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exercises for helping direction, ridden

exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Tess and Organza » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:19 pm

A friend has a few issues with her young cob schooling. He defends himself when she tries to direct him, particularly to the right. He pulls away in the opposite direction. I'm no expert but hopped on to try to feel what was going on. I hardly touched my reins, and used my body weight and legs gently, he pulls away, its quite marked. Any suggestions, experts!?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby JennieF » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:32 pm

possible back/saddle issue .....
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Chevalblanc » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:51 pm

Very difficult to know without seeing him, is it the little bay cob we saw last summer? I remember him being fairly light and responsive in hand :?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Tess and Organza » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:52 pm

IT had crossed my mind Jennie, shall I try bareback? Yes Helen, but has since been thru a certain person who will not allow him in weekly classes at club without a bit, he had never had a bit before, and who also got on and sorted him out in lesson, resulting in rearing and bucking and said person complaining that the saddle was too small (for him not horse) maybe he hurt his back?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Chevalblanc » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:08 am

Oh, that explains a lot :evil: Poor pony, it's probably defensive then, an attempt to get away from what he thinks is coming :sad: why couldn't they send him to someone who knows what they're doing? :banghead:
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Trudi » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:02 pm

Tess do you mean he tries to avoid turning to the right?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Tess and Organza » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:17 pm

Chevalblanc wrote:Oh, that explains a lot :evil: Poor pony, it's probably defensive then, an attempt to get away from what he thinks is coming :sad: why couldn't they send him to someone who knows what they're doing? :banghead:


Well, she is doing what she thinks is right and I did gently try to tell her what I thought, but at the end of the day it is her decision. She is a lovely gentle rider herself with the right guidance I can see she and her pony could make beautiful music together :) So all I'm trying to do is help her when she schools at home and this problem seems to have appeared since the lessons started.

Trudi, he does it a bit in both directions but more marked to the right

had a think about it myself with my limited knowledge, I think that it would be good to try a few sessions with no saddle just in case something is pinching or hurting, I think it would be useful to do home sessions with no bit as this is how she wants to ride him. I think too it would be good to do groundwork that softens his neck, massaging to ease the muscle to relax. I think too that his ridden sessions should involve fun bending with huge amounts of praise and zero tellings off. What can she add? Do I make sense?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby spottygiraffe » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:14 pm

Has he got a sharp tooth on the right side of his mouth? Could be something like that if it's not saddle-related, especially if it coincided with him being bitted. If he were mine I'd get his teeth checked.

It could be a number of other things too -maybe he had a fall in the field and could do with seeing an osteo or maybe he's a bit stiff on one side. How old is he?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Tess and Organza » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:07 am

I think he's seen the dentist, our vet Anne Sophie is also a good equine dentist. But I will have a look today for any sharp growth, as he is only a baby really, I think 4, so his mouth is probably developing still. All helpful ideas, thank you, will let you know how we do...when it stops raining! Kyriane will be joining him in the 'carriere' next time, that should be amusing. No one has ridden her for a year, so plenty gw first, with a gentle progression to ridden,but will always start and finish on the ground, hopefully not on my bum on the ground :lol:

Have to add too that he had an emphysème crisis in November from hay, he's outdoors 24/7 as he should be, hay is now netted to stop him burying his head in it! Could having been so poorly cause any problems like this? muscle stiffness?
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Re: exercises for helping direction, ridden

Postby Trudi » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:03 am

Without video or being there it is hard to be sure Tess but don't forget many equines are incredibly one sided just like us humans. I work once a week with a gorgeous little pony who works bitless and is mainly only worked in-hand, she is usually worked by her kind owner who is also pretty knowledeable regarding gymnastic work BUT she has still been stiff on the right rein in her work- the reason being that she can't release in her poll due to her onesidedness. It is improving every week and generally I use ways of softening the neck at halt and in walk, yielding the shoulders and haunches with the aim being to access the hindlegs. My advice would be to keep it very simple- lots of straight lines with slight flexion away from you or towards you, gentle turns rather than 90 degrees. Build up the soft neck in hand with (as you suggest) gentle massage- generally the 'sweet' spot in terms of finding the 'tight' bits is back from the ears around C2/3. Use soft inside and outside flexion in walk on straight lines and allow 'natural' posture through gentle turns. Similar ridden.
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