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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > Schooling > Working in an outline

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sophieelizabethrose

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 13

Working in an outline

I am sharing a lovely 16.2 IDX horse, he is a wonderful nanny to all the younger horses on the yard, but I am having real difficulty making him work in an outline, I am sure I am giving him the right aids, keeping my outside rein tight, to give him direction, and flexing my inside rein to ask him to lower his head whilst keeping my leg on. If I ask him to relax in halt he just throws his head around and walks backwards, and if I ask in any other gait he completely ignores me... I have seen both his other sharer and his owner make him look fantastic whilst schooling him, and his owner just says I need to persevere. But I just feel like he is making me look like a complete prat!

Any advice and help would be FANTASTIC!!! Thank you

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kirstyndshaky

Joined:

Sep 06

Posts: 2596

Re: Working in an outline

i dont use my hands, i do loads of transitions and circles to encourage shaky to work in an outline, rather than ask for it, i find you get a better outline if u dont have 2 ask for it!give it a try, hope it helps!!

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marybee

Joined:

Jul 08

Posts: 894

marybee says:

Re: Working in an outline

hiya; your right to keep the outside rein constant for power control and aid, but with your inside hand, do you feel you have to encourage him to flex and bend a lot with it? with the inside ideally you should get to a stage where you can hold the rein with the thumb and index finger with the others there incase you need to flex and release a bit; with your leg i like to imagine i am lifting up my horse's ribs, allowing her to elongate her spine and neck and curve her back  upwards to let her hind legs rele move freely underneth her.

you were talking about trying to relax him halt; what do you do to achieve this? sitting deep as if a weight from your spine is stretching you down (while still elongating your spine up; remember your spine should be long and RELAXED like your horses, to allow your neck and head to relax and shoulders to be tense free) and your weight dives into your seat bones evenly in the seat. although you are coming down a gear to halt, you still want to feel like you are lifting your horse up and out, again by encouraging his back to curve naturally, not arch in a tense manner.  this will allow his haunches to step and stop underneth him (help improve a 'square halt') and allow a smoother transition up to another gait when asked for. with your hands, a flex with your fingers on the outside rein should be enough to ask for halt and gentle enough to allow his mouth to be relaxed. your hand position, too, should be squar with your shoulders and the rein not too short. it sounds like he has a very sensitive mouth and this is a good thing - honest! it will help you be still and gentle and realise that the slightest of lightest touches can produce a beautiful movement, whether half pass, piaffe or even walk to trot transition!!! so really relax your hand; for a while think of it as a still ornament! make sure that they dont move or 'stray' over his neck and that you think of the reins as birds; you dont want to hold them to harshly or let them fly away..however, if he ever, ever decideds to play up and take you for a ride, you can squeeze the birdies!!! lol. kirst xxx

MaryBee and the Wombat

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laylarj

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 302

laylarj says:

Re: Working in an outline

more leg!!thats what i normally get told!any outline has to come from your horse working through from his hind quarters to lighten the forehand. even on a very forward going horse you have to keep your leg on (combined with subtle half halts) to bring thr horses hind quarters through. try some simple lateral work such as turn on the forehand and leg yield to get him to soften through his whole body and therefor his outline.

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gypsydew

Joined:

Sep 05

Posts: 813

gypsydew says:

Re: Working in an outline

Outside is only used freally or speed control and stop them falling out, they way you say when you stop he walks backwards makes me think that you have to much of a hold on that rein.

Open both hands (as if you were creating a tunnel so to speak) which should be a soft elastic contact and ask him to push himself forwards through that tunnel with your legs remembering to sit tall as you may be acting as a handbrake with your bottom. Lots of transitions with teach him to engage from behind. Just because you are using your leg does not mean that he should change his speed as you want impulsion, if your doing this in rising trot then you dictate the rhythm with your rising, if its easier count 1,2  in your head or out loud until your rise/sit is the tempo that you want.

Asking him to lenghten up the long side and shorten down the short will also get his bottom in gear. A good half halt before these will benefit as you will/should then have his attention and will make him aware that something will change.

Leg yielding on and off a 20m circle will make him engage that inside leg to step under to the side you are asking him to go.

I hope that some of these will help you

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KristinJ

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 48

KristinJ says:

Re: Working in an outline

OK I didn't have all the time to read all the posts above so if I am repeating something sorry ... anyway the key to vertical flexion (an outline) is lateral flexion. On ground and in saddle, flex his head towards the girth area (on both sides). They may be VERY stiff at first so just ask for a little give, and once they give to your pressure, IMMEDIATELY release. Then as days go on ask for a little more, until your horse is successfully touching his girth area. This will teach him that it's good to release to pressure. I do this daily with my horses both on the ground and in saddle. Once in saddle, I work on LOTS of transitions, circles, figure 8s, and serpentines. This will help with flexing aswell, lots of leg and light reins. Also circling in and out, spiraling your circles will definitely help. It will take time and won't happen overnight. Also make sure your bit is appropriate and fits well. Good luck.

-Kristin

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