View Full Version : Advice required for resisting contact
28th Feb 2001, 07:05 PM
I would like some advice and your opinion regarding my 13 year old mare. When she was much younger she was a grade C showjumper.
I have had her for 3 years and have had regular lessons for flat work as she became jump sick. I only do flat work with her.
My problem is that when I ask her to flex on a shorter rein she resists, by arching her neck and swinging her hind quarters sideways.
She responds well whilst on a long rein and works quite well.
But my remarks on my dressage test sheet were "outline to long shorten your reins" My mare is extremely good at telling me what she likes and what she doesn't and I know she doesn't like to work on a shorter rein. She prefers to work deep and round or long and low, how can I persuade her to shorten her outline, without any resistance.
Everything has been checked, saddle teeth and back in fact regarding her back I was told she is actually in very good condition and is spot on, but she is lazy behind.
If I try and do a little lateral work or lots of transitions she trys to resist by swinging her quarters, it is as if she knows what i am trying to acheive, and she has her word by saying "O'h no you don't"
I am getting a frustrated as to the correct way forward for us, do you have any advice.
She is also naturally quite a dominant mare.
She is ridden in a french link snaffle and I would like to keep her in a snaffle so that we can still compete in prelim dressage classes.
[Edited by Chloe1 on 28th Feb 2001 at 07:11 PM]
28th Feb 2001, 07:17 PM
I raised a similar subject with Heather not long ago. I'm starting a baby who instantly a rider gets on his back and takes up a contact he over flexes. Ride on a loose rein and he carries himself nicely. Heather's reply was that if he went well and was happy on a long rein then so be it. I think Heather herself is criticised by run of the mill dressage judges for having her reins too long!!
28th Feb 2001, 07:24 PM
Not much help to you I know, but I'd rather ride a happy horse than upset it by trying to conform to someone else's idea of how it should go.
1st Mar 2001, 09:31 AM
You can shorten the reins, but still have a light feel on them- shorten them but open the fingers slightly so that there is no real tension in the reins. It sounds to me as if your horse has been ridden in draw reins- I have reschooled quite a few like this- some of my own schoolmasters here had been worked very deep, which is totally detrimental to collection. Long and low is fine, deep isn't- there is a subtle and definite difference. Trouble is, correction of a long standing way of going like this is really more of a job for a prefessional- it requires great tact and timing of the aids.
Sorry not to be more help- probably asking the obvious here, deep work is a major cause of back trouble in the horse- have you had her checked?
1st Mar 2001, 07:00 PM
I had her back checked only 3 days ago, and everything is great.
I wouldn't say that she works deep, but longer than usually, but she does have quite a long back anyway. it has taken me a long time to get her to stretch into a contact, as when I first got her she mainly went around like a typical riding school horse, unless she thought she was going to jump then she would pull.
My instructor also thinks that she has been ridden in draw reins in the past. As sometimes (in canter) if you have the reins to short she will just drop the bit completly. But on the other hand have them too long in canter and she will just run faster untill she falls back to trot. SImilar problems also occur in the trot.
It is very hard to find a happy medium.
1st Mar 2001, 07:25 PM
Good, at least you know she has no problem in the back region, and can safely work on in this knowledge. It is very difficult to give you advice without seeing her- I do occasionally do video lessons- yousend a video adn I send a critique back with advice on what to work on and how. Email me privately if you would like some help in this way-
7th Mar 2001, 09:46 PM
Unfortunately i don't have access to a cam corder.
But since I was here last things haven't improved and I now need exersizes to help her start thinking more forward.
I have managed to take up a contact on a few occasions ( when i gave her something else to think about. i.e pole work) but she does run and rush about with these knocking them everywhere. (No respect for poles, used to be a showjumper)
I would like to know if you travel to do any private lessons, or if you will be doing any clinics in the Cheshire area. Or if you could personlly recccomend anyone in this area, as I would be afriad of finding the wrong type of instructor, by myself.
I already have a good instructor. We agree on most things but not quite all, however i would like somebody elses opinion.
8th Mar 2001, 08:18 PM
I am not likely to be doing any clinics in your area this year, due to sheer lack of time. I hope perhaps to do a few clinics next year, once I have got this year out of the way- I have to get the next video out for the autumn, and you wouln't believe how many hours it takes up- I'd rather write another book!( I may just be doing that next winter.)
I wish that I could reccommend instructors in your area- this is why I have set up the Enlightened Equitation Teacher Training workshops, so that we can train our own instructors and be sure of their teaching quality and integrity.
Sorry not to have been of more help-
10th Mar 2001, 09:57 PM
I would really like details of your teacher training workshops, any chance you could put something in the post? My address is in my website.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.