Arabian-Specific Training - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-22-2013, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Arabian-Specific Training

I have my arabian colt at a barn with a non-arab trainer, and I never learned how to make them pose for halter. I know you are supposed to put a treat in your hand and hold it above and in front of them and make them back up whenever they try to move their feet towards it until they stretch their neck, but my colt is working on a biting problem and I do not want him to associate food with my hands. Is there any other way to train him for it, or will I just have to wait out his biting issue?

Also, he is going to be a hunter/western horse most likely, and they are supposed to hold their heads much differently than other breeds. We are already working on holding his head higher and tucked, but will the pretty curve in his neck come with muscle or does that take special training as well? For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, I have added photos.

Last edited by TheBayArab; 01-22-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-22-2013, 10:42 PM
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Nope, no special training. I always used a good basic dressage foundation, for a western horse or an English horse. The western horse still has to use their hind quarters for a nice rounded frame, collection comes from the rear. You still use your seat and legs for "headset", flexing at the poll always comes from the hindquarters, with a round frame. Arabians really do not hold their heads any differently, with the exception of the breed fads that come and go. A correct frame is still a correct frame, regardless of breed. Hunt seat Arabs move in a longer, lower frame than do the saddle seat horses, of course.

Also, riding a horse in the proper frame will develop all the correct muscles of the horses back and neck.
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Last edited by Remali; 01-22-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-22-2013, 10:56 PM
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For halter, if you could take lessons from someone with a trained horse, you'll learn a lot. I showed it for the first time last year, and it's definitely not as easy as it looks. There are a lot of little cues on those horses, and if you don't hit them just right, the stand up looks bad. It's hard to explain, but if you can set up a trained horse a few times, you'll get an idea of it. Just using treats to get them to lift their necks/heads isn't enough at all. You actually start by teaching them to set their hind legs, then the fronts, and you end at the neck. You have to get the foundation first. With the neck, it has to come up out of their withers, not just straight out. They have to be set back on the hind end (which is why you start by teaching them that first, lock their legs, and then learn to reach UP and then OUT with their neck.

As far as the riding, that should come on its own. Forcing a frame isn't a good idea, and you can tell it when you see them show. Once they start learning self carriage, you'll see that neck really develop as it should.

ETA: I provide videos, so here's a video of me showing halter at Regionals last year. I'm the last to show here. My mare ended up 3rd somehow, which I'm still irritated about. BUT, it was redeemed when she was third at Canadian Nationals (out of several more than That's much more important than a Regional
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Last edited by Silhouette; 01-22-2013 at 11:06 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-22-2013, 11:21 PM
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I should add...that was only my second time showing halter. I watch it now and yell at myself, lol. I had pretty intensive lessons after that. I want to tell myself to SLOW DOWN and to drop my hand when I set her up...among other things ;)
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