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Re: [RC] Traffic Training - Chris Paus

Here's what I would do.

First off, her skittishness in traffic tells you that
she's not ready yet to be introduced to traffic. A
stronger bit will not give her any more confidence. As
you yank on the bit to get control, it will only
reinforce in her mind that road rides are a bad
thing... a. there's scary stuff out there and b. her
rider hurts her when she's scared.

I'd do more work on the snaffle and really gain your
confidence and hers in a safe zone before introducing
her to the world.

when I took my 3YO out in traffic for the first time,
I led her down to the end of my block and back about a
quarter mile each way.

The next time I rode her over that distance and back.
We took it very slowly. I let her do lookie loos at
everything and praised her for being calm.

We gradually extended our forays out into the world as
she gained confidence and I gained confidence in her.
We did this with a bitless bridle which has about zero
stopping power. I made sure we were very comfortable
with each other first. I also made a few road rides
with her and another rider on a very calm, road safe
horse so she could learn from the other horse.

My work paid off.I can ride her past construction
equipment and all kinds of ugly noisy machinery,
vehicles etc. because I took time in the way we
introduced these things and didn't ask her for more
than she was able to give on any particular day.

The key is to train the horse that he or she will
always be safe as long as you are on her or near her.
She has to trust that you won't ask of her something
she's not mentally or physically capable of doing.

You are in the confidence building stage of training
right now. If something rattles her and you, then you
need to step back and do something that she and you
are comfortable with. The real balance in working with
horses is to challenge them enough to build their
skills but not to overface them so they have a melt
down. If you do that, your training is set back

Less is more. Slower is faster. Stop when you get a
right answer. 

As for the TT bit, I know there are lots of riders who
use them. As with any bit, they are as harsh or mild
as the rider's hands. But, my personal opinion is that
they should all be melted down and reused as something
more beneficial to society. They have a nutcracker
effect, squeezing the horse's jaw and poking the roof
of the mouth. I've seen SO MANY horses flipping their
heads and trying to avoid the pain of these bits. I've
seen very few riders who can really ride a horse well
in one of these.

Contrary to popular belief, they are not for training,
but for the well schooled horse who already knows how
to carry a bit and responds well so that the rider can
use a feather light touch.

One of my horses has a mental aversion to snaffle bits
now because of thoughtless training with a TT bit from
his previous rider. I've spent a lot of time working
with this horse to help him overcome his fear of bits.

Chris and Ali and Star who go well in an eggbutt
snaffle and Zab who hates all snaffles of any kind
because of TT bits.

--- Ridecamp Guest <guest-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Please Reply to: Belinda Romanuski
bj3romanuski@xxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

I need a bit of advice.  I have just strated a 3
year old under saddle.  She is great in the ring. 
She does serpentines, will trot out nicely, and
stands to mount.  She is only ridden for 15-30
minutes at a time.  When she is ridden in the ring,
she stops pretty much by voice, a deep "Whoa",
usually is enough.  Here is my problem.  When I take
her out and onto the dirt road, or even in the feild
along the road, she bolts after cars pass by.  There
is no buck, and never faster than a tro, but it
scares me a bit because for a breif period of time I
have no control.  I am curently riding with a D-ring
snaffle.  I would like to change it to a Tom Thumb. 
The woman who has helped with my filly's training,
says "No Way".  I do not often have anyone to ride
with, so any solution has to be done with me and
Cleo,(my horse).  Would it help if I were to lead
her down to a feild along my driveway and walk her
along the side that reaches the road?  I really need
to get over this hump in her training.

Thank-you in advance for your help and advice.

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Chris and Star

BayRab Acres


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[RC] Traffic Training, Ridecamp Guest