Horse pulls on reins, makes it hard to post - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 93
• Horses: 2
Horse pulls on reins, makes it hard to post

Hello y'all. I ride English on my paint mare Squaw. I've recently been doing a lot of her retraining. But here's my problem:
So, I've been riding English and lately I've realized that Squaw's collection sucks. Hunter horses are supposed to keep their noses tucked in. And Squaw noses out and tries to lower her head. Not to thut my own horn, but my equitation isn't bad at all, so that's not apart of the problem. When I go to post, Squaw noses out a lot, and resists the bit. She tries to tugs the reins out of my hands while trotting. It's hard for me to stay balanced during this. Then, on top of that, she thinks I'm asking her to stop or slow down. So I'll be in mid post and nearly fly over the side because she pulls me up and then stops!
I hope you guys can understand that, please let me know if you have any questions about the situation. Thanks everyone!
-Skylar & Squaw
Posted via Mobile Device
PaintGirl7 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,286
• Horses: 1
How does she do on a loose rein, like if you give her enough rein that she can't pull against you?
verona1016 is offline  
post #3 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 93
• Horses: 2
She puts her head super insanely low. Like it's around the area her forearms would be.
Posted via Mobile Device
PaintGirl7 is offline  
post #4 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,712
• Horses: 0
Drop the reins. Sounds like you're balancing on her mouth. Ride her on a looser rein and use your seat and legs to push her forward into the bridle more. Don't worry about where her nose is, it will fall into place when her body is moving correctly. Focus on her butt and not her nose.
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #5 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,562
• Horses: 4
Originally Posted by PaintGirl7 View Post
...So, I've been riding English and lately I've realized that Squaw's collection sucks. Hunter horses are supposed to keep their noses tucked in...

From George Morris's "". Available for $12 used on Amazon. Or you might try "", which is still in print.

A horse may lower its head for a variety of reasons, both good and bad. It should not affect your posting. If the horse gets way forward in its balance, that is a different problem. If the horse is stretching down low in order to pull hard against the bit, that may be yet another problem.

Some pictures would help. I'm not a jumper, but "nose" and "collection" normally should not be used in the same paragraph.
Northern, GotaDunQH, boots and 2 others like this.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
bsms is online now  
post #6 of 31 Old 08-09-2013, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,264
• Horses: 2
Lengthening the rein and allowing her to stretch out may help but at the same time what you need is impulsion. As Muppet indicated a horse can't move up into the bit if they don't have the impulsion from behind; they will hang on the bit.

Now, on the other hand, if she is pulling just to pull, which some horses will do, you need to set your hands and let her pull against herself. Eventually she will get tired of hitting herself in the mouth. If necessary use a bucking strap on the front of your saddle, or the neck loop of a martingale on her neck, to enable you to set your hands.
tlkng1 is offline  
post #7 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NQ, Australia
Posts: 351
• Horses: 0
You say retraining in your post. I wonder if she has been taught to go with head low previously?

Secondly, collection comes from the back end. If she doesn't have enough strength or balance to propell herself from the back you will need to look at exercises to help her with that and make sure you are using enough leg and seat to help her accomplish it.

If however, she is leaning on you and resisting, a good way to make her pick herself up is to ride her on a circle and whenever she is dropping away from you, you throw away the contact with the inside rein. After a couple of strides, pick up the contact again, repeat when she leans on you again. This encourages the horse to balance and carry itself.
franknbeans likes this.

Only As Old As You Feel - Sometimes I Feel VERY Old
makin tracks is offline  
post #8 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: left of center
Posts: 7,083
• Horses: 2
^^ Agree. They cannot lean if you give them nothing to lean on. Drop her like a bag of hot potatoes when she leans.
GotaDunQH and DimSum like this.

Signature undergoing edits. Please standby.......
franknbeans is offline  
post #9 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,277
• Horses: 4
Is she stretching her neck really long and low? Sort of like how you see the Western Pleasure horses doing? What she trained to do that?
If this is a new thing that's only occurring recently not related to previous training my first thought would be to check out her tack. When you changed riding styles did you change bits and saddles? Does the new tack fit correctly?
Have you checked the horse's back for pain or muscle issues? I would have a chiro check her out if this is a new issue. Dropping their nose like that helps stretch out their back muscles.
What bit are you using? is it single jointed? I hope you switched into a bit without leverage if you switched from western to english.
If the bit has 1 single joint int he center of it what often happens it the joint hits the roof of the horse's mouth so they either stick their head all the way up in the air, pushing the bit hard into their bars and tongue, but relieving the pressure on the roof of their mouth - or they drop their head completely which tilts the bit and again puts all the pressure on their bars and tongue rather than the roof. Try using a mullen mouth, ported or french link bit. Those are either solid mouth pieces that won't hit the pallet or double jointed so you still have the sides working independently but not hitting the horse's pallet. You'll have to experiment a little to find what your horse is most comfortable in.

So I guess I can't be of anymore help without knowing what tack he's being ridden in. When you lunge him at the trot with no tack does he do the same thing?
Until you rule out equipment/pain issue I wouldn't call this a training issue yet.
PunksTank is offline  
post #10 of 31 Old 08-10-2013, 02:22 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 41,034
• Horses: 2
REtraining? was she previously ridden Western Pleasure? and had years of work where the rider kind of snaps the rein up in order to "set her head"? the horse MUST keep their head down or they get snapped in the mouth, they put their head down and get rewarded with looping rein with no contact more than the weight of the reins. Horse becomes worried about contact, since it's a BAD thing, in that kind of training.

So, your horse is probably a lot worried about contact, is braced in her neck and poll and jaw, and when you start to post, she gets even more worried. it can also be that the saddle you ride in is not very comfortable and she tightens up her back, dropping it down, too.
I bet that this tightness and worry about contact is evident at the walk, too, but you just aren't noticing. she might not barge the reins, but she is likely not soft on contact at the walk, either.

I would work at the walk, teaching her to accept contact. That is what your next thread might be on, but I don't have time to write that out now.
Kayty likes this.
tinyliny 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
Horse Pulls jumpinggirl Jumping 17 12-14-2012 05:57 PM
What makes CAIR panels go "hard"? ohmyitschelle Horse Tack and Equipment 17 12-01-2012 04:34 PM
Western Tack: Blue/Grey Pad, Show Halter, breast collars, Side pulls with reins... Velvetgrace Tack and Equipment Classifieds 19 03-30-2010 10:25 PM
Help horse pulls through reins!! cpc417 Natural Horsemanship 35 02-14-2010 12:41 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