How to have my horse drop his head? - Page 3
 
 

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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
  • How to set western horse's head
  • Exercises to drop my horses head

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    01-17-2012, 07:32 PM
  #21
Yearling
When riding my friends horse he was a english and driving horse before they got him then my friend broke him westren. So when I rode westren I let him have his head till we galloped and in english he liked to take his head so I woulld see saw, till he gave and when I asked for a cater I would give a tad and then made sure he could get enough to canter. After a while I did this for both english and westren.
     
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    02-06-2012, 10:16 PM
  #22
Foal
Depends on how your horses head is set right now. Every horse has a different headset (not to mention different breeds of horses). Just because you like a headset, doesn't mean your horse can give it to you.

I would start by teaching him to flex at the poll. At a standstill, completely relax one rein and shorten the other until you get the first response from him. The moment he gives you his face, even a millimeter, let go. As always, letting go at the right moment is the most important thing. Then switch sides. Once he can come, completely relaxed to your feet in the stirrups, then he is ready to set his head.

When riding the one thing that has worked for me (on horses that I know have a decent head set) is to hold the bit steady (just touch the bit through the reins), then locking your hands in position, driving him up to the bit. This usually drops their head set.

To elaborate, take a hold of him, not enough to stop him (or break gait), just to touch his bit, then use leg (or a crop if you have to) to drive him up to the bit, without giving on the reins. He will drop his head (atleast a little), immediately reward by letting him have some rein (which he would have got by dropping to the headset anyways) and let him sit there. Soon his head will come back up.... at that point repeat.

The toughest thing for me is to keep them from breaking gait when I take a hold. If I am loping along, if I am not VERY careful. I will take too much of a hold and drop to a trot, which should be avoided (cause then you are teaching them to drop gait at the slightest sign of the bit)

Hope this helped...
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    03-30-2012, 08:20 PM
  #23
Foal
My paso mare was very high headed and what work for me, was I would put my two fingers on top of her poll and gently press her head down, the sec. She lowered her head the slightest cm. I would release the pressure, I done this over and over while saying "down" and now she drops her head for haltering or bridleing when I say down! It took a little while, but as with everuthing with horses patience is the key to success! Good luck!
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    04-08-2012, 11:11 PM
  #24
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
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".
I agree, NO SEE SAWING!!!!! The worst thing you could to do. Training a horse is all about pressure and releasing. Horses don't learn by being beat and scared. The learn by releasing. What I did to teach my horse to drop her head was I, picked up on the reins until she dropped her head just a tiny inch, then let go! If you keep doing that at the stop, walk, and trot, they will learn, hey if I drop my head I can ride on a loose rein. At the lope, first you have to get them collected. A horse bobbing its head at the lope means it's not collected. When they are collected at the lope, their but will go under them, they will round up, and their head will drop down. If that doesn't work, use a hobble on them in an arena and have them go through all of the gates. It will not hurt them, it will just teach them that putting their head up is NOT acceptable. The hobble will pull on their back legs if they try to raise their head. It isn't a permanent fix, but it will tell them that you aren't accepting that! When you are loping, squeeze and lift on the reins and get your horse collected, and when you do their head will drop into a nice western headset. I had to go 5 years learning this the Clinton Anderson way, and it REALLY works!! I hope this helps, it really helped me! Just remember, NO SEE SAWING!!!!
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    04-14-2012, 08:38 AM
  #25
Foal
Before you begin to work on having your horses head down at the lope you need to first get it so that the horse has his head down 100 percent (or 99 percent because no horse is perfect) at the trot. This way teh horse will be more inclinded to keep his head down at the lop.All I do is hold both my hands steady down by my knees while trotting this way the horse will figure out "oh if I put my head down then there will not be any pressure on my face" and once your horse puts his head down you release the pressure right away. If he puts his head up again you put your hands down untill he puts his head down. After a coulple hours your horse should be pretty good at keeping his head down. Remember horses don't learn from pressure they learn from the release of pressure so the key here is to release right away when you get the correct answer from your horse! I hope this has helped!
     
    04-14-2012, 01:15 PM
  #26
Weanling
Holding your hands by your knees is not conducive to creating a balanced pleasure horse. All you are doing is encouraging the horse to work behind the bridle. In addition, your equitation is going to fall apart.

When you are showing, you would never put your hands down low like that, so it's not a good idea to train that way.

