Head set
 
 

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Head set

This is a discussion on Head set within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to teach a horse to set head
  • Training a horse head set

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    05-03-2012, 03:41 PM
  #1
Weanling
Head set

No issues here with any horses I am working with but just for the sake of knowing and increasing my knowledge, How are all you other trainers out there getting that perfect head set? I have seen some use tie downs and then remove it over time to get the horse to "set" it there when riding. I don't like this method very much, I have always tried from the ground and mounted to teach the horse to give to the pressure and then release. I know there are action devices used to get the head set amoung no telling how many other ways so how do you get it where you want it?
     
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    05-03-2012, 03:52 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
There are more headset threads on HF than perhaps any other topic. You are certainly welcome to start another, and your opinion is just as valuable. I am only saying this because if you do a search, you may find a treasure trove of responses.

I agree with your view that using a tie down is not the best way.
     
    05-03-2012, 03:54 PM
  #3
Trained
I don't set the head, I ask for varying degrees of collection through flexion, weight and pressure. There is many, many exercises to train for this, some of which, early on in a horse's training can benefit with the help of a martingale but only for a short period of time otherwise the handler & the horse will use it as a crutch thus moving backwards in the training process. The less you require these devices, the more the training & refinement will progress, JMHO.
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    05-03-2012, 03:56 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I used to use a tie down on an old horse, more for his benefit.

It kept my reins quieter rather than jangling up and down. However, I don't see it as a long term solution.

If we're talking about building a horse up to get the muscles and correct head set.... lunging. Lots and lots of lunging. I use side reins, or reins to have the horse's head in position. Normally only 20mins hard workout, or they get too tired.

Under saddle, lots of work from behind so that the horse will come round with a natural head set rather than hands forcing it. There are a lot of ifs and buts for headsets, how to achieve, what you need, what you want and how to get it. Like tiny said.. there are a lot of threads on here that might give you a lot of answers!
     
    05-03-2012, 03:59 PM
  #5
Started
I like to do a lot of flexing, side to side, which increases the vertical suppleness of the horse. From there I will hold and release, aided by my leg. I'll hold, push, and when the horse "dips", I'll give a large release. During these hold and release sessions, I will lighten my touch incrementally. I want to be able to either squeeze or just pick up my hands for that dip. This continues for several months until I will expect the horse to hold his own head set. I will place the hold, then release and expect the horse to keep carrying himself. If he drops out, below or above, I'll take one rein and bump him back into place. Not a large bump, but just a little reminder to stay. I hate to say that I do a bit of rolkur, but sometimes I will overflex, hold for a couple strides, and then let the horse continue in a natural way. The horse will keep its head pretty natural for me so long as I've engaged the hindquarters and core muscles. Not to mention, my horses are pretty much bred with the even/low headset. After that I try to get my horses used to doing more complicated manuevers on a loose rein. Like if I wanted to teach the leg yield, I would start out with the give and release, and after a while simply correct by pulling on the inside rein. I've also learned that if the horse departs from a transition with a fixed head set, he will be more likely to keep it than if he departed unbalance. Blah blah blah, lol. It's all about feel and sensitizing the horse to the bit, and allowing him to be responsible for himself.
Wallee likes this.
     
    05-03-2012, 04:05 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
I like to do a lot of flexing, side to side, which increases the vertical suppleness of the horse. From there I will hold and release, aided by my leg. I'll hold, push, and when the horse "dips", I'll give a large release. During these hold and release sessions, I will lighten my touch incrementally. I want to be able to either squeeze or just pick up my hands for that dip. This continues for several months until I will expect the horse to hold his own head set. I will place the hold, then release and expect the horse to keep carrying himself. If he drops out, below or above, I'll take one rein and bump him back into place. Not a large bump, but just a little reminder to stay. I hate to say that I do a bit of rolkur, but sometimes I will overflex, hold for a couple strides, and then let the horse continue in a natural way. The horse will keep its head pretty natural for me so long as I've engaged the hindquarters and core muscles. Not to mention, my horses are pretty much bred with the even/low headset. After that I try to get my horses used to doing more complicated manuevers on a loose rein. Like if I wanted to teach the leg yield, I would start out with the give and release, and after a while simply correct by pulling on the inside rein. I've also learned that if the horse departs from a transition with a fixed head set, he will be more likely to keep it than if he departed unbalance. Blah blah blah, lol. It's all about feel and sensitizing the horse to the bit, and allowing him to be responsible for himself.

This is pretty much exactly what I do! Flexing and more flexing side to side and breaking at the poll. I find that flexing tends to help with teaching the horse to collect and hold themselves properly.
     
    05-03-2012, 04:07 PM
  #7
Started
Lol, we are the flexing queens. My little Lily will learn how to flex as soon as we start halter training. :) When she turns two, she'll be getting in frame in no time.
     
    05-03-2012, 04:22 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
lol, we are the flexing queens. My little Lily will learn how to flex as soon as we start halter training. :) When she turns two, she'll be getting in frame in no time.

Ha ha I prefer the flexing king title myself :P One can never overflex IMO.
     
    05-03-2012, 04:22 PM
  #9
Started
Whoops, lol xD sorry bout that
     
    05-03-2012, 04:30 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
whoops, lol xD sorry bout that

Ha ha no worries! Seems like the horse community is dominated by women I don't suppose that is a bad thing
     

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