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Why is my horse putting his head down?

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  • My horse puts head down while trotting
  • Horse putting their head down while exercising

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    11-08-2011, 09:18 AM
  #11
Green Broke
Really do try!
And ask your trainer, she might be able to give you a better idea, if the horse does is all of a sudden, I would check the saddle and back first rather than blame it on naughty behaviour, but if it is naughty behaviour, you need to snap him out of it sharpish.. lots of transitions, which will help with square halts, backwards, lunging and changing the speed of the gait within the gait will help him work properly. Get someone on the ground to watch too :)
     
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    11-08-2011, 11:34 AM
  #12
Showing
The next time his head starts dropping release one rein and brace your other hand against the front of the saddle. The pressure will be on one side of his mouth. If he starts turning, let him as he may think that's what he's supposed to do. When his head comes up pick up your other rein and when he tries again, repeat the exercise. Changing reins is ok. He won't learn after a few tries so stick with it and we'll hope he gets tired of running into the bit. If that doesn't work shorten the one rein and force him into a tight circle. When he stops and his head is up, reward him with lots of rein so he can straighten out. Again, many repetitions. He'll come to realize he's working a lot harder with the tight circles than by evading the bit.
     
    11-08-2011, 11:49 AM
  #13
Weanling
DuffyDuck - I will try to find professionals to check him & ask my trainer if she can offer some advice on what she thinks. :) Thanks for your suggestions!

Saddlebag - When you say to drop one rein & brace the saddle with the other hand, do you mean brace the saddle with the hand that has the rein in it or the hand without the rein? I'm a little confused with that wording. And I'll work on it. Last time he did this, he snapped out of it relatively quickly, so hopefully he'll do it again.
     
    11-10-2011, 03:16 PM
  #14
Foal
Sarahkgamble,

I think the principle "saddlebag" recommends is hold pressure on your horses mouth until he raises his head. To help you hold pressure with the rein in your hand that you are holding pressure on his mouth with free the other to brace yourself against the saddle. The instant his head comes up release the pressure, gather up both reins and continue.

If your horse starts to stretch out his head and you tighten up on the rein but release some of the pressure while he is still pulling on it he is learning to push his head forward to get pressure release.

As a side note I never let my horses eat or grab grass while I am mounted. Eating on the trail is only when I am dismounted and permission given.

Hope this helps,

Ben
     
    11-10-2011, 07:50 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by knickerb    
Sarahkgamble,

I think the principle "saddlebag" recommends is hold pressure on your horses mouth until he raises his head. To help you hold pressure with the rein in your hand that you are holding pressure on his mouth with free the other to brace yourself against the saddle. The instant his head comes up release the pressure, gather up both reins and continue.

If your horse starts to stretch out his head and you tighten up on the rein but release some of the pressure while he is still pulling on it he is learning to push his head forward to get pressure release.

As a side note I never let my horses eat or grab grass while I am mounted. Eating on the trail is only when I am dismounted and permission given.

Hope this helps,

Ben
Thanks for the clarification!
     
    11-14-2011, 08:39 AM
  #16
Weanling
Alright, so I was out at the barn yesterday and we had such a good ride!

He started off wanting to put his head down, but I've found that if I just keep firm contact on his mouth (not pulling on him, fighting him for his head, or loosening the reins), he'll put his head back up, and then I immediately soften and praise him. It seemed to work pretty well. When we took breaks between exercises, I let him on a loose rein so he could stretch his neck and then collected the reins back when we started again.

He did very good. Besides keeping his head up, we're working on getting him more on his hind end & carrying himself better. We did circles in every corner and the walk and trot with serpentines down the long sides of the arena at the walk/trot. Then we did an exercise where we walk, halt, back up, then trot off for ten strides and bring him back down and do it all over again. We also did trotting poles so that he will learn to carry himself properly. He did very good with all of the exercises! We threw in some cantering here & there, he did his transitions well. Then I rewarded him by taking him out of the ring and walking and trotting around the barn yard. He was a very good boy!
     

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