calming down my horse

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calming down my horse

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    11-11-2010, 10:32 PM
calming down my horse

My horse is very sweet but he is a little ....throwy with the head I don't want to put a tie-down if I don't have to. Do I try a martingale?
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    11-11-2010, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Have you had his teeth checked? Maybe something hurts?
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    11-11-2010, 11:21 PM
In addition to his teeth, I would check saddle fit, as well as make sure that the bit you are using fits in his mouth, and isn't pinching, or jabbing him in the roof of his mouth. If you can, I'd also have a chiropractor come out and adjust him. If all those check out, then I'd see how you are riding him. Are you messing with the bit a lot, are you accidentally thumping down in the saddle, or being overly bouncy when he's moving. Oh, and also check his ears. I had a horse once who had really bad gnats in her ears, and because we didn't shave her ears, we didn't know until she really started to shake and throw her head around, and started getting sensitive when we would bridle her. Once we realized it, we got a fly mask with ears that we kept on year round, and made sure to apply fly spray to her ears as well when we were riding. Hopefully you can get to the root of the problem. I applaud you for not immediately going for tying his head down, and instead asking for help and ideas.
    11-13-2010, 05:36 PM
He is only eight, and he was sitting in the pasture for a 1-1 1/2 (before I owned him) so his teeth SHOULD be ok but I will check. And he isn't......touchy with his back so painful. I ride fine, I am very careful about that, I don't jerk onhis mouth. I belive it is just cause he didn't get his way and he's frustrated so that's why I wonder should I use martinagle to try and bring his head down cause I want to show him in western plasure too.
    11-13-2010, 06:52 PM
The fact that he has been sitting in a pasture tells me that it could very well be a pain issue.
My gelding has only needed his teeth floated three times in the 6 years I have owned him, however my lease gelding needed them floated once a year if not twice (older gelding).

Make sure you have a vet or equine dentist check your horses teeth. Unless you are very experienced in the area, you won't be able to tell just from looking into his mouth. The hind molars are where a lot of things start to go wrong, not the front teeth we can see.

I didn't quite follow what you said about his back, he may not be touchy unsaddled but adding a saddle could cause pinching or soreness.

What kind of bit are you riding him in?

I would be bringing him back from the ground up and taking time to get him limber, relaxed, and fit. Headset should be of no concern to you and if he IS in pain, a martingale is going to just make things worse.

You should not be using gadgets to bring his head down rather than riding him properly using your seat. Eliminate pain then make sure you arent treating a horse that has been out of work for a long period of time like a horse that has been ridden consistently.
    11-13-2010, 07:01 PM
Green Broke
I have to agree with Dove. Gadgets only mask a problem IMO.
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    11-14-2010, 11:17 AM
Dove-I finally found the bit Western Bits it is the second one down it is extremely similar except mine might have a little copper. This is the same bit the previous owners used as well...
I will see what I can do about his teeth he is eating fine so I will look.

About his back...I was massaging him the other day and he didn't try to pull away. Could it be since he was sitting and barely had a saddle on he's still getting used to it, and will later calm down????

Thanks for everyones help soo far! ;)
    11-14-2010, 11:28 AM
Originally Posted by Gus    
he is only eight, and he was sitting in the pasture for a 1-1 1/2 (before I owned him)....
If he's been sitting in a pasture for 1 1/2 years, he could need some brushing up. Take him back to basics and bring him along at a pace that makes progress.

Also, do you ride with a loose rein or with contact? I've seen many horses that have been off the bit for a couple years need some work getting ok with a bit again, especially if you get tight in their mouth.
    11-14-2010, 11:36 AM
Green Broke
A martingale isn't used to bring a horse's head down; it keeps a horse from smacking you in the face if it throws its head.

A tie-down isn't used to bring a horse's head down; it gives a horse something to brace against in events like barrel racing.

Headset isn't about putting the head where you want it; it's about using your seat and NATURAL aids to get your horse properly using his body. Then, and only then, proper headset will be achieved. Headset doesn't come from the head, it comes from the hind end and works its way up into the head.

To be blunt, the fact that you were considering a martingale to bring your horse's head down tells me that you aren't qualified to check his teeth or saddle fit.
Not trying to be rude, just honest.

I suggest getting a vet/dentist/saddle fitter out. If he is clear, I then suggest getting a trainer to work you and your horse through the issues.
Good luck.
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    11-14-2010, 11:07 PM
PaintHorseMares- I ride both a loose rein for practice but tighter for competition

[QUOTE]To be blunt, the fact that you were considering a martingale to bring your horse's head down tells me that you aren't qualified to check his teeth or saddle fit.
Not trying to be rude, just honest.

[QUOTE]To be blunt, the fact that you were considering a martingale to bring your horse's head down tells me that you aren't qualified to check his teeth or saddle fit.
Not trying to be rude, just honest.

Sunny-His teeth i've been working on and only the other day I was massaging him all over and there was no heat, he wasn't flinching, and when ever I'm giving him a break I always loosen the cinch, plus when I'm done I brush him out.... So that's why i'm pretty sure it isn't his back. He only throws his head every now and then not constantly. His teeth, if this unusual pattern continues, I will call out our dentist, but sometimes he never throws his head it is rather unpredictable. And I got to remember he is PUREBRED arabian so he could just be throwing it because of his breed. Or it's just not being ridden in soo long.... And about the martingale I want to train my horse in western pleasure, and I don't know any other way to bring his head down. I am new at western pleasure as well....

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