Post Office Box 1361
Victor Harbor, SA. 5211
PH. (61) 0418814029
THE GREAT DEBATE - THE BREAKER ON THE BIT
THE MOST CRUCIAL THING I HAVE LEARNT
Historically, due to the fact that Breakers were of
the Western or Stock Horse influence, the
instruction to the owner upon picking up the newly
broken in horse was often, "There ya go, stay off
his mouth for 6 months and you'll be right" I think
I may be partly responsible for the debate that I
see raging of late, on Forums around the Country, on
the subject of whether the 'Breaker' should have
it's head down, (in a frame) and/or 'On the Bit' God
I note that many people demand and get 6 weeks to
break in a horse, I am hearing 12 as wellv( I wish) but I have to declare
right here and now that ALL of our Breakers leave
here on 3 weeks, either 'coming onto the bit' or 'on
the bit', forward, leg yielding, bent, flexed, long
and low, relaxed and with impulsion. Ready for a
Prelim Dressage Test. So it puzzles me why there is
such a debate. Is it that we are breaking
convention? I don't know, but I'll tell you this. I
cannot stand riding unsophisticated horses, every
young horse I meet takes to it as 'normal' and like
'ducks to water' and have no difficulty whatsoever
in progressing with ease. So why shouldn't we turn
out such horses?
The recent Pod Cast called,'Listen to Seat', was made during filming of a piece for our 'Green to Dressage' DVD and this horse was used because we couldn't find a Breaker on the property that hadn't progressed too far for Mrs. HP to show teaching that she needed to but it was interesting that this young horse on his 6th only ride in his life was showing some form already, even with 20 year old fishing line as reins. So I am completely at ease with our processes and would like to think that it is a bench mark for the rest of the Breaking Industry to aspire to :) What is the secret? the mouthing
I read the article on breakers...I could not agree
with you more.....However I believe people
novices get confused with "stay of the mouth and use
of the bit" ....lets take the breaker I have seen
two types. I can tell, without even seeing your
method that you don't use this one that's for sure...
A so called breaker is in our local area ties his
horses heads in with a pulley system walks away and
leaves them for hours at a time with their heads
strapped in.. I shouldn't laugh but it is rather
comical when the horses are being long reined they
have no idea what the bit means other than to hold
their head in, if any pressure is applied to the
reins they suck back even further. with the breaker
getting very frustrated indeed...Imagine trying to
ride these horses...
Ah Ha. Well aren't you a
smarty then? :) You worked it out.
the first step to forward submission.
Let's make that the quote for the week then. Now go
to the Forums and here them decrying
One Rein Stops
and the like. :)
So it was quite ironic that half an hour ago, the owner of the fishing line horse dropped in with a Box of Chocolates for me. Yay. Most kind. Sereno arrived back with her last week at the very same time as another Breaker from one of the States most well known Trainers. The other young lass is having some problems apparently and so Sereno's owner says, "Come for a Trail ride with me." Oh no, my Trainer said don't ride in open spaces"....but in the end she was convinced and went on a ride around the property together. The other young lass was riding a very tense and shying horse, spinning and running away while 'young Sereno' went across and checked out the frightening Bush as if it wasn't there. The other horse was on the bit with head held high and Sereno had his neck low and relaxed. "Do a one rein stop" yells Sereno's owner but the lass didn't know what that was. She gets shown, has a go and the horse spins like a top, as they do when they don't have a lateral mouth.
So here is another quote for you :) "A relaxed 'green horse' is one with lateral submission and a low neck carriage." Not jammed up with head held high but then again, you know what I am going to say next, don't you Lorraine? "Laterals equals suppleness, equals submission equals relaxation" Which German was it that said that ?????????
THE MOST CRUCIAL THING I HAVE LEARNT
When the 'Breaker' completes the process and is handed over to the owner, I know that learned resistance commences on that day. The Horse is a great Student and is 'hanging off every word' of the Trainer/Owner.
From the very first ride and each and every one after. If an owner elects to stay off the mouth of the 'green horse' and leave 'on the bit' until later, the good foundations are kept for then, However, unless they are from the Western influence, the chances of any Person who comes from the 'English Roots', is zero.
I have escorted over 50,000 People on Pleasure Rides in my career and the number of 'English Discipline' Folks I have met that can ride a true 'Pleasure Rein' (one that the Horse doesn't run into the Hand when poking) have been Zero. The reason for that is that the English World are brain washed that CONTROL is found in TWO REINS and front Brakes. They are mis-guided.
You only get one chance at keeping a good mouth on a
young horse because from day one, the number one
intention of all of them is to 'resist' They are
magnificent learned resisters as it is as they are
born that way so learning resistance to the bit is
an absolute 'snap' to them. The owner doesn't have a
clue what is going on beneath the surface and via
the thought processes of the young horse as it
stocks away all of it's new found knowledge on
resistance and those resistances are taught in so
many subtle ways that the owner would never realize.
I see it daily as I ride around with people.
Here in Britain, two Horses having their Mouths ruined ( as well as being made Sad)
As I said, show me the 'English' influence Rider who are not a captive to their teaching. Whether it be Pony Club or general Coaching, they have no hope of letting the reins go if it is their decision to reserve the training of the mouth to later. None. So as they ride around, thinking that they are staying away from the mouth or using it sparingly, they are not and they never do. Resistance is learnt within the first one second of their first ride and there are many. Here are some:
The owner walks along on a pleasure Rein, like the one on the left below and even if the rein was a little longer than that, every time the head of the horse bobs in and out with the action of the walk, the rein hand which is often fixed during rest and relaxation will cause the mouth of the horse to subtly and ever so lightly run into the hand of the Rider at every stride. I watch this every week. The Rider is completely unaware that this is occurring. If the mouth of the horse moves the hand of the Rider 1cm, it immediately signals the fact that it can take the hand of the Rider and that it succeeded. That is the very first commencement of learned resistance. As each bump goes by, so the lesson is cemented. Everything builds from there on.
Should you want to stop a horse during that first 6 months
without contact rules, I suggest the use of lateral and bending controls only because if
picked up their reins and applied the brakes prior to submission
being learned by the horse, there is instant
resistance identification made. A learned evasion