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Stargazing

12010 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tempest
I've probably already asked this question before but I can't remember the solution. Razz is a stargazer, therefore she is hollow when it comes to her back. I also know that there are many ways to get her to bring her nose down, but I also know that some of these are only, as some people put it "band aids." So now I'm going to ask how do I fix her stargazing. I've gotten her to bring her nose down at the walk, but the trot and the canter are horrible. A little help would be nice, so if you have any advice at all, please give it to me.

No insults intended with the band aid comment, I only thought that it was the best term and since it wasn't mine....
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An exercise I use that helps both with head position, softness to the bridle and getting weight from the shoulders back to the hind is to soften your horse through the shoulders.

From the ground you will take the rein about 4" from the bit, ask the horse to move forward, take your hand half way down the neck and then lift while driving the horse forward. You are looking for one step away from you with the shoulder. Release immediately, finish by having the horse follow it's nose at least one step, stop and reward. Stay on one side until your horse is consistent with one step. Then switch sides. This strenuous work for the horse in the beginning. Your horse should get softer with the exercise and you are looking for the horse to move the shoulders without pulling on the rein. You will build on the number of steps your horse takes, and then you can repeat it from the saddle. From the ground you should notice the horse first 'drags' the leg, on your side, over and the withers are tipped down toward you. As the horse progresses the withers will become level and then they will tip down away from you, showing the horse is now lifting the shoulder over.

Be sure while in the saddle you do not touch the neck with the rein, drive the horse up from behind to get the step. Also, do not cross the mane and do not lean forward over the pommel as this weights down the shoulders. Keep the horse forward. Release on one step to start and build. You do not want the horse to bring the head back to far or they will not be able to move the shoulders correctly. DO NOT over work the horse on this exercise. They are building and using muscles not used before. Take it slow, build, and switch sides often. Do not leave the horse drifting out the shoulders from the saddle either, always finish the move by having the horse follow it's nose at least one step.
 
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