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  1. #41
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    Somehow I have never needed to use anything other than a snaffle with reins attached to teach a student to ride the horse in a decent, non-giraffe state, even when they are on green/unschooled horses.

    In my repeated experience nothing more has been necessary, but what do I know.



  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    if your trainer wants to work on your seat then use side reins.... but leverage rein only teach the horse to back off the bit and have a false "head set"...

    learn to ride the horse forward and bended so that it will seek the bit and use its back correctly - no auxiliary reins needed
    Auxiliary reins are a tool, not a means to a an end. There is no doubt in my mind about it. However I think that side reins are a lot more restrictive since allow for very little movement on the horse' head. A gogue will encourage the horse to lower its poll but it will allow it to bend and move its head from side to side. Side reins have very little room for adjustment. The purpose here is to use the auxiliary reins to maintain contact - that is not always maintained due to rider fail - but adjusting it to have less and less leverage until the horse accepts that contact and I can get the horse engaged without the use of any other tools aside from my body and the regular reins. I don't expect to let the gogue do all the work for me, I'll still have to use my leg to maintain an active horse and work on getting my arms and elbows in the right position. I want to be able to learn to get the horse to seek contact without confusing the horse while i am still learning t give the proper aids myself, you know what I mean?
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  3. #43
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    I'll chime in and say that I have to wholeheartedly agree with mbm on this one.

    There was a local, well known "BNT" dressage instructor in my parts who used the gogue regularly to help students "fix" problems. And I can tell you, from my observations with these students and particularly the outcome for their horses -- especially younger or green horses -- the end result wasn't good, especially for the horse.

    I know this because several of the horses wound up at my barn for remedial work. It was sad really. They were tense, in a false frame and some had become claustrophobic.

    "Feel" is one of the hardest things to teach. And like mbm and others have said, in my experience you will do better by yourself and your horse for the long haul to just work through those issues, sans putting the horse in a box with a device. You can wind up make the problems you are having now with your horse even worse.

    Does your instructor have a schoolmaster that you could lesson on to help you deal with your own body issues? That would be the best of all worlds.

    Good luck to you!



  4. #44
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    I personally would work in smaller figures and slower. I would also work with a trainer a lot in walk to help you get the feel and then keep it in the upward transition. It seems like losing it walk-trot causes a lot of problems
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    "Feel" is one of the hardest things to teach.
    Ding ding ding.

    And it's the first thing to go when you gloss over the little problems with "training aids."



  6. #46
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    Jun. 25, 2006
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    MA
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    Can someone point me to the original riding forward into contact topic mentioned in the first post of this one? I've been looking for it and would love to read it. Thanks!



  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niennor View Post
    This is why I'll use them with my trainer around only. He can tell me if I'm not riding properly and letting the horse hollow his back. I wouldn't use this kind of training while riding on my own, because i don't feel confident enough to use it properly without someone guiding me. when I ride on my own I'll just try to work on forward and connection, without adding the reins to the mix and we'll see how it works.
    Niennor - go take a lesson or 2 with Georges Malleroni - Escola de Equitaçao de Alcainça
    phone; 00351 96 695 28 20 (Obviously you are calling from within Portugal so leave off the country code numbers).

    Georges will teach you on one of his schoolmaster Lusitanos and you will work on suppleness, throughness etc...

    Then, you can take this knowledge back to your regular school and horse and apply it with a whole new knowledge.

    He is currently flying back to Lisbon from Boston so he will probably be home this weekend and you can book a lesson...



