Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Thanks again for the feedback everyone. It is really funny to hear some of the hints about how to establish headset and speed through circling/suppling. I started taking lessons for reining, and have consequentially (sp?) been circling a lot in the various exercises. In four lessons (one per week with me practicing in between), be has developed a lower headset and slowed his pace (through the exact same exercise suggested by Redneck Cutie - circling until he slows and rewarding by going straight).
I have since purchased some black chaps, and have some more colorful shirts and a black felt hat that I can use to sharpen things up a bit. Sadly, there are no APHA breed shows at present in Alaska. I have played with the idea of hauling stateside for some shows, but both he and I will have to become a lot more experienced and refined with showing before I spend that kind of $$$. :)
The bungee tool sounds interesting. I simply worry with this particular horse that he would find some way to ignore it, or utilize it to assist his quest to be lazy :) Driving him into his headset through circles has helped a lot, because he is figuring out that if he simply keeps his head in position, he has to work less.
Though we are making progress with his headset and pace in practice and training, I feel like it is all lost when we go to a show or other event because he is so excited. We had a trail class where he was pretty good in the practice arena about his new skills, and then he rushed through everything in the actaul class, pushing hard against the bit with his mouth gaping - I won't share pictures - I can't bare to look at them :) I am sure everyone can imagine the look of things :) Other than time and experience, any ideas for handling this type of situation in that actaul show ring. We get around other horses, and he becomes much more interested in what is going on around him than what I am asking. I am pretty strict with him in general because he is a stallion, but I can't exactly go correcting him for calling right in the middle of a class with judges and everyone else. I usually correct him by circling or backnig him to make him work hard each time he commits a behavior - wouldn't really work in class.