Please help, I am making no headway at all with my Arab mare. She is 6 now and I have owned her for two years. I know she is fine as she has recently had her full MOT!
She is not strong but I struggle to obtain a round outline. To put it bluntly the head is always too high and this is worse in downward transitions, and now that we are doing more the worrying thing is the ewe neck is getting worse. She fights against a martingale and when I tried a flash this caused a violent head shake she actually lifted her two front feet off the ground, which she has never done previously. I have regular lessons and last time I asked my instructor to ride her it was very upsetting as in the end she even refused to go forwards into a contact.
I am using a single jointed eggbutt snaffle that she came with.
Heather Hyde replies:
I have taken everything on board and I am confident once we get her comfy in the mouth her way of going will improve allowing you to further her training.
The single jointed mouthpiece you are using has a nutcracker action designed to raise the head, this will exasperate the issue, and also many Arabs do have a naturally high head carriage anyway. Coupled with the fact that Arabs are very sensitive creatures and usually have a lower upper palate this design is not generally comfortable for them. This has been made doubly apparent when you employed the flash as this increased the pressure points within the mouth that the bit was utilizing. Again when your instructor rode her she would have been much more positive and your mare’s behaviour reflects this by her unwillingness to go forwards into the uncomfortable contact.
In this situation I would recommend the mild NS Tranz Angled Lozenge Baucher, this combination of cheek and mouthpiece should enable you to achieve a soft, sustainable contact and outline. All our mouthpieces are made from the warm and sweet Salox Gold which also promotes relaxed acceptance.
I would recommend the 16mm thickness as this will give a good weight bearing surface without taking up too much room in the mouth. Please remember if you have not got a padded headpiece on your bridle use a poll pad as Arabs are particularly sensitive in that area.
To view the NS Collection visit www.nsbits.com and for expert bitting advice contact the Neue Schule team on 0844 66 44 600