Right. I know this is a long topic, merely because I do not know what come first and I cannot get it all together. When I backed my WB a very slow walk was his idea of working. Initially I only concentrated on him getting the idea of moving forward at a decent pace. (actually I’m still working on it continuously but he is much better). Besides that he was perfect, but curly in front refusing to take any contact.
Fast FW (because I don’t know when or how it happened). He is still curly in the walk, in the trot he takes a mean (and I mean ripping arms out of socket) contact and doesn’t want to flex or soften. Canter - takes a contact, lifts his head somewhat but I can get him to flex and soften and I’m happy with his way of going in this gait at his level.
Getting advice from various trainers, and I’m (of course) Puzzled!
One wants me to just keep getting him to use the hind leg with “forward, bring back and balance – exercises”. Which is great. Except I know he is not working over his back at the same time and he is locked in front at the same time. Going on a 20m circle takes pulling and pushing and manipulating, to keep him on the track, which I DO NOT agree with. But trainer says ignore it for now???
Next trainers say – Get the back, get the back, get the back, then you can ask for more impulsion. So how do I get the back – get him to soften in the neck and jaw. How? Open inside hand on circle and slide the bit until he gives. He does not give. He sets his neck to the extent that when I let go of the inside rein he turns his neck and head to the outside. Trainer says to just keep doing it until he gives in.
I’m in the middle of the 2 trainers and I love this horse. He has a SUPER nature and I do not want to make his riding life hell. He is sweet and honest and I HATE the pulling – because this is what it turns into to steer him as he is so blocked in front. I know steering come with the legs and hips and he is very good with that – until he sets himself in front and then he kinds of not react to the body aids (which I’m sure is not perfect either from my side)
Do I make sense. I do not know what is the best way of training this, of getting him to understand what I want from him.
(Did I mention – no physical problems, all treatments up to date)
Any angle out there to help me?