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- - Putting his head way down... (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/putting-his-head-way-down-25886/)
Putting his head way down...
So I have this problem with Toby when we are riding....
He puts his head waaay down to the ground. Not to eat grass or anything. I think he is doing it because either he doesnt like the bit or any bit for that matter... or he just wants to get away from being me being able to control him.
Any ideas why he is doing this or how to correct it?
I currently ride him in a full cheek snaffle with copper mouthpiece.
Does he do it during the whole ride? Many horses do this to stretch out their necks and spines during the first 5-10 minutes of working to warm themselves up.
When does he do it? Is it when you first ride him? Because he might be streatching but its hard to tell with the description you gave. My horse used to do this when I first started and I broke his habit by instead of pulling on the reins to get his head back up, I squeezed my legs and trotted a bit faster, or walked a bit faster in order to show that we are working.
He could just be stretching his back & neck out (the horses I ride do this to warm-up)- but if he's doing it the whole ride, you might not have enough contact with the bit, or you aren't using your legs & are relying on your reins.
But if it's just in the beginning of the ride, then that is normal, as he's stretching himself out. :)
Rooting can be a sign of hoof pain, back pain, or mouth pain. I would have your farrier check out his feet, a chiropractor check his back and your saddle fit, and your vet check for wolf teeth and bit fit/placement.
Well, mabye he wants to eat. but try i tye down thats what i did with my Baby boy when he did that. it worked with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but dont set it really low cuz then he would still have his head down. set it so his head is up, but yeah do u get what im sayin? (lolz)
I agree, I'm not sure a tie down is a good idea... I've mostly found that tie downs only frustrate horses...
I'd ask him to move out a bit faster, like Poptart said, that way he knows it's business time.
If he continues, get him checked for pain like luvstoride said.
If your horse is stretching out and you have the rein on the mane, he is stretching himself out (for either just a stretch or for possible reasons given in another post...pain somewhere? possible).
If he does this specifically when you pick up the rein, then you're relying too much on rein and not enough on your leg cues. In this case it's called rooting, and it's the horse's way of saying he's not found any relief/release in the pressure when he listens to the bit, so heck with it, he'll try and get his own release by rooting his nose forward and dropping his head to get away from the bit pressure.
If he's rooting then get into the habit of then never taking the slack out of the reins until you've put your legs on him to ask him to give you energy (legs are for energy, reins are to direct that energy). even if it's just a little squeeze of your calves. The more he roots, the more leg you use to drive him into the bit and be more fair about using the reins....that is, only take out the slack and use pressure when you are really telling him something (slow down, give to the bit, turn, etc)....don't ride with your brakes on (constant pressure that means nothing)
As for the person that said a tie down...that's definitely not a good idea. With a horse that roots, it's like telling the horse "shut up and take the pressure" and that's just not being fair at all to the horse. Fix the problem (rider error of misuse of the reins, too much pressure lasting too long not telling the horse anything....riding with the brakes on....or pain.) and you get rid of the problem.
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