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Re: Running martingale's / bits

Tracey wrote:

>What we want is for them to work in a rounded frame, using their quarters, and softening in front. I've seen horses above the bit who were still soft in their backs and engaged behind. I've seen horses ridden deep (which sometimes looks like they are "behind the bit") who are working well. I've seen some with their noses on the vertical, but their hocks are about as engaged as a hermit's telephone!

This is the danger with a bit like a KW (or a Pelham, or Weymouth, or similar curbs) : the horse drops easily onto the bit. What some riders don't appreciate is that a horse can work just as incorrectly in this "frame" as it can in any other. ...

Hot horses will often give the impression that they are moving "forwards" when in fact, all they are doing is moving fast! There is a difference btw speed and impulsion, and what you are looking for is impulsion, and that comes from the correct use of the rider's leg. <

Boy did you hit the nail on the head for me! I've been trying to learn this for a couple years & have a tough case right now - a former Saddleseat horse. She can REALLY give the impression of moving forward but becomes a sewing machine, which is silly as she has long legs & a nice long shoulder. When I finally do get my seat & legs organized, she softens & her stride becomes longer. I know what I want from her but she has a hard time giving it consistently (I'm quite sure I don't ask correctly consistently!) but it sure feels great when she does! 

I'd been wondering if I will need to move 'up' from her medium eggbutt snaffle - so far she's responded very well in all situations, with maybe a little head shaking or tiny buck to try to evade my attempts to control her - but I haven't tried any distance events yet, that happens in a couple weeks. I have not found her to be particularly racey yet, but we'll see! 

Your description said it all for me - I will try my hardest to leave her in this bit & will just resign myself to the fact that I'll need to give her a year or two before this will all seem easy. I was so hoping that the retraining would move along quickly, but guess deep down I knew... as always, it takes the time it takes. Thanks for the perfect descriptions!

Bany in Fla & Lola-she was a showgirl  


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