  8. #48
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    I see where all of you are coming from and I understand your concern. But the point here is not setting a frame, I'm not interested in competing I'm interested in becoming a better rider. But right now the concern is this horse is going to have back problems if we don't get that back up. Now if I had a trainer who worked with me everyday we might make better progress. But i can have a trainer once a week and I'm not exactly a talented rider, hence the use of the training aids. I can't have this horse going around like a giraffe because, sooner or later, his back will pay the price. If I really was just interest in head set, I'd stick a curb bit on him and force him to put his neck down. The training aids are only there to keep Z from going around with his nose in the air while I work on my position.This training aid isn't used for huge amounts of time either, I'll have it on on hour at most, some days I won't even use it, it's not something I want to rely in at all times.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
    I personally would work in smaller figures and slower. I would also work with a trainer a lot in walk to help you get the feel and then keep it in the upward transition. It seems like losing it walk-trot causes a lot of problems
    Right now at the walk we're still working on forward, because he tries to transition to trot if I ask for a bit more active walk, so we're working on giving him a good warm up and not letting him rush into a trot before he develops an active walk. Getting him to relax his poll at the walk alone is already an issue.
    Last edited by Niennor; Oct. 23, 2012 at 03:51 PM.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
    Niennor - go take a lesson or 2 with Georges Malleroni - Escola de Equitaçao de Alcainça
    phone; 00351 96 695 28 20 (Obviously you are calling from within Portugal so leave off the country code numbers).

    Georges will teach you on one of his schoolmaster Lusitanos and you will work on suppleness, throughness etc...

    Then, you can take this knowledge back to your regular school and horse and apply it with a whole new knowledge.

    He is currently flying back to Lisbon from Boston so he will probably be home this weekend and you can book a lesson...
    You know, Alcainça is actually not far from where i live. Right now, due to budget issues I simply can't book any more lessons (you might have heard that my country is one of those that is knee deep in the crisis), but I found the school on FB and i will keep it in mind for when I get the chance to book a lesson there.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  11. #51
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    Maybe try a running martingale instead?
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  12. #52
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    Hi Niennor,

    This is so totally my thread! I've been having issues with the VERY forward mare I lease. What I've learned from a month of excruciatingly horrible rides, including me holding her together, her rushing off, complete loss of relaxation, no suppleness is this:

    - If you ain't got relaxation, you've got nothing at all. If you don't have a relaxed and supple body, your horse will pick up on it and brace.

    This has been a hard pill to swallow... but once I did (I had someone else ride my horse and she had none of the problems I did - so finally got it - it was ME all along...), things changed dramatically. Sure, I had to take ten steps back, but life's so much better now.

    Your (very cute!) boy will relax once you do and once you are clear about what you are asking. Ask simple things in a relaxed manner. Ride for shorter times when he's good. Praise him often.

    What has helped my girl relax:

    I keep my hands supple and following. Lower arms and reins are on one level. No pulling down on the reins.

    After I take (asking for inside bend), I give. If I get a reaction, I praise. If I don't, I ask again, perhaps a little more strongly. If I get a reaction, I praise. If I don't... you get the point. The thing is: Horses need instant feedback.

    It's better to sponge the reins every now and then than to hold them tight. Ideally, we would leave our hands still, but a light squeeze is better than a death grip.

    Finding the right rein length is key.

    Sometimes I have to put both hands forward for my horse to relax. Then I can very softly take up the contact again and she will stay in it.

    You can use too much leg. This may worry the horse. Leg aids also need to be applied in a take-give fashion. Pressure, then release. Don't just hold and press harder.

    Circles and leg yields help bend and supple the horse.

    Don't worry about the head. The head will follow the hind.

    Gotta work on that balance...


    That's about it. Good luck!

    Verena



  13. #53
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    Please think twice before using that contraption. If there is one thing I've learned along this journey is that you can't fake it and you can't force it.

    Have you at least tried spiraling in and out on a circle? Say from 20m down to 15m and back to 20m? I think you will see your horse start to soften on his own, you will get a good feel of what that feels like and you will be able to duplicate it more and more the more you get the hang of it.

    Start out riding a 20m circle spiral in to 15m and see if he softens as you allow him to reach for the bit. Go back out to 20m and start down the long side if you can keep him reaching. If you can't (doesn't matter where you are) do another 20m circle and spiral in until he reaches for the bit again. Do this exercise over and over until it becomes natural.

    I have a feeling if you give this a try for a few days you will realize you don't need special reins or contraptions. Good luck!!



  14. #54
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    KurPlexed...I'm laughing and crying -- the dreaded "spiral in and spiral outs". I cannot tell you how long I had to do these....

