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-   -   setting her head at the lope (http://www.horseforum.com/western-pleasure/setting-her-head-lope-213466/)

kaykay4411 06-14-2013 11:21 PM

setting her head at the lope
 
I have been training my appalossa mare for western pleasure for a while now she has her walk and jog down perfect she sets her head on a loose rein and going the proper speed i just started to work on the lope with her and she is having troubles. No matter what i do she will not set her head she is finally picking up the correct lead and collecting but no head set at all. Any and all tips would be greatly appriciated :-) thanks in advance for any help

spurstop 06-15-2013 12:19 AM

When she is moving properly underneath and using her body properly her head will come down. You can't just set a head and get a good western pleasure horse.

I am going to venture that she isn't really using her body correctly.

kaykay4411 06-15-2013 10:46 AM

That very well could be but she feels right but may not be right she is very difficult to train but once she figures it out she never quits. Do you have any tips on how to help her move more correctly. And im going from gaming horse to western pleasure horse so that might play some factor im not really sure. Im by far not a professional but ive done all her training this far and i dont want to just hand her off to a trainer now so any tips would be awesome

Fowl Play 06-15-2013 11:03 AM

It takes a lot of time. Walk and jog themselves take plenty of time, but you're looking at a lot of time for a horse to get used to using their body properly at a higher rate of speed, and get their head where you want it. It happens with time.

When we're working on collecting one at our barn, the last thing we ask of a horse before the ride is done is to stay in frame, use their body, and keep it for a couple of laps around the arena. Horses are pretty smart, once they catch on that if they do it right they get to quit, they do it right pretty quickly!

spurstop 06-15-2013 06:16 PM

Without seeing what the horse is doing, it's hard to give tips to improve it.

SorrelHorse 06-15-2013 07:11 PM

^ Exactly this.

Remember that true collection comes from behind, and an emphasis on headset can easily make a horse heavy on the forehand. I'd love to see a video.

Golden Horse 06-15-2013 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaykay4411 (Post 2807282)
Im by far not a professional but ive done all her training this far and i dont want to just hand her off to a trainer now so any tips would be awesome

This is the time you may want to be working with a trainer though, i can understand not wanting to hand her off, but someone on the ground working with you as you ride her could be invaluable.

Fowl Play 06-15-2013 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Golden Horse (Post 2810834)
This is the time you may want to be working with a trainer though, i can understand not wanting to hand her off, but someone on the ground working with you as you ride her could be invaluable.

This person could help you with the timing so that you're releasing at the right time.

existentialpony 06-15-2013 08:32 PM

You mention that you & your horse had to work at picking up the correct lead, and that she was previously a gaming horse. These two things tell me (in order) (1) your horse isn't/wasn't balanced or collected going into the lope, and (2) maybe there's a chance she gets a little happy when you pick up speed and pops her head up?

My solution is to go into a snaffle (hopefully you're schooling in a snaffle bit and not a curb!) and ride two-handed with contact on her mouth. Ask for a canter. Don't think about loping, just think about moving forward at a happy relaxed canter. Once you're moving, use your legs and seat to push her forward while steadily holding contact and asking her to meet you on the vertical (you may have to go back and teach this at a walk if she does not regularly accept contact). When she is moving forward with her butt and finds herself balanced, you will see that she will very easily meet your contact on the vertical (thus the "head set.")

Another important thing to is to make sure that her nose is tipped to the inside of your circle and that she is balanced on your circle before you ask for her to lope or canter. This will ensure the proper lead and also mean she has no need to throw her head up for balance during the transition. You can accomplish this moving her nice and forward and gently "sponge squeezing" your inside rein. Always relax your inside hand when she gives to your pressure as a reward.

Once your mare is pushing from behind and "on" the circle with her whole body, you won't even think about the "headset" because she'll have the whole package! Now all you need to do is bring that canter down to a lope by shortening her stride.

PS... it is obviously not this easy, and I too am an amateur rather than a trainer. :lol: Video would help, but this should give you a few ideas to try out.

Golden Horse 06-15-2013 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fowl Play (Post 2810906)
This person could help you with the timing so that you're releasing at the right time.

Ain't that the truth, I as having trouble trotting a circle in my greenie big boy, and WOW one lesson with a good trainer, someone who could see what was happening and get me to react like NOW, the difference was night and day, inside hand a little higher, use outside leg NOW, "stop looking down, look around" there were just so many little corrections and :oops: some big ones, but you get lazy riding on your own, and that set of eyes just helps.


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