Overly Sensitive Horse?

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Overly Sensitive Horse?

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    02-13-2013, 12:36 AM
Exclamation Overly Sensitive Horse?

Hey everyone. So I'm here asking for a bit of advice from any of you who might know how to help me with this.

I have a seven year old quarter horse that I purchased last summer and who was strictly ridden in draw reins or a martingale. I noticed there is a LOT of tension in his neck, and there is absolutely no suppleness. So first thing I did was start him in a halter and get him to relax and bend a little. So he's making progress suppling (through serpentines, lateral work, etc. I am not focused on his head set)

Well that's been going well, but now theres a new issue. It seems like he anticipates everything and lunges forward with every cue I give him. He also always has head in the air whenever he's being ridden. (For example: his downwards transitions are terrible. He constantly anticipates that I am going to ask him to trot again if I brought him down from a trot, etc)

This little guy does seem to listen to my seat and leg aids very well, however he fights me every step of the way when it comes to his head and neck. He is current on teeth and the vet said that he is a little stiff through the neck but that can be fixed through bending and suppling.

Any ideas on how to help this little guy relax a little so he'll stop anticipating everything? And any ideas on teaching him how to lengthen and lower his head?

Thanks everyone!!
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    02-13-2013, 12:50 AM
And heres a pic of him for no particular reason x) DAMOO.jpg
    02-13-2013, 12:51 AM
Chiro and massage.....have you considered it?
    02-13-2013, 12:55 AM
Double the Chiro and Massage.
Horses with their head in the air almost always indicated back problems. Are you positive all your tack fits him exactly right? What bit are you using? The fact that he's anticipating your cues makes me think something is seriously hurting him. He's trying to guess what you want before you do it so it doesn't hurt. Maybe nothing is left that's hurting him, but he's anticipating pain because it's happened before. Either way - chiro and massage will let you know.
Also - don't be so worried about where his head is and worry where the rest of him is - is he working from his hind end - or is he just throwing himself helplessly forward? Is he working up into the bit or hauling against it?
My other thought - what type of bit are you using? Many horses with low pallets hate single jointed snaffles, they'll often lean into the bit or pick their head up really high to pull the pressure down onto the bars and tongue, which are less sensitive, rather than get jabbed by the joint of the snaffle in their pallet. You may want to look into a double jointed bit like a french link or lozenge style bit - Not a Dr. Bristol.
    02-13-2013, 12:59 AM
Yeah his tack fits and I've just been riding him in a halter. I've always thought it was a training issue (aka me.) So I'll def. Have to look into that. Maybe do an update on how he is once I do that.
    02-13-2013, 01:10 AM
Originally Posted by nucks93    
Yeah his tack fits and I've just been riding him in a halter. I've always thought it was a training issue (aka me.) So I'll def. Have to look into that. Maybe do an update on how he is once I do that.
My horse was lunging into his lope etc, and his head would come up, then down, then up.....chiro found that he has tightness through his withers and neck. She adjusted him, and I was really worried because he got worse before he got better! But I can see an improvement in him for sure now. He doesnt lunge into his departures anymore and his neck is nice and level again.

If you can, let him stretch right down on a long rein and relax.....

anticipating, bending, supple, training

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