Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
(61) 0418814029






Horse Problems Australia,
Post Office Box 1361
Victor Harbor, SA. 5211
PH. (61) 0418814029


John O'Leary


Is your Horse 'on the bit'? Correctly 'on the bit'?

I write this to make you think. To think about your adequacy in putting a horse 'on the bit', in a frame, head down, round or anything else you want to call it. I speak generally. I include all those people who ride the 'English' discipline and who do attempt to ride with a contact in order to achieve putting their horse 'into a frame'

  • Through my observations, the percentage of Australian Horse Riders' who cannot achieve this task would roughly be say, 70%

  • Those who cannot get a horse to travel properly 'round' and giving it's back would be 90%, and...........

  • The those who can achieve 'engagement' would be less than 5%

Why is it so? Many of these people have regular Riding Lessons from Coaches. So why the problem? Does this mean that the vast majority of lessons on the subject have just not worked? Obviously. So it must be a Coaching problem then? I think so. You may go to this very small video (dial up ok) to see how the majority ride then.

Above the Bit

By the way, none of this is the fault of the Lady or anyone else in Australia, it is the Coaching system that lets them down......well.....Pony Club too of course. This is typical of the majority of Pony Club people around the Country, under instruction or not.

click to enlarge


For a horse to adequately carry a rider, it must be fit for the task and the riding style dictates whether the correct or incorrect muscles are being developed in the horse. Obviously, it is the top line muscles that need strengthening so that the horse can carry the Rider and still perform as an athlete but in the photo and video above, the horses are being made progressively unsound for the task. They are being ridden opposite to the recommendations of the 'German Training Scale' which is at the heart of the success of the German Dressage Team.

Horses that go around like this are called 'hollow backed', 'above the bit', 'resistant' and 'choppy' in their action. They cannot 'swing' in their paces, they can never 'engage' they can never be 'through' and they can never be 'over the back'. All of the correct things that Judges are looking for. They therefore go around like 'sewing machines', like most Hacks.

So with the millions of riding lessons that have been conducted throughout this Country over time, the success rate on this most important subject has been appalling and that has to come back to grass roots Coaching.

I fully realize that not everyone wants to achieve the correctness described above and so I say to those people, stop swinging off the mouth of your horse then and for that argument, go here:'t%20let%20the%20reins%20go.htm

but if you are having a contact on the mouth of your horse in a vein attempt to have it go more correctly in terms of 'English' competition, then you owe it to your horse to do it properly for to not is simply unfair on the one you are supposed to love!

It is because of our observations of such horses and riders that Mrs. HP has decided to produce a series of Dressage Lessons on DVD to deeply examine the precise subjects that are stopping all of these people from being more effective riders'. They will be here over time:

Kind Regards