How to teach a horse collection(high headed) - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation How to teach a horse collection(high headed)

I just bought a 13yr old TB mare which I plan on training for dressage and jumping. She was a track horse and the previouse owners did polo on her. She is good on the ground and ok under saddle however. She is incredibly high headed and doesn't know alot of things she's very one sided. Doesn't know lateral work. Has never been jumped or learned to collect. I have been told I have to use side reins to teach her how to accept the bit. But I have never uses side reins and my trainer isn't around at the moment. I was wondering a few things and want your advice on them. What ways do you use to train your horses to collect/accept the bit. Do you have any exercises for one sided and high headed horses. I lunge her alot on both sides evenly I ask her frequently to just lower her head and am making some progress but I want some prospectives because I have not heard much about training horses to accept the bit and such thanks!
(I plan on getting proffesional help too soon by the way.)
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 08:54 PM
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I don't think side reins are needed. And if you decide on using them I'd do it only with someone experienced watching you. Well, I going to repeat what was said gazillion of times on this forum, but... You have to drive him from behind. And frankly I (myself) couldn't achieve it with my high-headed paint till I started working with very good dressage trainer, who knew how to teach both me and the horse. Part of the training was correct seat, correct cues, and plenty of half-halts on my side. I highly recommend you to search on forum (both - in Training and Dressage sections) on "head set", "frame", "collection". You'll get lots of great posts by very experienced people here.

I always refer to this video:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very helpful!:)
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 08:59 PM
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Sure! Its been a long process for me and my horses (mostly because my horses didn't have any "professional" training and I'm kinda a beginner), but its something doable. I wish you best luck!

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 09:11 PM
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I'd get her a good massage to start to work out all the knots in her muscles and then start riding her using suppling exercises to soften her stiff side. Lots of soft bending, shallow serpentines and circles to get her reaching into the bit.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! That sounds like a good idea. My biggest concern with her is her head set she really puts her head up in the air. She seems very sensitive and according to her last owner doesn't like the bit very much. To teach her to eventually be on the bit I want her to do each gait with a relaxed headset. Any tips on getting her to relax into being ridden?
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 09:26 PM
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I would bore her into relaxing. Until now, she has done only fast work. I would walk her, and walk her, and then walk some more. I would not even think about trotting until every walk stride from start to finish was bored and through that, relaxed. Then I would do the same with the trot. Teach her that slow is ok, and that fast isn't going to happen. Once she relaxes into it, she will come good.

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post #8 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 09:33 PM
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Yes, along the lines with what Chiilaa said, understand that no real work can happen without relaxation. A simple D-ring french link snaffle would be a nice inviting bit. Walk her in the above mentioned circles, bends and serpentines, over ground poles if she's cool with it, with the sole goal of achieving relaxation. She needs to know that nothing bad or sudden is going to take place and that you are going to be a consistent leader up there.

If she is all go, just walking might be counter-productive to her energy level. If that's the case, a few minutes of trot in between walk sessions make be necessary to allow her to stay calm, but only do that if you absolutely have to.

Relaxation is #1 priority for now.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-24-2011, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Okay sounds like a plaan thanks guys!
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