how to get a horse to arch his neck?

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how to get a horse to arch his neck?

This is a discussion on how to get a horse to arch his neck? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    12-08-2011, 08:32 AM
how to get a horse to arch his neck?

How do you get a horse to arch his neck/head? I've been wondering whats the best way to teach this? I've never done dressage before, maybe once or twice but not actual high up there dressage but I'd like to teach my horse since I will probably be doing it next year.
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    12-08-2011, 08:43 AM
Visit the dressage subforum, english riding and horse training and look for anything to do with collection and 'head set'. These posts tend to attract the usual answers - get the hind quarters working and the 'pretty arched neck' will follow. It's not a matter of pulling their head around a little until they suck back and arch their neck, If it was that easy I wouldn't bother being a dressage rider ;)
    12-08-2011, 08:43 AM
Well there are 2 types of an arch. The "On the bit arch" or the bit resisting avoidance arch. Go for the first one. When your horse is on the bit they are traveling from more their butt and not their front legs. More push from behind. Also it mauves their back supple and rounded and they are usually smoother. I cannot really tell yo how to train it but look around online a ittle bit. Heres another website that explains it pretty good.
Getting a Horse 'On the Bit'
    12-08-2011, 08:44 AM
I may be misunderstanding here, but you're talking about getting a horse on the bit, right? For dressage, and especially higher dressage, the highest point is the poll.

If you have never had a horse rounded on the bit in a relaxed outline, I would suggest lessons on a horse that is capable so you become aware of the feel.

To teach a horse, you need to forget bringing the horse up and round first of all, its all about low work, keeping the contact, but helping the horse build up the correct muscles from working through his hind legs and back correctly. Once this has been establised (we're talking weeks, not days here ;D) you can slowly ask the horse to gradually come 'up' over short amounts of time, but the horse will tire quickly at first, nod or head shake. You really have to find that balance, and feel like you're riding the whole horse, not part of it.

You may want to ask this thread to be moved to the dressage thread. Someone there like Kayty, anebel or Spyder will give you more info about half halts and correct timings and feel, or look for other threads similair to yours.
BCtazzie likes this.
    12-08-2011, 08:47 AM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Visit the dressage subforum, english riding and horse training and look for anything to do with collection and 'head set'. These posts tend to attract the usual answers - get the hind quarters working and the 'pretty arched neck' will follow. It's not a matter of pulling their head around a little until they suck back and arch their neck, If it was that easy I wouldn't bother being a dressage rider ;)


Ah, you should have seen Duffy last night :) I WAS RIDING A WHOLE HORSE, NOT JUST A FRONT END! And the contact. At first it had to be a bit firmer, but then she worked in to an active contact and she worked beautifully... apart from tanking off in a canter!!
However, one of the girls did exactly as you've mentioned above.
They pull a horses head in to a stiff, unnatural bend using contraptions like draw reins and ride the front end to look flashy, leaving them hind legs dragging behind. Backs are stiff, no engagement, and the rider's arms look like popeye.
    12-08-2011, 08:52 AM
The line of the neck is not a matter of teaching him to arch it, it is about collecting a fully developed topline. The arch of the neck comes when your horse has the strength to contract the muscles all along his topline, pull his hip under himself and lift his shoulder, the neck and head coming up are merely an effect of this action.
    12-08-2011, 08:57 AM
Oh but DD - its much easier to just pull on the front end, after all, it's not about feel, its about sight, you can see the head and neck, so focus on that :)


Ok Tayz, here's a good thread to get you started: As you will see, dressage is far, FAR more complicated than pulling on a horse's head to make it arch it's neck. Its an extremely complicated discipline, demands a huge amount of patience, feel, timing and knowledge from the rider to be even mildly successful.
If you are really keen to get started in dressage, there is nothing that will help you more than an experienced coach. Depending where in QLD you are located, there are multitudes of very good coaches and riders available to teach you. QLD and NSW is abundant in good coaches!

The mysterious half halt, causes and effects.
    12-08-2011, 09:01 AM
Haha Kayty, I know, and so long as her front legs look flashy and I can run over the top of any other competitors, I'm fine, right??!!

Good luck Tayz! Once you get the bug, you'll never go back =^^=
Kayty likes this.
    12-08-2011, 01:34 PM
My only advice would be to take lessons with dressage trainer. You won't advance much by just reading if you don't know the basics (and noone on ground is watching you do it correctly). Although I second the idea to check the Dressage and English Riding subforums (also you can search on "head set", "horse in frame" and so on - we had some threads on it in past). Good luck!
    12-09-2011, 08:43 AM
Ok thankyou guys, I am going to be getting a new instructor at start of next year whos apparently very good at dressage so fingers crossed he can help us understand :) Also I waas wondering whats the best way to teach your horse bare back??
My horse has never had a person on him without a saddle so I'm wondering, whats the best way to do it? Should you just get on and hope for the best?? :S I would really appreciate help on this because I don't know where to start.

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