Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Too High...

So I have somehow managed to attract another student, not that mind at all, but it always happens when I'm so busy and I'm no good at saying no... This lady has an a Reg. 4 yr old Appy and she is currently taking lessons with someone else and now wants ME to train her horse. So I tell her I want to see her ride so I can see what I'm up against. Um.... If I were her I would ask for money back... it was spooky... Her other "trainer" told her to do lots of circling with her horse to get him soft, OK, makes sense, she ALSO said to bring her inside hand up. UH NO!!!!!!!! The poor woman can't figure why her horse won't drop it's head. Well.... PUT your damn hands down!!! Her other trainer also recommended she ride in twisted wire snaffle. The horse has only been broke for 3 months, come on now! I think she will get lucky with this, as I'll be able to correct everything while the damage is still minimal. HEE HEE

I see a lot of riders, western pleasure being the worst offenders, who think that bringing your hands up is a good way to get your horse to drop it's head. *HEADDESK* Your hands as high as the heavens is not only a very confusing cue, but it looks really rank. Pulling up on the head to get it lowered? If I were a horse I would be VERY puzzled.

Low, soft hands. Nice balanced circles, then while keeping your hands low you can always open your inside rein up a bit while holding the horse in it's bend with you inside leg holding the bend and your outside leg holding the circle. The horse should then relax and drop his head... Voila'! No magic, no harsh bits and HANDS DOWN logical training!!! LMFAO!!!!!!


The Crossroads said...

I always had it ground in my head to keep my hands elevated, but not sky high. My foundation was English and I later progressed to gaming, but it's beyond me why a trainer would tell this women to do such a thing.

Hopefully you caught it early enough to fix it :)

GoLightly said...

Straight line through elbow to hand to horse's mouth.

Broke for three months, needs a twisted wire snaffle??
I dun't THINK so:)

Unless the hands were really bad to start with:(

WhatTheHay said...

It really helped when our trainer explained exactly how to determine the height that the hands should be at (that straight line)...then we learned when it is appropriate to change and how to properly encourage the horse to drop his head. It was amazing to see the difference when my daughter was going through these exercises! Both horse and rider were so much more relaxed when the head was in the proper position.

brat_and_a_half said...

ok, in the defence of the WP world (note Im not a WP rider, but I did ride/show it last year on an appy). The whole raising the hand=head down thing, only to be done in a curb bit, one handed, not moving your hand more than 6 inches straight up. This rotates the bit (often having a high port) in the horses mouth which gives the horse the cue to soften in his mouth with very minimal movement/contact. This is how it's suppost to be done, but unfortuanately, you get a bunch of idiots loping around with their hands up by their chin with full contact (with 2 hands) on their horses mouth with a curb.

I took a WP lesson with a 'very good' trainer last summer. After making it evident I was an english rider, he explained to me why you lift your hand, not pull it back. Lifting tells the horse to put his head down, pulling back tells them to stop. He went on to explain why and how english riders confuse their horses by telling them to go forward with their leg, but to stop with thier hand, and how it was stupid and made not sense. I didnt say anything, but just thought "Omg, I'm taking a lesson from someone who doesn't know what a half halt is..."

Equus said...

I have to disagree with this one after attending a clinic by the swedish dressage rider/instructor Mette Rosencrantz. It had always been drilled in my head to have low hands at all times. Mette however pointed out that instead our hands should follow our horse's mouth so as to have the greatest effect - therefore raise your hands as your horse raises its head but lower them again as your horse rounds out and lowers his head again. This allows the bit-hand-elbow line to remain correct and for you to still be able to communicate effectively with your horse. I've been working this way as of late with one of my OTTB's and it's working fantastic. Take note though this is when riding with contact. My western horses, including those I start, all ride on a loose rein, so my hand stays virtually still in front of the horn.

If you have hard hands and you bring them up with your horse's head, yes, it will only encourage your horse to keep his head up there. Soften your hands though and you can still raise your hands and follow your horse's head without causing, or exacerbating, the problem.

Twisted wire snaffle? Baffles my mind why that bit even exists...a case of "do unto others as you'd have done unto you" tossed out the window. If you feel you need to go to a bit that harsh, there is a serious problem - there are holes in the basic foundation. Good thing you caught it!

Brat_and_a_half...a half halt does not have to encompass holding a horse back and driving it forward at the same time. The WP trainer was correct in saying holding back and driving forward does not make sense to the horse...there are world level english riders (such as Rosencrantz) who say the exact same thing as the WP trainer...just a difference of opinion.

monstersmama said...

I like reading your training advice, because thats how I was trained. and its true...lots of people consider them selves "trainers"