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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2006 :  6:29:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
I rode my horse Breezy today after a few months off. I actually switched her bit to a Tom Thumb today as well. She was trained in a hackamore and Tom Thumb. I had been riding her in a full cheek snaffle but she was always fighting me and I felt I had no control at all so I got her a Tom Thumb. Well she does really good on the ground and walk and trotting on voice command. But when I get on her she seems to just want to go, she wants to trot and fast too, she doesn't want to walk.

So I basically kept firm, well what I think is firm contact on her, and she finally started listening and walking and not trying to speed up. It was nice. When I let her have loose or no contact she just speeds up and trys to trot again so I tightened my contact and also pulled the rein to the left a bit to slow her down.

My question is how do I know when I am applying to much contact? I don't want to constantly nag at her or have to have firm contact but maybe for a while until she learns to slow things down.

Also does anyone have any suggestions on getting her to slow her trot and her walk so she doesn't always want to GO GO GO??

Chuck
Forum Admin



USA
1265 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2006 :  7:11:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chuck's Homepage Send Chuck a Private Message
Hi BreezedBayou, welcome to the forums. I'm sure one of our resident experts will be quick to give you paragraphs of understanding.

Chuck

Horse Saddle Shop

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2006 :  7:24:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
Thanks for the welcome Chuck
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2006 :  8:04:19 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
I'm hardly an expert but that won't stop me from sharing what little I know!

I'm sure you'll get some varied opinions about using a Tom Thumb and most of them advising against them. I have used them in the past but don't on the horse I have now. I think I tried it when trying to find a bit for him and if I remember correctly, he HATED it.

One thing you might try with Breezy is to make her move in small circles when she tries to trot with you. Let her trot, afterall it was her idea to start, but you decide when to stop and that should be after she wants to.

Contact should be enough pressure long enough to cause her to drop her head. As soon as she does, release the pressure.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2006 :  8:18:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
Thanks PaintGal. I have read and heard both negative and positives about the Tom Thumb. But what I did know is that she was ridden in it at the trainers and did well and I talked with the girls at the tack shop and thought I should give it a try and actually she did better today than she has in a long time and that was after a long break. I thought she made progress today by just not fighting me and doing what she wanted to do like usual. I know she is testing me when I ride her but she listens to me on the ground.

I will definately try the small circles, right now I am just riding her in the round pen anyway since I just put the Tom Thumb on her today and even thought I did lunge her in the bit and her sadle before I got on her she needs a lot of control work before I go anywhere again with her.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  05:20:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Welcome to the Forum from Canada
A Tom Thumb is no better or worse than the hand that holds the reins.
I would suggest that you longe her before you ride intil the excess energy is burned off. After you burn off the excess energy start working her the walk, trot, lope and stop on commmand on the longe line. You will find that this will help a lot. If you are familiar with side reins you could also use them when longing to teach her to respect the bit if neccessary.
When you are riding to keep her from pushing into the bit you should not have to keep pulling hard. This will create a tough mouth. Increase the pressure until you feel her give then release. You may have to stop her and back a few steps if she insists on going faster than you would like. Then continue ahead with the gentle / loose contact you are looking for. I have found that a few sessions backing when they are pushing through the bit combined with short circling at times realy helps.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  11:20:52 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Hook gave you the same advice I would've given. After your horse is working well in that manner try this:

First, I must ask are you applying any leg pressure when riding her... even unknowingly? Are you leaning forward when you ride or feel tense in the saddle? Horses will pick up on these things right now, and especially horses that've been trained to respond to a rider's seat & legs.

When you first mount up, just sit loose and relaxed in the saddle. If your horse wants to move out, raise the reins just enough to stop her and tell her whoa. Don't apply any more rein pressure than is necessary to get her to do this. Don't let her move until you tell her to. Ask her to walk with the same relaxed attitude as you had when standing still and avoid leaning forward or tensing your body. Don't hunch your shoulders. This will almost always bring your body forward and out of position.

The reason I'm telling you this is because the more tense you are the more nervous your horse will become and think something is wrong. Her first instinct will be to get away from whatever is making you nervous, and her flight instinct will kick in. When you lean forward, your center of balance moves forward, too. The horse has to balance you on her back and will move forward to try and get under your center which has now moved more toward her front end. This will speed a horse up almost every time. Even though you will be out of position, for training purposes only, you may want to try leaning just a hair back in the saddle. This may slow her down.

