I tried Henry in some side reins.

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by CarlisleChipper, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    20181005_171710.jpg

    First time I've used my round pen at my new farm. I had to shred it inside because the weed bushes were as tall as we were.
    Henry is a young thoroughbred that was used as a camp horse unsupervised with children that hung on his face so now he has an aversion to rein contact. I was reading a book called "beyond the track" which inspired me to bust out ye ole dusty side reins to help him with this affliction.
    We started on the loosest setting and he had no problems. And although I went up a few holes on the side reins it still would not have been effective considering I learned I no longer had a lunge whip and me using the end of the lunge line was an ineffective driving aid.
    All for the better because I found out a corner of my round pen has unsafe footing (deep sand, sinks hooves too deep for my liking).
    So he got very mild exercise while being assumed reintroduced to side reins.
    I purchased a lunge whip tonight and will try again at the barn on better footing where we can *really* utilize the purpose of side reins.
    I'd rather have him relearn how to balance himself without me bothering him about it on his back when clearly he isn't strong enough after being off for 6 weeks.
    I have him in a happy Mullen mouth bit with a micklem.
    I hope this helps him learn to accept rein contact better.
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Please consider not putting the longe line over his head if being uncomfortable with contact is the problem. That has a severe action and is not appropriate for that type of issue.
     
  3. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    What do you suggest as a better placement?
     
  4. Binca

    Binca Senior Member

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    Personally I don't like attaching lunge lines to a bit, no matter how it goes over or around the head. But then again, I don't very often choose lunging as a training or exercise method.

    I do agree with SLC though - that isn't an idea placement for your horse. I'll let SLC (and I expect others) suggest better placement options.

    If your horse has only been off work for 6 weeks, what makes you think he isn't strong enough to carry you? I could be missing part of a back story you have share elsewhere..?

    I have a TB who had all sorts of mouth issues like yours from kids riding him. He had much longer than 6 weeks off because he was caught up in some bad bushfires not long before I got him, and evacuated and not touched for a few months. I got on him and rode him. We spent lots of time just walking everywhere to start with, working through his bit issues and learning that legs don't just mean go faster. He got fitter and stronger with me on him, and at the same time learnt that I could control him with my body and that I wasn't going to yank on his mouth to direct him. We had some interesting moments during the first few rides (especially with the concept of halting), but he settled because he realised he was having little meltdowns for no reason and that I wasn't clinging to his mouth. Once he was calm and able to listen and not have meltdowns at the walk, we worked on trot, then canter. Those happened a lot quicker because he was fitter and pretty much had the idea his mouth wouldn't be yanked on anymore.
     
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  5. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    I'm not saying he isn't strong enough to be ridden. I'd rather just help him develop these muscles on the ground as well as when being ridden as an effort to help him adapt more easily without bearing the burden of a rider that may or may not impede his abilities.
    I'd love to hear more evidence as to how this is a harsh method because several sources say this is the way to do it.
    Clipping the line to the inside bit seems like it would be unstable and more harsh.
     
  6. Binca

    Binca Senior Member

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    Good thing I didn't say you were being harsh then, or suggest clipping the line to the inside of the bit. (y)

    All I said was I choose not to attach lunge lines to bits.

    There are plenty of ways to build up a horse's fitness without lunging, and plenty of ways to work a horse through bit issues without lunging. Your horse may learn to accept a bit on the lunge, but this doesn't mean he will associate that with being under saddle. You said his issues stem from being ridden poorly. Personally I would ride him through it, because I think if done correctly it will be far more effective.

    But I never said what you are doing is harsh so please don't make that assumption. All I said is what I would personally do, and in this post I have further explained why I would do it that way.

    Just because several sources say one thing is the way to do something doesn't mean it is always the best or only way. (y)

    It's up to you what training methods you use in the end but if you post on a public forum other people will share their experiences and opinions. That's how we learn and grow.
     
  7. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    No I know you didn't say that. SLC did. In my profession, if people want to say a process isn't working they should also offer a suggestion to make it better. We do what we are taught and what we've had good experiences with. I'm usually appreciative of advice given and discussion. I'm pretty open minded about training methods and like to hear other perspectives.
     
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  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    You know what I would do?

    First I'd get his mouth, jaw and pole checked out, if those are not bothering him:
    Flexion exercises on the ground. If you never taught a colt to give to pressure using this method, look up some youtube vids on it.

    You are just putting a tiny feel on the rein to start and then you just stay at his shoulder, or girth and wait. When he gives to it, you immediately give him lots of slack FAST. Throw the rein at him.

    After a few weeks of that, doing it for just a few minutes multiple times a day, he should be much less reactive to the bit.
     
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  9. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Manes has a good suggestion.
    That's what my instructor did with one of my horses for a while when he was touchy with his show bridle and wasnt wanting to flex. It really helped.

    I do use side reins while lunging every once in a while though. I think it can be helpful. What I do to avoid clipping the line to the bit is just put a halter over the bridle and clip to the bridle. Just be careful not to get the side reins all tangled up and caught in the halter.
     
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  10. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Yes on his PPE I ensured a thorough check of his teeth as well as the rest of him. I'd be interested to know if having a chiropractor adjustment would be beneficial, or massage. If not for his resistance to contact, at least for the fact he suffered being cast in the trailer 2 weeks ago. Which because he landed on his face and messed up his eye, he did have his poll examined and was not reactive to it.
    I do know the poll pressure exercise you talk about and I did in fact train him on that. When I first started with him the end of last May, he would throw his head in the air when putting on the bridle and so that exercise allowed us to successfully move past that and we don't have issues with the bridle anymore.

    He has shown improvement from then while riding too. He used to toss his head and 100% evade the contact. Sometimes I would feel he would nearly hit me in the face with the back of his head he was so bad about it. He has come along much more since then. In fact I said once WOW he does have a long neck! Because it wasn't all bunched up in the air. So he is improving and goes along tolerating contact without using his body. Still being hollow through his back. Sometimes I can get him to lift his barrel and become soft through his jaw. I feel we are definitely on the right track and more wet saddle pads and lessons will do us wonders I'm sure!
     
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