Would you allow your horse to... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-12-2011, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Would you allow your horse to...

...put its head down on the trail?

Every time there is a terrain change, my mare likes to stick her nose right to the ground to see what she's walking on. She doesn't stop to do it, but she pulls on the reins and I'm wondering if I should give her her head or half-halt her and get her head back up.

I do ride on a loose rein, so she pretty much has her head anyways, but not normally enough that she can get her head down that far.

I'll bet she'll stop doing it the more experienced she gets, but I'm not sure if it's something I have to stop.

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-12-2011, 05:40 PM
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I'd personally never squash curiosity. She's just investigating. It's way better than spooking, jigging, etc.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-12-2011, 07:09 PM
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dreams gets a loose rein. if she wants to drop her head to get a good look at what she is walking over, i have no issue with that--sure much better than a potential fall or spook!

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-13-2011, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, so I should just allow her to completely take her head?

You're right, it is better than her spooking or mindlessly stumbling around.

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by phantomhorse13 View Post
dreams gets a loose rein. if she wants to drop her head to get a good look at what she is walking over, i have no issue with that--sure much better than a potential fall or spook!
I feel the same way. In an arena it's a no-no but on the trail, I don't mind my horse being a little investigative. Bonnie gets a very loose rein so being pulled out of the saddle is a non-issue for me.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-13-2011, 09:42 AM
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I think you are right in saying that once she gets some more miles that she will probably not do it as much. It sounds like she is a little uncertain about the trail, but as long as she stays calm and doesn't seem to get anxious I would say it is okay for her to have her head. I don't know about her 'taking' her head, but if you let the reins slip through your fingers and allow her to put her head down that is fine. If she starts just baring down in the bridle to take her head away from you, then you would have an issue. From what you said though, it doesn't seem like that is the case. Good luck!

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post #7 of 13 Old 07-13-2011, 10:28 AM
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Letting her investigate shouldn't be bad. My horse gets a long rein while trail riding but he doesn't get to eat .
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-13-2011, 11:19 AM
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I let Biscuit smell anything he'd like and will occasionally stop and let him grab a few bites. LOL I am becoming lax. I never would let Red eat on the trail but I do let Biscuit. It seems to calm them to graze and it helps hydrate them, too. As long as Biscuit doesn't get pushy he can stop and smell the roses. He is not that interested in smelling things unless it is horse poo!

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post #9 of 13 Old 07-19-2011, 10:51 PM
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My horse always checks out the water before crossing...or mud puddles etc. I want her to be confident and relaxed and so I let her check it out. I find that if I do, she crosses and does what I ask without any trouble.
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-19-2011, 11:12 PM
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I let my boy check out things if we are on a rough trail with little to no grass around. If there is grass around I keep his head up or else I will have a battle on my hands as the grass addiction takes over.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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