Teaching horse to lower head
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Teaching horse to lower head

This is a discussion on Teaching horse to lower head within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Training your horse to keep his head down for bridle
  • Horse desensitization dinosaur clinic

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    01-07-2011, 09:29 PM
  #1
Yearling
Teaching horse to lower head

I'm a short person, even in my work/riding boots, and I have a 6 year old dinosaur mare that I have started undersaddle. The trouble is that she's 18hh and still growing. She's also a very suspicous, spooky, snorty, and alert horse (we're doing a LOT of desensitizing) so she does not naturally stand with her head anywhere near the ground. This can be bothersome when I am haltering and bridling her. Although she is a dear and doesn't mind me fumbling around on my tip toes, I'd like to teach her this so her future owners won't have the same trouble as me if they happen to be shorter than six feet.

I've never taught a horse to lower their head on command, so I would love some help! How did you teach this to other horses?
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    01-07-2011, 09:55 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
Little by little. You put your hand on the poll and press downward while at the same time pulling down on the halter via the leadline, and when she gives a tiny bit you stop all pressure. The trick is to NOT give up the pressure for all incorrect reponses; I.e. If she responds by jerking her head up, you follow her with your hand and keep the pressure on. If she pulls away, you follow and keep the pressure on. Doe'st have to be much pressure , but enough to cause her to search for a way out of the pressure. When she puts her head down, you release. All the way.
Once she starts to get it, add the word "Down" .
As she gets softer, you release only 50% and then you ask for a little bit further, then total realease. You keep adding to the amount that you are asking her to lower.

You can also encourage her to go down , all the way to the ground, by putting a cookie on the ground, but only after she has learned to respond to pressure on the poll and the lead. If she gets really soft, you can just use the lead lind pulling down.
Just take it in small incrememts and reward for small tries.
     
    01-07-2011, 10:00 PM
  #3
Started
Oh oh! I have a video of exactly this I found not long ago...


It was very helpful and the horse used in this video is also young, spooky, sensitive. Hope it helps.
     
    01-07-2011, 10:07 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I would use a rope halter hook a lead to it. Just so you know you will get resistance so don't think your doing something wrong. Anyway, just take up the lead and tug gently but firmly down until she lowers her head slightly. She may fight it but don't stop pulling until she gives for even a second. As soon as she gives let go of the lead.

Repeat until she starts to realize she won't get a release until she drops that head. When you get threw she should drop her head to the ground. It will take time and patience.
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    01-08-2011, 02:32 PM
  #5
Banned
Well oyu can always you the pressure point on her pole but that is not much use if you can't reach it, one thing you can try it take a treat or some oats and mut it out in from of her when she puts her head down to eat it say head down and give her a rub, then when she gets that just make it lower and lower till it where you want it, then practise making sure she understands the commaned and is not just going for the oats or treats.:)
     
    01-08-2011, 04:07 PM
  #6
Showing
I did it with the rope halter on. Just pull down slightly and as long as she gives (which is just a tiny hint at first) - release the pressure. Than do it again - pull, give, release. And again....
     
    01-08-2011, 05:27 PM
  #7
Guest
Oh, may I as a mere male suggest that when she does bend her head upon request, you give her a little treat like a horse biscuit or a bit of apple - maybe even a carrot plus a stroke and a hug.

And say 'good girl'

A big horse like this will never do anything unless she wants to, and for sure you do not want her not to.
     
    01-08-2011, 05:35 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
There is nothing wrong with giving a treat as a secondary reward. But the primary cue and the primary reward must be that which can be duplicated anywhere, anytime; pressure on the lead for the cue, release of pressure and "good girl" voice.
Since you objective is to get the horse to lower her head so that you can bridle/halter etc. you will want to be able to put your arm over the head, eventually. So, as soon as you get her to lower her head with pull down on the lead rope and her head comes into range of you being able to put a hand or arm over, you might start doing that, and encouraging her to keep her head down for more than a mear second. That way you will be able to get about the business of bridleing.
     
    01-08-2011, 07:25 PM
  #9
Yearling
I can't wait to work on this now! Thanks all. I have a game plan now.
Oh and I will watch the video! I think the visual aid will greatly help me, too.
     
    01-08-2011, 07:37 PM
  #10
Showing
Actually while I use treats quite a lot, giving a carrot for every tiny "give" is little too much IMHO. If/when she does it all way to the ground, than yes, treat could be appropriate (given she's not mouthy).
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Teaching a horse to keep it's head down? Western Horse Training 13 10-25-2010 04:08 PM
Teaching a horse to lower down angelsgrace Horse Training 12 01-20-2010 05:04 AM
Doesn't Lower Head for Bit ChevyPrincess Horse Training 15 09-26-2009 01:28 AM
Want my horse to lower head for bridle/halter horseheaven Horse Training 17 10-21-2008 08:16 PM
Crazy head!!! Help for a horse with 'head raising probs'???? trot-on Horse Training 20 09-18-2008 12:29 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0