Throwing head around in halt

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Throwing head around in halt

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    01-04-2012, 04:58 PM
Throwing head around in halt

During my riding lessons, when ever I stop the horse I ride, Charlie, will throw his head around and make a crunching sound like he is munching on the bit. My instructor tells me to let him have all of the rein so I do, but I don't feel confortable having no rein. Is there a way to stop him doing this? I have tried shortening up the reins, letting him have a little rein and pulling on the reins a bit but nothing seems to work
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    01-04-2012, 05:11 PM
My first guess would be that he is having issues with the bit or how it's being handled. Do you know when the last time was that he had his teeth checked? If they are causing him pain, that could explain it. It could also be the result of a tack fit issue if the saddle is pinching his back somewhere.

However, with all that being said, since he is a lesson horse, I would be much more willing to believe that it's a training/behavioral issue. And with the situation being what it is, I seriously doubt there will be a way to fix it.

I know this is a bit off topic, but one thing you might want to discuss with your instructor is your comfort level when you drop the reins. It would greatly benefit your riding ability to learn to be comfortable, confident, and capable of riding a horse with loose reins...and eventually, without reins. It will help you to learn to feel the horse better and help you learn to communicate better with your weight, seat, and legs.
    01-04-2012, 05:16 PM
Why do you need to stop him chewing on the bit? He may need to do this to be relaxed and comfortable.

It is important that once you have come to a halt you give the horse loose enough reins that there is no contact on his mouth. He did what you asked; came to a halt, now you must let him have his reward, which is NO pressure on his mouth.
If you feel uncomfortable, like you are worried he'll just take off all of a sudden, then you might want to work on learning how to rapidly shorten your rein when needed. That way, if he does start to move suddenly, you can quickly take back the slack in the rein.
After you have more time in the saddle you may come to worry less about that becasue you will feel secure enought to know that if he does move of his own, and maybe a bit suddenly , you can easily deal with it and won't come off.

It's important to not "ride the brakes" so to speak by always having a hold on the horse's mouth , even when he is just standing around, becuase you will dull out his mouth, and then when you need him to have brakes, he won't have them anymore.
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    01-04-2012, 05:28 PM
We had a girl do this with a mare at our therapeutic riding center. She'd ride with her hands, instead of her body and minimal hand. I think you need more no rein work.. it'll help you become a confident rider and you'll learn to use your body to get a change of gait instead of pulling back on the reins. =)

The horse is probably throwing its head in pain or to avoid pain.. sometimes a sign that you need more leg and seat, less hand.
    01-04-2012, 05:30 PM
I don't know when he last had his teeth checked but I think they are fine.

I do let him have some rein, but he throws his head around so much and only stops one he has ALL the rein. He does tend to wander off and not listen to the reins and go where he wants to go. I am told to have the reins quite short when he is moving because he won't listen to anything other than strong pulls on the rein. He tends to walk towards other horses (and some horses at the stable I go to kick when a horse is near them) and I would want to be able to stop him doing that as quickly as I can.

I didn't realise that some horses chew the bit to relax, but the main problem is him throwing his head around.
    01-04-2012, 05:34 PM
You need to use more inside leg to get him away from the middle of the arena. He sounds buddy/barn sour. He doesn't think of you as a leader, more like a passenger, hence why he is taking control and not listening to anything besides you pulling.

You should bring this up with your instructor.. cause if this isn't fixed, it can be very frustrating for both horse and rider and turn dangerous and he keeps refusing to listen, IMOP.
    01-04-2012, 05:47 PM
When I use my leg he just think's its a que to speed up

Is no rein work on the lunge line? I haven't been on one before but I am in group lessons with 3-4 other people so I don't think I would be able to do that.
    01-04-2012, 05:48 PM
Yeah which would probably require a private lesson... darn :/

Have you learned about seatbones yet?
    01-04-2012, 05:53 PM
Um... You have to sit on them? I'm not sure if I do sit on them though. I just get told to lean back more because I tend to lean forward.
    01-04-2012, 06:32 PM
Yeah you do sit on them but they're very important in communicating with the horse. Actually the most important.. then come legs, and then lastly hands.

You should ask your instructor about it.. seat bones and why they are important.

As for leaning back.. sitting up tall helps, but not stiffening your back. I have a tendency to lean forward too (look at my avatar for example)

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