• 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

Straightness exercises for a young horse

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

  • Straightness exercises for a young horse

    I'm working with a 4 y/o who was started western, which, while it gave him a good foundation, has brought up a few small issues. Like most horses in a growing spurt, he doesn't always know what to do with himself and his body

    I'm focusing on forward, straightness, tempo (in that order), and have found that he has trouble maintaining balance in figures. Nothing unusual for a baby. However, the previous trainer's method to fixing this was to do very small (8m?) circles with motorcycle turns to force him to adjust his balance. (He wants to pop his ribcage to the inside as well, and this did prevent that, if not in the way that I would choose). The problem then becomes if he gets unbalanced (ie through a corner), or becomes crooked, he immediately leans in like a motorcycle and tries to prepare for the small circle.

    Other than time, patience, and keeping things simple, any suggestions on exercises that might give him a lightbulb moment? I have a few ideas still, but I like COTH brainstorming

  • #2
    I would work on suppleness. (Training pyramid stuff... rhythm suppleness contact, impulsion, straightness, collection).

    I do simple leg-yielding (just start with one step, say "over" like you do in the cross-ties, it helps!) shoulder-fore, head to the wall, tail to the wall etc. It doesn't have to be perfect, the horse just needs to move his body parts around. I also do counter-bends, bending neck but keeping body straight, and "straight lines" with help, e.g. trotting poles with guide rails on the inside and outside. The better he becomes at this, the easier it is to get him straight - usually all you need to do is correct his unbalance/crookedness with a leg-yield, shoulder-in, or haunches-in.

    Mastering all that usually gets them going from leg to hand as well. E.g. I find leg-yield on the circle with a green unbalanced horse will get them off my inside leg (i.e. no more motorcycling) and into my outside rein, with bend, and stepping under with their inside hind. Works wonders.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree completely with Blugal.

      You must install the "buttons" to be able to fix your problems. Using your leg (perhaps with outside rein) is the proper way to correct crookedness... but the horse must first understand what that aid means! Spend lots of time, repetition, that "leg" means move the hind leg under the body, move the shoulder away; outside rein means slow down that shoulder, rebalance on the hocks, etc. Once the horse learns the proper response to the corrective aid, your corrections will suddenly become more effective.

      Spend time at the walk doing leg yields; head to wall in the beginning, to establish YIELDING and help prevent "running." Go slow, ask for 2-3 steps at a time, reward straightness and obedience. Then graduate to traditional leg yields down the quarterline, and spiral in/out. These exercises will not "fix" your horse's crookedness-- but they will give you effective TOOLS to fix the problem (and all the other ones that will crop up down the road!).
      “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      ~AJ~

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
        You must install the "buttons" to be able to fix your problems. Using your leg (perhaps with outside rein) is the proper way to correct crookedness... but the horse must first understand what that aid means! Spend lots of time, repetition, that "leg" means move the hind leg under the body, move the shoulder away; outside rein means slow down that shoulder, rebalance on the hocks, etc. Once the horse learns the proper response to the corrective aid, your corrections will suddenly become more effective.

        Yep.

        Shoulder in is the ultimate straightening excercise. But your young horse is not ready for that yet. Spend time working on educating your horse on these basic tools from which everything else in his career will build on.

        In addition to what Blugal and EventerAJ suggested, I like to use a very specific excercise to teach a horse how to balance on turns and circles. I call it the diamond excercise.

        First of all you should teach your horse turn on the forehand, perhaps starting on the ground, and building up to doing it both ways under saddle. When he knows that, start at the walk on a large 30m -40m square or diamond shape. And what you will do is walk on a straight line from the first point of the square to the next. When you get to the next, halt - still on a straight line. Then do a few steps of turn on the forehand until the horse is facing the next point. At which point you close your outside leg to send him forward to the next point. When you have done the pattern a number of times, your horse will probably start to anticipate the turns on the forehand when you start to halt. Take advantage of this by teaching the horse already at this young age to respond to your "position" to the inside. As you halt to prepare for lets say a turn on the forehand away from your right leg, look to the right and slightly turn your shoulders by bringing your right shoulder back. THEN apply your aid to turn on the forhand from your right leg. If you position right before your leg aid every time, the horse will usually eventually start to respond before the leg aid even comes on. Someday down the road, you will appreciate this, as when you go to do a 10m circle in the trot, all you will have to do is increase your position right to get more bend on that circle.

        Anyways, when that is going well, you progress to not halting in the corners. Slow down a bit, and do a walking turn on the forehand. When that is going well, trot the straight lines, and come back to the walk on the corners and do a walking turn on the forehand. And when that is going well, stay in trot, again slowing down on the corners and asking for turn on the forehand. A horse cannot actually really do a turn on the forehand in the trot. But look for him to step under his body with his inside hind leg in a few steps of leg yield.

