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So right now, I am re-training a horse for one of my dad's friends. This horse is an 8 year old Appendix gelding. He used to be a rodeo horse (a heeler is what they think). But he was really messed up and is your stereotypical "crazy" rodeo horse. He does have a good mind and personality, but he's had really bad training. And the guy who owns him, never rides really, but he wants a horse fr his daughter to be able to ride, and maybe run barrels on in the future. So I am going to be untraining then retraining him. And once I have a foundation, I am going to teach him the barrels. Ok... so my question is, what can I do to help bring his head down? I can reteach everything else, but how can I get him to naturally keep a lower head carriage? Beacause right now he could stab out your eyes with his ears (haha). I mean I know to work on collection and that will help some... it's not an emergency, but tips are definetly welcome.
 

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Sit lightly on his back and stay out of his face.

I find most horses that are "up with the birds" are hanging out up their because they are avoiding pain that has become associated with being rode. It was take multiple rides, but by showing him that you're not going to hurt him via being rode, he was adopt a more "natural" head-set. That is, of-course that his conformation allows it.

My guess is that his head is up because his back is tense. Work on his back and the head/neck will follow. Lots of suppling exercises, do not focus on the head.
 

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I agree with Jag a lot of suppling exercises and getting him to relax that back. I would try the pressure/release system first....gently give him pressure at the poll until he lowers his head, then release. When riding you can give alternating pressure on the reins slowly...left right left right until he lowers his head then release the reins. But this is after you have worked on your other suppling exercises and have gotten him relaxing for you.

Whatever you do, please please don't try to buy anything for a quick fix such as a tie down or martingale...some of these things can make matters much worse. Right now I'm actually Un-doing what somebody did to a horse with such mechanical fixes and I'll tell you, it is harder and takes longer to un-do the damage than it takes to cause it.
 
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