The small circles PaintGal mentioned is a great way to slow your horse down if none of the above works. This will make her work harder than going faster and, in time, she should find out it's a whole lot easier to slow down than to go in those darned circles. You know... make what the horse wants to do difficult and make what you want him to do easy.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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dorotomorrow
Tenderfoot

Canada
13 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  12:12:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit dorotomorrow's Homepage Send dorotomorrow a Private Message
Sorry to be off topic but I'm wondering where in Canada are you from Hook?

dorotomorrow
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  1:03:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
I have learned to definately lunge her before riding her to get out the excess energy especially since she hasn't been riden in a few months. I haven't riden on a longe line just because I don't have anyone to help me so I ride her in my round pen.
I will make sure if check my seat and be sure that I am not leaning forward which that could be a possibility. I have been trying to be very conscious about her mouth and how much pressure I put on the reins and try to make myself more aware of that all the time. Maybe even so much so that I haven't been keeping light contact on there. In the full cheek I had been squeezing a bit with my legs and asking her to walk on which she does but then she starts to speed up and try to trot, which she has a very fast trot so I ask her to walk and if she doesn't then I pull on the reins and actually I have found just pulling on one rein helps her slow down. Then a let loose of the reins and relax them totally and then she speeds up again.

Do you think I am not keeping enough contact?
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  2:12:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The Tom thumb is a curb bit and shouldn't be ridden on contact. Unlike the others I don't care for the TT one bit. No matter the hands that use it the bit has no presignal and no release. No release means no reward when you give her rein so she is always feeling the nut cracker action of the bit no matter what. Trained in it is not a good reason to use it, in fact I would question any trainer that trains a young horse in a curb bit. Keeping contact on a TT can rip a mouth up and really sour a horse to bits.

She isn't light to the bit. (no wonder if they trained her in a TT) The snaffle you where using is the best bit to get her light to the bit but until you lighten up she can't. Do not hold on to her. You cannot hold her back. Your hands are way to much into her mouth and that is not giving her a chance to learn to go slow on a looser rein.

If you always hold the horse back with a tight or even firm grip how can the horse learn to go on a loose rein? They can't because all they have learned is to stay in contral when the rein is tight and go fast when the rein is loose. Instead you loosen up. Give her some rein, let her make the mistake of speeding up and then correct her by slowing her down with your hands, seat and legs. Circling if you need to, half halts, roll backs, halts, etc can work also. The second she slows down release the pressure back to a loose rein and repeat. If you do this she will learn to stay slow on a looser rein. No amount of work on a tight rein will teach her that.

If I was working with her I would go back to the snaffle and teach her to give to the bit, get light to it and then work on the loose rein. Teach her how to answer the bit. I would use the snaffle because it's easier and milder for the horse then using a curb bit. Curb bits are for the more finished horse, not for contral. No bit can give you contral, only training can do that.

In a snaffle you do use one rein. If you pull on both reins the same degree the horse can brace on the bit. If you pull on just one rein or use both to different degrees the horse can't brace on the bit and finds it harder to not react to it.
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  7:24:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
quote:
In a snaffle you do use one rein. If you pull on both reins the same degree the horse can brace on the bit. If you pull on just one rein or use both to different degrees the horse can't brace on the bit and finds it harder to not react to it.


That makes sense to me and like I said the one rein stop or halt seemed to work for her before. When I brought her back from the trainers she did so good. I could ride her down the road, she would try to speed up, which now that I think about it, seemed to be when she got nervous too, but I told her to walk with a stern voice and she did. She slowly started not to listen, refusing to go down the road, only wanting to go where she wanted. So basically I had to start back to riding her only in our fenced in area and now just in the round pen. I know she was testing me too.

I have read and heard opinions that are good and bad about Tom Thumbs and horses that do well in them and some that do not. I pondered putting her in a Tom Thumb for a while but she seemed to do fine with it, did not fight or resist it at all. She didn't seem uncomfortable at all. And from knowing her and her strong willed self I think if she objected she would of let me know in some way.
I know that a Tom Thumb is a curb bit because of the leverage even though it is jointed but I can direct rein her in it. I guess I just have to determine what is better for her or what she reacts to better but it seems that when I rode her in the full cheek snaffle she just ignored all of my verbal commands, hand and leg cues except for me pulling her around with the one rein atleast with the Tom Thumb she did seem to settle down without much of a fight and it didn't seem that it was due to pain. Just my opinion.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2006 :  10:33:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
It sounds like she has your number. She knows she can get away with these things and you have over time trained her to them. Every second we are with our horses we are either training or untraining them.

