Friday, December 3, 2010

Riley's latest lesson: Starting to get it...

So here is my most recent ride, featuring 8 solid minutes of Riley within striking distance of being on the bit, and a few moments here and there of solidly on the bit. I'll take it! He is definitely an easier ride going to the right.

Note to self: Ask trainer/instructor about the occasional head-tilting.


  1. On the harder-one-way and head tilting, you might want to check his incisors, particularly the back edges of the outer ones - if he's got a hook that prevents the jaw from moving laterally in that direction, that can interfere with his movement and can lead to head-tilting. Many vets and dentists don't look at or do much with the incisors - they have to be worked on without using a speculum. Proper incisor alignment and movement laterally is essential for the TMJs to function correctly and this affects the entire body.

    Looks pretty nice!

  2. A dental visit is scheduled for Monday as it happens. However, this problem mostly happens with "yours truly." Once in a while with the trainer but not too often...

  3. Nice job. My trainer used to have me lift the rein a little when my horse started to tilt his head. It's just a bit of an evasion. If your hands are not quite the same in contact and softness, he might be horses are particularly tricky to ride. And a supple, athletic horse even more so.

    The trick is to make the correction quickly, before it deteriorates and requires a big correction. You have to be "Faster" than the horse. It looks to me as if you are right on the edge of feeling it before it starts to come apart. Now all you need to do is go with your gut, trust those instincts and make a subtle correction--bit of a half halt action--the instant before things go askew.

    Be brave. Your seat looks good and you clearly have a good feel, so trust yourself a little more to be in charge of his frame. He does look lovely as ever.

  4. He looks AMAZING! I have an AQHA mare that I got as a ruined barrel racer. As you can imagine, turning that heavy head and hard mouth into a dressage horse has been taxing. What is the biggest tip that you can give me for getting her to WANT to work on the bit?

  5. Beautiful. I love how your trainer asks you to lift up the inside rein. Mine says the same. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I had the same problem (still do at times) and was told it is because I am right hand dominant and am actually causing the tilt by being too strong with the hand - hard as I try to be soft and equal with my hands, apparently I'm not!

    Enjoying watching all your progress and the fun you're having together - gives us all hope that we're getting a little better each day, even if we can't always see it ourselves.

  7. Definitely coming together! There are moments that look really beautiful, you should be very proud of yourself! What an awesome horse you've got there, and such a kind positive instructor!


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