How to get proper headset - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to get proper headset

I have a 13 year old quarter/thoro horse I am tuning up. When I lunge him his head is sky high. When I ride him I can correct it and he does well with a lot of reminding. I was debating whether a humane headsetter or german martingale would be useful for both lunging and riding to get the headset I am looking for. Any input on this equipment or maybe some other ideas???
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 02:22 PM
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my first thought is if the horse isn't willing to do this on the longe, chances are he isn't properly doing this under saddle - with or without reminders. My more trained horses will seek out the bit whether US or longing and i've found the ones farthest along in their training will stretch and reach even on the longe with just a halter.

My guess is examine if your horse has a "headset" or is actually engaged from behind and seeking contact and using their back. Headset means nothing, engagement imo is everything!

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 02:26 PM
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Gimmicks are short cuts. Using a tie down, martingale, etc in an effort to ONLY lower the head does not teach the horse anything expect to brace.

I have a horse in training right now that has come so far in just a few short weeks. Lots of ground trot pole and cavelitti work. She reaches and stretches on her own now.

Yes, side reins, etc would place her head where I want it but it won't build the muscle for her to carry it there for any length of time.

I always get a kick out the riders at shows who warm up with gimmicks but have to take them off for the class. Mid way in the class - UP goes the head.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 12:51 AM
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I hate German Martingales. There is a rider at the previous barn I was at who uses that piece of garbage gadget - cant' stand it. Every horse this person puts that thing on, goes backwards instead of improving in any means.

Gadgest teach the horse nothing.

Quote:
my guess is examine if your horse has a "headset" or is actually engaged from behind and seeking contact and using their back. Headset means nothing, engagement imo is everything!
I agree, proper riding is the key factor. Riding from back to front, ensuring that the horse is opened up in the front, moving under themselves, lifting their backs, tracking up and searching for contact.

When you get the puzzle pieces put together in order, the headset will come on its own, in time.

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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I ride him quite often and am at a loss for this. Its like a vicious circle, to get his head set I need to get him rounded and under himself ,but to get him rounded and under himself I need his head. SO??? He flexes well for me at the poll and is very flexible with his neck and body. I started doing manual back exercises with my hands on the ground to get him rounded but from there I am at a loss on how to get him to do this while he is moving. I've never had this problem before with my other horses. IDK if its because he is lazy and its too much work for him(which is quite possible cause he has always wanted his own way) or what his deal is. He is flexible and I'm having a chiropractor come out to adjust him. Maybe he fights cause he is out too?? But I desperately need to get his back rounded and strengthened. Any other ideas??
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 12:20 PM
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true: Its like a vicious circle, to get his head set I need to get him rounded and under himself , false but to get him rounded and under himself I need his head.
To get him round and under himself you need to ride him forward. Forward first my trainer always says! If he's lazy it may be more work to get him forward, but once he is forward then you can ask for a soft contact, and keep the leg on to keep him engaged and then he will reach for the bit rather than set his head. That is the big difference!

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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I feel like an idiot. Ridden horses my whole life and never had this problem and I not sure how to fix it. So, let me get this straight, I need to push him forward, not for speed or to move out, but keep him collected and then ask for his head while keeping him moving forward?? Is that correct? Sorry for twenty questions.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texana View Post
I feel like an idiot. Ridden horses my whole life and never had this problem and I not sure how to fix it. So, let me get this straight, I need to push him forward, not for speed or to move out, but keep him collected and then ask for his head while keeping him moving forward?? Is that correct? Sorry for twenty questions.
Put him over ground poles and cavelitti. He will need to lower his head and round up to travel correctly. It can seem like putsy work but it DOES work.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-23-2011, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm all for putsy at this point. That's a good idea. I'll try it. Gotta get it at a walk before I can at a trot. Thanks!!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for eveyone's input. Just a quik note.... Bailey is now a headsetting fool. At both a lunge and while I'm on him. What worked for him was poles on the ground and keeping him collected and under himself while moving forward. He definitely a work horse now!! And his hind end is showing it!! (and mine due to pushing him forward so much. Lol) He's got driving power now!! Thanks!!
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