The loss of contral in the snaffle is not a bit problem but a training problem. If they started her in a TT or a mach. hackamore chances are she has huge holes in her training. She was never able to learn to correctly give to the bit. This pops up now when you are asking more of her.

I have worked with many TT horses and seen many more. I have yet to see one that did not at some time show signs of not liking it and I have yet to see one that would not go better and be happier in something else. You mare is showing signs of not liking the bit, the fact that she braces, doesn't listen to it and the problems are getting larger and more of them over time show that the bit is part of it. But due to the holes in the training it is also a problem that has many things adding to it.

You can't direct rein in a TT. You can but it gives mixed signals and can be painful to the horse. This says it better then I could. http://www.todayshorse.com/Articles/TroublewithTomThumb.htm

What he doesn't touch on is the lack of presignal, the lack of release these things are MUST have for the avg horse and rider and even more important with young learning horses in curbs. The presignal is your warning, a built in half halt that warns the horse that you are asking something before the force of the bit is applied. The release is the reward. The TT does not release the pressure unless you reached down and pushed the bit forward to release. No matter what hands are on the reins they can't make this bit release. So your horse gets no reward. She has the point of the V hitting her in the roof of the mouth, a curb strap pushing her lower jaw into that nutcracker V formed by the mouth piece and no matter how good she is you can't reward her by releasing that pressure. Of course it is your horse to use what you want on but this bit is going to greatly limit you and her for training. She needs basics, a solid foundation and to do that you need a simple, clear to understand bit.

I could give you the whole long reasons why the TT is a poor bit, beyond what you normally see as opinion. I can give you all the reasons from balance to ratio, reasons why not just that I don't like it. I have worked with a number of bit makers and all of them laugh or get mad at the idea of the TT, they can see why it is a poor bit design. Well I haven't personally been in a number of big trainer's barns I can give you contact of people that have worked in many and they will tell you that these people do not use TTs. Many won't own them. This is all for a reason. If the bit makers and the winning trainers/riders aren't using this bit it has to tell us something. Mainly you see trail riders, lower level showing, couple times a year horse showers using them. It's not a bit you see used in higher levels. Not that the higher level showing type people are always correct but when it comes to bits and tack if it don't work well it don't last in their tack room. What I have found is that the more exp. people get with horses and bits the less they like the TT. Sometimes it takes a horse blowing up about it sometimes it's just that they can't get the performance they want. I'm not try to force anyone to stop using one, I can't any more then you can force your horse to do something she doesn't want to. I do think that as riders we need to go on more then just opinion and look for facts. Opinion is fine but one thing I see with the TT is that You have the "I love them" and the "I hate them" and neither group gives you any facts on how it works. Look at how bits work. Look at the ratio, the balance, weight, purchase, shank, angle, attachment, release, presignal, leverage, surface, how it touches the mouth, the jaw, the side of the head, how/where/when/how much the pressure is put on the horse, how all of it acts together, how it affects the horse's movement/body...there is so much more to bits then it seems.

No bit gives you control. You might feel more in control with the TT but one day it will fail if you don't train the control into her. That is the point of training. We cannot force a horse to do anything.

What is her training level and what is yours? It might help to get a trainer or instructor to help you. She knows she can get away with things when you are riding her. This is acutally what I work on, problem horses and their riders. Once the horse learns this it can be hard to get them over it but it can be done.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  03:58:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dorotomorrow

Sorry to be off topic but I'm wondering where in Canada are you from Hook?



I am in southern Ontario near London

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  07:47:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
Thanks Stormie, you are right she does have my number and it is when I am in the saddle, on the ground she listens to my verbal cues when I lunge her or just in the pasture but as soon as I get on her it is a whole new game but I was worried that I was fighting and pulling with her too much and that the snaffle was not giving her enough control. I mean there are times when she wanted to go one way and I didn't she would fight to the biter end so much as to where I was scared she was going to rear on me. I have never given in to her demands and the one time we were out of the pasture and she pulled that I did get off of her but I walked her to the round pen and made her work her tail off as to know just because I got off she wasn't getting out of work.

