Originally Posted by Celeste
If you ever let a horse eat while you are riding them, that is all they want to do. I never let them take even a bite while I am mounted. If my horse needs to graze, I will dismount. Just keep on not giving in. Don't let her do it. She should get better if she figures out you are not going to let her graze.
It can be that is all they want to do but it doesn't have to be. I let a horse graze but I make it MY choice when they eat. I even train a cue for them to know when to eat.
Letting them graze when you are half way into the ride, they look forward to going out instead of fighting to go back.
I am going to disagree with Joe. I would not go to a more severe bit. Take the horse to an area where they would try to eat. While on the ground, work the horse a little then stop. If the horse tries to eat, put it back to work. Rinse and repeat. When the horse stops trying to eat, push down on the neck in front of where the saddle is or would be. Hold pressure until the horse puts its head down to eat. Let it get a few bites then bump the halter or reins to cue the head to come up. If/when it doesn't, go back to working the horse. Rinse and repeat.
If I'm riding a horse that likes to stop and eat, I have another technique. I use split reins and western saddle. I'll tie a knot in the reins (I don't want a chance of dropping one rein). I put the knot where I can put the reins on the horn but the horse can't reach the ground. I'll let them try to eat. They put their head down, they create their own pressure. Once they quit, I lift the reins off the horn and cue them to put their head down. This can also teach them to be lighter on the bit. Usually only takes a ride or two before the quit pulling the reins out of your hands. Posted via Mobile Device