Head troubles - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-15-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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Head troubles

I just started leasing a 15 year old APH mare . I've been ridig her for several months and we just started English Pleasure and our first show is on Sunday (: I'll only be during English Pleasure, Walk Trot, Leadline and Barrels .

But when I ask her to trot she rushes, puts her head up and tries to run through my hands . I do lots of circles but she doesn't have a lot of bend in her . How can I get her to relax and keep her head down ?

I don't want quick fixes or short cuts . I don't expect to place at our show, I just wanna do the best we can cause we've been working really hard .
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-16-2012, 12:22 PM
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You could try a martingale, or start teaching her a correct english headset. It takes more time to teach a headset, especially on a horse that also runs barrels as they tend to be more hot and less keen to stretch out and round up. As its a lease horse, you'll have to ask before teaching or changing anything. But both of these options should help.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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Lots and lots of walk/trot transitions using your seat/legs. Do not pull back on the reins if you can help it. You want to get her to start responding to your seat. Get her into a nice relaxed walk, ask gently for a trot, take only a few trot steps completely forgetting about her head (since you ride the body, not the head) exhale, still your seat and ask for a downward transition. If she ignores you, then sure, a slight rein cue to get her attention. Keep trying until she'll do the transition as soon as she feels you start to cue her. Good luck.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 05-16-2012, 08:40 PM
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She's bracing pretty hard.. I think possibly she was ridden goofy/wrong in the past. Maybe when she was asked to move up a gait she got bopped in the mouth or the rider slammed on her back, so she's not looking forward to it.

Best way to get through to her is work on her accepting the bit at the walk, slowly pushing for a little more and backing off when she falls apart.. getting her back to accepting the bit at the walk, pushing a little more until she holds it together, then praise like crazy.

My horse did this.. but he also hopped around, leaped, bolted, let out a few little rears too when a saddle didn't fit right. Believe me when I say that I understand LOL. Just take it nice and slow. Avoid using the reins for balance; use your core.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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