What Do I Need?
I am trying to train a western horse to be an English horse. I can't figure out how to get his head from the long, low Western position to the higher English one. What do I need to do this? And How?
Haha, thats funny. First I'd just ride him with a tighter rein. Just stay on him about it but don't punish him whatever you do. That will confuse him terribly. The best thing to do would be to just stay persistent. He'll come around eventually.
Although, be careful not to get it too high if you want to show hunter pleasure.
You can always try a training martingale, but I would be careful and always consult a trainer/instructor that you trust first.
not so cheap
run the reins through each loop, it will help dissuade him from lowering his head.
You will need a different bit and most likely you may need to hold his head up a little to teach him the head set.
well i was thinking about getting a hunter dee for his bit. he has a soft mouth and doesn't need too much pressure. i've tried the tighter rein thing with a different horse, but he just kept throwing his head and didn't like it at all! i was thinking about getting a lunging attachment that i could gradually use to make his head hold higher. would that work?
Not sure what you call them were youi are but you could try draw reins. The are just like riding with 2 reins. The clip onto the girth go up the chest then through each loop on the bit and connect at the other end like normal reins. They are for helping bring the horses head into a more rounded position by applying a bit more pressure on the bit.
You will have to gradually tighten them/ shorten your reins, as his muscles are going to be not used to the new way he will be holding his head so he will have to develop his mucles in a different way as you progress.
I just converted my horse and am still working on fine tuning, but I found just slowly picking up the contact and providing him with a well fitted (to both his mouth and training) bit, he came around.
Now I ride him in a "Happy Mouth" snaffle and he loves it. It took a little while for him to adjust and I do have a running martingale on him for the time being because he tends to toss his head, but he is being more accepting of the bit now.
I would be hesistant to use draw reins, since it forces them into position, more than just teaching them.
Just my 2 cents.
A martingale wouldn't work as it encorages the horse to lower his head, which is not what you want.. You could try a market Harbor (sp?) which you can pick up for about $30AUD or make your own.. Either works well and will encorage your horse to keep his head higher.. Keep your reins tighter than normal, but your horse may drag on the bit a little, so you could change it to something harsher such as a pelham, but only use whats within ur capabilities.. Also have some lessons with an english rider, preferably dressage so you can learn balance your horse as he comes up higher and starts to engage in him back end and gains impulsion.. Tell me how everything goes!! Hope this helps!!
sally, i have takne english lessons before. he has a very soft mouth so a harsher bit wouldn't work very well. i'll try out all of your suggestions though! thanks guys
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