        Again, I find this is a great way to show the horse how to balance himself on turns and circles. Particularly for those that want to fall in like you describe. There is a whole 'nuther square excercise for those that want to fall out.

        Good luck!
        http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lstevenson View Post
          Yep.

          Shoulder in is the ultimate straightening excercise. But your young horse is not ready for that yet. Spend time working on educating your horse on these basic tools from which everything else in his career will build on.

          In addition to what Blugal and EventerAJ suggested, I like to use a very specific excercise to teach a horse how to balance on turns and circles. I call it the diamond excercise.

          First of all you should teach your horse turn on the forehand, perhaps starting on the ground, and building up to doing it both ways under saddle. When he knows that, start at the walk on a large 30m -40m square or diamond shape. And what you will do is walk on a straight line from the first point of the square to the next. When you get to the next, halt - still on a straight line. Then do a few steps of turn on the forehand until the horse is facing the next point. At which point you close your outside leg to send him forward to the next point. When you have done the pattern a number of times, your horse will probably start to anticipate the turns on the forehand when you start to halt. Take advantage of this by teaching the horse already at this young age to respond to your "position" to the inside. As you halt to prepare for lets say a turn on the forehand away from your right leg, look to the right and slightly turn your shoulders by bringing your right shoulder back. THEN apply your aid to turn on the forhand from your right leg. If you position right before your leg aid every time, the horse will usually eventually start to respond before the leg aid even comes on. Someday down the road, you will appreciate this, as when you go to do a 10m circle in the trot, all you will have to do is increase your position right to get more bend on that circle.

          Anyways, when that is going well, you progress to not halting in the corners. Slow down a bit, and do a walking turn on the forehand. When that is going well, trot the straight lines, and come back to the walk on the corners and do a walking turn on the forehand. And when that is going well, stay in trot, again slowing down on the corners and asking for turn on the forehand. A horse cannot actually really do a turn on the forehand in the trot. But look for him to step under his body with his inside hind leg in a few steps of leg yield.

          Again, I find this is a great way to show the horse how to balance himself on turns and circles. Particularly for those that want to fall in like you describe. There is a whole 'nuther square excercise for those that want to fall out.

          Good luck!
          What a well thought out strategy. I've been doing something similar for a mare I have, but I haven't been quite so organized and sequential about it. I'm going to try this today! Thanks

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by lstevenson View Post
            Again, I find this is a great way to show the horse how to balance himself on turns and circles. Particularly for those that want to fall in like you describe. There is a whole 'nuther square excercise for those that want to fall out.

            Good luck!
            Thank you! This is exactly what I'm looking for. With a more educated horse, I would be all about upping the lateral work to straighten him out, but he is still learning the basics of w/t/c and whoa (and unlearning a few bad things). He has only been ridden probably 15-20 times. The square exercise sounds great for his level and abilities, since there are small steps we can progress to and work in hand to do as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              TB or not TB, I do all the exercises I mentioned with complete greenies. As in, broke for 2 weeks. They have no idea that they are doing "shoulder-fore" or leg-yield or anything else. They are just learning to yield to pressure and I just apply aids in the right sequence until I get what I want. Usually only one or two steps at first, reward, repeat until they consistently do those one or two steps from that set of aids.

              I'll work with their weaknesses, e.g. a horse that is light in the right rein but solid in the left rein, I can do some shoulder-fore without any problem to the left. Going to the right, I will do some counter-bend (easy) around the corner, then switch to a smaller circle and leg-yield out, one step at a time, to get the horse more in the right rein. From that I will see if I can go back on the left rein and counter-bend a bit (the hard way), perhaps put the head to the wall and do a little yield away from the wall into my right rein. Confirm the shoulder-fore a bit more at walk, change rein and see if I can do some shoulder-fore on the right rein.

              Moving into canter, horse is still light in the right rein and falls in - so I'll do a big loop and counter-canter on the long side with the wall on the "inside" of the lead - they can't fall in and often their balance improves immensely after even one session doing this.

              I was taught that you ride them as you want them to go - even as young horses. There is not a totally separate set of aids for green vs. broke, as that just makes more work and is confusing!
              Blugal

              You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

              Comment


              • #8
                You're welcome!
                http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                  I was taught that you ride them as you want them to go - even as young horses. There is not a totally separate set of aids for green vs. broke, as that just makes more work and is confusing!
                  If he was one I had started myself, I would probably be right there with you. With his given wonky issues, I am trying to make things very easy and straightforward, as he is a worrier. The previous trainer basically did 10 meter circles over and over at all gaits, so we're working on the magic of straight and forward. I better understand the type of lateral work you are mentioning though. I didn't mean to imply that such things were only for advanced horses, just that in this case there are bigger fish to fry first (as in, "Contact is Fun!" and "Leg pressure Is Not Our Enemy") I so prefer a clean slate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Where have you BEEN????????? /hijack
                    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X