Pulling head down while riding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Pulling head down while riding?

My pony always pulls her head down while i'm riding in a place where there is even the tiniest bit of grass . Is there anyway to train her not to pull her head down?. I use a correction bit, like in the picture, but I don't want to have to use such a cruel bit.

Last edited by islandponi; 01-21-2011 at 03:01 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 03:13 PM
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In Tack Catalogs you can find a piece of equipment for ponys that do what yours is doing. I don't remember what it is actually called, but it prevents the pony from getting it's head low enough to eat grass while mounted. I don't know if a pony can be trained to not try to eat grass while mounted.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 03:58 PM
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Yup. Start carrying a crop or a quirt, and when he pulls this on you, you have to get after him. Give him a tap on the butt and cue him forward. If he doesn't listen, do it again a little harder. When gets going, thank him, give him a pat. You can pull up on the reins a bit too, but you shouldn't have to be pulling his head up, you do not want to be yanking or pulling on his mouth and getting into a battle where you're trying to pull his head up. You don't need to go to a harsher bit.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dragy View Post
Yup. Start carrying a crop or a quirt, and when he pulls this on you, you have to get after him. Give him a tap on the butt and cue him forward. If he doesn't listen, do it again a little harder. When gets going, thank him, give him a pat. You can pull up on the reins a bit too, but you shouldn't have to be pulling his head up, you do not want to be yanking or pulling on his mouth and getting into a battle where you're trying to pull his head up. You don't need to go to a harsher bit.
I already use a crop and she still pulls her head down.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 04:25 PM
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Okay, so you probably do already, but do you get loud, shout Hey! Or make a tsssssst noise at her? Do you know of anything that annoys her like when you are grooming or just handling her from the ground? I guess I don't know what there could be, but any little trick to teach her that reaching for the grass is going to be unpleasureable or annoying. . .? Sorry I wasn't any help :(
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 08:58 PM
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I used to ride a pony that had the same issue when ever we rode over grass. If she pulls down, give her a big 'argh' and held the reins firmly so she yanks herself in the mouth. When she brings her head back up and stops going for the grass, give her some praise and move on. Depending on how determined your horse is, she may take a while to teach. The first couple of times she might take you by surprise, but after a while you can feel when she is about to take a dive. Therefore you can tell her no before it happens, or get a firm grip on the reins.
I hope this works, and you should soon be able to go back to a lighter bit.

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dragy View Post
Okay, so you probably do already, but do you get loud, shout Hey! Or make a tsssssst noise at her? Do you know of anything that annoys her like when you are grooming or just handling her from the ground? I guess I don't know what there could be, but any little trick to teach her that reaching for the grass is going to be unpleasureable or annoying. . .? Sorry I wasn't any help :(
The only thing I've ever seen annoy her is when something is tickleing her like a big horse fly on her that wont leave. I don't think that theres anything I can do with that. Haha. But thanks ill try the loud noises
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PumpkinzMyBaby22 View Post
I used to ride a pony that had the same issue when ever we rode over grass. If she pulls down, give her a big 'argh' and held the reins firmly so she yanks herself in the mouth. When she brings her head back up and stops going for the grass, give her some praise and move on. Depending on how determined your horse is, she may take a while to teach. The first couple of times she might take you by surprise, but after a while you can feel when she is about to take a dive. Therefore you can tell her no before it happens, or get a firm grip on the reins.
I hope this works, and you should soon be able to go back to a lighter bit.
I'm not the strongest person, so she might be able to make the reins slide out of my hands. Would tieing to reins to the saddle horn work? Thanks a bunch for the info!!!
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 11:11 PM
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something you might try doing is try to ride past the first tug down then allow her to have some so starts to see that she can only eat when you let her, but not when you don't. It is something you might want to start on the ground if you don't already hand graze her.
If not you may want to try a dressage whip because it touches the horse in a different area than the crop would.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-21-2011, 11:58 PM
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I would also say, the second she goes down for grass, don't tap her, WHACK her! You need to startle her. She already knows it's a no-no. You have to change the equation. So, you drive her forward abruptley and with gusto.
She will leap forward, so be ready for that. Don't yank on her mouth, let her go forward , even if she canters. Then go back to whatever you were doing as if nothing happened.
Next time, watch her ears and when you see her MIND going to the grass, you intereup that though process by asking for forward ( a bit more politely, but with an honest whack if she doesn't answer your request with a surge forward)

You have to wathc her mind and interup the though before she gets to act on it.
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