Ex RaceHorse High Head - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-12-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Ireland
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Ex RaceHorse High Head

Hi again, i need advice on how to ask Barney to lower is head. He is an Ex Racer and always holds himself high, we are very 'new' to each other and are taking things slowly. He is a very forward horse and any 'leg on' or 'shorten rein' he is off like a bullet...we are working on that.
Advice will be greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-13-2014, 01:08 AM
Green Broke
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Where are your hands? If they are high, then his head will be.

Lower hands and give some release and the head should come down.

Might also have sore back too.

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post #3 of 4 Old 05-13-2014, 03:17 AM
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I totally disagree with Palomine!

The horse that has a hight head carriage will fight even more if you are dropping hands down and using weight on the lower jaw to lower it. A orders hands should remain in a straight line with the mouth so, if a horse has a high head carriage your hands need to be higher,

What I would do with this horse is ride it on a loose rein, keep my legs on its side and if it started to rush, I would not pull back but be quick to guide it onto a circle which decreases in size until it has to come back to a walk. No pulling back.

The hot horse is going to be looking for the rider pulling back and will probably panic a bit, start shoving their head down and jerking looking for the familiar pull. It takes a while before they realise that it is no longer there, that they can happily work without being het up. Then and only then can a contact be asked for.
You have to get the mental attitude right before you can get the physical results.

When I have had horses that keep their heads up even though they are not het up, I will actually raise my hands and hold the horse's head even higher this takes a lot of strength and times when my hands have been level with my ear height! When the horse starts to want to lower its head, I will keep it high for a short while longer and then let it go down. Soon if it raises its head and I raise my hands, it immediately lowers.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-14-2014, 01:00 AM
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Is this the same very underweight horse from your other thread? If so and if those pictures are recent I would suggest not riding him at all until he approaches a much healthier weight. That will be best for him and you. Depending on what you are feeding him to put weight on it might be making him a bit hot as well, which wouldn't help the situation.

The mare I recently bought was a bit underweight- about 75 pounds or so (with protruding hip bones) on a petite horse- and I ended up just putting weight on her the first month and doing groundwork with her. The groundwork allowed us to build a good foundation first and when we did start riding I certainly appreciated the wait. She was feeling better with a healthier weight and we were both feeling good after working on the ground. She is also a very forward horse that liked to have her head up like a giraffe, so I focused a lot on slowing her gaits, getting her to respond to "easy," and praising her when she dropped her head while we were in the round pen. And of course the respect I gained from her first is priceless both on the ground and under saddle. Good luck!
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