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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,182

    Default Frustrated about headset

    Sheza's headset when trotting is horrible, no matter what I try she won't lower her head! I have tried just letting her go on a loose rein, no pressure at all, I have tried strong contact, I have tried circles. It's not just the high part either, it's high and nose straight out. She is so heavy on the forehand too, her shoulder drops in when doing circles, she about falls in tighter circles! Then she will try to take off for the gate, but because her head is so freaking high it's hard to get controll of her. I can get a nice headset in the walk.
    Also, when asking for a trot she pins her ears and swishes her tail. That would worry me but she has done that since the day I bought her. I don't think it is somthing hurting her as she trots fine in hand. I don't think it is saddle either, from 3 different saddles I have had, that fit, she did it everytime, bareback too.
    I am starting to think she will never have a good headset, even after the trainers. It's just frustrating.
    A new habit she has been starting too is where she just starts shaking her head trying to pull the reins out of my hands, I don't know how to correct it, I don't want to yank on her mouth.

    What can I do with her?
    -Lindsey



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania now :)
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Hon, it takes longer than a week. Remember?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2001
    Location
    Alaska. Not in an Igloo.
    Posts
    8,993

    Default

    I hear the train a comin, its rollin round the bend...
    or, if you prefer...

    This train is bound for glory, this train.....
    Seig Heil Polo Shirt!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2005
    Location
    St. Simons Island, GA
    Posts
    6,466

    Default

    First off, I understand. We've all been there. More than once even.

    That all said, I don't know much about your mare's history. I have to gather from what others have said about her having picked up on weight and looking so much better now. If that's the case, then hon, you are just NOW at the beginning of training, IMO. Most horses that I have worked with, I can't put weight on them AND ask them to carry themselves. That's just too much to ask for all at once. My best advice is to be patient, and seek someone's help on the ground. I can describe several different ways of calming the horse and getting them to lower their head, but without seeing her in action, I'm just babbling in the wind. Not trying to put you off, I'm genuinely trying to give you the best advice I can here.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Pirateer, LOL!

    And yet, and yet, I can't resist.

    The term "headset" will never, ever be found in any dressage book. It should be banned. You don't ride the head, the horse's acceptance of the bridle can only come with achievement of forward, straight, etc. Please banish that awful term from your vocabulary, and get yourself a pile of books and videos on developing a green dressage horse. Study them--you will find that NEVER will the term "headset" be used, and that nobody will be doing anything to "put" a horse's head into any position.

    It all comes from behind. Every other way is wrong and the road to perdition.

    Done now. Next?
    Click here before you buy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OakesBrae
    Hon, it takes longer than a week. Remember?
    I know, it just seems there should be *some* improvement by now. I guess she has slown down considerably.

    On one of the cameras we have it has a little video, granted it's only a minute or so, maybe at the clinic on Moday I can get a little video of the trot.

    I did go over a few little X rails, she is doing better jumping at home, usually she just flat out won't jump at home because of my jumps aren't as wide and I don't have perfect footing.
    -Lindsey



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave
    Pirateer, LOL!

    And yet, and yet, I can't resist.

    The term "headset" will never, ever be found in any dressage book. It should be banned. You don't ride the head, the horse's acceptance of the bridle can only come with achievement of forward, straight, etc. Please banish that awful term from your vocabulary, and get yourself a pile of books and videos on developing a green dressage horse. Study them--you will find that NEVER will the term "headset" be used, and that nobody will be doing anything to "put" a horse's head into any position.

    It all comes from behind. Every other way is wrong and the road to perdition.

    Done now. Next?
    When one rides out of their hands as DJ obviously is, then it must be called a headset as that is exactly what she is trying to achieve. I think we all know from her past posts, that she lacks experience. So lets cut her a break and try to help her.

    DJ, be patient and don't expect things from your mare that she can't give you, yet.
    You need to work on one thing at a time and don't attempt anything else until you have taught that lesson well.
    Always end with something positive. If she just isn't picking something up or you are having trouble getting your point across to her, then go back a step to something you know she does well and end after that.
    Do NOT lose your temper or get mad at her.
    Be steady with your hands and try to stay out of her mouth.

    Good luck!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
    Location
    ol Virginny
    Posts
    1,649

    Default

    She's a Saddlebred, DJ, she's never going to have the type of headset of a TB or QH, because she's built differently. They have a naturally high head set, she can't help it!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2004
    Location
    Working a Showmanship pattern somewhere in the great Northeast...
    Posts
    391

    Default

    Uggg, I show quarter horses and cringe every time I hear the dreaded "head set" phrase.

    The carriage of the head and neck is the last piece of the building block. You need to start from the back to front. Once the horse is engaged behind, moves off your leg forward and lateral, stops dropping the inside shoulder, etc, etc, etc, than you can worry about refining the head placement. If all of the blocks are in place, working within the limits set by the conformation and physical build of the horse, there should only be minor adjustments that need to be made.

    I would also rule out any dental issues by having a performance equine vet evalute for any problems. Find someone who specializes in dental work, or at least someone who doesn't hate to do teeth...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    2,962

    Default

    The way things look to you and the way things are can be really different. Rather than focus on headset at all, focus on getting her into a steady rhythm. Keep taking lessons, and let your trainer worry about her head. It'll happen, but I've learned that there's nothing you can do overnight with a horse. It feels like a really long time, and it feels like the only way to judge progress is by where her head is, but it's not. I swear!
    send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
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    1,182

    Default

    Yes Dawglover, I am quiet aware that she is a Saddlebred and a natural high head carrige, but if she can collect nicely in the walk, she should be able to collect in the trot.

