Basic English Training - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Basic English Training

Hey guys. I have a paint gelding that I ride English and jump with. We don't compete a whole lot, but I'd like to start. However, a judge told me that in order to place better, he would have to have a "flat neckline." Sort of like how the horse holds its head level in this video:

So, my question is: How would I train my horse to do this? A standing martingale, perhaps? I know you never jump horses in those; I'm just curious as to what would help him keep his neck level during flat work.

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 04:07 PM
Green Broke
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oh dear..... I'm going to state this planely. You NEVER EVER EVER use a gadget to make a horse go into a topline or neckline.

If you are working your horse properly from behind (tracking up from the haunches) they will naturally want to stretch down because it losens the muscles in their back that they're working by tracking up. So my sugestion is to work him on the flat and ask him to work from his back end. Pretty much basic dressage.

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 07:20 PM
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The video posted appears to be of a QH breed show.

Expectations and standards are different than for hunter seat equitation or dressage than breed shows.

OP, your best bet is to ask a QH or Paint trainer with a good track record or experience across the various disciplines in breed shows.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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That horse looked like a Western Pleasure horse more then an english horse IMO. I ride both english and western and have found if you train for a western head set then moving to english is pretty easy. Once your horse knows how to move from the hind end and pick up their shoulders then you can work at moving them into the bit on a long rein. Don't play to much with your hands, let them figure out where you want their head by using release when they lower their head. Head set is usually the last thing you worry about in the collection process. It is easy for them if they are working from behind and tracking well because they use their backs to support themselves.
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