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tbrantley 12-04-2011 08:41 PM

gaited horses is noses out
I just bought a gaited horse. He is very smooth has a nice high head but he noses out when he goes into a running walk or rack. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about getting him to tuck his nose in some? :-(

Joe4d 12-04-2011 08:46 PM

Why ? If he is smooth and going the speed/gait you want why worry about it ? Because some show person decided one nose position is proper and another isnt ?

tbrantley 12-04-2011 08:54 PM

gaited horse nosing out
I am concern about his nosing out because I am wanting to show him in Western Pleasure and points will be taken away.

MajorSealstheDeal 12-04-2011 09:05 PM

Hey tbrantley,

I use my inside rein to ask my mare to drop her nose when she noses out. Without more info on how you ride or train your horse, it's a little difficult for me to explain.

Maybe Kstinson will read this and offer up some good advice, she's better at explaining things then me. :) We also show in Canada, so the TWH show scene is a bit different, you don't see pads or chains or "big lick" horses (at least here in Alberta). You will see those horses in the magazines from the States riding with a more nosed out fashion due to the speed and style.

Good luck!

tbrantley 12-04-2011 09:35 PM

gaited horse nosing out
I have tried to tuck his head in by using the inside rein. His first response was to hold his head higher and his nosed out more. I just started riding this horse. I usually collect my horses head my gentle pulling on the rein and release the rein as soon as they give me their head. Within a short amount of time, I usually have their head set the way I want it and it seems to help their gait.

This horse is seven years old. I was told that the last two years he was used as a stud. He was just cut on Nov. 1. The guy that I bought the horse from seemed to think that this would change now that he was cut. My personal feeling on this is the horse was allowed to do this so it may be harder to change his head set.

I do not use any artificial means such as plantation or weighted shoes, chains etc. I usually just use a lot of training with gentle hands and praise to get what I want out of my horses and have been successful but they were young horses and I have been the only one ever to ride them. This is an older horse but has had little training.

I haven't had a lot of experience with horses that already have bad habits.

Guilherme 12-04-2011 11:12 PM

A horse gaiting with his head up has likely got his back hollowed. It's a question of back health and long term soundness, not cosmetics or show standards.

Review this thread There are some good suggestions in it.


bellagris 12-05-2011 11:08 AM

There are plenty of varying opinions on asking a horse to drop their nose and collext, some feel you can push them into the bit, which is true of course, but your horse needs to learn that when you're pushing them into the bit and engaging the back end you are not asking always for more speed, but rather animation and collection.

The nose out will result in a 'U' neck which in the end as G says, a hollow back and it is not all about the cosmetics (of course it looks great when theyre collected!) but if you have your horse rounded they are developing proper athletic muscles. I found that while training my mare to learn to collect and drop her nose the rein really helped to set her mind on what I was asking. I started the whole process at a stand still and that was beneficial. Have him stand, start with try with one rein first, but sometimes using both helps ... pull up and hold gently until they give and release immediately. The slightest give deserves the reward when training this (as he starts to understand, stop using both hands (if you needed to do that) and rather use your outside rein to steady him and prevent her from turning his head in and cue the nose drop with the inside rein)

Once they understand 'dropping the nose' while standing still you can then ask him to drop their head before moving out. So cue the dropping of nose and then ask them to move forwards. Once they understand that practice them acknowledging the rein while you are walking, start moving out collected and every time the nose goes up and out again ask him to drop. It is a whole new balance for a THW to move collected and so you'll find yourself asking repeatedly for collection until they get their balance.

I spent months on teaching my mare to stay collected, it is about more than the nose being dropped, but engaging the back end and staying in balance. You'll maybe find that when you have his nose down he tries to step pace or fox trot, this tends to happen because the rider isnt engaging the rear of the horse and unless you are motivating from the back while asking for them to drop their head they will get strung out in the back to compensate for the front. I'm not sure your level of riding or experience and some of this you may already know so if you do, disregard :) , but it definitely sounds like the horse was not taught to collect right from the get go, so as far as changing the habit, I would go back to square one and make him learn to do this at a stand still and move on from there.

Hope this helps some. Goodluck!

tbrantley 12-05-2011 05:44 PM

Thank you KStinson,
I understand what you were saying about starting him from a stand still and working on his headset. I have done this with my young horses, just starting out. You have helped me to know that what I am asking him to do is important for his well being. I was feeling guilty for feeling the need to fix what I felt was a bad habit. He is a very nice horse and so far that is the only thing that I had a concern about. He is well worth me taking the time to reteach him.

Thanks again for your help.

ponyboy 12-05-2011 06:31 PM

I thought a horse could have its nose tucked in and still be hollow...

Guilherme 12-05-2011 09:42 PM


Originally Posted by ponyboy (Post 1255340)
I thought a horse could have its nose tucked in and still be hollow...

It can.

But then it might be quite correct.

A "stargazer" will be hollow almost without exception.


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