confidence shattered(16 Posts)
Since havoing lessons my mare has decided she doesnt like it and bolts when i canter. Never had a prob in the yr ive had her, she can be srong but controllable. im at the at the point where i dont want to get on and avoid cantering. She is in a dutch gag middle ring. my instructer puts the ring on to snaffle as she says my horse hates the bit. Any suggestions? thanku!
Check her back and teeth first and consider an equine osteopath because cantering issues can sometimes be pelvis related.
It's unlikely the lessons themselves are causing the horse to run off (I assume she runs off rather than blind, panic bolt).
The first thing to do is to get a vet out to exclude a physical cause. Common reasons for such behaviour are back pain, teeth problems and lameness.
If it's none of these things then you can re-think your training. What happens when your instructor rides in a snaffle? Does she have the same problems? A gag is a strong bit and should be used with roundings or double reins. What do you do when she canters off? Can you pop her on a 20m circle, sit up, half halt and try to regain control?
Is she fairly young or was she in poor condition when you got her? If so then it may be that she's filled out/muscled up since then and the saddle is pinching. Horses don't always stay the same shape and they can change a lot over a year without you really noticing.
She's just had new saddle fitted, had osteopath out 3 months ago, she is tight around her back end but he said it was mothing serious and transitional work would help. I'm not sure if the lesson is asking more of her than she is used to and weather it's pain or stubbornness she doesn't like it and tanks off. The only way I can stop is to circle her. Going to try a wilkie bit 2moz cx
Personally, I would go back to basics with the bit - a plain old snaffle works well on 90% of horses. It could well be the poll pressure of the gag that is making your horse evade by bolting. A wilkie also puts pressure on the poll.
How often do you school? Because horses can easily go stale if you school all the time. I would school when you hack out. Don't canter yet, but do lots of up and down transitions to get your mare listening to your hand and leg.
I agree that there is a reason she is suddenly tanking with you, it could well be that she is taking the piss, that she knows if she bolts you will stop the lesson maybe?
Also, if she is stiff and this is why she is bolting (the bolting is the evasion - to get whatever is upsetting or hurting her to stop) then lunging will help no end. But it must be done by someone who knows what they are doing and don't go down the pessoa/chambon route. Plain old side reins will do the job nicely.
Agree with the above - I hate the dutch gag with a passion, it is a really severe bit and in the wrong hands can cause endless problems. I'm not saying that yours are the wrong hands, but it seems to be the "go to" bit too often. Come right back to the basics, lunge her unridden for a while so you can see what's happening - get her teeth and back checked again, and drop trying to force her to canter for a while.
It could just be stiffness from unused muscles, you know how sore it is when you are stiff!
Are you sure the new saddle fits? New saddle, plus new problem is very indicative of a saddle that does not fit. Not all people who fit saddles are equally competent and sadly some make a mess of things.
Get the vet out though to pin-point the problem if there is one otherwise you are just wasting money.
Hi thanku for your help, going to try lunging then just working on transitions. i will def drop the gag. Didnt get to ride today because of the snow so couldnt try my bit. Dont think its the saddle as only just had it and the first time she did it was in old saddle. Might c how i go on but think about getting vet out as i have this nagging feeling it might be her back, hopefully not xx
Take the gag out. Bloody awful things.
The problem is that novices who cant ride (and Im generalising here) up the bit when they cant control the horse. The horse resents the bit, fights, the bit gets upped again, until the poor beggar is in a gag and is absolutely terrified, or hurting, so runs off to be evasive.
Start with a snaffle, in the manege, have a lunge lesson if it helps, and work up in tiny steps from there.
If you suspect she may be in pain get the vet out first thing on Monday. If the first saddle caused pain, merely changing the saddle will not have sorted out the pain. She needs to be assessed by the vet and if she has a sore back she may need time off, a physio and a rehab programme.
If the first saddle caused pain, merely changing the saddle will not have sorted out the pain
Agree with this, not necessarily because the old saddle has caused physical damage (hopefully it hasn't) but because the horse could have become conditioned to expect pain and therefore the rushing when asked for canter is a sign of anxiety about that. You should still rule out anything physical but if that all checks out clear then it may be a case of rebuilding her confidence.
And I'm so glad to see that so many people hate the gag as much as I do. It seems to be some peoples' answer to every problem (or so they think). I was horrified to see the pony ds rides on saturdays wearing one during the week, I just wanted to rip it off her (we've been taking her out in a french link snaffle and she's been nothing but angelic). She's not my pony and the owner very kindly doesn't even charge me so I can't say much. A teenage girl who has her on sundays has decided she's too strong so the owner has got someone else from the yard to 'sort her out'. She's now trussed up in a gag and
too tight imo daisy rein and it breaks my heart so much that I actually didn't take ds for his ride today. I'm wondering if dshetland's snaffle bridle will fit so I can sneakily use that next week. Can I claim that leading off a gag is a bad idea somehow?
Gags make me gag. And shudder.
Echo the poster who suggested a Dr Bristol.
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