Horse Drops His Head in Canter - The Horse Forum

 1Likes
  • 1 Post By Shasta1981
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Horse Drops His Head in Canter

My instructor has recently been consistently putting me on a 19-year-old Thoroughbred gelding who I LOVE, but nearly every time we canter he starts to lower his head (usually not long after we start). He puts his head so low it pulls my hands down; it makes me feel way out of balance almost to the point of falling off. Does anyone know why he would do this- or what I can do to keep his head held higher?
BrinkofSunshine is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 04:20 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: North America
Posts: 125
• Horses: 0
Subbing, my friend's horse was really bad for this.
Does he throw it down? Or does he just travel with it really low.
My friend's horse would throw his head down, quite annoying.
Normally I would just squeeze him up, or if he was being really bad give him a little kick. I only rode him a few times though. And that was a few years ago!
jenainy is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
He doesn't really throw his head down- he starts out fine and then a little lower then he totally just drops it and then continues on like that. My instructor says I should just "ride him through it" but I'm not entirely sure what that means as it's hard to go on when he does this.

I've only been riding for 3 months after a 10+year absence (I stopped when I was 10), so I'm not quite sure what I'm doing just yet
BrinkofSunshine is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 08:41 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 635
• Horses: 0
Sounds like he is leaning on your hands. You will need to let up on the reins every so often so that he will carry himself. He can't lean unless you are giving him something to brace against. Correct timing with more leg will help. Learning to do this will take time. :)
Shasta1981 is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 26
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasta1981 View Post
Sounds like he is leaning on your hands. You will need to let up on the reins every so often so that he will carry himself. He can't lean unless you are giving him something to brace against. Correct timing with more leg will help. Learning to do this will take time. :)
Contact is one of the things I'm struggling with, since I don't totally understand when I need to have more contact and when I don't. When you say he is leaning on my hands- does that mean I'm also pulling on his mouth?
BrinkofSunshine is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 04-07-2012, 08:51 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 635
• Horses: 0
Hard to know without seeing you ride, but since there is no give-and-take conversation going on you are likely pulling without realizing it.

Contact/feel are, in my opinion, the toughest to learn and is never-ending.
jenainy likes this.
Shasta1981 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 08:12 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North central Iowa
Posts: 1,199
• Horses: 2
Sounds just like what my Rusty used to do. He leaned on my hands at the canter and put his head down. For months of training he was doing this until we switched him from a D ring snaffle to a pelham. He respected the tougher bit (he was also very hardmouthed), and has never even attempted leaning since.

However, I have heard that working on tons of transitions helps. Also, riding spirals and working up and down hills is supposed to help the horse build his hind end. And half-halts whenever he starts leaning. My instructor always had me pull Rusty up with one rein everytime he got heavy. This does correct them, but Rusty was an extreme lean artist. :) Try those ideas.

Rusty - a miracle horse Knight - my golden oldie
Vlogging about Midwest trail riding here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_u...tIjwnOxjKzOfjA
Corazon Lock is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 09:16 PM
uii
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 63
• Horses: 0
It's natural for a horse to pull his head down a little at the canter, but if it's that much, I would advise practicing really good contact at the walk and trot first, then trying it out at the canter. Good luck!

uii
uii is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 04-14-2012, 10:02 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 8,956
• Horses: 4
This is just FWIW, based on a sample of 1...

My mare will sometimes pick up a nice, relaxed and fairly collected canter. Other times, she gets excited and goes way forward. When she does, she sometimes stretches her nose down to the ground. And I mean inches from the ground. The first time she did it, I thought something had happened to her - like a stroke or something. We were going at a fast canter, but her nose was just a few inches from the ground.

My other two don't do that [edit: in fact, one gelding tends to start with his head high, and THEN he moves to level], and we start the canter with slack in the reins. Also, I ride her with an Australian saddle and a western approach to using reins, altho with a simple snaffle bit. So it is NOT a case of her leaning on my hands. Not with a loose rein!

What I do is remove the slack and then pull her head up some. I try to shift MY weight to the rear, and then use whatever force I need to pull her head up to level. Then I milk the reins, very slight pressure on alternating sides in synch with her shoulder moving forward. She will then settle back, slow down some, and take up a canter about halfway between the collected canter she sometimes takes, and the very forward canter she takes the other times.

I've been thinking about it this week, and think she needs more work cantering on a lunge line - although I've never seen her put her head that low with a lunge line. I also think I need to work on shifting my weight further back. It is pretty easy to pull her neck level, so she isn't forcing the issue.

I don't know if that helps in any way. It freaked me out the first time she did it! It looks and feels really weird. Good luck!

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
bsms is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

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

Password:


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

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









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
Head shaking when asking for canter xoxoaprilxoxo Horse Training 4 12-28-2011 08:46 PM
'Eyeballs'- The Diary of a Girl and Her Head-Shy Horse That Needs Eye Drops speedy da fish Horse Health 6 07-02-2010 05:07 PM
Pulling her head down at the canter Hali English Riding 11 11-07-2009 04:45 PM
Dropping The Head In The Canter. ChingazMyBoy Horse Training 5 05-30-2009 09:21 PM
breaking canter and throwing her head up in the air rolf4life Horse Training 23 07-06-2008 11:51 AM

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