I just wanted to make something clear. I just bought the Tom Thumb on Monday and tried it on her Monday. She seemed to do better in the Tom Thumb than the full cheek snaffle. She seemed to listen to it more or respect it more in my opinion.

She is 5 years old and had 30 days of formal training this past August not to mention the ground work that I did with her when I got her last February. She has always been a sweet and what I consider a well behaved respectful horse but she has her moments like most.

She was trained in a hackamore mostly and I rode her a lot at the trainers in just a halter when she seemed to like a lot but when it came to the WHOA part there was none when she got it in her mind she was not going to listen. I asked the trainer that she work with her in a bit before she came home and told the trainer that I was riding her in a full cheek snaffle or a D ring snaffle the few times that I had gotten on her.

Originally since she did so well in just her halter I considered going to one of those bitless bridles, however doing some reading I read that eventually horses catch on the the no WHOA factor and run through those as well. I have been reading and debating and then read some more and I too read about the negative factors of a Tom Thumb but when my trainer tried it and there were those out there that do use them and it has worked out I thought I would try it.

I know we have counts against us as she is green and so am I but right now there is no way I want to sell her and I am willing to work with her the best I can until this spring when I can get her to her trainers. She has 2 five day sessions left and me getting into lessons so I need to figure this thing out so I can practice as much as possible at home.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  08:16:58 AM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by BreezedBayou

Thanks Stormie, you are right she does have my number and it is when I am in the saddle, on the ground she listens to my verbal cues when I lunge her or just in the pasture but as soon as I get on her it is a whole new game but I was worried that I was fighting and pulling with her too much and that the snaffle was not giving her enough control. I mean there are times when she wanted to go one way and I didn't she would fight to the biter end so much as to where I was scared she was going to rear on me. I have never given in to her demands and the one time we were out of the pasture and she pulled that I did get off of her but I walked her to the round pen and made her work her tail off as to know just because I got off she wasn't getting out of work.

I just wanted to make something clear. I just bought the Tom Thumb on Monday and tried it on her Monday. She seemed to do better in the Tom Thumb than the full cheek snaffle. She seemed to listen to it more or respect it more in my opinion.

She is 5 years old and had 30 days of formal training this past August not to mention the ground work that I did with her when I got her last February. She has always been a sweet and what I consider a well behaved respectful horse but she has her moments like most.

She was trained in a hackamore mostly and I rode her a lot at the trainers in just a halter when she seemed to like a lot but when it came to the WHOA part there was none when she got it in her mind she was not going to listen. I asked the trainer that she work with her in a bit before she came home and told the trainer that I was riding her in a full cheek snaffle or a D ring snaffle the few times that I had gotten on her.

Originally since she did so well in just her halter I considered going to one of those bitless bridles, however doing some reading I read that eventually horses catch on the the no WHOA factor and run through those as well. I have been reading and debating and then read some more and I too read about the negative factors of a Tom Thumb but when my trainer tried it and there were those out there that do use them and it has worked out I thought I would try it.

I know we have counts against us as she is green and so am I but right now there is no way I want to sell her and I am willing to work with her the best I can until this spring when I can get her to her trainers. She has 2 five day sessions left and me getting into lessons so I need to figure this thing out so I can practice as much as possible at home.




Breezed, absolutely LOVE your determination! I hope you will keep us posted on her progress, because it sounds like you have it very together in terms of patience and not getting frustrated with her. I was actually going to ask Stormie about the bitless bridle, whether you should try it, but you covered that base.

Cloud has a problem with wanting to speed up also, and I did exactly what was suggested here. Every single time she speeded up without my cues, off we went into tight circles. Then we'd take off again and I'd loosen her reins. She'd do it again, whup, the SECOND she picked up her pace, more circles. I think it worked and she retained it.

One other thing I tried (and this was 8 weeks ago) was stopping to "Whoa." I don't use "No" with her or try not to because I don't want to confuse her, and I try to avoid "Whoa" for anything but a dead stop. I use "Easy" for slowing, but keep "Whoa" for a stop. I'll be darned, last time I rode her before this, all I did was take her around the neighborhood and on property. We'd walk, I'd say Whoa, I'd give her just a second to stop, if she didn't, I pulled back on the reins. Not gently, but not at all harshly either. A quick pull but not hard is I guess best way to describe it. And when she would (and I mean complete stop) I verbally praised her to bits. "Good GIRL!!!" Well, I was amazed Saturday that she must have retained it (ONE session!) because I said Whoa several times to test it out, and... dead stop. More praise.

