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Convince trainer for more bit?

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  • Convince trainer for more bit?

    I can't figure out how to do this one - I have a LARGE 17.1" wb who hacks beautifully in an easy snaffle. However, when he gets going to the jumps, he wants to yank his head down and pull me around the corner. I end up hunched over, trying to remember to sit up, but fighting to regain control all the way through the corner.

    My traininer (wonderful in every other respect) is very tall. At least six inches taller than me. So he can use both his strength and his height to keep his butt in the saddle and lift the horse back up and get him under control. I don't have the strength (although I am building some killer biceps) or the leverage to lift him back up that easily.

    I keep making mention than I need a little more stopping power, but I keep getting dismissed. The last thing I want to do is overbit the horse, especially since he's still young, but feeling like I can't stop is also what makes me so stinkin' nervous.

    How do I convince trainer that I need a little bit of help (no pun intended), I'm not just trying to wimp out?? I feel like he thinks that's a crutch, but he has such a physical advantage on me, I don't think he realizes how hard it is for me to stop horsey, and how much that frays my nerves trying to get him back.

    TTIA!

  • #2
    grab mane with your outside hand and press it into the withers to push yourself up, and lift your inside hand WAY up til your horse lightens. If you need to add a little boot with your inside leg
    you don't need a stronger bit, nor 6" in height, or p90x to ride a large horse taking advantage of you. you need to under stand physics and leverage.
    obviously this is something to correct the issue outside the show ring unless the only other option is turning into a fetal gorilla
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe he isnt giving you more bit because he thinks your hands aren't ready for that.

      I agree with the change in leverage by raising you inside hand and even opening it a little to make him have to balance back up. Have you noticed that he falls/folds into his shoulder a bit as well ? or is it just the headdown.. anyway look at your own leverage and of course..stretch legs down and your sterum up.
      "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

      It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".

      Comment


      • #4
        I am having a similar problem, except I am trying to get the trainer to use more bit. She can get the job done with the loose ring snaffle, but he takes advantage of her and makes her work too hard.
        With a bit more bit he respects the hand and her job is much easier.

        I would try to explain what you have said to us. If you spend the whole end of the ring battling with the horse to come back, you don't have much time to prepare for the next line. If as someone mentioned if the trainer is concerned about your hands, maybe he would use the heavier bit, to remind the horse he needs to respect the bit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds to me like horse needs to be in regular schooling with Trainer. Trainer needs to take horse back to basics, an smaller fences and teach to respect hand & seat. Your size shouldn't matter if the horse has the training. I recently had a similar problem with one of my kid's horses. Regular schooling with me, in addition to reteaching the kid has improved the situation 100%.

          Adding more bit, especially if you are already pulling/fighting is just going to make the situation worse. May be a quick fix momentarily, but eventually he'll just learn to ignore that bit, and the next bit, and the next, etc, etc, etc. Until finally your horse has such a hard mouth you can't do anything with him. Something with YOU has to change in addition to the horse having correct, consistent schooling from someone who CAN make him listen.
          www.storybrookefarms.com

          (In Loving Memory of 'My Escort' 3/25/1985 - 3/17/2007)

          Comment


          • #6
            My approach when feeling the need to bit up is to do so for a few rides, then go back to the milder bit. Hopefully horse has a light bulb moment and realizes (especially since he's young and learning) that all the "pulling" is trying to get him lifted up and to quit leaning.
            "Beware the hobby that eats."
            Benjamin Franklin

            Comment


            • #7
              my horse will do this to me too. Ditto on the lifting of the inside hand around corners, I did that this weekend and it makes a huge difference. Also, you say you get nervous and curl into a fetal type position when he does this. Personally, I know when I do this I also look down, lean forward, and lock my elbows which just throws the horse off balance even more. It helps to have someone yell at me after my jump to "look up!" and then we don't get into this gross, unbalanced rushy canter because I'm not all curled up and tense up there.

              Comment


              • #8
                You own the horse? Then do what you want.
                Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                VW sucks.

