The equestrian lifestyle community.

Back to feed

How do you get your horse to not lean on your hands as much?

How do you get your horse to not lean on your hands as much?
It depends when they lean on your hands! If it's in dr and sj then I completely agree with lots of transitions using your seat rather than your hands to bring your horse back. Try to solve the root of the problem before trying to use a bit to mask the issue! Bits definitely can help but they greatly vary from horse to horse. A bit with a sweet iron/copper/other mouthpiece that has a taste might encourage your horse to accept the bit a little more rather than to lean on it. This really helped for my horse in dressage, but out cross country he doesn't pay the slightest bit of attention to either me or the bit, leans his full weight on me and goes. He's become so much better but here I did switch to a waterford snaffle. I don't agree with the fact that they are a gentle bit, I think they are good in that they distribute the pressure more evenly but they also can pinch on the many links and be uncomfortable for the horse. This did work for my one though! I would suggest borrowing one if you want to try, as different horses find them very different. They aren't suitable for dressage as they don't have an immediate release from tension like dressage legal bits do. Hope this helps!
I found the Bomber Ultra Comfy Lock Up bit the best way to get the horse to accept the contact. I use it on all 9 of my horses and they all go superbly in it
Doing lots of transitions helps. Doing 10 canter strides, then 10 trot strides, then 10 canter etc. engages their haunches and makes it impossible for them to lean on you. Just be sure not to be harsh in their mouth when doing frequent transitions. Hope this helps!
My horse used to this and nothing could stop him! I searched every bit in the end until I found a Waterford! They aren’t dressage legal but there are fine for showjumping and xc, they also come in snaffles and 3 ring gags 🙂 it’s really worth a try it’s not harsh at all x
A horse can’t lean on you if they have nothing to lean on. So think about pushing with your leg, half halting with your shoulders and seat and keeping your ands ultra soft and light, you can also use work like turn on the forehand and lots of transitions to make them more supple and make them sit more and carry themselves better
When your horse goes to bear down in your hands I like to think about trying to push them up. So squeezing with my leg and lifting with my upper body (not hands), or dropping the rein completely to make them figure it out themselves that you are not going to hold them up. If it is a self carriage problem and your horse doesn’t know how to carry it’s self work on a lot of downward transitions to make them get on to their hind end.