One thing I found and I don't know whether this makes a difference or whether it's just my imagination, but I get so much farther with her when I think of her and me as a partnership. We're working together on something. I have no idea how my "thinking" in that way as opposed to "thinking" in another way... like "I'm trying to train you" could matter, maybe there's some imperceivable different quality in the voice so it really does make a difference, but I did notice I got ten times better and quicker response when I implanted that in my mind... "We're doing this together, you and me, and it's something good for both of us."

Sounds like you will get somewhere with your horse the way you're going about it.

I also found
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  11:09:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
quote:
Breezed, absolutely LOVE your determination!


Thank you I appreciate that. I knew when I got her this was going to be a challange. I knew she did't have barely any riding experience and I knew that I was green green green but I made those decisions and what that meant. I feel in love with her. I was suppose to get my mother in laws 4 year broke quarter horse that was lazy as they come and Breezy was to be for her 12 year old daughter but when they found out she jumped fences to be with her brother that was out. When they brought her home from my husbands older sisters in Missouri I feel in love with her so I made that choice that is why I know just selling her is not an option. I love her, I made that decision and it wouldn't be fair to her.

So anyway it sounds like you had the same problem I am having. She respects me on the ground but not in the seat. She has gotten better because I have gotten better in my cues and enforcing what I ask with stern voices, and body language that I am serious thanks to Clinton Anderson He says don't baby them.

I will definately try the circle think and I will make a deal I will go back to the full cheek snaffle and try that. I just know that she dosen't know how to indirect rein so I can't get her a mild curb bit and that the snaffles she seems to just evade them and pull and fight with what I ask her and for my own safety I wanted to see if there was something else out there that might help me with a bit more control and would give me the confidence I needed when she starting fighting me that I felt secure in forcing her to do what I asked without yanking and yanking on her.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  11:21:17 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Several things come to mind reading this topic.

Breezed; If you put your mare in the snaffle bit and stand by her side on the ground, will she turn her head to the side when you apply pressure with one rein? In this I mean hold the rein slightly away from her head and gently pull back on it. She should do this from both sides. Then, try to pull both reins at the same time back (not down) and see if she'll give her head by lowering it just a little bit and tucking her nose slightly to her chest. As soon as you get the smallest response to the very light rein pressure you are applying, release that pressure and praise her for either of these exercises. You must do this with a snaffle bit and not a curb bit... and definitely not with a Tom Thumb bit. You must have that release of pressure or this will not work. After getting a small response, build on that over time until she will turn her head both ways as if to look to either side at something, and till she is tucking her head so her face is vertical to the ground. What you are doing is teaching her to give to rein pressure and understanding that she will be rewarded for it with the release of the pressure.

Once she is doing this at a stand still from the ground, then try it by sitting on her without her moving off. Then go on to the walk, then the trot, and then the canter. Never go on to the next step until she is doing it at the earlier ones. For example; If she'll do it at a walk but refuses to do it at the trot, go back and do more work at the walk. If she won't do it at the walk, go back to doing it at a stand still. Go back to the point where she will do it comfortably and then progress through the steps once more.

This will teach your mare to give to the bit and to listen more to you, but you have to work at it slowly and gradually. This way she will learn to flex & relax instead of tensing up and using that against you. But you will have to forget the TT entirely for this to work.



OTW; YES!!! You are doing exactly how I train my own horses to stop. I usually make my "whoa" command sound like "hoe" with a lot of emphasis on the "h" sound. My horses have learned very quickly to listen for that "h" sound and don't confuse it with "no". The trick is to use the verbal cue first before applying any other cue. Then if the horse doesn't stop, apply your seat and hand cues. It usually doesn't take very long for a horse to realize that if they stop when you say "whoa" then they won't feel the "punishment" of your physical cues. It's always worked like a charm for me. OH, I almost forgot! This will only work if you use the exact same cue every time for the desired response, just like you've already pointed out.