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                • #9
                  If he's putting his head DOWN and running round a corner after a jump, I don't think you need more bit- I think he's out of balance and trying to keep from falling down. You need to drive him into your hand and re-balance him BEFORE you get to the corner.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I will not say if you do or do not need more bit, but what I will say is to work on exercises that will help to lighten him. Not just flat tho, what I like to do on horses that pull thru the corners, is ride courses with circles in the corners, that is, when approaching a long side or diagonal line, FIRST ride a relatively small circle (about 15 meters or so) THEN the horse will rebalance, go down the line and in the following corner, after the line, ride another circle to rebalance and get him back over his hocks. continue around the arena doing circles before and after every line. If one circle doesn't rebalance, then do two. Use a bit of an "upward" inside rein when doing the circles and sit up and BACK in the saddle, get out of your half seat and put your butt into the saddle to help him rock back
                    www.shawneeacres.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amastrike View Post
                      You own the horse? Then do what you want.
                      Including get a new trainer...

                      Originally posted by wendy View Post
                      If he's putting his head DOWN and running round a corner after a jump, I don't think you need more bit- I think he's out of balance and trying to keep from falling down. You need to drive him into your hand and re-balance him BEFORE you get to the corner.
                      This is the most common reason a trainer doesn't need more bit and wouldn't believe you need it either.

                      Shawnee's exercises will help you get your horse balancing. Your trainer should be trying to get you to do this, and most likely is in some way that you haven't understood/absorbed yet. If your trainer is fine with the bit, you *should* be as well, so there's something going on with your riding and lack of support of your horse/balance. I would guess lack of bend and motorcycle turns as a likely culprit, as well as lack of seat in saddle on a horse who still needs that for balance, though without video that's purely a guess based on experience/observations of others, and not based on you specifically at all.
                      Originally posted by Silverbridge
                      If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What does your trainer recommend other than bitting up?

                        There are many ways to fix this kind of problem. Sometimes more bit is the answer; sometimes more bit can cause different problems.

                        What would be most important to me is whether or not the trainer has a plan to help YOU fix the problem (if he doesn't experience it).

                        When I had my trainer working my horse I always had her do one training ride a week and then teach me -- that way I made sure that the horse didn't just go well for her . I wanted to be able to replicate what she achieved.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If your horse is dragging you through the corners, HALT before the corner. Wash, rinse, repeat....over and over again until horsey no longer feels any desire to drag you.

                          Then, re-school any time horsey thinks of dragging.

                          Done consistently, this should solve the problem.

                          My horse lovessssss to drag, root and shake her head through the corners when she is fresh or irritable. This technique works every time.

                          Obviously, proper remedial flat work is in order as well.
                          Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would go back to flat work with schooling figures (figure 8s, serpentines, etc.) if you feel he has balancing issues to get him more in balance since younger horses are not as balanced. That's what I did with my youngster and it had a lot of benefits in the long run for us.

                            Jumping wise, do a small course then try to bring him back calmly into your hands before the corner but don't pull back, pull upwards on that inside rein. Don't hunch though, just sit back and relax even if you get nervous and/or start anticipating it. (keeps an awkward situation from becoming worse)

                            ^^I agree with above poster, make sure that you incorporate circles into your courses.

                            If he's real young then don't go to stronger bits, it may make things worse.
                            Proud owner of 2 Oldenburgs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              add leg.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Couple of things - trainer recommends "sit up" and "keep your hands together". Horse has several interesting/conflicting habits - hauling through the corner, at the same time hunching up/getting behind the bit, and also trying to snap down out of the canter. So it's kind of like "if we're going around the corner, it's going to be at breakneck speed, or I'll just trot." And then when I try to put leg on him to keep the canter, we're slamming forward again......

                                I know a lot of this is nerves/protection on my part, because we've had a few really bad months recently, going from us getting ready to show at 3', to him spooking hard and ditching me at a fence he's jumped 100 times before, to him tripping and falling when we were out for a hack, to the point where now I'm terrified to canter a 2' vertical. Things are going backwards very quickly, and now jumping at night tonight is not going to help matters.

