Hello again! I'm back with more newbie questions
Been a while since I last posted! Took the advice of taking more frequent lessons, it's been great :)
First off, for "fixing" a bad habit under saddle-- is it more effective to anticipate when a horse is going to do the bad behavior (in this case grabbing the bit and yanking down- my trainer called it "rooting") and preemptively take their attention away from the thought of doing it (gentle half halts), or to correct after the fact (harder tug on one rein)? The horse (lesson pony) I was riding got the picture to knock it off after a combo of both approaches, but for the purpose of helping his manners for other riders, what is the better fix?
Second, a more basic question-- I feel super dumb having to ask this, please be gentle-- but when when I've gone to catch a particular horse lately, he keeps trying to eat with his head down when I'm trying to put the halter on. I've found it much easier to just put it on while he's "down" rather than asking for his head up, because after raising it (without a halter on), he immediately drops it back to the hay as soon as I return my other hand to the halter to start putting it on. This feels like a "lack of respect" type thing, but I also don't want to sour him to being caught. What's the most effective approach?
Third, how long does it take a horse to "get in shape?", I've read here that they hold their condition longer than humans, so I assume they gain condition differently too? I got to ride a new horse recently that's coming back into work, and she's pretty out of shape. Made me appreciate the quite fit horse I usually ride even more :)