Also, remember how we've been talking about how horses read body language? Well, they can also tune into any change in your position in the saddle, too. So, what you think does matter in how your body adjusts to your horse when mounted. You might not think you've done anything different in this respect, but some horses will pick up on it immediately. It sounds to me like Cloud is doing exactly that.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  12:44:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
If the mare was trained in a hackamore(what type? bosal, mech.) and put right into a TT at the trainers she wasn't taught how to give to the bit correctly. A TT is a curb bit so it should be neck reined with, did you read the article? When you direct rein her it causes a lot of confusing things to happen. This is going to make it hard for her to understand. Of course she reacted better to it then the snaffle she finds it to hard and painful to not react to it. That does not make her any better trained because of it. Control does not come from the bit, no bit is going to give you control. The Dr Cook Bitless bridles are good and a horse will not figure out how to run through them if they are trained. No bridle gives you control. She can run through that TT just as quickly as she can the TT and until you understand that you aren't save riding her. Never ever depend on a bit for control. Control comes from teaching her to react to the bit and be light to it. She can't do this until you train her to.

Like someone above said before you even get on her put the snaffle on her and get her giving to the bit from the ground. If you have someone to show you ground drive her with it. Get her reacting to the light cues from the bit. Teach her that you put pressure on her like this she acts this way. Then do that from the saddle. Don't even walk forward until you ask her to give to both sides and bend at the poll a number of times. Then do it at the walk. Get that down. Repeat this self until you are so tired of it you want to pull your hair out. Didn't the trainer go over any of this with you? She was very green when you got her back and still needed this work every ride, both to get her to listen to you but to reinforce the training. Once you have it at the walk you can ask for it at the trot and then canter. If you don't have something at the stand still you won't at the walk and if you can't do it in a slow gait you can't at a fast one. Do a lot of halting also. Teach her to move her body when you ask. To yield her hindquarters and her forehand. The more you can move her body the move control you have. If you can't do these basic things you have no control no matter what bit is in her mouth.

Probably the first thing you should do is look in her mouth. Not all horses can handle a single jointed mouth piece. If she has a low palate or a thick tongue there is little room in there and even that snaffle you have it painful. Also check to make sure there is no tooth problems that could cause her pain. Always good to check those things even if the problem is training.

Lots of pattern work. Circles, figure 8's, weaving around cones. The better you can control her body on things like this the better control you have.
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2006 :  1:46:03 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
I didn't realize your mare was so green. I have to agree with the others in that she hasn't learned to give to the bit and that the TT is not the best choice.

She's not listening to the snaffle because she hasn't been taught how to respond to it. It's not going to be an immediate fix either and will take TIME and PATIENCE on your part.

I got a lot of help from Clinton Anderson's Lateral Flexion is The Key to Vertical Flexion.

Here are a couple of articles by him that might be helpful to you too:

LATERAL FLEXION IS THE KEY TO VERTICAL FLEXION (pt1)

LATERAL FLEXION IS THE KEY TO VERTICAL FLEXION - Part II

While the titles are the same, there are some differences in the articles.

If you aren't sure of where & how to use leg pressure, you maybe inadvertently confusing her. Perhaps, she's not learned to respond to leg pressure though.

I think you are determined enough to get her trained the way you want her to be but take your time. Don't rush her or yourself. She doesn't understand what you're asking of her so you need to give her time to figure it out. She will make mistakes but don't apply more pressure just hold on till she makes the right move. She's NOT going to know that's what you want though, unless you immediately release the pressure as her reward.

I hope you try the snaffle again.

Keep us posted!


Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  09:17:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
Thanks everyone. Yes she is still green and I promise you guys I try the full cheek again. I didnít spend a whole lot on the TT so it isnít like I worry about the money.

Red Hawk
I havenít tried that on the ground yet but that is an excellent idea to see how she responds on the ground to the bit and give her the rein cues like I would from the saddle. I will definitely try that this afternoon or as soon as I can and let you know the results.

Stormie
I believe it was a Mechanical hackamore she was trained in. I think honestly that the trainer only put her in the TT once or twice because I asked her if she was going to try to train her to a bit before she came home. We also did ground drive her which was interesting. The trainer was very good at the concept she wanted me to learn what she was teaching Breezy so I could work with her at home and I was thinking I could get some driving reins and try that with her at home.

