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Horse Cantering with high head

This is a discussion on Horse Cantering with high head within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse high head in canter
  • Head flipping only in canter

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    09-28-2012, 12:58 AM
  #11
Trained
The horse has to be ridden back to front, which will encourage it to lower its head. I suggest some lessons with a trainer so you can have eyes on the ground and help you learn what to do and when.
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    09-28-2012, 01:28 AM
  #12
Foal
I used to have a high strung thoroughbred mare that would do that at the canter, which might be the hardest to correct, but after time I found that using a running martingale helped. As well as relaxing and I placed my hands a little lower then I normally put them and kind of massaged my fingers and rolled my wrists to get her to lower her head and get a nice frame. Took some time and she did fight it, but if you are consistent, you should see some change. But the neck relaxer will only make your horses problems worse, and more likely you are giving her a bad experience with it. And above all, think "slow" aha
     
    09-28-2012, 01:29 AM
  #13
Started
Do you mean like this?
Lizzie

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    09-28-2012, 09:48 AM
  #14
Foal
I wouldn't use any contraptions on her, especially a neck stretcher, as that teaches the rider to be dependent upon it and the horse to learn a false frame and give her a neck that is more developed below than on top. Plus, you can't take your horse into a hunter class in a neck stetcher. You can get your mare to stretch her head down, but please remember the conformation of her breeding gives her a higher set neck and a more upright shoulder.

I ride with a woman who has a Saddlebred who was giraffe neck high and would draw away from your hands with the lightest contact. She's worked very hard and has taken it very slowly, but she now shows him in 1st Level Dressage and schools 2nd. Both this woman and I ride with the same trainer, and he encourages (for this kind of horse who picks their head up and draws away) a long and low frame to start out with before compressing the horse any. It takes a lot of time and patience, but it can be done.

If you ride with a trainer, ask for his/her opinion on how to go about this. If you don't have a trainer, it might be a good idea to find one who can help you.


Good luck!
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    09-28-2012, 09:56 AM
  #15
Green Broke
I have an Arab who does this. I just use a running martingale as it is not restrictive by any means but it prevents her from completely throwing her head up (think bolting, hitting my face high). I will never get her to lower her head, she is bred to keep it up. I think it looks pretty but I don't want her putting it to high so a running martingale works great, it doesn't strap the horses head down.
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    09-28-2012, 10:00 AM
  #16
Started
I agree, get rid of the contraption, they are no replacement for hard work.

As was mentioned, she was bred to have a high head, its not likely that's suddenly going to change. My arab has a high head, I like it, and work with it. It actually has become strange riding something with a level head set, I keep wishing they would lift their head up.

You have three choices, either work very hard to try and get her to naturally drop her head, Accept that she has a high head and work with it or get a different horse.
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    09-28-2012, 10:14 AM
  #17
Super Moderator
Get rid of that contraption you have on her - she's using it to balance herself instead of getting her quarters underneath her and pushing from behind. All that's happening is that she is building up the muscles on the underside of her neck which will make her head carriage worse.
I have no problem with CORRECTLY adjusted running martingales used as a safety net for head flippers - they shouldn't be used as training aids
Encourage your horse to work on the bit so it relaxes its neck and poll, play with its mouth gently by opening and closing your fingers on the reins - left and right alternately to bring her head down - though a high head carriage by breed is something you have to live with the horse can still work in a correct balanced outline.
Have you tried lunging her in her tack?
That head throwing can be a precursor to bolting as its allowing her to get the bit between her teeth - the action of the bit isn't against the bars of her mouth but going into the corners - a running martingale will stop her doing that until you sort out her general carriage.
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    09-28-2012, 10:28 AM
  #18
Green Broke
That head throwing can be a precursor to bolting as its allowing her to get the bit between her teeth - the action of the bit isn't against the bars of her mouth but going into the corners - a running martingale will stop her doing that until you sort out her general carriage.

That is what my dear girl does. She got into bolting so the running martingale helps prevent that. But I use that along with training her out of bolting. My running martingale will only come into play once she gets her nose almost level with her ears, it's loose so that she can't brace against it normally.
     
    09-28-2012, 10:55 AM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
I agree, get rid of the contraption, they are no replacement for hard work.

As was mentioned, she was bred to have a high head, its not likely that's suddenly going to change. My arab has a high head, I like it, and work with it. It actually has become strange riding something with a level head set, I keep wishing they would lift their head up.

This. Low head carriage freaks me out a little because it makes me feel like the horse is going to buck any second, LOL.

I use a running martingale on my Arab but only in one specific situation - groups. He gets really wild in groups and sticks his head way back towards me and cocks his head to the side so he can evade the bit and try to run. We're working on it though and the goal is to eventually take it off.

To the OP- maybe if you post pictures or videos we can get a better idea of the situation.
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    09-28-2012, 11:20 AM
  #20
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
This. Low head carriage freaks me out a little because it makes me feel like the horse is going to buck any second, LOL.

I use a running martingale on my Arab but only in one specific situation - groups. He gets really wild in groups and sticks his head way back towards me and cocks his head to the side so he can evade the bit and try to run. We're working on it though and the goal is to eventually take it off.

To the OP- maybe if you post pictures or videos we can get a better idea of the situation.
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I'm not a fan either - but for me its a fear of them tripping up and falling over
I guess I've always been more used to a horse that had its ears somewhere in front of me!!!
I did have a head flipping problem with Looby when I got her - ears up my nose a few times - but that's all behind us now and I found the running martingale a great help
     

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