Saddleseat neck position

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by baymax2018, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    I have a general question, as I'm new to saddleseat and am trying to understand all of the training concepts. I found a really useful out by someone talking about how to raise a horse up in front with a modified sort of half-halt (I come from sporthorse-land) which made a lot of sense to me, but I had a question about the martingale. My trainer has me riding in one on the snaffle rein.

    The action of this causes his head to come down, almost to the level of where a side rein might be, which is a bit counterintuitive to me as this horse is coming from sporthorse land as well so his head is being carried lower because of his muscling. I'm assuming that if I wanted to raise him up, I'd have to either put a second rein on the snaffle and use the one going through the martingale like a curb rein (so, little to no contact), or lose the rein going through the martingale altogether (which doesn't sound horrible, although he's still young and I'd like to keep my nose if he decides to throw his head or pop up in front).

    Am I thinking correctly? I think my trainer is underestimating him a bit, just because of what he came in looking like, but I actually think with some time he might make a saddleseat CP horse. My dressage background would have me do a lot of transitions with him to get him off of his front end. Am I on the right track here in understanding? I've got a few books, but they all start with a young horse in a bitting rig, and I don't have a dumb jockey which sounds like what I would really need if I wanted to do it right.
     
  2. RG NIGHT HEIR

    RG NIGHT HEIR Senior Member

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    Yes,we rode with two reins on the snaffle.
    We used curbreins and regular reins
    Curbreins on the bottom ,regular reins on top.
    Most saddleseat horse are conformationally very upheaded , SS has nothing in common with dressage or any other riding style.
    It's more a bump of the reins to keep the head up and let the horse go forward upward.
    What kind of horse do you ride?
    I used to have CP and EP Morgans.
    Now I ride western,lol.
     
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  3. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Thanks!! That’s what I thought, and thought I might be inhibiting him. He is a saddlebred and while he certainly can have his neck quite upright, due to his earlier training he tends to hold it much less upright. But it doesn’t seem to be a conformational issue since he certainly can do a nice giraffe impression (which is what is desired, obviously), more of a training issue. So I’m trying to figure out how to help him :)
     
  4. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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  5. RG NIGHT HEIR

    RG NIGHT HEIR Senior Member

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    Well make sure you give him time to allow using his neck the opposite way that he is used to without pushing the back away.
    How are you ending up with SS from sport horse?
     
  6. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Long story involving many sporthorse trainers who didn’t “get” saddlebreds. Found a saddlebred trainer, learned about saddleseat and am really enjoying it! Trying to soak in as much as I can since I’ve ridden hunters for a very very long time.
     
  7. RG NIGHT HEIR

    RG NIGHT HEIR Senior Member

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    Nothing like a versatile horseI always loved the energy of riding my EP Morgan.
    CP is all about manners ,smooth transitions and backing nicely.
    Not sure if CP is called the same in SB shows?
    Check with @NBChoice ,she has SBs as well.
     
  8. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    CP is definitely a division, and I think I would enjoy very much a division that prizes manners very highly. At least coming from my background! I'm still trying to get used to the energy :) If my QH were to have the same "feel" as my saddlebred, I'd be about to die, but I know that with him it's a matter of just channeling it to establish his brilliance!
     
  9. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Country pleasure is huge on manners. A flat foot walk and halt is extremely important.

    Generally SS horses are ridden with a snaffle rein and a curb rein through the martingale if the horse isnt naturally lifting up on their own. Snaffle to "lift" up and curb to tuck the nose. Some horses don't require two reins though. They're all different as I'm sure you know. :)

    I'd ask your trainer why they are having you ride with one rein only at this time. I'm sure there's a reason. Maybe until your horse gets the feel of the martingale, or until they feel confident enough that he will be able to lift up more with proper conditioning. Who knows.
     
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  10. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Thanks @NBChoice - I'm trying to make sure I understand enough to ask intelligent questions (or at least as intelligent as my questions can be) and my trainer is pretty busy with some other issues right now but that does help me frame the questions. I do think in part it may be a conditioning issue as he sat pretty "fallow" for a few years. :) As an adult, I find I've become such a thinking rider that I need to understand, then I can integrate it. I'm also just super excited to learn so much about a discipline that I haven't had a lot of exposure to. I've got the Helen Crabtree book and the new Smith Lilly one, but I feel hungry for information!
     
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