Paintgal
Thanks for the article links I will read those today on my lunch break or maybe before that . I love Clinton Anderson and try to catch him on RFD TV when I can, I need TIVO bad!

From the sounds of all of your comments and ideas I should definitely go way back to the basics with her. She was doing so well when she came home then just regressed but the trainer did tell me that she would definitely test me, she did, and learned how to get to me. I probably expected too much of her since she came home from the trainers and we rode down the roads together and everything but I probably should of baby stepped her. I am definitely learning thanks to you guys!
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  10:50:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
If the Tom Thumb works for you don't throw it away until you have something you and your horse like better. There are as many different opinions about bits as there are bits and there are hundred of bits and many books on the subject. The bottom line is if it works for you and the horse use it.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  1:01:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
They use a mech hack and a TT to train horses.....not a trainer I would go with. Neither is suited to starting horses or using for green ones. Both are for the more finished horse. No wonder she grew to not listen to the snaffle, she was never taught properly to listen to a bridle in the first place. You have a tuff job ahead of you. Remember that she is confused, a little spoiled and has some holes in her foundation. Go back and start her from the bottom up. Teach her to give to the bit, to yield to your cues. Show her that she can listen to the bit and that the bit is not going to hurt her.
I know hook said to keep the TT but I can't tell ya that. Yes there are a lot of opinions on bits but from everything I know about a TT my opinion is based on facts, how the bit works and years of exp. with TT horses. If you do your job right and fix what is wrong with the training she has had you will probably find you can keep her in a snaffle or step up to a better curb bit. A mild one that will allow her rewards, freedom and reinforce that idea that she can listen to you without being confused or having the bit cause pain.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  1:31:51 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Stormie

They use a mech hack and a TT to train horses.....not a trainer I would go with. Neither is suited to starting horses or using for green ones. Both are for the more finished horse. No wonder she grew to not listen to the snaffle, she was never taught properly to listen to a bridle in the first place. You have a tuff job ahead of you. Remember that she is confused, a little spoiled and has some holes in her foundation. Go back and start her from the bottom up. Teach her to give to the bit, to yield to your cues. Show her that she can listen to the bit and that the bit is not going to hurt her.
I know hook said to keep the TT but I can't tell ya that. Yes there are a lot of opinions on bits but from everything I know about a TT my opinion is based on facts, how the bit works and years of exp. with TT horses. If you do your job right and fix what is wrong with the training she has had you will probably find you can keep her in a snaffle or step up to a better curb bit. A mild one that will allow her rewards, freedom and reinforce that idea that she can listen to you without being confused or having the bit cause pain.



I'm with you, Stormie. Right on.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  4:42:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
You gals are right on the money in making sure the basic training is done. NO bit wil help unless the basic traiing is done. If the training is done right, well....., you may not even need a bit:) Finding the right bit can be a "bit" tricky.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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BreezedBayou
Beginning Rider



USA
67 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  4:50:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit BreezedBayou's Homepage Send BreezedBayou a Private Message
I am pretty sure it was a mechanical hackamore because I know it wasn't a rope. I wasn't there for everyday of training so I don't know what she used the days before she used it, I only can say what I saw on the afternoons I was there. Bu that is true that she never was really trained to a bit really from what I saw but that is maybe why she seemed to ride or respond better to just the halter than the bit but with just a halter there was no stopping power at all. If she wanted to go where she wanted she could, she never ever ran off with me on her atleast but I can say that she would buck up and stand her ground and it was a pulling battle on the reins.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2006 :  8:08:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Hook

Now you are just trying to be goofy! lol Yes it can be tricky to find the right bit, that's why I started learning about them. I still would love to learn to make bits but no one around here does and I just can't take the time to go somewhere else to learn.

Breeze

A mech. hackamore is going to have shanks and a curb strap/chain. They can have a rope nose band or leather, chain, metal, just about anything that would work. Some are better then others but many are cheap and basicly junk. Some are so strong that no normal horse and rider needs that much power. Some are nice like the Little S, Beetle, Warner and a number of others, but even these are not what you would start a young horse with. The leverage and action of the shanks is just as limiting as it is with a curb bit. You have stuff going on all over the place and that can be confusing and painful.

From the sounds of it she was just backed and not really trained that much at all. I think you said they put 30 days on her. 30 days isn't much but it should have started a foundation for her.
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