Spot is very high headed and forward. I went on a trail today and I thought he was going to fall apart every time I tried to slow him down. He doesn't rear or buck me, but if I pull back on the reins he sticks his nose completely up and out. He is an ex-barrel racer and a very hot horse anyway, but I'm trying to get this "speedy gonzales" attitude out of him. He hasn't barrel raced in forever. Before that, he was an english horse. He is very inverted and hollow. I ride him in a loose-ring snaffle usually but today I rode him in a french-link D ring and he reacted the same way.
By the way, I found out if I do that "AH AH" (like the scolding noise you make at your kid if it's about to do something wrong) he stops dead in his tracks, no matter what gait you're doing. Haha :)
Mine respond to the "ah ah" too! It is a great voice aid for me!
My 6 year old QH colt was high headed last year and I felt that I wouldn't be able to control him if he decided to take off. I switched to a Myler combination bit with a comfort snaffle. It has 3 rings and a noseband and a curb strap. The idea is that there is nose/jaw/poll pressure before the bit engages. So, for the horse that is soft and gives to pressure in a halter, this bit works like that at first. Only if there is no response does the rider use more pressure and engage the snaffle bit. You can use it on the first, second or third rings - I started on the first ring, for no leverage in the ring and went to the second ring outside of the arena (just in case). This worked *perfectly* for me. He loves it and is so soft and responsive now, and I never see his nose in the air anymore. It's expensive (I got mine for $130) but it did more than anything else I had tried.
Myler Three Ring Combination Bits and English Specialty Bits | EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM
I have also used this bit. I had a high headed pali who would move away from the bit. The only problem with it is that if you do not use it they go back to their old ways. Concentrating more on flexing helped to get his head to drop and give to the bit instead of fighting it.
Macslady, that's good to know. We're doing the flexing, of course, but I was hoping to be able to transition out of the combo bit into a simpler bit. I'll be a lot more cautious about making the change, now. I am hoping that the high headedness wasn't a habit already, just a reaction to pain, as he developed it during training 2 years ago when he had some physical issues. We pulled him out of training and let him heal, and started over in the combo bit with success, so far, knock wood.
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