Originally Posted by makin tracks
We had a horse with a similar problem. We knew he would accept the bit and he would partially work into the bridle - he'd drop his nose a little and go a bit soft - but never quite there.
We knew this horse was capable and at the correct training level to achieve this.
Daughter had a couple of lessons with a new lady who actually got on him and battled it out with him.
It came down to leg, leg and more leg. ****ed hard work (as doing anything properly is) but is was constant pushing with seat and leg. Not a kicking go faster kind of leg but a pushing leg in conjunction with the 'pushing' seat. (we had this bit).
The instructor, in the end, had to drop her hand low and get quite hard with the rein to make him lower his head - infact she overbent him quite a lot the first couple of times. When she got what she wanted she would release the pressure. Suddenly, the horse realised what he had to do with his head and it all fell into place.
We were able to go back to soft hand - but always and constantly lots of leg.
Wish I had a video to show you but I don't.
A dressage saddle will definitely help you.
This sounds a lot like what the clinician at a dressage clinic l went to said! L haven't tried this yet out of the clinic, because l don't want to work this way without my trainer to make sure that l'm doing it correctly.
Thumper was started in a twisted wire bit and ridden in that and a pelham for the first 9 or 10 years of his life (before he came to my barn where he was promptly put in an eggbutt snaffle), so he has quite the hard mouth. That's something we've been working on, though; getting him less dead to my aids.
L emailed my instructor, and l have permission to use another saddle on him when l'm flatting him. L think it will definitely help.