How much do you work on headset? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outside of Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,653
• Horses: 6
How much do you work on headset?

How much do you fellow barrel racers worry about your horses head set? Is it something that you exercise your horse on or do you just let it be?
Posted via Mobile Device
MangoRoX87 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Since Selena is a reiner too I like to practice doing a lot of softening, but I don't slam her face into the ground. And when we are working on barrels, unless she is trying to nose out and take my reins away (Dominant little pony she is) I will leave it completely be and let her do it herself. If she is being particularly hot or explosive I will make her round up while we work because it makes her think.

I do believe in doing it when warming up, but not just headset, a lot of long, low, round, softening work. Bumping up into the bridle, getting them on the vertical and engaging their hind end and rounding their back, as well as counter arc circles and leg yields in a soft frame.

This is especially important with Selena since she does have a rather dangerous history, I use that to get her mind working a little before I give her her head and let her choose her own frame on the pattern.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Somewhere in WA
Posts: 1,222
• Horses: 11
To be honest I don't care where their head long as it isn't busting my nose or interfering with their performance I don't try and fix something that isn't broke.

I have horses that they run with their heads higher, snake their noses out and around the barrel, run low, and average headset. It is just their style, same with just riding...

The ONLY thing I want from them that has to do with their head is properly give and keep that nose tipped to the inside on a loose rein and not pulling/fighting me with their head. I don't want to make a horse carry their head somewhere where it isn't natural for them. They carry their head where they do because of the individuals conformation.
DrumRunner likes this.

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
BarrelRacingLvr is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outside of Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,653
• Horses: 6
Sassy's head set is just the beginning of a ride, it's way up in the air, then she relaxes it and it goes between flat and just above lever

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown
MangoRoX87 is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Yeah...If she's hot at the beginning of the ride it'll be up. Ruger's head goes right up like that too and won't relax and go down until he is tired or has worked for a little while.

I believe in having the button to do it just in case I feel the need to do it....

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 05-24-2012, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,332
• Horses: 1
Not a barrel racer, but, I don't work on my horse's headset anymore. Didn't get anywhere but frustrated. I learned how to ride the body - supple him, soften him, get him relaxed and calm - and his head comes down and his back comes up on his own.
bsms likes this.
DancingArabian is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 05-25-2012, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,290
• Horses: 2
I like a headset with a collected frame. I teach all my horses to collect and do every gait in a frame. Just because it's good for them to know and it gives me something to work on when I want too. I also teach them all the cues and to transition really easy. My old mare had alot of buttons on her, I'm still working on my new ones but their getting there.

On the pattern, who cares. Whatever way they want to carry themselves to get the job done is all that matters to me.
Posted via Mobile Device
BarrelRacer23 is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 05-25-2012, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,441
• Horses: 0
I don't work on a headset at all. However, I work a lot on collection and proper self-carriage on a loose rein, so when the topline rounds the head automatically comes down. I never fuss with their mouths, just use my head and seat to drive them into the bridle.
equiniphile is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 05-25-2012, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
Saddlebag is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 05-25-2012, 12:48 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middle of Nowhere, Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,656
• Horses: 5
I tried to push the whole headset buisness and gave up. I really doesn't matter that much, and I'm not showing HUS or WP, nor do I plan do.

I, however, work on getting Squiggy to relax and round her back when I ask her to. She knows how to get round when I ask for it, and she can do whatever she wants with her head when I dont ask, as long at she isn't getting out of control or breaking my nose.

QHriderKE is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WP Headset 4HCountryGirl Western Pleasure 22 09-06-2011 10:36 AM
Too Low headset? FXAce Horse Training 3 10-20-2010 08:29 PM
Low Headset eaferg Western Riding 7 01-22-2010 09:49 AM
headset at home.. no headset at the show. HELP. QHclaire Horse Training 3 08-09-2008 08:20 AM
Getting a headset with this... Abby Horse Tack and Equipment 9 04-20-2008 09:33 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome