Teaching a Horse to Go Slow and Carry Head Low - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By usandpets
  • 2 Post By DejaVu
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,732
• Horses: 2
Teaching a Horse to Go Slow and Carry Head Low

How do western horses get trained to move slow and carry their head low? I know many western trained horses pin well in hunter and I'd like to know some tips. :)

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
"There's nothing like sixteen hands between your legs"
LoveTheSaddlebreds is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 11:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 395
• Horses: 0
You want to train for WP so your horse will place high in hunter? I'm confused.

What breed are you showing?

The WP training methods I've seen are nothing I want to be promoting. So I can't help you, sorry.
Posted via Mobile Device

Last edited by twh; 11-18-2011 at 11:18 PM.
twh is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
A lot of that is bred into them.
bubba13 is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: michigan
Posts: 160
• Horses: 1
keep asking for the headset. the slow part will come just give it time. took my horse a year to figure out what i was asking. i allway say the word easy then when he slows down i say good boy. but the better the head set the better the ride. just keep trying. oh small circle make them go slower. after they get them down just make the circle bigger until your doing the whole arena . if they speed back up on the rail pull him in a smaller circle dont give him the chance to speed up. it really works

i have a 4 year old appy dosnt have much training other then me. took 2 years but now he jog is beautiful. he can side pass and pivit. jog logs and side pass them. Now were loping...... he need work on that.

Last edited by stacysills02; 11-19-2011 at 08:45 PM.
stacysills02 is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 11-20-2011, 06:41 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,841
• Horses: 0
My appy lowers his head nicely but at the lope forget about it. It's all up in my face. And he doesn't understand the tie down. He just puts pressure on the noseband and then backs up because he knows to move away from the pressure. But he doesn't realize it's him doing it.
Posted via Mobile Device
Cowgirls Boots is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 11-20-2011, 09:51 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
Posts: 3,440
• Horses: 8
You could keep asking and hope he gets it in time. In other words "nag" the horse to do it.

You could use tie-downs and force the horse to keep it's head low. This is just a mask for the problem and doesn't fix it, which could cause them to be dead to pressure on their nose and poll. Also, the horse needs it's head to balance, so you are taking that away too.

So what causes them to carry it low naturally? Ever seen a relaxed horse, like one out in the pasture napping? What does their topline look like? It's straight from their poll to their tail, with maybe a dip in their back. What does an alert, anxious, or nervous horse look like? Does a giraff come to mind?

Okay, so we need a relaxed horse. What else? When a horse is working in a correct frame, or being collected, they will carry their head lower. So we need to train the horse to carry it's head low to be collected? NO! Get the horse to work more with the rear end underneath and a rounded back and the head will lower.

Do this to help get the point: get down on your hands and knees, lower your head. That's the same as just training your horse to hold it's head lower. Now, hold your head back in line with your back and arch your back. What does your head do? It automatically lowers. It's actually hard to arch your back and hold your head up, isn't it? That's the same as teaching the horse to be collected.

So, now for slowing the horse. You could again nag the horse to go slower by doing half halts every time the horse speeds up or just hold pressure on the bit until they go dead in the mouth. Or you could have the horse teach itself to maintain a slower speed, like a cruise control. But wait, that sounds like something from Clinton Anderson? Yup, it is. Take the horse out and lope them for 7 or 8 miles and don't let them drop out of the lope. If you have to use an arena, do the same just make them lope in there and don't touch the reins at all unless they speed up too fast. Let them choose where to go but you control the speed. Don't let them drop out of the lope but also don't let them go all out gallop. It's like training them to be a marathon runner instead of a sprinter, like they are now. On a side note, does your horse get time out in a large pasture or is it cooped up in a stall and small pen? Horses need room to move so they can stretch out. If your horse is cooped up until you ride, they will want to get up and go.

Last but probably the most important: How well does your horse truely trust and listen to you? One that trusts completely and listens at every step they take for your next cue will go slower. They won't be as excited or alert, but will look to you for their protection and they will be concentrating on you to see if at the next step if or what cue you'll give them
stacysills02 likes this.

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

Mares RULE! Geldings drool!
usandpets is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 11-20-2011, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 646
• Horses: 0
Before I say anything else, I want to advise you not to use a tie down, or any contraption similar. All that teaches them is to brace, and they never learn self carriage for an independent headset, and their muscles develop in every way that is wrong for WP or hunters, or whatever it is you do.

Now, the headset, is coming only from pressure and release. A lift on the reins, and a squeeze with the leg, and then hold until they drop their head. Continue that. It'll become faster, and softer as they understand it more, and their muscles develop for it. Start at the standstill, once that's mastered, then move up to the walk, etc. With more muscle, they'll become more able to hold the headset longer, until eventually that's how they'll hold it always.

The slow pace, takes a lot of hind end impulsion. There's so many ways to achieve this, but a lot of transitions, backing, circles, to build up the hind end so it's easier for them to settle in a slower pace. After that, it's all seat and energy, and you have to ride the pace. Horses like rhythm, and they will match you, if you set the pace.
Only work the pace though, after you have the headset corrected, and the horse can move independently through their rib cage and topline.
stacysills02 and brookelatour like this.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
DejaVu is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
teaching young horse to have a head set at the lope stacysills02 Horse Training 2 11-03-2011 12:28 PM
Training an older horse not to carry his head like a giraffe. Rachel1786 Horse Training 16 07-04-2011 10:18 PM
my horse fusses, dances and tosses her head when asked to slow down. nvr2many Horse Riding 4 02-11-2011 08:23 PM
Teaching horse to lower head IslandWave Horse Training 33 01-16-2011 01:00 AM
Teaching a horse to keep it's head down? Western Horse Training 13 10-25-2010 03:08 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome