Having problems getting my horse to keep his head down - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-10-2010, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Post Having problems getting my horse to keep his head down

My horse tends to jerk his head a lot when I ask for the canter. He also trys to throw in a couple bucks before he goes into the canter. What could I do or try to use that may help with him having a smooth transition from the trot into a nice relaxed canter? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-10-2010, 04:05 PM
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Honestly I'm not sure my advice will help, but I've kind of dealt with this with my own horse. She was badly trained. She was taught bucking and rearing were o.k. if she wanted to stop working. What I started doing was to just ride out the bucking, usually she stopped as soon as she realized I wasn't getting off and she wasn't going to get to stop. The best advice I got from different people was to just try to keep their head up because it's harder for them to buck when it's up and to keep them going at a canter. If you let them slow down or stop them all you're teaching them is to buck and they get out of work.

Some thing else you might try is to change the bit you're using. I ride my lovely little western terror in an english saddle with a western bridle because she hates my western saddle but loves my tom thumb with 6 inch shanks.

I think they only other advice I can give you is to watch your aides. You might be cuing harder than necessary, but I don't know. I hope this helps.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-10-2010, 04:54 PM
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Firstly, have you ruled out pain? Horses react 'big' when they are in pain. Have you had the saddle professionally fitted, back checked by a chiro, muscles checked for bruising, and teeth floated?
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-10-2010, 08:18 PM
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Have you worked with a trainer on this issue? My horse had a similar problem and after working with a trainer it was my fault lol. Try holding him together in the frame he goes in normally, and ask him quietly with your leg. You may be goosing him a little so now he is anticipating the transition.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-10-2010, 11:29 PM
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How steady is your horse is keeping his topline at the slower gaits
(sorry, my question mark key is not working, so just imagine it ! )
If the horse does not have good body control and collection at the walk and trot, you won`t have it at the canter .
You have to have your horse hold his topline an step up into the canter correctly from behind. He have to be able to move his hip into the lead, keep inside shoulder up with inside rein, while he continues to give in the poll and face, then drive him up into the canter, holding for as much as it takes for him to continue giving correctly. As he softens in the canter , you can soften your hands accordingly
Let him know bucking is not in the plan. The minute he does, stop him and shut him down. Back him as a reprimand, or do several turns on the haunches-making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy
Ask again, giving the horse a chance to give `the right answer
You have to let a horse know when he is right and when he is wrong
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-11-2010, 02:13 AM
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throwing the head around and bucking into the canter could be signs of some kin of discomfort. Will he do this when you are not ON him? LIke in the round pen or paddock? Could be the saddle is pinching .
I agree with another poster that you might be over cueing, by kinda goosing him and leaning too far forward. Wathch him in the round pen and see how he breaks over into canter. Visualize that when you are on board, but first make sure the saddle is not a poor, painful fit.
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