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Too forward...what do you do?

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  • #21
    Goodness, embrace the forward! I had to really get over my anxiety of speed once. My trainer looked at me like I was stupid and asked what I had been asking for when I asked my horse to go forward.

    It really shook me up. When I realized that speed could = power, EVERYTHING opened up for me. Now I expect speed. Granted, that speed turns into power, impulsion, and strength, but all those things come from speed. Power, impulsion, and strength won't come from lackadaisical jogging around.

    Now, what *I* want and what you want are completely different. However, if your horse wants to GO, let him GO. Use that speed and practice transitions. Trot/Halt. Halt/Trot. Walk/Canter. Etc. Use the speed and practice leg yields. Use the impulsion and practice "power canters". (A power canter is when the horse is moving BIG, with ground-eating strides. The horse is yielding to the hand through the mouth, neck, and back. Imagine a knight's horse galloping across a field--the horse is a contained lightning bolt.)

    Use the acquired power and practice using less and less of your aids. Can you do a walk/halt transition from just your seat? How about a walk/trot transition with just your seat? Etc, etc, building up the difficulty.

    *Also agree with above posters' suggestions.


    • #22
      Lots of good advice. All I can add is it's ok to park the horse in the arena for a few minutes or 15 while you just sit on him. Why do people think you have to move forward on a horse constantly to teach him anything? Sometimes a peaceful brain and quiet feet start with learning to stand still with a rider on-board.

      But I know you were testing to see if the Adequin was working... My suggestion is just one I hadn't seen from browsing the other responses for a happy horse.


      • #23
        I dont try to stop forward motion, just re direct it. So, if he wanted to GO, we would do small circles, bending, and LOTS of collection.

        That said, if I was in the mood and he was just feeling fresh, not naughty, I'd prob let him just canter or trot on a loose rein for as long as he wanted until his mind came back. I would change my path often to just make sure that I am still in control, push him in, then out, stuff like that, for example. I wasnt meaning to stop riding him, just get out of his face. I bet that would help him to relax.

        If he was naughty, then the former would come in to play, I have the One Rein Stop (ORS), so I can stop him whenever I want. Having that brake, makes it no problem to letting him just go on a loose rein.

        Learning & getting to the point of it being 2nd nature, really is a huge confidence builder. If horse will be naughty, then make him work. They usually catch on pretty fast that it is easier to do what you are asking, instead of disengaging their hindends, lol.

        If you are pulling to stop or slow him down, he will probably brace. That is just a tug of war, he will win, get faster, so it is best to not let him pull against you.
        Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!


        • #24
          Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
          Yesterday we had a really rowdy, forward ride. And it seems that just because I'm western that too forward is a worse problem. But, too forward and not listening is too forward and not listening whether it's in a dressage test, stadium jumping, driving...whatever the discipline.

          He didn't do anything really wrong...we had a walk, jog and lope. But they were all too fast, too jolting, and when it came time to lope I put my hand on the saddle horn, just in case. He's never bucked or bolted but it did feel like yesterday could have been the day. Actually the lope was his best gait as far as being WP. The footing was such that we loped just a few straight lines. I had him do circles and serpentines, at the jog, which seemed to redirect some of his focus...I made his work harder so he had to think about that instead. During the course of doing THAT, I realized that I don't focus very much MENTALLY myself...kind of let him be whatever he's going to be. (This is why I think riding the patterns in *western* dressage will benefit me.) So I started riding a box instead of an oval; I was determining definite destinations and lines of travel. I think that helped a bit...either that or I was concentrating so much on me that I didn't notice him as much. But as soon as we went back on the oval, he was forward again.

          Normally, he's not like this...or at least not this much. More likely to be like this at shows, the LAST place I want to have to deal with an eager, excited and HAPPY horse! I decided not to pick at him about it. It was snowy and our ride was just to determine whether he's continuing to improve on the Adequan...which he is. This behavior predates his soreness issues. It's part of his breeding and personality.

          So, do you discipline? Like: does a crack from the bat do any good? Do you just ride it out? That's what I tend to do and hope for a better ride next time. Do you get off and lunge?

          Let me reemphasize...he is not doing anything that is dangerous to me or himself. I'm just not sure that being so passive is the right way for me to handle it. I'm just wondering what I should be working on when we really get back to work. That will be in the spring...we don't have an indoor.
          forward is good.

          not paying attention isn't.

          Redirect, make his mind work (as you did)

          Not sure how WP does it, the dressage thing is half-halts: the intricate interaction of seat, leg and rein aids to recycle the energy back into the horse.
          It means everything - or nothing, when badly timed.

          it is a means to return the flat forward motion, the energy back into the horse, to allow it to use the haunches better, to be more focused and come off the forehand (which seems to induce rushing in most horses, the on the forehand part)
          Cracking the whip, I suppose if a horse can be trained to stop being poked by spurs, you can train a horse to slow under whip cracking...but I don't see the need for it.


          • #25
            I absolutely agree with MistyBlue and will sum it up with my version of that: we have to ride the horse we have RIGHT NOW. Not yesterday's horse, not tomorrow's horse, not the horse you wish you had, not the horse you might have 30 minutes from now, but the NOW horse. Being a true thinking, engaged rider is HARD and takes a lot of focus, but it really does take things to a whole new (and much better!) level. It's taken me a loooong time to learn this, but I'm finally starting to reap some rewards!
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
            We Are Flying Solo


            • Original Poster

              This!! I have to remember THIS!!

              Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
              I absolutely agree with MistyBlue and will sum it up with my version of that: we have to ride the horse we have RIGHT NOW. Not yesterday's horse, not tomorrow's horse, not the horse you wish you had, not the horse you might have 30 minutes from now, but the NOW horse. Being a true thinking, engaged rider is HARD and takes a lot of focus, but it really does take things to a whole new (and much better!) level. It's taken me a loooong time to learn this, but I'm finally starting to reap some rewards!
              Ride like you mean it.


              • Original Poster

                I'm not sure how wp does it either. I do it as you describe. His half halt is a squeeze of the reins...both reins in one hand. Just a touch of leg almost simultaneously. My first love is dressage...my physical riding ability is western.

                [QUOTE=Alagirl;6767567]forward is good.

                Not sure how WP does it, the dressage thing is half-halts: the intricate interaction of seat, leg and rein aids to recycle the energy back into the horse.
                It means everything - or nothing, when badly timed.

                Ride like you mean it.