Originally Posted by RusticWildFire
To teach mine I put a lead rope over his neck first (near the poll) and put pressure to have him lower his head and then released as soon as he gave in. I did this over and over and once he started doing that nicely I now put my right arm between his ears and thread the halter or bridle on that way to remind him to keep his head down as once in a while he will "forget" and that reminds him. It has worked well for me. Also because that's the most comfortable way for me to put it on. I have good control of the bit that way (I hold the bit with my left hand). Good Luck!
I basically use the leadrope method first. Toss the lead over the horse's neck then adjust it so that it goes over the poll area. I then will make a circle with Dumas (Twister was born with his head down) Just to let him know that I've in fact caught him. I find that making a small circle helps to get his mind off of the actual haltering. Once the halter is over his nose it's all over but the cryin' at that point. I flip the poll strap up and over and buckle away. Caught horse. LOL...
Brideling him is about the same. We have to tie Dumas to bridle. He would flip out if we didn't. Once he is tied we just go slow and steady to keep him calm. I use honey on the bit to help bribe the bit as a good thing with him. I have also held a cookie in my hand along with the bit and it's a one shot deal that way...Anything I can do to make it seem like it was Dumas' idea to accept the bridle.
Now once Dumas is bridled he's in work mode and I can easily get him to lower his head and even take the halter off from underneath. ( I usually just leave the halter on tho.) Some horses just don't like it. Others (Twister) could care less.
But back to you're original question. John Lyons has some great pointers on training cues. Lowering his head is a cue that you teach your horse. It's usually taught with pressure on the poll that is released as soon as the horse lowers it's head. It takes time but it well worth it. You can teach your horse to lower it's head as low as you need him to. I just haven't been really consistant with Dumas....I did do this with Twister (mostly because Twister is shorter and not head shy...he picked up the cue right away) Dumas is just harder to reach his poll and get him to drop that noggin. I have had success with the John Lyon's method with Dumas... I just haven't polished it off yet...