Western Pleasure Headset?
 
 

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Western Pleasure Headset?

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  • How effective are side reins in achieving headset?
  • Western Head sets

 
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    10-15-2009, 01:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Western Pleasure Headset?

I use draw reins kind of like These When I work my Buckskin mare. She has been taught on the ground to give to preassure on her poll, so she knows how to do that. I ride her with draw reins some of the time, and sometimes running martingales kinda like These. I've read on some articles that Draw reins shouldn't be used to help 'create a head set'. Is this true? I would like to get my mares head down into a 'western pleasure headset' for shows. I have one show left this year on October 25th That I plan on going to no matter what. Lol. I can try and get a video of Dakoda working sometime soon. I try and work her daily, so she she is in shape. We only have a round pen to work in, and a flat area.. no arena... :( But we do have tons of trails if that helps. So basicly, how can I get Dakoda to put her head down into more of a natrual headset with out the draw reins? I would like to get her off them eventually.. and because I can't use them in shows.
Thanks!! And Sorry it is so long!!
     
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    10-15-2009, 01:47 PM
  #2
Trained
I would say that if you need draw reins you're putting her head in an unnatural position which is fine just don't think that it's natural for her. I'm not a big fan of the western pleasure head set. I think training for western pleasure makes a lot of horses unsound and unusable for the majority of people. A better way to get your horses head down is to use pressure and release. Put a little pressure on the reins and hold it untill her head goes down then release. Repeat a few times then ask for it to go lower before you release. This won't happen before your next show but you won't have to wean yourself off the draw reins and martigales either. If you decide to use the draw reins or martigales that's fine as long as you know how to use them right. Sounds like you probably do.
     
    10-15-2009, 01:55 PM
  #3
Trained
Don't mess with your horses head.

How long has she been in training? How old is she?

I don't mind draw reins every once in awhile when used correctly, but don't force her into a headset that is not natural for her. Horses bred for WP will naturally hold their heads about level. My speed/cow bred horses holds his head above level. You need to ride the horse from behind. Get him using his haunches, lifting his back, etc. Eventually the horse will seek out contact on his own without having you be handsy with her.

If you just want a headset and not a well balanced horse, mess with his mouth, otherwise, you need to ask the horse to start using himself.
     
    10-15-2009, 02:21 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by spastic_dove    
don't mess with your horses head.

How long has she been in training? How old is she?

I don't mind draw reins every once in awhile when used correctly, but don't force her into a headset that is not natural for her. Horses bred for wp will naturally hold their heads about level. My speed/cow bred horses holds his head above level. You need to ride the horse from behind. Get him using his haunches, lifting his back, etc. Eventually the horse will seek out contact on his own without having you be handsy with her.

If you just want a headset and not a well balanced horse, mess with his mouth, otherwise, you need to ask the horse to start using himself.
well said!!!!
     
    10-15-2009, 03:16 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I totally agree^^^^ the typical wp headset is just terrible, I mean imagine if you had to carry a heavy backpack around all day ane than also had to walk with your neck jutted out at a funny angle cause someone thinks it looks nice, I think it looks sick! A nice level headset and rounded frame are what you should be looking for , and those come rather easily with goodconditioning and lots of sound training. Pressure and release and lots of topline work will get you a good headset
I couldnt find any really good headsets on google(a very sad commentary on its own) but the first pic is more what you are looking for almost level. The second horse just looks browbeaten and lethargic... I hate seeing that headset!!
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    10-15-2009, 03:17 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
Don't mess with your horses head.

How long has she been in training? How old is she?

I don't mind draw reins every once in awhile when used correctly, but don't force her into a headset that is not natural for her. Horses bred for WP will naturally hold their heads about level. My speed/cow bred horses holds his head above level. You need to ride the horse from behind. Get him using his haunches, lifting his back, etc. Eventually the horse will seek out contact on his own without having you be handsy with her.

If you just want a headset and not a well balanced horse, mess with his mouth, otherwise, you need to ask the horse to start using himself.
Dakoda is 9 years old. I've only had her for a year. And this is the first year that I've been able to get her to take her right lead.. but other than that she is pretty much "broke". She trail rides, side passes both ways, piviots on the forehand, and the hind quarters. I would just like to start showing her in WP classes, and have her head down at a decent height. =] How would you start to get her to lift her back, and use her haunches?

When I lunge/round pen her, I use a lot of turning around. She's able to turn right around now, rather than earlier this summer, she had to due screaming " you turns" to turn around.. she just piviots/spins around now. :) Would doing lots of turns help? I also make her do lots of trotting, and loping.. getting her to go slow for a bit (1 circle around me) and then letting her to go back to her same speed.. with out breaking gate around me as well. Big No No. Lol.
     
    10-15-2009, 04:31 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodemiester    
Dakoda is 9 years old. I've only had her for a year. And this is the first year that I've been able to get her to take her right lead.. but other than that she is pretty much "broke". She trail rides, side passes both ways, piviots on the forehand, and the hind quarters. I would just like to start showing her in WP classes, and have her head down at a decent height. =] How would you start to get her to lift her back, and use her haunches?

When I lunge/round pen her, I use a lot of turning around. She's able to turn right around now, rather than earlier this summer, she had to due screaming " you turns" to turn around.. she just piviots/spins around now. :) Would doing lots of turns help? I also make her do lots of trotting, and loping.. getting her to go slow for a bit (1 circle around me) and then letting her to go back to her same speed.. with out breaking gate around me as well. Big No No. Lol.
I'm working on this a little with my own gelding, achieving correct engagement, etc., but English style. Correct engagement is correct engagement, IMHO, no matter what saddle the horse is wearing.

Lots of transitions. Walk to halt, walk to trot, trot to halt. When you get these transitions instantly, on a loose rein. You're riding from your seat here, using your seat to either ****** forward motion, encourage forward motion, or follow motion that you're happy with. Remember, during each transition, your order of aids should be seat, then leg, then rein. I do this with a soft contact on the reins, but I imagine that it could pretty easily be done on the longer WP rein as well. Lots of transitions from gait to gait, transitions within gaits (my guy is starting to learn this right now... it's really cool to ride them when they start getting "gears" within gaits! ) from slow, medium, to fast, and transitions within figures and patterns.

There are some great threads on this site about collection and achieving a correct frame. Honeysuga found awesome examples of what you are and aren't after.

EDIT: Beware of hindquarter disengagements (turns on forehand, crossing hind legs) here. Yes, you should be able to disenage the horse's hindquarters as a matter of control, but a disengaged hind end is not going to be effective when it comes to rounding up correctly and getting the horse off of his forehand.
     
    10-15-2009, 05:31 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodemiester    
How would you start to get her to lift her back, and use her haunches?
Dressage. Lots of Dressage and lots of transitions. Feel her push forward from her hind end in a transition rather than going on the forehand like many WP horses tend to do (Not all). Use your seat when you ask for the transistion, not your hands.

Just a side note: You can do dressage in a western saddle.
     

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