Reiners, western pleasure, dressage folk! Ideas?
Ok.....I try my hardest to be informed when I ride. I'm very 'conscientious' about what my hands, seat and legs are doing.......so heres my scenario.....
I have a five year old reining trained gelding. He is very willing in his work, good attitude, however if he can be lazy or only do half the job.....he will:?
So I've been working a lot on gentle collection. I will warm up on a loose rein and he wil move along happily, swinging barrel and all. Then I will ask him to collect up by squeezing my legs and gently lifting my reins to block him and round him up.....ok no problem. When he works collected for a few strides I will gently release pressure. (he works in a correction bit). So I've never really had any 'issues' with him that would require much effort to fix.....I have realized what I thought was major, was really not!!!
But now I'm stumped.......today he spent most of the walking time on a loose rein, and he kept his head real low and neck and back stretched for the whole time....I realized he was 'stretching' but I wanted him to pick his head up a bit more (right? Silly I know, when most people want the head down!) I did pick him up with the reins, used my legs to push him forward, but as soon as he backed off the bit his head would go straight back down......what's this horse doing? Is he too lazy to carry his own head? Is he sore? (he worked fine) is he avoiding something? Is he responding to all the collection by rounding like that even at a relaxed walk?
Any ideas? Questions welcome if I forgot anything (which I most likely did!)
Saddle fit is fine....teeth are current and up to date!
If, while you're working, you don't want the head so low, then you'll have to move the hind end up under the horse more (don't think of it as lifting the head).
My current horse has a naturally high head carriage (think giraffe). But whenever she's on a free rein she stretches her head and neck down and out.
The only time the stretching/lowering of the head is an issue is if the horse is leaning on the reins for support. At that point, it's an issue with the hind end, not the head (not enough engagement/balance). I bump the hind end up first, then half-halt, to remind the horse to carry itself (not lean on me for support).
What is "a correction bit"?
Bob Avila Correction Bit:
"The four moving parts allow the horse to respond to subtle rein pressure, which greatly reduces heavy rein handling. This bit can be used in any Western discipline. A great bit for transition into the bridle from the snaffle. This is a mild but effective bit used in everything from reining, to roping, to pleasure. Bob Avila is a renowned and well-respected horse trainer."
Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com Professionals Choice Bob Avila Correction Bit
He may have been taught to walk like that.
I would assume that the horse is probably just comfortable with his head in that position, with his training background. If it bothers you, I usually just bump their head up on the inside rein every time they put it down too low. My gelding loved going with his head to the ground. But it was getting to the point where it was detrimental to his collection. Sometimes I think soft horses are so eager to please that they like to put their heads low to the ground because that's where they've learned to find their biggest release.
My peanut-rolling goober. :P
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