Thanks Alex! That was a lot of help!!:)
You never want to step up the bit if your horse isn't listening to you. Ever. That's going to be a slippery slope into your horse fighting you and more gaps in their training. Twists and square mouths are things you should avoid: the bars in your horse's mouth are similar to your collarbone or shin in terms of how much covering that sharp bone has. Next time you're in a feed store, pick up a twisted mouth bit and run it across your shin or collarbone: it's going to hurt.
Leverage bits should be used when the horse needs little to no rein contact. Not to amplify rider cues to a horse who isn't listening.
If your horse ignores cues from a direct signal bit (snaffle), then they need training. That's about all there is to it. They aren't ignoring out of disrespect or stubbornness. They ignore because they don't know what you're asking or how to give you what you want. Therefore, you want to change how you're asking and make it clearer. Training is how you'll get that done.
I am all for the leverage bits when you have a horse with a strong head. it will teach him to respect your hand while not being too severe on his mouth
Half halting is a way of preparing the horse for a transition, or balancing them (there are lots of videos explaining it on YouTube). You first sit deeper with your seat, then apply leg, and finally retain the forward motion with your reins (this is the simplest explanation, ask your trainer or coach to better explain it) . This will balance your horse and have them sit up, allowing for smooth transitions with power behind them.
In terms of being conservative with your hand, try to only use your reins when really asking for something explicit, and try to do so clearly. This will make your horse start to better respect your hand because there will always be a point to using your rein. Also remember to reinforce your hand with your voice and seat.
No problem! Happy to help :)
Thanks for all the help Alyssa!!! I will try all those suggestions!!:)
Respect work can be lots of things. Key points to work on would be lunging. When lunging, change directions often and sporadically. This makes him look to you to know what to do.
Another good thing to work on would be backing. I didn't believe in this practice until recently. You back the horse in and out of his stall, paddock, and anything you can think of really. This helped get my guy's canter nice, slow, and supple since he became much more responsive to subtle pressure on the reins.
Lastly, yielding. Yielding is where you can stand in one place and get the horse's hind quarters to move from simply motioning at him to move. Of course, starting off, you stand more towards the middle of the horse and tap, tap, tap with a lunge pole until he moves his butt. Even one step at first, stop tapping immediately and rub him. This shows him that when he does the right thing, the pressure is released and he can relax.
A tell tale sign that the horse is horse is relaxed and respects you would be when he licks his lips. That's also when you run him and reward him.
Brenna Noble, can you elaborate more on what you mean? I'm a rookie at all this, lol
Alyssa Torres, what do you mean by respect ground work? I just got my first 2 horses this summer and am still learning!😬
If that's the reason you want to step up then you should first work with half halting to warn him of your change in gate, and become more conservative with your hand.
It might work until his mouth hardens to that bit too. Respect groundwork is the way to go. :)
I need a step up because once we loup he tends to wanna keep going. And sometimes it takes a lot of pressure to get him to stop or drop from a loup to a trot. Just want to try a stronger bit and see how he reacts.
Why do you need a step up? If your horse is comfortable and soft in a smooth snaffle, no reason to advance unless you're a reiner. If he isn't responding to it, go back to respect ground work.
A step up would eaither be a slow twist or a thinner plain snaffle
I'd probably say a slow twist snaffle