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flytobecat 05-30-2011 04:13 PM

Riding in a halter.
I'm sure this old hat for the more experienced riders.
I've been having problems with Willow tossing her head when we are working in the arena. When she does this, I tense up because she isn't listening, and pull too much on her mouth which intensifies the head tossing.
Anyway a friend suggested riding her in her halter to get us both to lighten up. I also saw a thread on here where another member suggested the same thing for a similar problem.
It worked wonders. No heading tossing, just a little over arching of her neck a couple times.
I was forced to use my seat and legs a lot more. I didn't realize how much I was depending on my hands in the turns and pivots. I even got her to do a slow spin.
Not throwing my bit out just yet, but thought I'ld share.

JustDressageIt 05-30-2011 04:27 PM

Its amazing how other aids are developed when one gets taken away. Regarding the bit - has she had her teeth floated by an equine dentist (not vet, they aren't as specialized unless they've taken courses on equine dentistry) in the past year?
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flytobecat 05-30-2011 05:00 PM

I thought about that also. I was going to get her teeth floated last year, when my other mare had hers floated, but it was suggested I wait until she was 6.
She's due to have them floated this year.

JustDressageIt 05-30-2011 05:07 PM

Who suggested waiting till she's 6?! My friend's mare has had to have her teeth done twice a year from 4 onwards (she's currently 6 I think) because her mouth has changed so very much, she was not carrying the bit well at all. You can tell by how she acts that its time for a floating - different horse when her mouth is feeling good!
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flytobecat 05-30-2011 08:47 PM

The vet who did my other mare's teeth.

JustDressageIt 05-30-2011 10:44 PM

Vets do not have a lot of dentistry training in their degrees. I would not use a vet that didn't have more extensive training as dentistry is a specialty. Like I said, my friend's mare needed her teeth done every 6 months from 4 years old to current.
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LoganandMe 06-02-2011 08:18 PM

Thats great, I'm very happy for you. I ride my pony in a halter almost everyday :) Other times I ride her in her bit-less bridle. The first barn I rode at I didn't think for myself I just followed what they said and the pony I rode (who is now mine =D) "had" to wear: Saddle, Crupper, Grass Reins, Bitted Bridle. When I got her I did my research on all of these things and I now ride her with a halter and bareback. Unfortunately, because of how long the barn had her riding in a crupper, she now has a very tense tail. It did take me a while to get used to riding with such little things though, but now I love it because we move together more. As my teacher calls it "We move our medicine balls to the same beat." haha.

SeeingSpots 06-02-2011 09:08 PM

I have to say....I ride without anything on my horses head most of the time.

Its amazing the better behavior you get when you just get on and maintain a trot (for example) for twenty minutes without directing them, nothing on their heads, then put the bridle on. I had the same problem with my mare, until I did this ;) Just my two cents or you could do the same thing with the bridle on get don't touch the reins! And after twenty minutes its great!

Its like they go "Oh that was fun what do you want to do now?" Because you went with their ideas and when you ask to do something(ASK not TELL mind you) they go with it because they got to have fun with their idea!

Just saying....


flytobecat 06-09-2011 01:27 AM

Thanks guys.
I was looking through some my earlier posts. I forgot that I had mentioned this problem before about 1 year ago. I didn't realize I had been dealing with this so long. She's much better steering wise now, but still has the head tossing.
I'll have to get someone out to look at her teeth. I'm beginning to think that is the most likely problem.

smrobs 06-09-2011 01:39 AM

LOL, I talked to my vets and they both stated that they spent a whopping half a day on equine dentistry during vet school :shock:.

Yeah, the "wait until they're 6" recommendation is very old school. The dentist that I know has skulls of different age horses and he has one from a 4 year old filly that it was a miracle that she could even eat, let alone wear a bit without throwing a snit fit. Her entire jaw was at an awful angle because of her teeth and there were several that were out of alignment and severely overgrown because they weren't being worn down.

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