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futuredoctor 09-21-2013 09:13 PM

What does it mean when the horse bows its head down while riding?
I switched to a different lesson horse yesterday, and she kept bowing her head down whenever I rode her. It wasn't a problem, just different. Does this mean anything or is it just the horse's style?

Lexiie 09-21-2013 09:30 PM

My mare carries her head fairly level with her back, and the pony my sister rides carries it with her nose in the air.

She may have been stretching and relaxing
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futuredoctor 09-21-2013 09:47 PM

Is it just a mare thing? Because the first two lesson horses I rode were geldings. They both held their necks upright.

NorthernMama 09-21-2013 09:55 PM

The trainer would have been able to tell you because (s)he actually saw it. "Bowing her head down" could be any number of positions, each meaning something different -- from proper collection, to low headset, to misbehaving, to stretching, to evading, discomfort...

No, it doesn't have anything to do with the sex of the horse.

Sharpie 09-21-2013 10:04 PM

I know my guy will do it sometimes after we transition downwards to a canter to a trot or a trot to a walk. For him it seems to be a stretch and a mental relaxation thing. Another horse I did lessons on loved to stretch his head down while he was trotting. It was an allowed release from being collected, but he had learned to ham it up a bit too. :)

katec1991 09-22-2013 02:13 PM

My gelding will lower his head all the way to the ground when he trots sometimes to stretch out his back muscles.
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usandpets 09-22-2013 03:15 PM

It could be multiple different things.

-relaxing or stretching
-uncertain of footing or going over obstacle
-getting ready to lay down or buck
-trained as in western pleasure to carry it's head low
-loss of attention or looking for something more interesting than what you are doing
-looking for something to eat

It's hard to say why she is doing it without seeing it. No it is not because of gender.

A horse that carries it's head high is usually alert, nervous, or anxious. It could be also from its breed. A lower head usually means relaxed, which is good.
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