Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central Iowa, USA
I doubt it is truely a head/neck "problem". The head and neck do not act independently from the rest of the body, they are an extension of the spine and react how the spine/back is reacting. If the back hollows, the neck/head go up, if the spine "rounds" or contracts, the head and nect generally go "down" and stetch forward, though they can the be altered by riders force.
My guess is you horse hasn't been properly taught how to carry the weight of a rider beyond the walk, if that. Though, since we don't have any visible aids to base that assumtion on, it is indeed just an assumption.
Instead of working on forcing the head/neck into a certain position, a.k.a. a headset, which would just mask the underlying back insecurities - work on teaching your horse how to cope with your weight while working at the various gaits. The reason why most horses and riders find that their horse will throw his/her head/neck up at the trot, canter/lope, and gallop when they are seemingly moving nicely at the walk is because unlike at the walk, the three other gaits have a moment of suspention where the rider, just like the horse, is air-borne or a moment where their weight is slightly lifted off the horses back (which is where you as the rider must conciously work on your riding to absorb this shock by sitting light and letting your weight be transfered down you legs and and absorbed by your ankles, not your horses back) and when your weight comes back down, the horse does what every horse's reaction is to an uncomfortable situation; they evade that pain - and generally that is by hollowing the back to get away from the weight and thus their necks continue that concaved arch and the head goes up.
So, before you go and try and fix your horses head set - you first need to figure out why he is raising and lowering his neck in the first place. :)