headset question - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 39 Old 10-28-2010, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 3,199
• Horses: 2
headset question

I have two problems with Blue, one is that he is VERY busy with his head, he goes from one extreme to another contantly. One minute his head is as high as his neck will allow it, and when I try to correct that he goes behind the bit. Anybody have any suggestions for what can help so he gets on the bit?

I have tried lots of long and low to get him to relax as I think some of the behind the bit stuff is a nervous issue, however when I do that we have our second problem, he starts to throw his shoulders all over the place unless I keep pretty steady contact on him, people must think my horse is drunk half the time! Collect the reins up again so he stops throwing his shoulders around and we are back to up and down with the head. He is current on his teeth, and is in a three piece full cheek.

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
QHDragon is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 39 Old 10-29-2010, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
• Horses: 2
I have similar issues with my paint. I just keep doing half halts as long as her head goes up. It was continuous up and down for couple weeks, but I have a feeling she's getting it finally, because as the head goes down it stays there for several seconds. So we are slowly progressing. What I can tell for sure, it's a long long process of training though.
kitten_Val is offline  
post #3 of 39 Old 10-29-2010, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: SF YAY Area
Posts: 361
• Horses: 1
I have found when I ride that when the horse's head is inconsistent, and by this I mean being on the bit, above the bit or behind the bit in a never ending cycle it is because I am being inconsistent with my hands and leg. When my hands are quiet and I'm holding with a soft contact and my legs are on his side, not squeezing but not ineffectually hanging there, then my horse has a consistently on the bit, using himself and tracking up.

Now if a horse runs down the hill in the pasture by the arena, my hands and leg can be as consistent as can be but he's gonna giraffe and look ;)

Gordon Wright once told a student to take up swimming because he would never be a good rider, that rider was George Morris.
Void is offline  
post #4 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 0
Keep in mind, this is coming from a western rider but I have also seen this problem with horses who were never taught how to correctly go on the bit (or were introduced too fast) and people focus more on getting the head where they want it instead of where it should be. In all honesty, it sounds to me like your horse has no idea how to carry himself without depending on your reins to keep him standing. If he were my horse, I would likely start over with his collection training and work him for a long time on a loose rein/minimal contact so that he could figure out his own balance before trying to get him up and on the bit again. Then start as if he had never been introduced to contact. Start slow and work your way up to where he should be.
smrobs is offline  
post #5 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
^^^ well said smrobs ^^

Very true. You need to work on the Training Scale. You should know this by now, especially for someone who loves dressage.

The Art of Classical Riding--The Training Scale

MIEventer is offline  
post #6 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 2,061
• Horses: 1
The horse is uncomfortable.

Either it doesn't like the bit, - maybe too harsh or wrong size
or the adjustment of the bridle is wrong
or the way you hold your hands - either too jerky or too tight
or the pressure you put on the mouth - too short reins,or too long reins.

But if you are aiming to bring the horse's head down 'on the bit' remember. you don't pull the horse's nose down, the horse will drop its nose down into the ramener position so long as you are sitting correctly.

If the horse doesn't yet have the muscles to hold the desired rounded position then it will be uncomfortable. So give it time to flex during an exercise period.

It is for you as owner/main rider to have the possible problems considered by a knowledgeable friend or your tutor. You must isolate each possibility and check it out.

The big test is always when a strange competent rider comes along and works your horse - does the horse still shake its head?
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #7 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by Void View Post
Now if a horse runs down the hill in the pasture by the arena, my hands and leg can be as consistent as can be but he's gonna giraffe and look ;)
LOL! That's the problem with my horse too. She's alert 24/7, so whenever something exciting (or scary/suspicious) going on - head up in air.
kitten_Val is offline  
post #8 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
• Horses: 2
Folks, I have to respectfully disagree here. I'm not sure about OPs situation, but for example my horse's head in constant motion mostly because she's getting excited/alert/unsure about pretty much everything, not because she's uncomfortable with bit or hands. Tiny little move in bushes (and unfortunately we have bushes, ponies, horses, wild life, etc. all around th ring) --> she's as alert as she can be with head up. No noise, head goes down, 30 secs again pony showed up - same reaction. She's not nearly new to all that, she's been taken on trails all the time, but it doesn't go away. Even when she's concentrated on work, she's still very alert. I talked to number of trainers (good trainers BTW), and all of them say she's just that kind of horse. I took her to the open range ring, no horses, no bushes, no wild life, no disturbance, and she worked very nicely, unfortunately it's almost impossible to create such environment every time I school her.
kitten_Val is offline  
post #9 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
Perhaps - but it sounds to me that the horse is evading, or the rider isn't putting the puzzle pieces together in order, properly.

The reason why I assume this is because the horse either goes BEHIND the verticle...which is an evasion, or way above the verticle, another evasion.

Spyder - your input would be helpful here!

MIEventer is offline  
post #10 of 39 Old 10-30-2010, 07:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
Posts: 3,679
• Horses: 5
the thing that springs to mind here is that have you actualy been taught about outlines and collecting up a horse?

It is not about head position a true outline comes from behind and only when you learn to ride the horse from the back end forwards will her head position become consistant. Dropping behind the verticle is generaly an evasion and means generaly that the rider is dragging the head down with constant pressure and no regard to what the back end is doing. The pony has learnt to drop behind to avoid and lessen the pressure.
You should PUSH a horse from your seat to your hand, not drag its head down with your hands.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

faye 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
Too Low headset? FXAce Horse Training 3 10-20-2010 08:29 PM
OTTB Headset HeroMyOttb Horse Training 17 02-22-2010 11:16 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