She wants to go left, I want to go right

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She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby PaulaO » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:20 pm

There is a gap in Ariel's training. She is slightly herd bound, and wants to work towards the door leading to home. I don't always want that. Example. We are on the right rein with the door to our left and behind. She decides it's time to go to the door and sets her head and neck to the left. I respond by opening my right rein and pushing her with my outside leg. She gaps her mouth and braces even harder. We do the circle dance a few times in a row and she finally gives in.

Suggestions please.

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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:33 pm

Congratulations---Ariel is a normal horse. She is reacting to the "drain" of the door towards home.

Depending on the horse and rider, there are various approaches I've used, including:
-Establish good work away from the drain / avoid more vulnerable activities near the drain (for ex. if steering is poor in canter, avoid the drain in canter)
-Increase work load near the drain. Decrease it away from the drain.
-Develop routines near the drain that reinforce obedience (ex. in hand work, lungeing).
-In general, I aim to think/ride far enough ahead to avoid a fight/loud aids. You may need to think about the pull of the drain a lot earlier than you expect to need to.

I'm sure you'll get great ideas from others.

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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby StraightForward » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:24 pm

Get ahead of her and initiate the turn earlier, before she starts to leak out of the circle.

You can also ride the quarter of the circle counterbent, then going back to the correct bend will feel like a relief. Keep her forward into the reins and not sightseeing. If she keeps falling out over the shoulder, I'd walk and ride a toh the get control over the shoulders.
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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby Rosie B » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:18 pm

Ariel clearly thinks her opinion matters much more than it really should. :D

Imo, this is a lack of respect for you as a rider. If you can fix the respect issue, this should go away on its own.

Things that you can do to establish and maintain respect:
* insist on obedience on the longe - the longe line is GREAT for establishing respect. If you can get her to the point where she will longe like a dream, that should carry over to under saddle work as well.
* keep a steady contact. The steadier the better. Every bobble in the contact is an opportunity for her to do her own thing.
* practice lots of frequent transitions. w/h/w, w/t/w, t/w/t with only a few strides between each. She needs to willingly comply with what you're asking her to do WHEN it's asked. Also can do transitions within gaits - put two poles down a set distance apart and then count trot strides between them. When you put your leg on, there should be fewer strides between the poles than her normal working trot.
* practice lots of figures. Circles, serpentines, figure 8s, changes of diagonal, etc. Keep her guessing and at no point let her opinion of what's happening impact your agenda.
* leg yeild (not sure if you're doing this yet but if you're not there's no reason you can't start). go two strides one way, then two strides back, etc.
* Ride with a purpose - have a (flexible) plan for your ride and stick to it.

Hope this helps.

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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby Kyra's Mom » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:33 pm

Where are you looking? You should be looking ahead on the arc of the circle where YOU want to go. Do you start looking at her or elsewhere when you have to start wrestling for control?

A exercise that can help is called point to point...yes it is a natural horsemanship exercise but a good one to work on your focus and getting the horse to follow your focus. It is pretty simple...pick a point across the arena and ride STRAIGHT to it. Simple to say but not simple to do when the horse has an idea of their own. With Ms. A, I would initially certainly pick points away from said door. As you establish the exercise and she is more consistent, I would start going toward points near the door. The points away from the door will the the challenge. The NH way is to do it with slack reins but it doesn't have to be. As you are finding out, contact doesn't prevent the horse for expressing their own wishes. When you reach your point, do a turn on the forehand, pick another point and ride STRAIGHT to that point. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. Vary the distances but be sure to focus on your point and ride STRAIGHT. Exercise can be done at all gaits.

Have fun with all the suggestions...lots of good exercises.

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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby PaulaO » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:47 pm

Yesterday I incorporated all your suggestions, except lunging and in hand work. She's fine working in hand. It was hot and she was a bit tired so she wasn't as bad as she can be. I focused on a point on the wall and used a lot of ToH and planning ahead. Sometimes I'm a lazy rider and just want to walk around. That's when she decides what we're going to do. Improvement, one step at a time.

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Re: She wants to go left, I want to go right

Postby kande50 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:40 am

Start in front of the door and make a comfortable sized circle at the door. Work on making the circle round, keeping the rhythm steady, and getting the same number of steps on each circle. Reverse often and continue on your circles until they approach perfection.

Then move onto a slightly bigger circle, which will take her further from the door. Same criteria, frequent changes of direction, but the goal is round circles of the same size with the same number of steps in each quarter. Don't move on to bigger circles until you've mastered the size you're on.

Once you've progressed to circles that are the full width of the arena at the door end, start on figure 8's to take her even further from the door each time.

By the time you're using the full arena not only will you have improved your skills, but the door will no longer be an issue, because if it was you wouldn't be able to get round circles with the same number of steps in each quarter.

When you get it in walk then move on to trot and canter.

Be aware, that it may take many sessions to master this exercise, because once you start counting steps it becomes much more obvious that riding accurate circles is not all that easy. :-)

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