How do I get his head up? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 22 Old 10-27-2013, 08:12 PM
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Lots of good thoughts and comments already. I have a question though- what does he do if you don't give him contact/something to pull against and just give him all the rein he wants and keep it slack? After all, his neck is only so long... Does he just run off willy-nilly? Or just he then just carry his head low (peanut rolling) but stay responsive? Or does he react differently all together?

Many horses can learn to move both on the bit and on a loose rein. I am not saying those horses go on to be champion competitors in any field, but it is certainly not beyond a horse to be able to work both on a loose rein and on contact, even during the same ride, as requested by the rider at a pleasure-horse level. What is this guy used to, and what would you like him to do?
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-27-2013, 11:04 PM
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He's pig-rooting, a form of bit evasion because he doesn't feel like doing ring work. I had one try that. As long as his head was down he got a light whap with the riding crop, one for each stride. He'd pick up speed but I just kept tapping. As soon as his head came up part way I stopped tapping. It took two solid sessions. But he quit doing it. At no time did I pull on the reins. I like to play the horse's game except part way thro I change how it's played so it's always unpleasant for the horse.
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-28-2013, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I am a bit mistyfied about this generalization. I have not had that to be my expereience; that horses trained in dressage will try to barg their heads down and lean on the rein way forward and down. I have seen dressage horse used to a very strong, constant contact, by not the kind of barging down the OP is discriginbg. That seems to me to be more like an old school hrose, or dude trail horse , who is immediately assuming someone is going to reef on his mouth.
I was just trying to differentiate as I know many WP riders who mistake the need for contact for leaning into the reins. I actually had a WP rider test ride Cinny to possibly lease and they didn't like that he kept putting his weight into the reins. Cinny likes very light contact which some of you know has been a long time in getting him to accept any, so it just made me aware of how a WP person perceives a horse who likes contact.

The way I read the OP's original post which says the statements "QH that I is constantly putting pressure on his bit," and "He puts his head way down and pulls his nose forward", it is exactly what my trainer's 1st level Dressage horse does when he isn't getting the "contact" he is seeking, but he by no means leans into the bridle. I didn't mean to be so general, so I thought I would clarify a bit.
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-28-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny View Post
I was just trying to differentiate as I know many WP riders who mistake the need for contact for leaning into the reins. I actually had a WP rider test ride Cinny to possibly lease and they didn't like that he kept putting his weight into the reins. Cinny likes very light contact which some of you know has been a long time in getting him to accept any, so it just made me aware of how a WP person perceives a horse who likes contact.

The way I read the OP's original post which says the statements "QH that I is constantly putting pressure on his bit," and "He puts his head way down and pulls his nose forward", it is exactly what my trainer's 1st level Dressage horse does when he isn't getting the "contact" he is seeking, but he by no means leans into the bridle. I didn't mean to be so general, so I thought I would clarify a bit.
You're referring to "stretching down", correct? I can see how you could have gotten that from the OP.
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-28-2013, 03:26 PM
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Just another tidbit that might help-- if he is responsive off of the leg, try moving laterally or leg yielding whenever he lays on the bit. Ask for a tiny bend away from your direction of movement and ask him to move away from your leg. Or, you can shoulder fore and push forwards. It is much more difficult for a horse to lean on the bit during lateral movements!
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post #16 of 22 Old 10-31-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry it took so long to get back. Thanks everyone for the advice. Sorry I'm bad at explaining things.
So when he does get contact he just keeps pulling. It's not like he is looking for contact. He is ridden western. I ride both so I know what contact is and I don't feel like that is what he is trying to get.

Honestly I have no idea on prior training. It could just be that the horses likes to move slower and keep his head low. My BO just used him for trails. I'm not looking to train him for any thing. I just wanted my student to ride some thing other than my speedy barrel horse. I simply want him to walk trot and canter around the ring. Preferably without his nose straight out. But I think he would do well if someone else trained him for wp.

I worked a lot on serpentine and lateral movements. It really did help. Then he started bucking because he really didn't want to listen. I think I was understanding that is bit thing wasn't getting him out of work. He would try to pull in the straight a ways but the second I felt him pull on me I took him off the wall. Had I'm do big circles and weave through cones. Once I felt him drop his nose I let him go back to the wall. After repeating this for maybe 20 minutes (and riding a couple half hearted bucks) he really started to loosen up. Then I was able to teach my lesson on him.
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-31-2013, 02:59 PM
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There's a difference between wanting to carry his head low and pig-rooting.

If he puts his head low quietly, carries it confidently there, and still remains responsive, then it's likely he was trained that way to begin with.

If he pushes his head down forcefully, pulling you off balance and/or the reins through your hands, and then puts his head back up to normal, then he's pig-rooting and that's unacceptable behavior. He doing it intentionally to get out of listening to you.

I'm not really sure of these is occurring, so I don't have any advice to give at present.
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-31-2013, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAmom View Post
There's a difference between wanting to carry his head low and pig-rooting.

If he puts his head low quietly, carries it confidently there, and still remains responsive, then it's likely he was trained that way to begin with.

If he pushes his head down forcefully, pulling you off balance and/or the reins through your hands, and then puts his head back up to normal, then he's pig-rooting and that's unacceptable behavior. He doing it intentionally to get out of listening to you.

I'm not really sure of these is occurring, so I don't have any advice to give at present.
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I've never heard of the term "Pig Rooting" before, but I can understand why that behavior is called that. Yay, I learned something new today.
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-31-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAmom View Post
There's a difference between wanting to carry his head low and pig-rooting.

If he puts his head low quietly, carries it confidently there, and still remains responsive, then it's likely he was trained that way to begin with.

If he pushes his head down forcefully, pulling you off balance and/or the reins through your hands, and then puts his head back up to normal, then he's pig-rooting and that's unacceptable behavior. He doing it intentionally to get out of listening to you.

I'm not really sure of these is occurring, so I don't have any advice to give at present.
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That sounds exacting like what he does.
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post #20 of 22 Old 10-31-2013, 04:44 PM
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Mia used to pig-root, but only at a canter. She gave it up when I went to a curb bit. I think what she was doing was getting her head at an angle where the snaffle would go back against her molars instead of working on the bars, and then she was happy to brace that way. With the curb, she doesn't get any relief from the poll pressure or (in more extreme cases) the curb strap, so she gave it up. I don't think she even thinks about it any more.

It was a bad habit. She would get so forward while cantering that I was worried we would flip. There certainly would not have been any room for error if she had stumbled. It was not in any way the movement associated with good training or 'seeking contact'!

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