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A bit for a lazy warmblood who gets strong in grass rings spontaneously

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  • #21
    I do feel your pain, My big, nice QH lopes around at a hack pace in a field. With some riders, he does tend to blow through them sometimes. He is well schooled, but with some riders who have not mastered the seat/rein/weight half halt or just clench on him- he will speed up. I saw him do this at a HT a few weeks ago, when he was really not "out of control" with the kid, but def did speed up (enough she was not comfortable and circled). I got on him at home an gave him a school and he's been fine (he will do it at home in the big field, as well).

    So even though he is well schooled, he does need a "tune-up" sometimes. I call him a freight train......And I am no great master rider but since I've had him 12 years- I know his buttons. Can the trainer give him some schooling rides to reinforce things?

    I did tell the trainer of the rider to feel free to use a pelham on him (he went in one in his younger days) and then work w her. It may be a combo solution- training ride/continue to work on you/bit.

    Mine doesn't need a pehlham all the time. IT is more schooling and training rides.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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    • #22
      You’ve received lots of good information, but please understand that not every horse can go in a snaffle....it has nothing to do with how good a rider or trainer the horse has, but simply what the horse prefers and goes best in! Look at some of the bits International Grand Prix riders use.....I’m pretty sure you won’t be telling them it’s a rider/trainer issue because they’re using a bigger bit!! My horse has grown into a big dude, I’m a short lady....I use a short shank rubber Pelham. It’s not a harsh bit, BUT it allows me to get his head up when he’s decided to become a tank and simply think he can ignore me, and let me tell you, in a snaffle I don’t stand a chance when he drops his head and decides “I’m outa here”. But normally my hands can be lighter than in a snaffle 95% of the time and I can let him go forward, balanced on off his front end but when I need it, the help of the Pelham is there. He likes the bit, I like the bit...win win!
      I have cancer but cancer doesnt have me!

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      • #23
        this might be silly- but have you ever had someone video you? And/or does your trainer also think he's building and pulling you past the distances? I'm wondering if you're feeling something when he opens up on the grass that is very different from the sand ring but isn't necessarily him 'running away with you'

        For example- my 18hh Holsteiner mares stride is a lot larger outside (especially on the grass) than it is in the indoor where she doesn't have as much space. She FEELS like a lot more horse, but when I watch videos- she's very much balanced and forward as is appropriate for the ground we need to cover and the height of the jumps.

        If I'm way off base, you've gotten some great advice here! I particularly love ground poles a stride out and a stride after the jump to help balance my horse AND to give me a visual marker of "okay my butt needs to be in the tack by the time we're over this pole and I need to SIT UP to get my horse back for the next fence"

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        • #24
          Originally posted by eclipse View Post
          You’ve received lots of good information, but please understand that not every horse can go in a snaffle....it has nothing to do with how good a rider or trainer the horse has, but simply what the horse prefers and goes best in! Look at some of the bits International Grand Prix riders use.....I’m pretty sure you won’t be telling them it’s a rider/trainer issue because they’re using a bigger bit!! My horse has grown into a big dude, I’m a short lady....I use a short shank rubber Pelham. It’s not a harsh bit, BUT it allows me to get his head up when he’s decided to become a tank and simply think he can ignore me, and let me tell you, in a snaffle I don’t stand a chance when he drops his head and decides “I’m outa here”. But normally my hands can be lighter than in a snaffle 95% of the time and I can let him go forward, balanced on off his front end but when I need it, the help of the Pelham is there. He likes the bit, I like the bit...win win!
          Seconding this 100%.

          Could I have ridden the aforementioned tank of a mare in a snaffle? Yeah, probably, but we would've had to do a lot more arguing and I would've been hauling on her mouth trying to get her to lift and come back. With the pelham, I just kept a good contact, and every once in a while when she started getting heavy, I'd give her a tiny check with the curb rein to say "Hey, pick your head up, you don't get to haul me around like that" and she'd listen, we'd go back to being balanced, and I could leave her alone.

          Also, just for the sake of it: over the few years I was with the trainer I rode this mare with, we had five horses going in a pelham in the hunter ring. That didn't stop them from winning. If anything, it upped their chances, because that was the best bit for them and a pretty package with a pelham is always going to be better than a horse barreling down the lines with a snaffle in its mouth. Two of them sold for $$$$ (said trainer still has one, the other was my best friend's that she sold because he just wasn't happy doing hunters, and the last was the mare in question, who was donated by her owner to the equestrian team at her old university). I've never looked at a horse in a pelham and gone "Oh, they must have a problem." It's just a bit. It's a bit that can be a lot less harsh than some of the other options on the market, and it definitely has its use with certain horses.

          Comment


          • #25
            I agree with eclipse and trakehners 100%

            I really think a pelham is a nice way to just give a reminder when needed. My guy sounds very similar to yours, hacks around like a big lazy warmblood but sometimes when he sets on a line, he turns into a tank and forgets that he still has to use his back end correctly and is not allowed to haul me wherever he pleases. Of course, there are a million exercises you can do, and it sounds like you got some good recommendations. But in my opinion, a pelham is a nice way to softly remind them that they don't get to haul us around! Sounds like your guy is like mine, very well schooled, but sometimes you need that extra level to reinforce what they already know. I've also had good success with a waterford on a similar type horse, but generally like the pelham better due to level of control you can have with two reins.

