Cow horse head set - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-16-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Cow horse head set

I recently acquired a 6 year old foundation quarter horse mare that is cow bred on both sides. The intent is to use her as a reined cow horse. I prefer my cow horses to keep their heads on the level, however "Bunny" will only carry her head level when at the walk or when you let her all out run. At the trot and the lope she all kinds of "giraffes" up. She gives her poll nicely, but when you ask her to break she tucks up underneath herself like an Arab rather than relaxing and putting her head down. I was wondering if you guys have any exercises for her to maybe build muscle in her neck and shoulders to make it easier for her to lower her head without tucking it that doesnt involve tying it between her knees or anything similar. Has anyone had an experience with German Martingales?

Thanks! Any input is appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-16-2011, 10:13 PM
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For one thing, your Tom Thumb bit is really not helping matters in the slightest, and may very well be contributing to her stiffness and upright neck.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-16-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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What bit would you recommend? She's chargy in any sort of plain snaffle.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-16-2011, 10:48 PM
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I wonder if retraining her to a snaffle, for a start, would do her any good. Even with a loose martingale, if necessary, in a three-piece O-ring.

Or, if you want to stick with a curb, some kind of Myler or Billy Allen. Possibly a dogbone bit of sorts, but I think you've be better off sticking with a rotating port.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-16-2011, 11:05 PM
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I agree with Bubba. Lose the TT bit. If she was mine, I would take her back to a regular snaffle for the foreseeable future and work on getting her mind right before I try to fix her head. If you absolutely must keep her in a curb, I really love this bit.

I suspect a big part of her giraffe problem may stem from her chargey-ness. I've never seen a horse be chargey with a flat topline. If you can get that fixed, the headset will probably fix itself for the most part.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-17-2011, 09:11 AM
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A top notch trainer once advised us that when things aren't right, go back to basics. If she's raising her head, there are holes in her training. So back to the snaffle and back to the walk.
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