, so for him to be heavy in the hand, it is nearly impossible for someone my size to hold him up. But lately, we've had WONDERFUL rides when I maintain a lighter contact on the inside rein. He doesn't pull on the reins or hang on the bit, it is pleasant for both of us to make turns, and he is much more relaxed and collected in all 3 gaits.

    The reason I ask is because I had a trainer who insisted on taking up much more contact. While I understand the concept of it all, is it possible that my horse just does not like that much contact? His owner had a custom bit made for him awhile ago to help him not hang on it. I'm even thinking of maybe trying different bits to just see if there is something more suitable that would make him happier or to see how he would react to them.

    Any insight on either would be wonderful.

  • #2
    I have had a horse with bouncy trot and had my trainer do longe lessons with me one him. It really helped as I could focus on just sitting to him and not all the dressage movements, etc. I think I left my stirrup length at its normal place, around my ankles when my feet are out of the stirrups.

    For your second question, I would ride however its comfortable for you and your horse. There is nothing worse than riding a heavy horse and when you are done riding your arms and shoulders hurt. Ideally, horses would have correct training before we buy them and would be light in the bridle. Good luck!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I've had injuries to both of my ankles (of course, as soon as one starts healing, I hurt the other one) so keeping my heels down has been a bit of a task, especially with his bouncy trot. My feet have a tendency to come out of the stirrups at times. I can't figure out if its because of his movement or just the lack of strength from constantly injuring myself.

      Thanks!! I remember a lot of trainers and judges seem to want that constant connection, but I figured that as long as my horse was happy and he was doing everything correctly and accepting the outside rein, then that was much better than him fighting against me and not being happy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a VERY bouncy, big-strided 17.3h TB. And I've found that the riding comes more from the hips, less about the legs. It took a while for me to really feel secure up there and loosen my hips.

        As for the second question, I'm wondering if he's REALLY connected on that looser rein, or if he's sort of faking it and just faking it well (and that's what you're instructor is seeing). Sure, its easier for him to go on a looser rein. The above gelding is the same way - he'd rather you ride him like a hunter and let him just cruise around. Once packaged, though, and really ridden up from behind into the contact - the connection is almost unbelievable!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I kind of understand what you mean about riding from the hips, but I guess I'm not too sure how to go about doing that. Any suggestions?

          So do I spend time trying to package him and risk frustrating rides? When riding by myself without a training, since I don't necessarily know exactly what to do if we run into issues, I have a tendency to get frustrated and it just makes me not want to go out and ride after awhile.

          It feels like he is pulling on my hands and arms, which makes me want to just give up. We just accomplished staying balanced over a ground pole w/t/c without rushing afterwards, but it was only after I stopped trying to maintain a tighter contact with the inside rein. Or maybe I was just stiff with my reins, idk.. ahhhh

          Comment


          • #6
            After having horses that I couldn't ride with any contact (they would go totally inverted), my mare has figured out what I'm asking and is actually going ON the bit at times. What suprised me was that it is a lot more weight than I was expecting. However, she'd still rather I ride on the buckle and she pick where her head is and speed.

            Is it possible that your horse is now ready to ride more on the bit, rather than hanging on the bit? Give it a shot, in little bits, during your rides. You don't have to ride on the bit or on a loose rein the whole time, try both ways and see if you can find a happy medium.
            Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
            Top Shelf "Charlie"
            Check out the Military + Horses fb page!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Is it suppose to feel as if you can feel the horse's head on the other end of the reins and the weight is being pulled on your whole arm and shoulders? It is heaavvyyy and I just can't imagine that he enjoys the feeling because I sure know that I don't

              Comment


              • #8
                but I think that as long as my horse was happy and he was doing everything correctly and accepting the outside rein. then I will be happy

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                • #9
                  but I think that as long as my horse was happy and he was doing everything correctly and accepting the outside rein. then I will be happy
                  Edit/Delete Message

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Don't know about your first question...I ride however best my leg fits on the horse/pony.

                    As for your second question: there should be no pulling on either end...you should not feel like your arms are being pulled out. HOWEVER, some horses want more of a contact and connection from their riders, while others want a much lighter feel...and sometimes they develop from one to the other. The ultimate feel should be of elasticity and connection, but heaviness. They horse should be "there" and so should you, but neither one should feel like they are being pulled on or that they are pulling.
                    Amanda

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      So, if there is contact with the outside rein (not heavy or pulling, but not loose to the point that it is looping down) and the contact with the inside rein is much lighter, but he is rounding his back, using his neck, listening to my half-halts, staying balanced (not rushing forwarded or on the forehand, which I can definitely feel at times), just let him be?

                      Thanks everyone!! I guess I just get confused at times when I am told to shorten my reins and take up more contact.
                      Last edited by Kdash1228; Jun. 24, 2011, 02:05 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will temporarily open up one of my articles for you on contact. I hope it helps!

                        http://www.myvirtualeventingcoach.co...of_the_contact




                        http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
                        Facebook page
                        http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Wow! Thank you so much! The comparison definitely helped create a visual difference between all three feelings.

                          <<Use of bend and basic lateral work to put the horse more into whichever rein is too "empty", will also lighten the heavier rein, rendering the reins more even.>>

                          If the inside rein (ie: right rein) is the heavier rein, do you go the right since the horse should "fill up" the outside rein?

                          If the outside rein (ie: right rein) is the heavier rein, what would you do?

                          ETA: lstevenson - I was curious if you plan on having any promotions for sign-ups? I was looking through the pages and saw many articles that I am sure would definitely benefit me, especially for when I can't get a riding lesson with either trainer right away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kdash1228 View Post
                            Wow! Thank you so much! The comparison definitely helped create a visual difference between all three feelings.

                            <<Use of bend and basic lateral work to put the horse more into whichever rein is too "empty", will also lighten the heavier rein, rendering the reins more even.>>

                            If the inside rein (ie: right rein) is the heavier rein, do you go the right since the horse should "fill up" the outside rein?

                            If the outside rein (ie: right rein) is the heavier rein, what would you do?

                            ETA: lstevenson - I was curious if you plan on having any promotions for sign-ups? I was looking through the pages and saw many articles that I am sure would definitely benefit me, especially for when I can't get a riding lesson with either trainer right away.

                            If your right rein is the heavier rein no matter which direction you are going, then you should work to engage your horse's right hind leg to ask him to step up more into the left rein. Do this by asking him to bend to the right, and make sure he doesn't avoid bending his body by simply swinging his quarters out to the left. That is a very common evasion.

                            So if you are traveling to the right, work on getting more bend through his body to the right. And if you are going to the left, do some steps of counter bend, where you engage the right hind leg, and then straighten.


                            And I am currently still at the low promotional introductory rate, with the first two weeks free. So no, it probably won't go lower than it is. But that's less then half the cost of ONE average priced lesson, for a whole month of information and personalized feedback!




                            http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
                            Facebook page
                            http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you so much!!

                              When signing up, is there a contract or is it a month to month subscription?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You're welcome! And it's month to month, and you can cancel at any time.




                                http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
                                Facebook page
                                http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Wonderful, signing up now!

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