                                I had gotten pretty good at sitting on my butt, keeping my hands up and making him ride through the corners, but now that I'm nervous about whether he will jump or spook or stop, I'm reverting to my defensive posture (which I know sucks but I can't stop) of jumping, then planting my hands on his neck and trying to stop him, rather than getting my butt in the saddle and riding him. Kind of one of those passenger versus driver things.....matter of fact, just thinking about it enough to write this all down is actually making me feel nervous, and I'm not normally that type of person.

                                Part of me just wants to know that when I say "STOP" the horse STOPS. Right now, it feels like it is totally up to horsey to decide whether he wants to listen to me or not. Sometimes, I say "whoa" in between jumps, and he collects nicely. Other times, he just inverts and says "screw you". And I wonder whether a tiny bit more bit would give me that added confidence that I can stop this sucker. Does that make sense?

                                Maybe I had the title of this wrong, but I appreciate all the advice - just hard to break through that brain block that gets me hunched over pushing on his neck, rather than sitting up and getting him back to me. Although even when I sit and get him back, it still feels like it's because he's allowing it, not that I'm making him........

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
                                  I will not say if you do or do not need more bit, but what I will say is to work on exercises that will help to lighten him. Not just flat tho, what I like to do on horses that pull thru the corners, is ride courses with circles in the corners, that is, when approaching a long side or diagonal line, FIRST ride a relatively small circle (about 15 meters or so) THEN the horse will rebalance, go down the line and in the following corner, after the line, ride another circle to rebalance and get him back over his hocks. continue around the arena doing circles before and after every line. If one circle doesn't rebalance, then do two. Use a bit of an "upward" inside rein when doing the circles and sit up and BACK in the saddle, get out of your half seat and put your butt into the saddle to help him rock back
                                  ding ding! you can also put a canter pole or two a stride or two before your corner
                                  www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                  chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by KingoftheRoad View Post
                                    Couple of things - trainer recommends "sit up" and "keep your hands together". Horse has several interesting/conflicting habits - hauling through the corner, at the same time hunching up/getting behind the bit, and also trying to snap down out of the canter. So it's kind of like "if we're going around the corner, it's going to be at breakneck speed, or I'll just trot." And then when I try to put leg on him to keep the canter, we're slamming forward again......

                                    I know a lot of this is nerves/protection on my part, because we've had a few really bad months recently, going from us getting ready to show at 3', to him spooking hard and ditching me at a fence he's jumped 100 times before, to him tripping and falling when we were out for a hack, to the point where now I'm terrified to canter a 2' vertical. Things are going backwards very quickly, and now jumping at night tonight is not going to help matters.

                                    I had gotten pretty good at sitting on my butt, keeping my hands up and making him ride through the corners, but now that I'm nervous about whether he will jump or spook or stop, I'm reverting to my defensive posture (which I know sucks but I can't stop) of jumping, then planting my hands on his neck and trying to stop him, rather than getting my butt in the saddle and riding him. Kind of one of those passenger versus driver things.....matter of fact, just thinking about it enough to write this all down is actually making me feel nervous, and I'm not normally that type of person.

                                    Part of me just wants to know that when I say "STOP" the horse STOPS. Right now, it feels like it is totally up to horsey to decide whether he wants to listen to me or not. Sometimes, I say "whoa" in between jumps, and he collects nicely. Other times, he just inverts and says "screw you". And I wonder whether a tiny bit more bit would give me that added confidence that I can stop this sucker. Does that make sense?

                                    Maybe I had the title of this wrong, but I appreciate all the advice - just hard to break through that brain block that gets me hunched over pushing on his neck, rather than sitting up and getting him back to me. Although even when I sit and get him back, it still feels like it's because he's allowing it, not that I'm making him........
                                    Seems like there may be something physical going on too.

                                    The tripping and falling, spooking, inability to hold the canter comfortably in corners...is this new? How old is this horse and what is its training level?
                                    Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      He's 6.5, been in training since he was 4, trainer rides him a couple times a week. Training has been slow but steady due to his size, collecting can still be really hard on him. Hope this helps...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        To convince your trainer, then next time your horse does this, gallop wildly around the arena screaming 'I can't stop I can't stop' and slowly aim your horse at said trainer. I think he'll get the hint.

                                        Of course I'm kidding, but it does give a funny visual.
                                        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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