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post #11 of 33 Old 06-06-2009, 10:29 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Maine
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All very good advice! I'll only add that on the lead , you can almost feel just prior to the horse stopping and dropping its head, so I just keep walking and set my hand so if it goes to drop it runs into the end of whatever slack there is and gets bumped. While I didn't bump them , they learn they did it to themselves.

Under saddle, same thing , forward movement, set my hands, they'll bump themselves. Of course some of our trails are narrow and there is a smorgashborg of delicious leaves! Let's say T moves her head to the right to snatch some leaves, all I do is set the left rein, and move her forward. She learnt quick that not only did she not get her snack, she had to move out a bit more! Being a horse who likes to conserve her energy,haha, she was a fast learner.

Walka, never allowed him the opportunity to develop these habits, so haven't had to deal with it with him.
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post #12 of 33 Old 06-06-2009, 12:08 PM
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The first barn I ever worked at, there was a horse that had to be led to and from the pasture with a chain under it's chin because of that problem. You just run the chain through the one side you are leading from and under the chin, clip it to the far side. That way they get more of a correction when they go to throw their head down
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post #13 of 33 Old 06-06-2009, 09:13 PM
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I love all the responses and may employ a few of them myself. Thanks!

Now, what if the field you have for most of your riding happens to be a grass field, where it's now grown chest high on your horse? I want his neck nice and relaxed, but that puts his mouth right at grass level, so he's nosing through it as we walk. It's hard to stop him from just opening his mouth and moving on (which he does without breaking stride). I can ask for a trot or bends and circles, and that works, because he's got a very pretty, but high head carriage while trotting, but we're working on ssllloowwwing down, as in, "Yes, you can WALK in a straight line outside in a field. You don't have to run it." He loves running.

Hopefully the field will be mown down soon, but I've got no control over that.
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post #14 of 33 Old 06-06-2009, 10:00 PM
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Sharpie, you're right that there isn't much you can do when the grass is that high, but perhaps until it's cut, you could give him a verbal reprimand. A very firm "no!" or "hey!" tends to get my horses more focused on me. It may not solve the problem completely, but it might redirect his attention on you.

Worth a try?
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post #15 of 33 Old 06-06-2009, 10:14 PM
Green Broke
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Sharpie - I think it really depends on different people. Does it bother you? My Arab mare is a trail horse, and doing a lot of distance rides, horses are actually encouraged to know how to grab "bites" along the way to keep themselves fueled. My mare is a doll about it, she'll snatch at random branches or tall grass, but if she misses the bite, she won't break stride. So she's basically learned how to nibble bites without breaking stride at all, so I don't personally reprimand her for it. It's handy for her to know when we go on rides for hours upon hours at a time.

Again, it depends entirely on the horse. My best friends Mustang/App mare has to be reprimanded constantly, because in at 11 years old and being a trail horse for 7 of those years, she STILL constantly yanks her head around to get grass. She knows better then to do it blatantly now, but she's a horse that does get reprimanded for grabbing bites because if you give her an inch, she'll take a mile.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #16 of 33 Old 06-07-2009, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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yeah some of the fields i have been riding in usually have that too...but b/c only some of the areas hahve it i simply turn him around and trot him on. by the way guys, i tried all of this stuff yesterday and i already see improvement!!! :) he was kind of confused why i wasnt letting him eat and he kept on looking at me funny! lol! but ya it did work! umm...i have one or two posts like this but no one responds so while i have ur attention ill throw this out there-the new western saddle we got doesnt fit my horse perfectly well and they dont take returns and we obviously cant get another one! yesterday i rode him in a saddle blanket (much thinner then the one were used to) instead of our usual 1-2 inch thick pad and after i finished working him i looked at his sweat marks and he was sweaty everywhere except right behind his withers on both sides! i dont no wut im gunna do! do u think that if i use the really thick pad it will be ok? i havent worked him enough in that pad to sweat (i JUST got the saddle) so im not sure it will make a difference I REALLY HOPE IT WILL BE OK! sry this is so long but PLZ help... I REALLY NEED IT! thx! :)
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post #17 of 33 Old 06-07-2009, 01:28 PM
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If the saddle doesn't fit, it doesn't fit. Adding a thicker pad will not fix anything.
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post #18 of 33 Old 06-07-2009, 02:28 PM
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I agree with Spirithorse - a thicker pad won't fix anything, especially on a saddle that is too small.

You honestly need to discontinue using that saddle - even though you can't get another one right away. Try selling it used; it's only got a few rides on it, so people will be willing to buy.

Good luck.
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post #19 of 33 Old 06-07-2009, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rottenweiler View Post
The first barn I ever worked at, there was a horse that had to be led to and from the pasture with a chain under it's chin because of that problem. You just run the chain through the one side you are leading from and under the chin, clip it to the far side. That way they get more of a correction when they go to throw their head down
I think this is a bit harsh. I think its better to fix it in less harsh methods and give the horse a chance to learn what you don't want them to do. Using a chain would be like getting a new horse and signaling an extended canter and whipping him when he didn't do it. I think the best way to deal with this problem is to make the horse work when he wants grass. Sure, let him grab some, but send him off on a sidepass or back him up energetically. This should teach him that grass=work. If that doesn't work, I would smack their chin with a rope when the bend to get grass. This would make them think something is coming out of the grass to get them.

I got summer hating on me cause I'm hotter than the sun. Win-ter hating on me cause I'm colder than ya'll. I'm being hated by the seasons so forget ya'll who hating for no reason!
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post #20 of 33 Old 06-07-2009, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i no about the saddle :( im still not sure so im gunna get someone to look at it, but if he is not sweaty in one place doesnt that mean there is less pressure? i mean i am going to try it a couple more times and not just get rid of a saddle b/c of one horse doesnt show any pain and maybe i mistook the mark for something. i would prefer to try it acouple more times and get it looked at before we make any decisions. thanks everyone! :)
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