            And as for perception, personally- for what it's worth, I generally respect someone educated enough to use a pelham correctly than someone getting hauled around using only a snaffle.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by RamboJumper View Post
              This is very interesting thread I guess it highlights my issue with the Pelham, people see it on a horse and assume it’s a rider/trainer problem, which I don’t entirely disagree with I feel like a lot of people bit up their horse because they aren’t prepared to put in work to establish good balanced canter with impulsion. I guess where I get frustrated is I would love to cruise around a big grass ring at a show or the one we have at home with the same control and ridabilty I can achieve in smaller rings or inside. I guess a bit more background might further define the issue, it’s not specifically a show issue but show grounds usually have larger rings and the equation seems to be big horse + big ring = big canter - adjustability. So I can replicate it home (our grass ring is pretty large) but I still struggle with it in the home ring the same way I do in the larger show rings. I do wonder about the concept of just halting mid course, I have never had much luck with any of my horses especially this guy as it kills the concept of impulsion, which I find so important on course. sudden halts are also sort of a punishment for them and going forward is a good thing so a full blown halt on the way down a line would lead to even worse problems such as stopping or a drop in confidence. So I guess the magic equation I’m looking for is Big arena+ big horse = strong canter + adjustability
              I disagree with a lot of your post.

              Strong bits are absolutely necessary, and I would much rather see a pelham than see the rider get drug around in a snaffle. The bit is as soft as your hands. My mare can be a bit of a bully, and I much rather have her in a stronger bit (and I do use a pelham on her sometimes) than have to constantly pull or hold in a snaffle. Avoiding what could be the proper bit because of a possible perception isn't the right reasoning. Some people bit up when they shouldn't. Some people don't bit up when they should. Some people properly bit for the need at hand. That's that. If you need the pelham or a gag or whatever, use it, and stop worrying about what others may think. You very well could use the pelham for 2 weeks and be back out of it once he gets the idea, or just use it in the large arenas when it's needed. A pelham is one of the most common bits out there and for a reason.

              Needing the pelham isn't what made me suggest he needs to learn how to respect your hand. Like I said, you may well need a bigger bit for him to respect you. But taking 1/2 way around the ring to trot is a major indication he doesn't respect your hand/seat. This isn't an uncommon issue. Larger rings tend to create a naturally larger step and a fresher horse. It's excellent that you have the issue at home because you can practice it.

              I also disagree with your comments on halting killing impulsion. To me this just further shows that he's not properly on the aids. I also never said to suddenly halt or to be aggressive about it. I said 5-6 strides after a jump, or (smoothly) within a line (which is an incredibly common exercise done by the highest level trainers, which I've personally seen include Bernie Traurig, Frank Madden, etc.). If he's running through your hand so much that you can't trot for half a large arena, then he needs to halt to reinforce the idea that he can't do that. And if he then becomes sticky off the leg (which is common), then you address that issue.

              A horse who is on the aids (which is what you need to create adjustability) will move forward smoothly off the leg, come back smoothly from the hand/seat, and move laterally each direction smoothly from the leg.

              You build adjustability by practicing adjustability, which includes a myriad of transitions, upward and downward, including the halt and the hand gallop. You do not create adjustability with a bit. The bit reinforces the hand, which creates the adjustability in the way that the crop reinforces the leg, which creates adjustability.

              A well-schooled horse on the aids stays adjustable in a variety of situations, including the ones that naturally make him want to tune out. For my mare, she's better in a massive grass field (go figure) but much harder in a small arena. So we have to practice more there. And I'll be more inclined to use a pelham in the ring and a snaffle in the field but to prioritize being on the aids wherever we are.

              Go watch videos of the top big eq riders and tests (several of which include cantering in, halting, and trotting out of a four stride line. Smoothly and properly executing a halt is no more a punishment than a hand gallop is. In fact, using a hand gallop on a lazy horse is just as much of a correction as halting on a horse that's pulling through the hand.
              Jennifer Baas
              It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by RamboJumper View Post
                I am curious about the idea of training him not to pull when we string a few jumps together outside since I do like having him in a snaffle for my own peace of mind. Beowulf do you have any tips or tricks that you have used to balance a steam roller or get him to respect the half halt more when rolling down lines?
                Sounds like my horse.... I can still hear my trainer yelling out "GET HIM BACK" after the jump. I spent many-a-day doing thee ole 2 jump figure 8 jump exercise by the rail - short end of the ring... I swear in the beginning I felt I was going to crash into the railing.... and use the outside rein.... wasn't easy but finally we did it well and BALANCED. I think some of my horses steam rolling comes from being out of balance.

                I sketched up what we did to help. I know it's not lines but start with this and it teaches them to land and balance... then you can add lines.


