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How do I get off of the forehand?

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  • #21
    Transitions don't help, circles make it worse, and he is awful to lunge (Kicking out, bucking, wrong back legs in leads, ignores my cues). Any ideas?
    I had problems similar to this with my horse when she had stifle issues (upward patellar fixation). Lots and lots of hill work, plus cavaletti, and general fitness training helped resolve the issue. Minimal circles in the beginning, just lots of straight lines. Even if his issue doesn't end up being in the stifles or in his hind end, it still helps to strengthen the hind end because they can't rock back on their haunches and get off the forehand if they're just not strong enough to.
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

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    • #22
      I second, third, and fourth the pain issue. The Prince does this when he is due for hock injections.

      But, with that said, sometimes horses can get into a rut. I try to ride outside the ring as much as possible so that the horse and I don't get bored with regular ring work. Is there a place where you can go outside and just hack? You can still work on all the same flatwork stuff, but with the added element of new scenery

      I find that doing some outside work (hacking and trail rides) can still work the horse appropriately and keep everything interesting. It makes the dull horse a little more forward and forward will certainly help you get your horse off the forehand. I think Kat suggested this too, but I definitely do it for my horses and myself...

      Good Luck!
      ALP
      "The Prince" aka Front Row
      Cavalier Manor

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      • #23
        If the horse flexes sound, get the horse up and open by using light vertical hh. If the horse is traveling level/flat with the neck (mouth lower than the point of the hip) and as he comes up, ask for the energy. Generally this is an easy situation to remedy, but the horse can get very reactive when you ask it to change U.S. Since you said he does go when he is 'focused'/jumping, I would say it is just that you are changing the parameters of what he is used to doing.
        I.D.E.A. yoda

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          I usually do, but his gaits are so awkward that I don't trust my position much on him. I also have not been riding very long, so I would not consider myself at all advanced

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            He is currently in a french link snaffle. I was considering a waterford, but I really want to keep him in something as light as possible because he is very responsive with his mouth. That may just be because he is leaning so far on the bit though...

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              He isn't rushy over jumps though, he just lifts his head up and seems to be really enjoying himself

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              • #27
                Do you have a trainer helping you? What does he or she say?

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                • #28
                  Finealready, no diagnosis. Is an Ottb with arthritic changes in his hocks. Had his stifles injected last year. Waiting on doing his hocks. He has chiro adjustments Every 6 weeks religiously and I just ordered back on track hocks boots for him. I take a good solid 20 mi. Of walk work, warming up, before I even take his cooler off in this cold weather. He never gets tired in the traditional sense, but if I work him too much at anything that really makes him use his back end and rock back, he gets tired then gets fast and STRONG. The cold nj weather this winter has been awful for him. He's on an aspirin regimen and ulcer meds, nothing else. He's super sensitive to any starch/sugar change in his diet and any supplement I have put him on has made him crazy. So, like you, I just am aware of his limitations and work around them

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                  • #29
                    It does sound as though the horse requires more rider than you are currently capable of producing.

                    If you are unsteady, his gaits will be unsteady, particularly if he is listening. Changing bits to "elevate his head", on a horse that has a sensitive mouth is a recipe for disaster. The answer is not in your hands but in your body.

                    It does sound as though you need some educated help with him.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                    • #30
                      The answer is in a thoughtout methodlogy. But the fact the horse does change its balance to jump says volumes about the horses mind and body. Bits dont elevate the horse (although curbs/st bits may compress, their action is to lower), the use of hh (in a simple snaffle, acting on the lips not bars) effectively folds the hind legs/lifts the chest/etc.
                      I.D.E.A. yoda

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by myalter1 View Post
                        Finealready, no diagnosis. Is an Ottb with arthritic changes in his hocks. Had his stifles injected last year. Waiting on doing his hocks. He has chiro adjustments Every 6 weeks religiously and I just ordered back on track hocks boots for him. I take a good solid 20 mi. Of walk work, warming up, before I even take his cooler off in this cold weather. He never gets tired in the traditional sense, but if I work him too much at anything that really makes him use his back end and rock back, he gets tired then gets fast and STRONG. The cold nj weather this winter has been awful for him. He's on an aspirin regimen and ulcer meds, nothing else. He's super sensitive to any starch/sugar change in his diet and any supplement I have put him on has made him crazy. So, like you, I just am aware of his limitations and work around them
                        Sounds lots like my horse (also an OTTB). FWIW, I have injected hocks/stifles on this horse (hocks as recently as November 2012), and I never think it makes much difference. His joints don't look bad on x-ray (mild hock changes; stifles look fine), but he flexes very poorly (if we can even get him to stand for flexions at all). But he flexes just as poorly and looks just the same after injections as he does before them...this leads me to believe that what he is actually responding to on flexions is pain from somewhere else...I think muscles.

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                        • #32
                          If you can rule out pain I'd do lots and lots of transitions. And the hillwork already mentioned is great. If you're not that steady in your position you can use a neck strap or breastplate to steady yourself, much better than yanking on his mouth. You've gotta get him moving

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