How to have my horse drop his head?
 
 

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How to have my horse drop his head?

This is a discussion on How to have my horse drop his head? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Best ways to get a horses head dropped
  • Why do riders make their horses drop their heads?

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    01-10-2012, 07:13 PM
  #1
Foal
How to have my horse drop his head?

I was wondering how to make my horse drop his head? He is now dropping it at a walk but at the trot and lope he raises again. How do I get him to drop it?
     
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    01-10-2012, 07:29 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Theres lots of differant techniques. When I was teaching my mare WP I used a seesaw motion on her bit till her head came down and immediately released the pressure.
Theres also tools that help with collection such as the running martingale...it depends on what your horse would respond to best. We had a bungy basically that ran over my mares bridle path, through the rings on her bridle and clipped to her girth. It kept her head in a collected position but also had give to it so she would be able to balance correctly with it on and could bring her head up. It did not hinder her movement at all it was more of a mind trick.
     
    01-11-2012, 12:25 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRacer95    
I was wondering how to make my horse drop his head? He is now dropping it at a walk but at the trot and lope he raises again. How do I get him to drop it?
It's not about 'getting him to drop it", it's about correct riding from you at the jog lope, so he'll use his body correctly...which in turn allows his head to drop where it should based on his conformation.

PLEASE DO NOT SEE SAW THE REINS! All this mean is....you riding the head and trying to FORCE it to drop. You ride the horse's body, get your horse to drive deep with the round and raise the back. THAT'S how you get a "headset".
     
    01-11-2012, 12:29 PM
  #4
Trained
Well I seesaw to get horses up into the bridle....But I don't go a "western pleasure" headset, I just take up the seesaw, then just hold contact and my horses know to stay on the vertical, or draw their chins down if need be. I can do it with one hand too, and just pick up the reins and they will drop their heads. But when they are just learning, they get lateral flexion, then we graduate to vertical flexion.

Here's a little Clinton Anderson spew for ya. At a stand still, bring your horses head either left or right to your stirrup, then use the outside rein to try and bring their head back to center WITHOUT them raising their head even a fraction. I cannot tell you how frustrating this can be, but I also can't tell you how impressive the results are. My reining mare can now do it at all gaits.
     
    01-11-2012, 04:52 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Well I seesaw to get horses up into the bridle....But I don't go a "western pleasure" headset, I just take up the seesaw, then just hold contact and my horses know to stay on the vertical, or draw their chins down if need be. I can do it with one hand too, and just pick up the reins and they will drop their heads. But when they are just learning, they get lateral flexion, then we graduate to vertical flexion.

Here's a little Clinton Anderson spew for ya. At a stand still, bring your horses head either left or right to your stirrup, then use the outside rein to try and bring their head back to center WITHOUT them raising their head even a fraction. I cannot tell you how frustrating this can be, but I also can't tell you how impressive the results are. My reining mare can now do it at all gaits.
Not to start an argument, because everyone trains differently....but ask any dressage rider, or any GOOD hunt seat or western trainer...and the will say the same....see sawing is the worst thing you can do. You are only trying to get flexion by HAND manipulation. My horse will drop his head with a squeeze his sides....NO hand is required. Dressage riders do not see-saw to get their horses up in the bridle, nor do saddleseat folks etc. The people I see see-sawing, do that because they don't know how to get a horse on the bit with anything other than their hands. You don't ride the head, you ride the body.
Tasia, Leahrene and PaintedShanty like this.
     
    01-11-2012, 05:32 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Im not sayi g constant jacking of their heads we had loose split reins and I would twitch one yhen the other it disnt give her a hard nouth or restrict motion...just so she could feel the bit moving and she would lowee her head. I would also squezze my calves and her rib cage would lift and she qpuld round out.She knew that that meant collection. It wasnt about getting a headset it was about rounding her back... and it wasnt all hand manipulation if you don't have the right form the horse will fight it anyways.
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    01-11-2012, 06:23 PM
  #7
Showing
Playing with the bit in their mouth (softly) while driving them forward in a relaxed manner will teach them to "seek" the bit, and thus drop their head depending on the length of the rein. It's a complicated concept for a horse without training in it.

It helps to lunge in side reins so they understand how to use their back. Side reins (adjusted properly) do not force the head into a frame.. but encourage it because it feels nice once they start working with the side reins.
Roperchick likes this.
     
    01-11-2012, 11:27 PM
  #8
Foal
I have lounged him before with the side reigns. I hate to seesaw his mouth because I wont be able to do that in the show arena. Id like him to listen when I use my legs. He responds really well if I use my legs for lead changes, pivots, stopping, backing up,sidepassing..etc.
     
    01-12-2012, 12:05 AM
  #9
Showing
So wait... he doesn't listen to your legs except for lead changes, pivots, stopping, sidepassing, backing up.. so what does he ignore your leg on?
     
    01-12-2012, 12:11 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
Not to start an argument, because everyone trains differently....but ask any dressage rider, or any GOOD hunt seat or western trainer...and the will say the same....see sawing is the worst thing you can do. You are only trying to get flexion by HAND manipulation. My horse will drop his head with a squeeze his sides....NO hand is required. Dressage riders do not see-saw to get their horses up in the bridle, nor do saddleseat folks etc. The people I see see-sawing, do that because they don't know how to get a horse on the bit with anything other than their hands. You don't ride the head, you ride the body.

I totally agree.

My horses START with seesawing. They don't stay that way forever. I ask with my legs as well, I did however neglect to say that and I apologize. My horses drive up onto the bit with their hind end from my legs, but my hands keep their head on the vertical. Mine typically have a very soft mouth. My seat is always back as well, encouraging the use of the hindquarters and squeezing them to ride forward. I was always taught the key to vertical flexion was lateral flexion.
     

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