OTTB Headset

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OTTB Headset

This is a discussion on OTTB Headset within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    02-19-2010, 10:38 PM
Smile OTTB Headset

I have an Off the Track thoroughbred, he has been off the track for a couple months now and I haven't really did any tough retraining with him. I started to retrain him for a couple of weeks but then took a couple of months off due to him having some hoof issues. I recently started riding him again, and I noticed that he tends to cock/twist his head when we are going faster then a walk, I've notice it also back when I first got him. I haven't talked to my trainer about it yet, but I've seen other OTTBs do the same thing my horse does. So I was wondering if anyone else who has an OTTB has the same problem or did, and if they know how to fix it?? Like I said I havent worked him to hard so im not expecting great results right now, but I have a pet peeve of his head not being in a good headset. Any suggestions...Im still going to talk to my trainer about it when I get back into training. Thanks :)
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    02-19-2010, 10:57 PM
I have an OTTB whom hates having a headset, because of his extremely long neck. But anywho, he used to do that, and now I've gotten it down to a slight turn to the right side. But what worked for me is using tons of leg pressure and some bridging with my hands.
    02-19-2010, 11:01 PM

I'm not an expert, nor did I have an OTTB, but I did have a horse that had a very high headset.

My trainer had me fix it by circling, sometimes very small, using inside rein to bend her to the inside. My circles got very very small, sometimes circling within a foot of my trainer on the inside. It took a couple of sessions, the circles getting bigger each time, but soon she was able to go at large in that headset.

It was a huge relief, her head was always straight up in the air before that!

Although another reason for his headset could be pain or a pinching saddle.

I hope this helps :) Good luck!
    02-19-2010, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions :) Im really am hopeing that its just something he is going to do in his early stages of retraining, but my trainer have seen him do this and she is very experience with OTTBs, she has retrained many of OTTBs and she hasnt really said anything about it yet, also I think it might be his bit, its a bit I wouldn't want him to have because I wasn't very prepared to get my own horse but when the oppuntuity came to get a horse I took it after wanting a horse since I was 3, so my trainer gathered some old tack and is letting me call it my own until I can get my own, and a new bit is on the top of my list. But I think it might be the bit because after I think about it, when im on the ground leading him and I turn him around he tends to do it to...but idk im just wanting to take care of his headset!
    02-19-2010, 11:26 PM
What kind of bit is it?
    02-19-2010, 11:45 PM
I can't remember the name of it but here's a picture that is similar to the bit, my trainer even told me she isn't fond of the bit but it was the best we could do right now, until I but another, which I would of done sooner since he was not being ridden for 3 months I had other things on my mind. But here is one similar...
    02-19-2010, 11:46 PM
Personally I hate it for him!!
    02-19-2010, 11:54 PM
That seems like a nice soft bit to me. Very nice for schooling and training. Why do you hate it?
    02-20-2010, 12:04 AM
Its just the way Hero accepts it, right when he takes it in his mouth he seems very uncomfortable, but then again it may be his teeth, he has been dropping some grain, im getting his teeth check when the guy that does it gets back from vaction, but Hero is a very calm horse, doesnt get bother by anything so it just unlike him to be chewing on the bit and doing all weird things with his head...but I can't really explain
    02-20-2010, 12:09 AM
Super Moderator
A good number of horses don't have the mouth to accommodate those huge bits. Many TB's have a shallow palate, making that bit very uncomfortable. They can't close their mouth causing the bit to exert pressure all the time. Try an all metal bit that has a slightly thinner profile.

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