Ideally, a pleasure horse should be taught that when the rider goes in with the lower leg and spur, he should lift his middle up, and drop his head. As a horse gets more broke, it will take less hand to do so. Just a rock of the wrist will get the needed result.

I like to ride the horse forward and work first on taking the horse's face away and get him focusing on me as the rider. Also, it softens him up and help to get him more broke through the poll, neck, and wither. While at each gait (walk, jog, and lope), go out on a large circle. With two hands on the reins, drive your horse up into the bridle using your seat. Close your legs, and gently take the horse's head first to the outside of the circle and hold it. Keep the horse on the same path. You should only get the head around enough so that you can see the outside corner of his eye. Release rein pressure and leg pressure and allow the horse to work with a straight body. Close your legs, and gently take the horse's head to the inside of the circle the same way as the first direction. Hold for a few strides and release.

As your horse gets familiar with the process, you can add more pressure. Ask the horse to hold longer. As the horse relaxes, he should begin to lower his head, but since you are driving with your seat, you should still have the cadence and rhythm of a good gait.

When your horse is getting the concept of giving to the bit, take your horse back on a circle. Close your legs and drive forward with your seat. Together, lift your hands back (to engage the bit) and up, towards your belly button. Remember to keep back in your shoulders and drive from your seat. Hold the pressure until you feel your horse give to the bit. Gently release the pressure -- don't just drop the horse yet, as he's still learning to carry himself and you don't want him to fall onto his forehand.

As the horse becomes stronger and more familiar with what you are asking, hold the contact longer while driving the horse forward. At the lope, practice pushing his hip to the inside, with your outside leg. Your inside calf should lay against the horse to support the shoulder. Think about pushing your outside hip towards the horse's inside ear. Hold the pressure until your horse has given to the bit. Hold for a few strides longer, and release. If the horse falls forward, or pops up, go back in slowly and do the same thing.

Jog and lope boxes. Practice making a square corner, which will require your horse to sit back on his hock and push around the corner. You can also take your horse from a large circle down to a smaller circle in a spiral and back out.

Counter cantering is a great excercise -- not just in circles, but serpentine around the arena, make a figure eight, etc.

If you are not already working with a trainer, I suggest looking for one to at least haul in to lessons with.
     
    04-15-2012, 04:32 AM
  #27
Weanling
Just got back from my trainers house and the biggest thing se had me work on is keep your hands up by the horn of the saddle and in that area because if you are in a how you can't pull the reins down by your knees and it will get you better results to keep them up and the closer together the better
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    04-16-2012, 04:51 PM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by spurstop    
Holding your hands by your knees is not conducive to creating a balanced pleasure horse. All you are doing is encouraging the horse to work behind the bridle. In addition, your equitation is going to fall apart.

When you are showing, you would never put your hands down low like that, so it's not a good idea to train that way.

Ideally, a pleasure horse should be taught that when the rider goes in with the lower leg and spur, he should lift his middle up, and drop his head. As a horse gets more broke, it will take less hand to do so. Just a rock of the wrist will get the needed result.



Jog and lope boxes. Practice making a square corner, which will require your horse to sit back on his hock and push around the corner. You can also take your horse from a large circle down to a smaller circle in a spiral and back out.

Counter cantering is a great excercise -- not just in circles, but serpentine around the arena, make a figure eight, etc.

If you are not already working with a trainer, I suggest looking for one to at least haul in to lessons with.
This is a great post! Agree with all of it. To get my WP horse to lower his head, I use calf and seat....not hand. The more calf pressure I use, the lower and slower he will go. If you ride correctly...meaning riding your horse back to front, which comes from lots of leg to get the hock deep and the back lifted...the head will go where it should. See-sawing is only riding the head, and the same with hands down at the knees. All that does is get a horse BTV, a tight jaw, and a horse locked in the poll.

Guys, it's not about the head...it's about the body. Get the body right and the head takes care of itself.
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    04-16-2012, 05:40 PM
  #29
Weanling
Yes and one thing you see a lot is head bobbing! It bugs me so much because no matter how much the horse looks collected, if it is bobbing its head it's not!
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    04-22-2012, 01:00 AM
  #30
Foal
Thumbs down

There are multiple ways I use to get my horses head down.
When training I ocasionly use draw reins or I tie down.

For my show horses if I slightly aply any contact even as much as twisting my wrist they wjll drop theyre heads. So when you are traing apply pressure till they drop their head and then imidiatly release.
Another thing I do is circle a horse untill it drops it's head
     

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