Is this normal?
   

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Is this normal?

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  • Horses with naturally high head carriage strapped down to make it lower

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    02-13-2014, 09:55 PM
  #1
Foal
Is this normal?

So I found this video online, it was taken at one of the barns near me.

Is it normal for the horses head to be so low and tied down like that? Also I noticed the horse would open its mouth sometimes when going....is that normal?

I am not experienced and am just observing and trying to learn so I thought I would ask you good folk to explain what Im looking at. Lol

Thanks!

     
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    02-13-2014, 10:12 PM
  #2
Trained
No. That is one unhappy horse trying to find relief from the bit. :( Also a pretty patient horse, although I'm betting the horse is right on the edge of flipping out and getting that rider off his/her back.
     
    02-13-2014, 11:52 PM
  #3
Started
It's not natural, but people want to do western pleasure, and have the horse's head down low, or level with the withers as I believe they are supposed to carry themselves. Same with hunter under saddle, lower headset, there as well. Arabs in general are built to carry their heads high, and sometimes the only way to get them as low as is commonly seen in western pleasure, and even hunter under saddle, is to have a short martingale like that preventing them from picking up their head. While it looks uncomfortable, I do have to say that at least the guy is riding him in a snaffle. I've seen people tie down like that using a leverage bit, and it really makes me mad. He looks like a really cute horse though, I'd love to see him with a more natural headset per his build, and see him move.
     
    02-14-2014, 12:16 AM
  #4
Weanling
The horse's head really isn't "tied down". They are using a running martingale and it doesn't really pull their head down, just keeps it from coming up. Everyone using a snaffle should be using a running martingale with their snaffles. It really isn't safe without one. This horses isn't having its head pulled down, but is giving to the pressure of the hands and legs of the rider, so really the horse is choosing to do this. Not the most natural looking for this horse as it kind of looks like an arab, but nothing that looks "not normal".
     
    02-14-2014, 12:21 AM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by kay56649    
The horse's head really isn't "tied down". They are using a running martingale and it doesn't really pull their head down, just keeps it from coming up. Everyone using a snaffle should be using a running martingale with their snaffles. It really isn't safe without one. This horses isn't having its head pulled down, but is giving to the pressure of the hands and legs of the rider, so really the horse is choosing to do this. Not the most natural looking for this horse as it kind of looks like an arab, but nothing that looks "not normal".
Actually, it's a training fork - which is different than an English running martingale. It's adjusted very tight to - yes - "guide" the horse's head down. It's a head-setting device.
     
    02-14-2014, 12:30 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Yep. It's a training fork, not a running martingale. It is adjusted too tight.
In theory, a running martingale is supposed to only come into play when the horse raises his head too high. At other times, the line from hand to mouth should be unbroken. In reality, even in a running martingale adjusted properly, it's hard to maintain a straight line, since the horse moves his head up and down, and so you get time when the hand is contacting at one angle (in line with the forearm of the rider) and times when the contact is a downward pull, when the ring of the martingale breaks the straight line from hand to bit. I can imagine this feels really confusing and uncomfortable for the horse.

That training fork is doing the same thing, except that it's so tight that the horse can only achieve any relief from the downward pull by keep his head quite low.

He looked pretty uncomfortable, and it's a shame because when the rider eased up he put his head in a very nice position for a pleasure horse and is a real cute little guy.
     
    02-14-2014, 12:33 AM
  #7
Green Broke
It's very normal for someone who doesn't know what they're doing and also among people who don't care about their horse's comfort.
smrobs, bsms and morganarab94 like this.
     
    02-14-2014, 01:08 AM
  #8
Showing
That horse is ticked and is being a saint for not throwing a royal hissy fit. I was always taught that a training fork was a crutch for people with bad hands. People who couldn't maintain correct pressure to get the horse to carry his head where they wanted it would slap one on there to basically force the horse to carry his nose down and tucked...when he would normally be flinging his head all over the place looking for some semblance of a release...which the horse in the video isn't getting. That is not a natural head carriage for that horse, not even close.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kay56649    
Everyone using a snaffle should be using a running martingale with their snaffles. It really isn't safe without one.
Really? In my experience, if the initial training is done correctly, then the horse stargazing and running off isn't a problem. I've been training horses for 15 years and ridden some pretty nasty ones, but I've never had a situation where I thought "Boy, I should have really had a tiedown/martingale on that horse, that would have stopped that wreck".

I have been in situations where a horse being unable to get his head up could have cost one or both of us our lives though.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "safe". In the terrain and disciplines where I ride, having a horse that doesn't have full range of motion with their head can be incredibly dangerous, snaffle bit or not. I just prefer to take the time to put the proper training on the horse that they'll learn the correct way to give to the pressure of a snaffle instead of resisting against it and raising their head.
     
    02-14-2014, 01:13 AM
  #9
Trained
The horse is in false frame and trailing out behind and wringing it's tail. Is this normal training? Normal for lousy trainers, yup it is.
     
    02-14-2014, 01:22 AM
  #10
Weanling
No you don't use it to keep the horse from stargazing....it's just a safety procaution while training. You ALWAYS teach the horse to respect you and learn to give to pressure in some of the very first training it has, but since the snaffle is such a light bit, it's always good to be on the safe side. Even if it is a fork, there is slack in the reins and he could be resisting more than he is. No it's not normal but it's not totally bazaar to see something like this. It's not a matter of who is a better or more experienced trainer, it's the same concept of the people who say helmets are not necessary and some people won't ride without them. It's just safety.
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