Here is my 2cents.
Sounds like is is falling into your hands, on to the forehand, heavy on the bit, blahblahblah im sure your getting what I am saying.
From my experience this is very common is young ones first learning to "bridle up". Along with older horses who have gotten away with falling on the bit. Say you aim to pick up the reins and ride with contact. Your horse automatically falls into your hands, then you release so he has nothing to lean on. Fixes it right? Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. By releasing when your horse leans on the bit your actually reinforcing what he is doing is correct. A release of pressure is a reward to a horse, so in his mind, he is doing what you asked. He is not being bratty or spoiled, this is simply something he has learned or is learning. Which you need to correct this ASAP or it will turn into something that will take longer to fix. The second you feel him being heavy, correct it.
Imagine the bit as a wall and your hands are the wall. Drive him forward with your legs "into" that wall. You feel him lean lean lean on that bit, once you feel him finally give to the bit release. Forward motion is the key. By doing this your also helping teach him collection, self carriage, balance, head set, etc. Continue doing this, every time you pick up and he drops down. PUSH him into that bit or "wall" you have created with your hands. Get him to trot if you have to. Put those legs to good use. Do not pull back more, just hold. Once you feel him getting off the bit, release. Jerking or slapping with a crop can cause problems and confuse a horse.
Another thing that will help you alot is bending circles. Pull your horse's head about while pushing him forward (a fast walk or trot is ideal). "Feather" your fingers (open an close them quickly) while applying pressure to what ever side your bending. Once your horse brings his head to the position you want, release. If he moves his head, do the same and bring it back. He needs to know what you want and by releasing pressure your teaching him. Alternate directions doing a few circles each way. These need to be small circles. By doing this you are teaching your horse to be more light, to give to the pressure of the bit, helps with head set, balance. Its amazing how much bending will do. You need to bend him every day. If he really resists the pressure under saddle you need to work with him on the ground. Stand at the saddle and bend him around. ANY time he gives to that pressure you need to release, if he takes his head away just bring it back. If he moves around just stay with him at the saddle, he will eventually stop.
Try to get lighter and lighter with your cues. I understand at first it will take some muscle, but with every time try to get him to do what you want with softer and softer cues. Both on the ground and under saddle. These things I told you should really help his all around manners along with him falling onto the bit. I hope this helps, goodluck!
Last edited by .Delete.; 09-09-2011 at 01:42 PM.