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This is a discussion on riding! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-06-2007, 09:21 AM
    Originally Posted by EquineIllusion
    First and foremost, do you ride english or western?

    If you ride english, then I can help.
    I really don't see the need for a martingale. If you think about it, a martingale is only covering up the underlying problem, that being how your horse throws up his head when you seek contact on the reins.

    Firstly, we need to identify the problem. Does your tack fit properly? Has your horse had his teeth and overall health checked lately? Has he ever had his back checked over for pulled muscles ect.? Has he/she ever been jabbed or mis-treated in or around the mouth area?

    These are just some of the causes of a horse resisting contact. My advice to you is to get him/her checked over. That way you can put all of the above questions aside.

    After you have done that, I suggest you try and ride with contact at all times. I mean a light contact, not a jaw-breaking one. While you have a contact, use your lower leg to encourage him to get into a soft a responsive outline by squeezing his sides ever so lightly.
    He may not respond to these aids immeadiatley, but give him time and he will work out what you are asking of him.

    Just remember to be consistant, that's the only way he is going to learn. But once again, just make sure that this isn't caused by any physical or phsycological problems first. Basically, get him checked over by a vet.


    I also agree with this post. You also might want to try getting your horse to give to the bit and set his head. When you teach him to set his head he will keep his head down so you will be able to release to the horse and when you ask for a downward transition sit down in your saddle, slow your motion and then pull. Your horse will hopefully learn how to break down with your body only. Also when you do pull if he sticks his head up use leg. I know it sounds funny, but it will drive him into the bridle and he will respond to it better and hopefully will set his head. I'm not completely sure if your horse knows how to set his head, if he doesn't you might want to let someone who knows how to train a horse to set his head work with him.
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        04-15-2007, 03:08 PM
    Aussi_jumper -> but the problem is (and the reason for my hands) when I have my reins short his head goes higher, please tell me how you stop a horse with its head raising and raising, with low hands and lighter reins?? In my eyes its not possible, and I think this is because he is a french trotter, he is trained to trot really fast so his legs come up real high so his head goes up so he can see over his legs, he is still young ( 5y) so I think with a good martingale and a lot of ground work maby I can take him out of this into a more natural position.
        04-15-2007, 10:23 PM
    When you ride him just flat /normally does he lift up his legs like you said he was trained to do?? If he does then with your seat and leg push through that head tossing/throwing.. have you asked an instructor about it??

    You can have long reins but still have contact to his mouth..

    If he is doing his high leg trot all the time then you need to put that to a stop. You need to do some excercises training him to not lift his legs up that high..

    A martingale will help but a running one might not work as well a think a standing martingale is what you need if you want to use a martingale.

    When he learns to not lift his legs so high his head should then not rise so much and he will become more relaxed..
    Hope he gets better.
        04-16-2007, 05:37 PM
    I know how excatly how you feel.thomas used to have a high head carriage well still does.i find that works I don't have my hands high I have them out in front of me,and if I have my hands in the saddle he just takes the mickey out of me.so try widening your hands a tiny bit that might work.also instead of always allowing on your reins to stop try maybe using your seat to control the speed.i don't know if it will work for you,but it does for me.

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