Check it Out!
Fwd: Nose in air (was Unidentified subject)
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You have come 75% of the way by admitting you are heavy handed --- I would
suggest you try to get less heavy handed (easier said than done!!!!). In my
limited experience with my 3 Arabs, they are very light in the mouth, esp the
2 boys. Some dressage instructors (that must work a lot with heavy
warmbloods) seem to love to have you drive the horse from behind into the bit
--- Fix & Tempo esp won't tolerate that. I was lucky to have some good
instructors that helped me develop lighter hands. The Arabs I've had have a
lot of self carriage anyway, & don't need a rider to hold them together with
a lot of rein pressure while driving them forward. The Arabs I've had will
fight a heavy hand. A little suggestion to collect usually does the trick ---
handy when going downhill.
One technique is a sort of touch & release. I take a light hold (maybe 5
lbs??) pressure on the outside rein (or if going straight, one of the reins
-- pick one) & then give a light tug on the other rein. Holding a light,
constant pressure on the one rein, I keep lightly tugging & releasing until
the horse releases at the poll & drops his nose (while also encouraging the
horse to go forward). As long as the horse keeps that headset, I leave them
alone. With Tempo, I have no pressure on the reins, but I have them short
enough that if he lifts his nose, or I want to turn or stop, I just have to
bring the reins back 1/4 inch. He knows that if he sticks out his nose,
he'll hit my hands, so he's happy to stay in the zone where I'm not fussing
If I were to hang, or pull back on the reins, Tempo would get upset & start
It's difficult not to jerk the reins when posting --- it takes practise to
separate what your body is doing from what your hands are doing --- but your
horse will be happier if you can! I found videotaping my lessons were very
humbling --- both to see what the instructor did when riding the horse vs
what I was doing!
Check it Out!
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