Q & A

I get lots of emails a week on different problems.  Reading about other people’s specific problems can really help you with your own. Check out my answers here – which include links to blog posts I think will help to tackle each problem.

“My horse only moves forward when I’m pushing – if I relax for a second she stops. Any ideas – please?!”

Posted by on 8-08-16 in lazy horse, Q & A | 0 comments

“I have a new horse. She’s unfit and quite green. I’ve had plenty of experience (5 years) but I’ve never had a green horse before and I could do with some pointers on how to keep her going without having to kick all the time.” This is such a great question – and actually the whole reason I started my blog. So many riders know what they want to achieve but just need pointing in the right direction. I’m not usually one to push my schooling guides but I’m going to give you the link to one which has...

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My horse is leaning on my hands. He’s over 17hh so it’s hard to hold him up! Any ideas?

Posted by on 4-04-16 in leaning, leaning on the bit, Q & A | 0 comments

“Dressage judges always comment that my horse tends to lean – especially in canter. He’s a big horse and I’m struggling to get him to stop. Have you got any ideas?! Your horse is obviously a big lad and there’s a lot of horse to ride! Don’t be put off – there are some changes you can make that will make a huge difference straight away. He needs to rebalance his weight further back onto his hocks – at the moment he’s just tipping onto his front end and that’s what you’ll be feeling on the end of your reins. It’s...

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My Horse is Constantly Chewing the Bit. Should I change it?

Posted by on 3-03-16 in Q & A | 0 comments

“My horse is constantly chewing the bit and I think she might be unhappy with it. I ride her in a stainless steel snaffle so should I change it to a rubber one?” If your horse is chewing the bit there could be several reasons. It might be that her teeth are bothering her – it’s always worth getting the vet/dentist to look at them but you’ll get a rough idea by pressing against her jaw line to see if she reacts to the pressure; also if she’s young she might have a wolf tooth coming that is upsetting the way...

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My horse is great out hacking but why is she nappy in the school?!

Posted by on 2-02-16 in Q & A | 0 comments

  “I’ve recently changed yard and was so excited because it’s the first time I’ve had a menage to ride in. My horse has always been a dream to ride so it came as a real shock to find out she hates going in the menage! She refuses to go forward and does everything she can to get back to the gate. I’m staying in walk, trying to keep her in there for about five minutes at a time (if she’ll let me!) and once I get a few circuits out of her I take her back to the yard as a reward for her good behaviour....

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I’m more nervous of my trainer than my horse!

Posted by on 1-01-16 in Q & A | 0 comments

My trainer is always shouting at me and telling me I’m too nervous when I ride my new horse. I’ve had a couple of falls that did knock my confidence a bit but I feel fine now. Actually I’m more nervous of her than I am of my horse! I’ve owned him for six months now and I still haven’t cantered in a lesson. What should I do?   It sounds to me as if you need a change of trainer. A fresh pair of eyes to look at you and your horse – and someone with a different attitude. Some people thrive on being bossed and bullied...

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I jump 1m 10 at home – why can’t I jump 80cm at a show?!

Posted by on 1-01-16 in Q & A | 0 comments

“I’ve recently bought a new horse. She’s 7 and loves jumping. I jump 1m 10cm at home so why can’t I get round the 80cm at a show? She warms up fine but then we get into the ring and it all goes to pot. PLEASE don’t tell me I need to do unaffiliated shows because I can’t afford my own transport and have to go to the affiliated shows because my friend takes me. I’ve competed on my old horse and it was never a problem. What am I doing wrong?”   Firstly don’t apologise for not being able to afford transport! You’re...

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“I avoid canter if I can because my horse ignores my aids to stop.”

Posted by on 1-01-16 in canter, canter execises, canter exercise, Q & A | 0 comments

“I’m guilty of spending too much time in trot and have recently introduced canter. NO problem cantering from walk or trot but my horse finds it so exciting he tanks off and won’t listen to seat/rein aid to slow or stop very easily. When I have to insist I get a lot of head tossing….is there any advice in your archives you can point me to please?”   I did a Q&A recently about a horse similar so there’s a post here that might be worth a quick read. Having said that I think yours is a bit different. The...

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“My horse is great in walk & trot, but canter is a nightmare! Please help!”

Posted by on 1-01-16 in canter to trot transitions, canter transitions, Q & A | 0 comments

“My cob goes nicely in walk and trot, her transitions are soft and good, but when I ask for canter she throws her head up and her canter is unbalanced. I’ve tried to sit quietly but it makes no difference.”   This is a really common problem with cob types as they find trotting so effortless. I can see exactly what you’re describing! The problem in the transition is she’ll be tightening her back and drawing her neck back towards you. Sitting quietly is very understandable and it’s a natural reaction to do it but...

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“My new horse is trained to Advanced Medium – but I can’t ride one side of him!”

Posted by on 11-11-15 in Q & A | 0 comments

 “I bought my new horse hoping he could teach me how to ride lateral work but it’s all I can do to trot a 20m circle without going off on a tangent! How can I find the right buttons? I feel like a complete novice!”   New horses are always a challenge and riding an advanced horse can feel quite daunting – they have so many aids in their heads it’s hard for them not to misunderstand what you’re asking. So the simple answer is don’t panic! You can’t half pass before you can walk! There are ‘buttons’ to press but you need to...

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How Can I Make My Horse Understand That There’s a Time and a Place for Jogging?!

Posted by on 11-11-15 in jogging, problems, pull up, Q & A, schooling a horse on a hack, walk | 0 comments

“My horse jogs and swings his quarters into other horses whenever he gets excited. I don’t mind when we’re on a bridleway but it’s a nightmare on a road. I ride him in a pelham and a running martingale to stop him taking off but the more I hold him back the more he swings his bottom into the traffic. What can I do to show him he needs to behave when we’re on the road?” The simple answer is you can’t! It’s unfair to ask him to understand the difference between roads and bridleways and it’s...

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