    But indeed they were the very best way to deal with personal seat, hands, legs, elbows, leaning, posture, collapsing one's side issues, the use of the inside and outside rein... and more. And all the same issues with the horse - shoulder falling in, haunches flailing out, yadayada.

    I hated them because I sucked - , but that is what my instructor kept me doing until I got my body parts connected ..and then my horse did. It became magic for both me and my greenie. It surely didn't ruin him...just the contrary. It taught us both "feel".

    Super suggestion for this gal, but I think I will have nightmares tonight.



  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurPlexed View Post
    Please think twice before using that contraption. If there is one thing I've learned along this journey is that you can't fake it and you can't force it.

    Have you at least tried spiraling in and out on a circle? Say from 20m down to 15m and back to 20m?
    I sure did. Doing small circles is the easier way to get him on the bit when we move on to bigger circles things get tougher. When I ask for a straight line it gets even tougher. There are times when i can feel him relax and give to the bit and then i loose the connection. No doubt because my arms get too tense or my legs failed him when he needed impulsion. Other times when I shorten the reins he starts to drop his inside shoulder, tries to shake his head and lean to the wall. It's an ongoing process. Most of my trouble are definitely caused by rider flaws but i also have a horse who, having been allowed to do what he please for the last 3 years, has trouble in accepting a rider as a leader. Do you know what i mean? All along he's done things his way and now there's a human making him to difficult work and he's not very happy to accept that.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DottieHQ View Post
    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.



  16. #56
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    So if you've felt him soften then your ahead of the game. Really concentrate on what you're doing at that exact moment then experiment. Can you keep it and go straight forward a few steps......if not, circle (right where you are). You will get it back and when you do experiment again. When you loose it, circle and get it back. See if you can experiment longer and longer without loosing it. It will happen with consistency. Don't be afraid to be his leader by gently guiding him where you want him. He will appreciate that.



  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurPlexed View Post
    Don't be afraid to be his leader by gently guiding him where you want him. He will appreciate that.

    Bingo!



  18. #58
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    Mar. 27, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurPlexed View Post
    So if you've felt him soften then your ahead of the game. Really concentrate on what you're doing at that exact moment then experiment. Can you keep it and go straight forward a few steps......if not, circle (right where you are). You will get it back and when you do experiment again. When you loose it, circle and get it back. See if you can experiment longer and longer without loosing it. It will happen with consistency. Don't be afraid to be his leader by gently guiding him where you want him. He will appreciate that.
    Thank you! This is now my lesson plan for today. I'm learning and training contact at the same time so I love the exercise suggestions. I've gotten it on occasion but find myself "freezing" my position to hold this precious moment - needless to say, doesn't work so well

    For what it's worth, I've found music helps to relax my movement and distract me from overthinking what I'm doing. Nothing classical, mostly disco and the top-40 dance trash that I secretly love



  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurPlexed View Post
    Please think twice before using that contraption. If there is one thing I've learned along this journey is that you can't fake it and you can't force it.

    Have you at least tried spiraling in and out on a circle? Say from 20m down to 15m and back to 20m? I think you will see your horse start to soften on his own, you will get a good feel of what that feels like and you will be able to duplicate it more and more the more you get the hang of it.

    Start out riding a 20m circle spiral in to 15m and see if he softens as you allow him to reach for the bit. Go back out to 20m and start down the long side if you can keep him reaching. If you can't (doesn't matter where you are) do another 20m circle and spiral in until he reaches for the bit again. Do this exercise over and over until it becomes natural.

    I have a feeling if you give this a try for a few days you will realize you don't need special reins or contraptions. Good luck!!
    Niennor this is really good advice. You should heed it.



  20. #60
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    "Feel" is one of the hardest things to teach."- Quote Sid

    It is!! However with patience on part of student and instructor it can be taught. There are some horses that make it more difficult than others. A horse that goes on contact and round easily is ideal, but sadly not always available.

    Many instructors just don't want to take the time, and many students are just too impatient to get "there".
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



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