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Teaching horse to lower head

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  • How to ask a green horse to lower his head
  • Asking a green horse to lower its head

 
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    01-09-2011, 01:39 PM
  #21
Showing
Hmmmm..... Barry, I guess its very much depends on man! Some definitely doesn't like to spend a cent on "bribing"....
     
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    01-09-2011, 02:02 PM
  #22
Weanling
So much depends on the horse (and ladies too, I'm thinking!) How greedy is he? (Or she?) If he's greedy, then I say, make use of it! You don't have to do anything more than give a cue, and wait...eventually your horse will lower his head, for whatever reason (don't use the treat to bribe him)...then, he gets a treat. He will be quite anxious to figure out how that happened, and "act" for it. It's like clicker training.

Merging that with putting on the halter or bridle is a matter of time. I almost always start something new with treats: it gets their attention, and encourages a positive, forward-thinking attitude. Within a week, say, I delay giving the treat, until it's so far off, it might be just at the end of the session. It is NOT a forever-thing, just a crutch.
     
    01-09-2011, 04:33 PM
  #23
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
Please, please, don't do it to lower a head! Or for anything else (like slowing down)!

The properly trained horse WILL lower the head as long as you pick up the reins and ask.
Why would someone do it to slow a horse down?

My teacher for lesson tells me to for the school horse and it works. I didn't know what see-sawing for a horse was until her. So do you know what I'm talking about?
     
    01-09-2011, 05:02 PM
  #24
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowgirl101    
Why would someone do it to slow a horse down?

My teacher for lesson tells me to for the school horse and it works. I didn't know what see-sawing for a horse was until her. So do you know what I'm talking about?
Cowgirl, what exactly do you mean by see-sawing? There is a see-sawing, and there is an alternating the reins if I call it correctly (like some people use it to remind the horse not to lean on bit, for example).

Yes, some people do use (and suggest too, especially in places like yahoo answers and such) see-sawing to slow down the very forward horse.
     
    01-09-2011, 11:13 PM
  #25
Yearling
If I "see-sawed" a horse's mouth, I'd get in big trouble from my dressage trainer! I get what you mean though. I've been taught to supple a horse by using the inside rein in a give and take motion, but keeping the outside rein steady. As my trainer puts it: "moving the bit across the horse's mouth." Anyways, we don't have problems with her lowering her head. She's still green, so I don't expect her to be reaching down and stretching into the contact just yet. I'm just trying to get her obedient to my aids. She naturally carries herself in a frame, which is wonderful.
     
    01-09-2011, 11:18 PM
  #26
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandWave    
If I "see-sawed" a horse's mouth, I'd get in big trouble from my dressage trainer! I get what you mean though. I've been taught to supple a horse by using the inside rein in a give and take motion, but keeping the outside rein steady. As my trainer puts it: "moving the bit across the horse's mouth." Anyways, we don't have problems with her lowering her head. She's still green, so I don't expect her to be reaching down and stretching into the contact just yet. I'm just trying to get her obedient to my aids. She naturally carries herself in a frame, which is wonderful.
See-sawing is moving the bit, in a horse's mouth...
     
    01-10-2011, 10:37 PM
  #27
Yearling
In my mind, "see-sawing" is yanking alternately on the reins and dramatically moving the horse's head side to side. Whereas when you hold the outside rein, the horse's head remains still. But that's just me!
Thank you for your input. :) I didn't mean to go on and on.
     
    01-11-2011, 01:21 PM
  #28
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandWave    
.... As my trainer puts it: "moving the bit across the horse's mouth." ...
Anyways, we don't have problems with her lowering her head. She's still green, so I don't expect her to be reaching down and stretching into the contact just yet. I'm just trying to get her obedient to my aids. She naturally carries herself in a frame, which is wonderful.
I've been taught that lowering the head and reaching down for a soft contact is the FIRST thing you want your horse to learn. I've NEVER had ANY trainer tell me to move the bit across the mouth.

You might try another trainer, if you can, because I do not believe a young, green horse should be in any "frame" at all. There are many ways to school, but it seems you might be setting up problems for yourself in the future.
     
    01-11-2011, 11:08 PM
  #29
Yearling
Beling, I am currently an intern at a dressage farm and as such, am in the position of a student. I'm learning. I'm far from being a great rider, much less a trainer. I also have found that I struggle with conveying my training thoughts and ideas to others and I feel that is the case with my previous post.

I think nothing but the best of my current trainers. I have seen, time and time again, that their methods work and that they have produced many a happy and correct horse over the span of 40-50 years. However, I also know that there is more than one way to training the dressage horse, some ways more "right" than others.

My trainer has also taken lessons from well-respected trainers and has an open mind to other training techniques. In fact, "moving the bit over the horse's tongue" is what Lendon Gray taught her.

I only started working with green/unstarted horses when I came to the farm last summer. When I begin riding them, I find obedience to be at the top of my priority list. Does the horse listen to me and understand me?
I guess what I meant is that I don't ask the horse to carry themself in a round frame during these first rides. I'd rather they turn when I tell them to, go forward when I ask, and halt when I give the aids for it. I do take up a steady contact with the reins and soften when they give to it. I am not riding with floppy reins.

This particular horse is amazing. Her conformation and the way she travels is just so cool. She naturally uses her hind end and goes along in an uphill fashion. When I said that she "naturally carries herself in a frame" I meant that when I sit on her and basically do nothing other than ride her with the basic aids for w/t/c, turning, halting, and keep a steady contact with her mouth, her poll is a the highest point and she is on the vertical. I and the other interns have been able to work with many green horses so far, and have found that some of the horses are like her. They naturally fall onto the bit and carry themselves in a round frame. We've also found that others don't and instead drag you down onto the forehand, hide behind the vertical, stick their neck out like a wood board, or etc. They're all different from each other and what I've mentioned is only their first reaction to being undersaddle. Once they "get" what we would like them to do, they cross the line from being "just started" to "green." Or whatever the correct terminology would be. And slowly, we can move the horse that wants to be on the forehand to being better balanced, push out the tucked in head and neck of the horse behind the vertical, and bend and supple the stiff horse. It's like driving a car. You need the basics like steering and the brakes. Once you've got that down then you can turn on the radio and adjust the A/C.

I feel like even now I've muddled things up again, but I really do hope that this helped you understand my thinking a little better. I just don't want to mis-represent my trainer at all. I appreciate your input and am always happy to see a fellow local on the boards! I'm from the Big Island and have lived there all my life until I decided to do this internship. What type of riding do you do?
     
    01-11-2011, 11:54 PM
  #30
Showing
IslandWave, I think she simply quoted the wrong post (because you were using "bold" instead of quotes yourself)...
     

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