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 is a saint as long as he goes first! When he’s at the back he turns into a monster. Any ideas?
“When my horse goes in front he’s a pleasure to ride but that all changes when he goes behind. In walk he jogs, in trot he canters sideways and when we start to canter in a group he bucks! Is there anything I can do to try to get him to relax at the back? At 12 years old I wonder if it’s too late to ask him to change.” Good question! When you have a horse that is relaxed and happy to lead it can often be difficult to follow – especially at times that are exciting; like cantering. I’m a bit of a fan...read more
“I know I ought to know this but everyone talks about ‘on the forehand’ and I’m embarassed to admit I don’t know what they’re talking about! My pony pulls really hard and my instructor says he needs to get off his forehand but what should I do? She says I need to push on but surely if I do that he’s going to pull even harder?! Don’t ever be embarassed to ask what you think is a daft question – you’re not the only one to ask me this exact question! ‘On the forehand’...read more
“My instructor tells me I need to sit back but when I’m scared I lean forward like mad. I did seem to be gettting somewhere on one horse recently but last week I had a new horse and had a fall. I’m beginning to wonder whether I really ought to be riding at all. Can you help?” Panic not because you’re not alone!! Is there a chance you could stay on the same horse that you were getting your confidence on? When you’re worried it’s nice to feel that you trust the horse you’re riding –...read more
If a judge is telling you your free walk on a long rein is inconsistent then the length of her strides and the shape of her frame is changing, however slightly. She may not be lifting her head up and jogging but she may be tightening up for a few strides, drifting off the line she should be on or overbending and losing the contact. What you should be aiming for is a powerful walk where she’s pushing forward into your contact even though she’s on a long rein. It’s common for the contact to become a bit weak when riders are thinking more about...read more
“My horse has had his teeth, back and saddle checked so I know nothing is wrong. I’m sure I’m the cause but friends are giving me different opinions and nothing works! Some say keep him cantering until he gets bored; which he never does. Others say I should let him walk and relax before we canter again but he won’t walk – he just throws his head about and jogs! Any advice would be great. I ride him in a running martingale with a flash noseband as he hollows and throws his head up a lot when he gets...read more