Running around with his nose in the air - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Running around with his nose in the air

I have been doing dressage for about a year now, and both me and my horse have been doing very well, although, even with our progress, he still runs around with his nose in the air. My trainer is telling me to shorten the reins, "talk" to his mouth, and use more leg, the problem being that the shorter the reins go, the higher his head goes, the more I "talk" to his mouth, the more he chews on the bit, and the more leg I give, the faster he goes. I'm really not sure what i'm doing wrong, or why he's refusing to put his head down. I've tried changing my hand position to higher or lower, and his head gets slightly lower if I put my hands closer to his withers, but I am constantly being told to keep my hands up. Any advice?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 10:43 PM
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Given it's NOT a pain issue I'd say drive from behind... Lots of half halts are also handy...
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 10:47 PM
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May I ask what trainer you're working with?
Forget about the head. The head doesn't matter. When a person focuses on the head (i.e. "the head must be down!") they forget WHY the head "must" be down.
When a horse is working round, working from behind, and working correctly, the head will fall into place. A horse cannot work correctly with its head in the air. A horse CAN work incorrectly with its head tucked in... so forget about the head, it will fall into place when the horse is working correctly.
Find a trainer who will work with you on understanding roundness, who will help you understand riding back to front. A trainer that focuses on where the head is won't do you any good.


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post #4 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 11:28 PM
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I'm with JDI on that. Don't take it as an offense, please, but may be try another trainer. Over a year of training with no progress is too long IMHO.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
May I ask what trainer you're working with?
Forget about the head. The head doesn't matter. When a person focuses on the head (i.e. "the head must be down!") they forget WHY the head "must" be down.
When a horse is working round, working from behind, and working correctly, the head will fall into place. A horse cannot work correctly with its head in the air. A horse CAN work incorrectly with its head tucked in... so forget about the head, it will fall into place when the horse is working correctly.
Find a trainer who will work with you on understanding roundness, who will help you understand riding back to front. A trainer that focuses on where the head is won't do you any good.
I train with chris collins, who is still new to me, only been with her for 2 months. She says nothing about his head, I am the one consintrating on that ( hence why I asked this question ). She talks about being round and encourage him to use his hind end

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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
I'm with JDI on that. Don't take it as an offense, please, but may be try another trainer. Over a year of training with no progress is too long IMHO.
I have only been training with chris for 2 months, however, my previous trainer was equally brilliant. We have had LOADS of progress, as stated originally, IMHO, he has made more progress than I could have imagined in only a year.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 11:50 PM
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My advice is to listen to your trainer. I honestly haven't heard of them, sorry, but if they're trying to get you to concentrate on the hind end, they're at least on the right track. Forget about the head :) It will fall into place when the horse is correct.


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post #7 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 11:53 PM
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2 months is very little then. My understanding was you are with the same trainer for long time. Talk to your trainer, ask questions, and bring up concerns, to get an advice. That's what trainers are for.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-11-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonannuniel View Post
i train with chris collins, who is still new to me, only been with her for 2 months. She says nothing about his head, I am the one consintrating on that ( hence why I asked this question ). She talks about being round and encourage him to use his hind end



I have only been training with chris for 2 months, however, my previous trainer was equally brilliant. We have had LOADS of progress, as stated originally, IMHO, he has made more progress than I could have imagined in only a year.

Your trainer is on the right track but I think they are not utilizing the one thing that is ALWAYS in your favor.

Changing direction results in changing the balance of the horse and if you look at MOST horses they will naturally lower their head when they do. Stay away from straight lines and do more bending line, curves and multiple direction changes. Don't stay on any straight line for more than 10 strides.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-11-2011, 06:53 PM
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When my horse does "giraffe head", I'm usually lacking the forward component, and he's just being stubborn about coming up into the bit. After I am positive that my horse is faking being 3 legged, I give him a good pop behind my leg, and magically he's all better.

The other thing I more recently learned was that you raise your hands as your horse raises his head to keep the bit in the same relative position in his mouth. I saw this at a recent clinic and was happy to find it works well.

I agree with Spyder, changes in bend are you friend. Anything that helps re-establish that outside rein connection. More recently I've also tried just lightly flexing my horse's neck from side to side, (no more than eyelashes) when we're traveling straight. It seems to help unlock his parts.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-11-2011, 08:29 PM
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It seems to help unlock his parts.
Oppps my mind just went into the gutter with that comment. LOL
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