                If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                  You’ve received lots of good information, but please understand that not every horse can go in a snaffle....it has nothing to do with how good a rider or trainer the horse has, but simply what the horse prefers and goes best in! Look at some of the bits International Grand Prix riders use.....I’m pretty sure you won’t be telling them it’s a rider/trainer issue because they’re using a bigger bit!! My horse has grown into a big dude, I’m a short lady....I use a short shank rubber Pelham. It’s not a harsh bit, BUT it allows me to get his head up when he’s decided to become a tank and simply think he can ignore me, and let me tell you, in a snaffle I don’t stand a chance when he drops his head and decides “I’m outa here”. But normally my hands can be lighter than in a snaffle 95% of the time and I can let him go forward, balanced on off his front end but when I need it, the help of the Pelham is there. He likes the bit, I like the bit...win win!
                  SAME and agree with you on all of that......

                  Pelham's are great bits.

                  This is a great one - they are a bit pricey but worth having in your bit collection:

                  https://www.equusport.com/product/tr...mullen-pelham/

                  Love this pelham... so much I bought one for each horse. It comes in the baby (short shank) in black.

                  https://www.equusport.com/product/po...armony-pelham/



                  If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by RamboJumper View Post
                    This is very interesting thread I guess it highlights my issue with the Pelham, people see it on a horse and assume it’s a rider/trainer problem, which I don’t entirely disagree with I feel like a lot of people bit up their horse because they aren’t prepared to put in work to establish good balanced canter with impulsion. I guess where I get frustrated is I would love to cruise around a big grass ring at a show or the one we have at home with the same control and ridabilty I can achieve in smaller rings or inside. I guess a bit more background might further define the issue, it’s not specifically a show issue but show grounds usually have larger rings and the equation seems to be big horse + big ring = big canter - adjustability. So I can replicate it home (our grass ring is pretty large) but I still struggle with it in the home ring the same way I do in the larger show rings. I do wonder about the concept of just halting mid course, I have never had much luck with any of my horses especially this guy as it kills the concept of impulsion, which I find so important on course. sudden halts are also sort of a punishment for them and going forward is a good thing so a full blown halt on the way down a line would lead to even worse problems such as stopping or a drop in confidence. So I guess the magic equation I’m looking for is Big arena+ big horse = strong canter + adjustability
                    Even with a soft responsive mouthed horse - they can still have their strong moments where they need leverage. Every trainer I rode with - with several of my horses will go to the pelham when needed. Impulsion comes from your leg and seat into the bit with a feeling, elastic contact. If you are killing your impulsion with the bit or a halt you are not giving/softening at the right moment or using enough leg. You cannot have a tug a war with a 1300 lb horse.... they pull more. I found I was being a puller to my horse right back and my trainers worked with me to give and take. Think about when your horse is grabbing the bit and pulling... are you pulling too? If so; which can be reason they pull you are not using leg and hand then softening. I watched George Morris put a stronger bit on a horse at a clinic - saying this girl is a puller.... so the horse pulls.... with a stronger bit the rider will pull less and so will the horse.


                    From your descriptions I wonder if - big arena (you are not keeping your horse together and letting them get strung out) in a smaller ring boundaries force more collection. Big horse (they can get more disconnected as they are big) Strong canter (it is allowed to get stronger in bigger ring) and Adjustabiliy (it's harder in a bigger more open ring because you don't have the smaller space that demands you to keep them together, balanced and properly in front of your leg.) Maybe doing some Dressage based work would help your connection and adjustability.


                    If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      It is challenging when you get to a horse show and the ring is 3 or 4 times the size of your ring at home. I have that problem too. But my issue is a slightly different. My Thoroughbred drifts in oversize rings because to make any kind of turn at home, we have to get deep into the corners. So he thinks "jump down the line and make a b-line for the rail!" I can't blame him.

                      This spring I have made a point to ride outside of the ring as much as I can so that he doesn't have a rail to stick to. If I were you, I'd skip the arena as much as possible as well. It gets you outside of your comfort zone and normalizes large open spaces to your horse.

                      And if the pelham doesn't sit well with you, or you don't like having two sets of reins, I have had luck with a regular, double jointed D-ring. Horses don't seem to be able to blow through it that way they can blow through a loose ring.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by RamboJumper View Post
                        This is very interesting thread I guess it highlights my issue with the Pelham, people see it on a horse and assume it’s a rider/trainer problem, which I don’t entirely disagree with I feel like a lot of people bit up their horse because they aren’t prepared to put in work to establish good balanced canter with impulsion. I guess where I get frustrated is I would love to cruise around a big grass ring at a show or the one we have at home with the same control and ridabilty I can achieve in smaller rings or inside.
                        Dressage riders use transitions all the time to teach a horse about impulsion. And transitions to halt are included in that. Sure the first couple of times you ask for a trot-halt, you may kill impulsion. But if you ask them to go directly into a trot or a canter from that halt, that is a lot of work if they have nothing in the tank. The horse learn to keep their hind end underneath them at all times in case they need to make a snappy upward transition. So you need to work on those transitions all the time. You need to train him that halting and stopping are not the same thing.

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