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My horse is semi-green and is crazy with his headset. We ride classic HUS and are aming for a collected round I guess you can call it head set. I do not jerk and am not looking for harsh methods. He can keep the headset at a walk not really at a trot and a canter forget it! He is a little stiff sometimes if that helps, thanks!!:p
 

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I am by no means an expert, but my first thought is that he is probably young and isn't going to be able to keep the 'set' you want for long or at faster gaits because his muscles aren't ready yet. Like us trying to start out doing advanced yoga instead of starting at the beginning. He may have to work up to it.
 

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What i would do him push him up to him bridle. so gain speed but take him with your hands and find a good medium speed and the headset. If you keep going you should be able to work on him head set. Also doing little circle and backing him up before you go into your gait.
 

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First off, you should not be focusing on the horse's literal "headset". What you are asking for is for him to collect his entire body, which starts at his hind end as he reaches under himself more in his strides. This leads to the back being more "rounded" and the horse moving in a frame. Once the horse is balanced and moving correctly, the head and neck will naturally set themselves.
Many riders, from beginners to expert dressage trainers, make the mistake of forcing the head and neck into a false bend. This actually hollows out the back and is the opposite of what you are looking for. Collection does not come from hard, oppressive hands or working the bit, but from teaching your horse to balance and building up muscle tone.
Maintaining light contact with your horse's mouth does help your horse to remain "on the bit". However, collection does not come from the reins alone! You need to have a light, flowing seat that encourages the horse's hind end to tuck in.
Of course, practice and exercise is the most important step in building that headset. As your green horse becomes more accustomed to riding and builds up muscle tone, he should continue to naturally reach down and lower/round his head.
Do not look for a "quick-fix" when it comes to collection! Just like with human athletes, horses need practice and steady work to develop their skills!
Feel free to contact me if you would like any more advice or if you have any questions!
 

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You can't get a headset without using your legs and seat. You have to supple, soften & encourage with your hands & legs and your seat. Collection is so hard to explain for me because it's more of a feeling of lifting the horse's back up to me and rounding everything out, then I release as much energy as I want out through my hands to his neck & face, if that makes any sense to you. Sorry I have a difficult time explaining things in writing. You really need a good coach or instructor to teach you how to collect, it's a process with a young horse.
 

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Thanks, but I have no clue how to collect him.
Dressage trainer is the huge help with issues like yours. I'd invest into some lessons (may be not often, once/month or so if you are very limited on budget).

Your horse have to be straight and forward and you basically "catch" that impulsion on front asking it to move round (head set then will come automatically). That's where idea of half-halts come in place (see here
I personally found it to be very helpful)

I'd also suggest to do some search in Dressage portion of the forum as it was discussed plenty of times (way more eloquent than I do :) ) with suggestions on how to work on it. Although from personal experience I wasn't able to progress till I started working with dressage coach.
 

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Circles, Circles Circles!!!!! This is all that I have ever done to get a horse to "set". but you must make sure to do them correctly. sit tall look in the direction of your turn, and apply pressure with your inside leg directly at the girth, and your outside leg behind the girth. This keeps your horses hindquarters from swinging out of the turn. This will get your horses whole body in a frame that will be much better to ride in. Also you said that your horse gets stiff at the trot and canter. I would do a couple of things. First while going straight on the rail walk for a few strides- then halt and back up. then immediately trot off. again for a few strides then halt back and trot off. This will get your horse working off his hind quarters and not the fore. Another great thing to do is supple the neck. When you are sitting in the saddle just chilling ask your horse to touch his nose to your boot. it can be a long process and you'll probably meet a ton of resistance but the pay off is well worth it. say you're asking for him to bend to the left. pick up the left rein and gently pull back toward your left hip bone. his head will flip and he might not know what you are asking but just hold gentle but steady pressure until his nose turn just a little bit toward you. then release and praise the snot out of him. Ask again until you get a little further. if he is a fast learner then by all means try for more but since you said he is young just ask for a little and let him soak it all in. Do that on both sides until he can touch your boot on both sides. This is all that I ever do with my youngins and They set up beautifully not from aids or ques but because they have the flexibility and respect for the bit, and it just goes natural for them. Good Luck!
 

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My horse is semi-green and is crazy with his headset. We ride classic HUS and are aming for a collected round I guess you can call it head set. I do not jerk and am not looking for harsh methods. He can keep the headset at a walk not really at a trot and a canter forget it! He is a little stiff sometimes if that helps, thanks!!:p
I do not recommend to use things like draw reins- maybe because I have never been taught to properly use them. They have their place but I suggest learning to use them correctly. I see too many people in the warm up arena with them and have horrible classes because they solely rely on them. Get a good foundation first.
 

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First off, you should not be focusing on the horse's literal "headset". What you are asking for is for him to collect his entire body, which starts at his hind end as he reaches under himself more in his strides. This leads to the back being more "rounded" and the horse moving in a frame. Once the horse is balanced and moving correctly, the head and neck will naturally set themselves.
Many riders, from beginners to expert dressage trainers, make the mistake of forcing the head and neck into a false bend. This actually hollows out the back and is the opposite of what you are looking for. Collection does not come from hard, oppressive hands or working the bit, but from teaching your horse to balance and building up muscle tone.
Maintaining light contact with your horse's mouth does help your horse to remain "on the bit". However, collection does not come from the reins alone! You need to have a light, flowing seat that encourages the horse's hind end to tuck in.
Of course, practice and exercise is the most important step in building that headset. As your green horse becomes more accustomed to riding and builds up muscle tone, he should continue to naturally reach down and lower/round his head.
Do not look for a "quick-fix" when it comes to collection! Just like with human athletes, horses need practice and steady work to develop their skills!
Feel free to contact me if you would like any more advice or if you have any questions!
Great post!
 

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A good instructor will be your easiest & most effective ticket. We get really good at doing the wrong things. Whatever money you spend on instruction will pay you back 10-fold, guaranteed.
 

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First off, you should not be focusing on the horse's literal "headset". What you are asking for is for him to collect his entire body, which starts at his hind end as he reaches under himself more in his strides. This leads to the back being more "rounded" and the horse moving in a frame. Once the horse is balanced and moving correctly, the head and neck will naturally set themselves.
Many riders, from beginners to expert dressage trainers, make the mistake of forcing the head and neck into a false bend. This actually hollows out the back and is the opposite of what you are looking for. Collection does not come from hard, oppressive hands or working the bit, but from teaching your horse to balance and building up muscle tone.
Maintaining light contact with your horse's mouth does help your horse to remain "on the bit". However, collection does not come from the reins alone! You need to have a light, flowing seat that encourages the horse's hind end to tuck in.
Of course, practice and exercise is the most important step in building that headset. As your green horse becomes more accustomed to riding and builds up muscle tone, he should continue to naturally reach down and lower/round his head.
Do not look for a "quick-fix" when it comes to collection! Just like with human athletes, horses need practice and steady work to develop their skills!
Feel free to contact me if you would like any more advice or if you have any questions!
This is exactly what I was going to say! Thank you for saying it for me so that I didn't have to write it all out:lol:. Really, this is great advice. And remember that true balance, relaxation and collection take time. You can't force it, it has to be carefully developed.
 

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Thanks, but I have no clue how to collect him.

Your horse is not ready for collection.

Right now you need to concentrate on driving him forward in a way that maintains his balance ( in other words not fast or too slow) and allows him to develop trust in you.
 
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