Bouncing off the over or side check
Posted 17 April 2011 - 07:49 PM
I have heard attaching the check to a small chain then the check ring so that it moves more. Is this something that really works? What are other ways to get the horse to wear a check?
Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:53 PM
Lorna G. Kirby, PE
Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:00 AM
Hopefully before the horse goes in harness, it has already learned to follow the bit and not lean on it. It can learn this with simple side reins or a chambon on a longe line. The horse needs to reach for the bit, if it has learned to lean instead of reach, so back and reinforce the difference until the horse knows to drive into the bit, not fall on it.
A young horse starting in harness needs a good bit of head freedom, but also needs some safety equipment. A sidecheck to a snaffle is a nice piece to use to prevent the horse from putting it's head down to it's knees, yanking the lines from your hands, or potentially getting bits of hardware stuck (shafts stuck on bit/bridle, bits stuck in boots, etc) while simply being silly and causing a wreck. If you are using a sidecheck to prevent bucking, then a kicking strap is a better option. I have never found a good use for an overcheck other than on already well trained horses - and they will be leaning some on the check though this is countered by the lines - and even then it requires a header to un-check and re-check the horse every time it stops and restarts. Keeping a horse in a overcheck is not conducive to teaching them to stand still. If you are driving in a snaffle, the check rein can simply go to the bit. If driving in a proper curb, the check rein needs to be on a it's own thin snaffle.
Tamara Woodcock, Scurry, Texas
BLUE STAR Arabians and Arabian-influenced Sportponies
Combined Training, Combined Driving, Dressage, Endurance, and Show Jumping