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Pulling head down while riding?

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  • Horse wants to graze on lead line
  • Horse pulling on reins to eat grass

 
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    01-22-2011, 03:57 AM
  #11
Weanling
Another tip, if you use any rein-action to pull her up from the grass, only use ONE rein. If your horse is in a mad gallop, running away from you, and you pull on both reins, she is just going to bite down, pull tight, and keep running! If you grab ONE rein, and pull your hand straight back, her neck will easily bend to the side. Try running away (or pulling down to eat grass) while your neck is turned way to the side, Miss Pony!

My horse used to have this grass-diving habit too. I finally developed a technique for when I'm trying to just have a leisurely stroll around the field. I keep him on a loose rein so that he's relaxed. But I hold one rein firmly at the length where if he were to reach for grass level, he'd hit contact (on the one side). Then I don't have to think/react quickly while strolling along! I switch which hand is the blocking hand every so often to keep things balanced.


I also agree with tinyliny. Startle her, drive her forward when she stalls for grass. And yes, be ready for it! And don't immediately pull her back either, sending mixed signals.
     
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    01-22-2011, 06:07 AM
  #12
Weanling
Hey, there is something in the UK called a daisy rein. Sorry if you ride western didn't catch it (if you do then this is totally wrong). If you ride english it attaches to the d rings and then to the top of the bridle this prevents the horse reaching for grass and also can act as a preventative to getting the head down for bucking.
     
    01-22-2011, 04:26 PM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by eccodecco    
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.
I use a dressage whip, but I'll try the hand grazing.thanks
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    01-23-2011, 12:35 AM
  #14
Super Moderator
I have to say that I disagree with reprimanding him for trying to graze under saddle a couple of times and then letting him do it when You tell him it's ok. I feel that would only encourage him to keep trying it. From his point of view it works like this;
I try , she hits me, I try again, she hits me, a few minutes later she tells me to go ahead. Think I'll try that again!

Be consistent. NO GRAZING under saddle at all!
I don't let my horses graze when they are even on a leadline because when they are on a leadline, it's business. In my case, they have 22 hours a day to graze, so when I take them out, they do not need to graze, ever, while on a line. I think hand grazing is terribel. HOWEVER, for some folks that is the only way a horse can graze, so it is understandable.

The daisy rein might be a good idea to break the habit. You must be %100 consistent. No grazing under saddle, no hand grazing at all. Keep your pony in a working frame of mind.
     
    01-23-2011, 11:36 AM
  #15
Yearling
In my first reply I mentioned something about a piece of tack that would prevent your pony getting it's head down to graze, but couldn't think of the name for it. I just clicked on the Dover Saddlery in one of the banners here and found what I was referring to. It is called an Anti-Grazing Device. It attaches to each side of the saddle just below the pommel of either a Western or English saddle. It has a strap that goes over the head just about at the poll that has rings for the device to slip through. Then the straps attach to the bit. It is very adjustable and fits any bridle. The Anti-Grazing Device sounds a lot like the "daisy rein" that netty83 suggested.
     
    01-23-2011, 12:10 PM
  #16
Weanling
Yes that's what I was meaning thanks for the better description lol
     
    01-23-2011, 01:44 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Don't tie off to saddle. Bad idea.

And Tinyliny has it right, she is giving you cues, that she is getting ready to do it, you are just missing them.

If you will watch her ears? More than likely she is telegraphing intent, by twitching one back and one forwards, meaning she is "thinking" about what she wants to do. Get after her hard and heavy and make her move.

When you let her get that head dropped then you are pulling against the full strength of her neck muscles, and you are not going to win.

You have to stop her before she even starts good, by being decisive about it.

Don't correct her in a "oh, poor hungry horse, I can't control what you do mood," but more from a "oh no you don't mood" like you have towards an annoying little brother or cousin.

Be firm with her. And don't baby her, or chit chat to her about it either. Just correct, and move on.

When you overpraise, especially for doing something that is a no-brainer, it builds it up into a much bigger deal, and can lead to more problems.

And when you do use voice, make it firm, not whiny.
     
    01-23-2011, 02:09 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I have to say that I disagree with reprimanding him for trying to graze under saddle a couple of times and then letting him do it when You tell him it's ok. I feel that would only encourage him to keep trying it. From his point of view it works like this;
I try , she hits me, I try again, she hits me, a few minutes later she tells me to go ahead. Think I'll try that again!

Be consistent. NO GRAZING under saddle at all!
I don't let my horses graze when they are even on a leadline because when they are on a leadline, it's business. In my case, they have 22 hours a day to graze, so when I take them out, they do not need to graze, ever, while on a line. I think hand grazing is terribel. HOWEVER, for some folks that is the only way a horse can graze, so it is understandable.

No grazing under saddle, no hand grazing at all. Keep your pony in a working frame of mind.
AGREED I never let a horse graze when working them in hand or riding. I did have to do some hand grazing when a horse collicked and now he wants to graze when he didn't before, so back to training him again. It's amazing how one time of a little grazing created a monster
     
    01-23-2011, 02:33 PM
  #19
Yearling
This is the one issue I have had to consistently deal with with my horse (I have never encountered such a guts before in my life).

A riding crop didn't work for us, I couldn't hit her hard enough to get her head up and she is far to strong to try and tussle over reins so I started wearing spurs. As soon as that head even looked like snaking down to eat Phoenny got a good kick in the guts. I still wear spurs but now find that a sharply delivered "HEY" will get her head straight back where it should be.
     
    01-23-2011, 02:47 PM
  #20
Weanling
Grass reins or daisy reins. Attach them to the bridle and to the saddle then the head cannot go down.
     

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