Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
Although I've used martingales (tie downs) and training forks (running martingales for you English riding folks) in the past and would again if I thought it was necessary, the first thing I would do is to look to the physical for a problem. What I mean is to have saddle, teeth, bit, adjustments, etc. etc, looked at first. I would then look at the way I'm riding him and how much contact I'm giving his mouth or how I'm sitting on him.
If I found nothing, I'd go to the round pen or lunge line and work my horse there for a bit, maybe even long line him. If he was not doing it with me off his back, and there were no physical reasons for the behavior I might put a running martingale on very loosely. Sometimes it is just an avoidance issue and having him bump himself a few times might cure it. I use the running martingale for a short time just so that he realizes that throwing his head will cause discomfort.
Like the old story of the man who goes to the Dr. He raises his arm and says "Dr, it hurts when I do that" The Dr says, "Well then don't do that".
In any case that is how I handle a situation such as yours.
I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
It's not always what you say but what they hear.