Persistant grazer!
   

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Persistant grazer!

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  • Miniature horse with bearing rein
  • Daisy rein

 
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    09-14-2009, 03:14 PM
  #1
Yearling
Persistant grazer!

I know there's all kinds of things to get a horse to keep it's head down, but is there something like a check rein on a driving harness to get a horse to keep it's head *up*?
Magic has this absolutely horrible habit of trying to eat all the time. I've taken all sorts of suggestions on training her to kick the habit and, if anything, it's just gotten worse!
Right now, the rules laid down for her are that she cannot graze with a bit in her mouth (whether or not she has a rider), and she cannot graze while she's being led. When she tries to graze, I tap her chin with my boot (hard enough to get her attention, but not hard enough to hurt her), and/or pull her head back up with the reins/lead rope. But the problem is, she's persistent -- I literally have to throw all my weight into pulling her head back up. And just yesterday, my friend was trotting her across a small piece of grass, and suddenly, without warning, Magic yanked her head down to eat, kicked herself in the chin and fell on her knees, and threw my friend over her head. My friend was fine, but when I checked Magic, she had enough blood coming from her mouth that I sent someone running after the show vet and was ready to drop out of all my classes. (She'd just split her upper lip, cut the inside of her bottom lip, and scraped right behind her mouth on one side. The show vet said she'd be fine to ride, it shouldn't need any stitches, just maybe put some ice on it.)
You'd think she'd learn, but only a few minutes later, she did the same thing, but managed to stay on her feet that time.
I make sure that she has a reasonable enough amount of food that she's not hungry -- she's probably even over fed a bit. If I hold her lead short enough that she can't reach the ground, and correct her once or twice, then she'll give up and stand rather nicely, but if someone new is holding her, or someone she knows will let her eat, she'll be constantly diving for grass.
Any suggestions?
     
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    09-14-2009, 03:17 PM
  #2
Yearling
There is a piece of kit to stop a horse putting its head down whilst being ridden - it's called a Daisy Rein ( in the UK )

mini_daisy_rein.jpg
     
    09-14-2009, 05:52 PM
  #3
Started
This problem is actually very easy to fix, and it requires no mechanical device.

Ride her along and if she stops to eat allow it for 15 seconds then ask her to trot. Don't even ask her head up, just kiss to her and ask her to trot and if she doesn't go use the end of a mecate rein to spank her on the hindquarters. Next time she does it, allow it for 10 seconds, then 5, then 3.....pretty soon she'll get the idea.
     
    09-14-2009, 06:09 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
This problem is actually very easy to fix, and it requires no mechanical device.

Ride her along and if she stops to eat allow it for 15 seconds then ask her to trot. Don't even ask her head up, just kiss to her and ask her to trot and if she doesn't go use the end of a mecate rein to spank her on the hindquarters. Next time she does it, allow it for 10 seconds, then 5, then 3.....pretty soon she'll get the idea.
I've never heard of that... I may just try it (it's certainly cheaper than hunting down something, and I'm particularly fond of my lack of 'horse accessories' when I ride -- less stuff to worry about. ).
I will at least attempt to find a Daisy Rein -- I was more or less joking about wanting one, but now I'm just curious if they have those around these parts!
     

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