Originally Posted by kickshaw
mechanical gadgets will always work...that's why they're the "easy quick fix" - that said, if you just use them as an aid (with a plan to lose them eventually) and not as a crutch, I don't see any harm in it.
Does he toss his head at the same point/transition/gait every ride?
I don't use any gadgets long term...i rather find the problem or use them for learning purposes.
Its not a pain head throw as that is all fixed now. There are two things that I have noticed make him throw his head:
- he pre-empts me. If we go from walk to trot in one spot once the next time we get to that spot he will automatically try and do the same thing. Because he thinks he's doing it right he gets annoyed when I half halt and throws his head up and shakes it around. I have to circle him and calm him and head on again. I always try and transition and different places so he doesnt get used to the one thing but every time he remembers.
- if he is heading back towards the end of the arena where the gate is he thinks he must get there as quick as possible. He will be all calm and trotting nicely and as soon as we are heading in the direction of the gate he tries to get there as quick as he can. As soon as I ask him to come back and calm he throws his head up and starts shaking it. If im really lucky he wont take hold of the bit and take off
As I said he doesnt this all the time but I want him to start waiting and listening for my aids rather than thinking he knows what I want him to do. And I don't want to pull on his mouth very much as he has a soft mouth and I don't want to ruin that. I just need him to learn that he can't put his head up there.
I do also do a lot of small circles to calm him but even if he only throws his head high once a day it could be that time where he does smack me in the face :) and we all know how little control you have when you horses head is way above the bit