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Thread: Help please

  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Help please

    I'm a bit confused..
    In my lesson last weekend, I really had trouble stopping my RS horse. Has anyone else ever had this issue?
    My lesson is semi private, just me and my OH, and we were doing exercises whereby we were riding round together next to each other and had to try to stay parallel, but his horse is very slow and mine is forward going so I was trying to slow her down by using my outside rein. When in walk it wasn't too bad but when we started doing it in trot I got too far in front. My RI asked me to slow right down or stop but I just couldn't get her to stop and felt like a complete passenger!

    I was squeezing/releasing the reins.. should I be doing anything else?
    I am a bit of a nervous rider, but have never had this problem so far, and have done this exercise before without issue, so i'm confused about whether it's me or my RS horse!

    Any advice welcomed

    Many thanks x

  2. #2
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    Sep 2009
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    Just squeezing and releasing the reins won't always do the trick, especially if the horse has made up its mind to just keep going.

    You need to use your body to slow the horse too. In trot, slow your "up-down's" (posting) so the horse has to slow down in order to stay in time with you. Along with that, tilt your pelvis under you. As in tip the lower part forward to get your tail bone more under you.
    My RI has taught me to do this with Dixie who insists on taking the left rein trotting at warp speed and it does wonders. You can actually go from canter to halt in the space of 5 strides if you do it right. and it doesn't require you to pull on the reins.

    Your nerves may also be playing a roll. If you get nervous or tense, you may be tensing through your legs and in turn, actually squeezing the horse and telling it to keep going. Remember to breathe and relax. Be very aware of what your muscles are doing, which is hard to think about when you're concentrating on a bunch of other aides, but it is crucial. If your hands say stop and your body says go, the horse may choose to ignore you because you aides are conflciting and confusing. This is why so many RS horses are dead to the leg and while safe, don't always listen to their riders. Until you're clear with your aides and requests of the horse, they won't listen.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Im confused as to what your RI was trying to achieve by making you and your partner ride side by side when your a novice rider? Do you know?
    [center][IMG]http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt70/loveshorses/dxjrt1.jpg[/IMG][/center]

  4. #4
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    HJ, my old RI made us ride in pairs and stay parallel to eachother because it teaches you to carefully control your horse's speed. You have to speed or slow down depending on what your horse is doing and you're made very aware of how controlled your pace is.

  5. #5
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    Echo what Xandoz says - use your body. If you sit up really straight and fix your abs, it will make your body stop moving with the horse and will make the horse want to stop to get back in sync with you. A major problem most new riders have is a tendency to do the opposite: lean forward because they aren't balanced and strong in the saddle, but that actually encourages a horse to go faster, think of how race jockeys ride!

  6. #6
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    Hi all, only just had a chance to sit down and look at this again, thanks for your replies. HJ yes I think my RI is trying to get us both to work at controlling the RS horses so we keep parallel.
    I think it's true that i'm not giving clear signals, perhaps I am leaning forward too, i'll definately try the pelvis thing though thank you. She takes care of RDA kids so I think it's just me being a nervous wally half the time : (

  7. #7
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    I often use this exercise for groups in a lesson as it teaches people to think ahead and not just react to what's happening. Forward thinking and all that jazz! Sometimes if you take the emphasis off of 1 person they tend to relax more and ride rather than think too much about what they should be doing. Most of the time they tend to then just do it.

    Agree with above about slowing down. Sounds like you needed more weight in your saddle and to slow your body. Make sure your leg in underneath you as well as a lot of people brace themselves in the stirrups if the horse won't slow which straightens the leg and lifts the weight off of the saddle. Also, some horses respond more to a half halt with both reins to start with rather than just one. Another trick is to give the rein first then take it back so you know they aren't leaning on you. When they feel you're not their sometimes they back off!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPIndy View Post
    I often use this exercise for groups in a lesson as it teaches people to think ahead and not just react to what's happening. Forward thinking and all that jazz! Sometimes if you take the emphasis off of 1 person they tend to relax more and ride rather than think too much about what they should be doing. Most of the time they tend to then just do it.

    Agree with above about slowing down. Sounds like you needed more weight in your saddle and to slow your body. Make sure your leg in underneath you as well as a lot of people brace themselves in the stirrups if the horse won't slow which straightens the leg and lifts the weight off of the saddle. Also, some horses respond more to a half halt with both reins to start with rather than just one. Another trick is to give the rein first then take it back so you know they aren't leaning on you. When they feel you're not their sometimes they back off!
    Thank you IPIndy for your reply, the bit about bracing in the saddle and thus straightening the leg struck a chord, I think this may well happen sometimes.

    The thing she seems to do with her head when i'm in this situation and pulling on both of the reins (by pulling, I don't mean hanging off her mouth btw, just to clarify!) she normally brings her head back towards me, if this makes sense? as in, she moves her neck back which slackens the reins and so I have to keep a contact by pulling back further.. I don't think i'm explaining this at all well as it makes me sound flipping awful

    I'll try all your techniques and come report, thanks all!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qgirl View Post
    Thank you IPIndy for your reply, the bit about bracing in the saddle and thus straightening the leg struck a chord, I think this may well happen sometimes.

    The thing she seems to do with her head when i'm in this situation and pulling on both of the reins (by pulling, I don't mean hanging off her mouth btw, just to clarify!) she normally brings her head back towards me, if this makes sense? as in, she moves her neck back which slackens the reins and so I have to keep a contact by pulling back further.. I don't think i'm explaining this at all well as it makes me sound flipping awful

    I'll try all your techniques and come report, thanks all!
    Sounds like she's moving behind the contact to evade you? Does she tuck her nose in more as well?

    Not sure on the best way to deal with this. IPIndy?

    so I have to keep a contact by pulling back further
    Just a little point to say, it's better described as 'shortening your reins' - when she evades you by ducking behind the contact, which is where your hands originally start off with when she does this, you have to 'shorten your reins' in order to keep any kind of contact

    Glad to see a novice rider is so keen to learn!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qgirl View Post
    I was squeezing/releasing the reins.. should I be doing anything else?
    Squeezing/releasing is more like asking for a half halt rather than actually asking them to stop! The half halt is used to get their attention and basically an alert that you are going to ask them to do something be it slow down, speed up, move laterally etc...

    To stop Holly I will think walk or halt bring my upper back backwards in a similar motion to someone going to do a back flip and she will slow down or stop depending on how soft or hard I make the moment I understand that all horses are trained differently though so my advice would be to ask your instructor to explain to you and work on your downward transitions x
    ...

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