    Walk ( She can collect even more then that) http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227duofcw

    Trot (and it was even worse then that today!) http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227wRHskc

    About the term headset, yes I know it's all from the hindend, but I grew up thinking headset, it's hard to lose the term.

    She has had her teeth floated recently.

    This is how her neck is built into her neck http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227utZoYw
    -Lindsey



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 1999
    Location
    Holland Township, NJ
    Posts
    2,699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ~DressageJunkie~
    A new habit she has been starting too is where she just starts shaking her head trying to pull the reins out of my hands, I don't know how to correct it, I don't want to yank on her mouth.

    What can I do with her?
    I don't know why I'm even bothering, except that I feel bad for this kids horses.

    Hunny, the reason she's trying to yank the reins out of you hands is that she's gotten sick and freekin' tired of you trying to force her into a (gak, gulp) "head set." School horses do it all the time to dumb little kids who even after repeated instruction NOT TO, try to kick and pull at the same time.

    Get rid of these horses, and go find a trainer with school horses. Learn how to ride a properly broke horse, memorize the Pony Club manuals, and THEN go get yourself a horse of your own.

    Just because you haven't killed a horse or yourself yet doesn't mean you should just keep on pluggin'.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
    Location
    The Frozen Tundra
    Posts
    3,711

    Default

    Well, one difference between the walk picture and the trot picture (the one you linked to and the one before it in your photo album; I didn't look at all of them) is your balance. At the walk, you have a nice soft relaxed rein, but at the trot, you are off balance and pulling on her mouth. --Jess



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    I don't know why I'm even bothering, except that I feel bad for this kids horses.

    Hunny, the reason she's trying to yank the reins out of you hands is that she's gotten sick and freekin' tired of you trying to force her into a (gak, gulp) "head set." School horses do it all the time to dumb little kids who even after repeated instruction NOT TO, try to kick and pull at the same time.

    Get rid of these horses, and go find a trainer with school horses. Learn how to ride a properly broke horse, memorize the Pony Club manuals, and THEN go get yourself a horse of your own.

    Just because you haven't killed a horse or yourself yet doesn't mean you should just keep on pluggin'.
    So, when I was ridding her on a loose rein she was tired of me forcing her into a head set? She was doing this before I tried a stronger contact, nothing was forcefull.
    -Lindsey



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 1999
    Location
    Holland Township, NJ
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    2,699

    Default OH dear GAWD

    You posted those pictures while I was typing.

    The reason your horse's head is in the air is because you are posting straight up and down and seriously leaning on her mouth with your hands!!

    I you were my student I would stick you on the lunge line, take away those reins and make you work like that ad infinitum untill you learned how to post with out your hands.

    I REPEAT. The horse isn't the problem, you are.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    You posted those pictures while I was typing.

    The reason your horse's head is in the air is because you are posting straight up and down and seriously leaning on her mouth with your hands!!

    I you were my student I would stick you on the lunge line, take away those reins and make you work like that ad infinitum untill you learned how to post with out your hands.

    I REPEAT. The horse isn't the problem, you are.
    That picture is about a month ago, I have been working on loose reins and more forward posting.
    -Lindsey



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 1999
    Location
    Talk Derby to Me
    Posts
    2,334

    Default

    I'm betting that when she raises her head, you pull down on the reins. Then you feel as if you've lost control. So, to address that I recommend a couple of things.

    Ask your trainer to teach you a pulley rein. You have to learn to do it correctly or it is a disaster but it will stop almost any horse in its tracks.

    Ride with a standing martingale, appropriately adjusted. It is not to force her head into position, it just keeps her head from going way up and back. It'll be steadier than your hand.

    If she does get her head up and back, shorten your reins and lift your hands. Keep a straight line between the bit and your hands. It's impossible for a horse to raise its head so high it can't be controlled. Since you'll have maintained contact and control, you can then correct her by circling or bump and releasing with the rein. If you pull, she'll just lean and ignore you, so always bump the bit and release.

    The other posts are right; it does take correct work to produce a "headset". I hope you are doing lots of transitions. One exercise I love is trot, halt, backup, trot off, repeat. Make the transitions as clean as you can, no walking in between steps. It's always gotten my horses stepping under and thinking .
    Still Crazy After All These Years



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 1999
    Location
    Holland Township, NJ
    Posts
    2,699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ~DressageJunkie~
    So, when I was ridding her on a loose rein she was tired of me forcing her into a head set? She was doing this before I tried a stronger contact, nothing was forcefull.
    Sigh, I know you just like to twist things around to make yourself look as good as possible, buttttt...

    Read your original post, you never said that.

    And yes, she's tired of you forcing her. It's called anticipation. You do something enough times, on purpose or not, your horse will learn to anticipate what's coming next.

    Like putting your reins in one hand to use a bat. That can be a signal to some horses to speed up, because they've learned that the next thing after the reins in one hand is a swat on the flank.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2006
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    I don't know why I'm even bothering, except that I feel bad for this kids horses.

    Hunny, the reason she's trying to yank the reins out of you hands is that she's gotten sick and freekin' tired of you trying to force her into a (gak, gulp) "head set." School horses do it all the time to dumb little kids who even after repeated instruction NOT TO, try to kick and pull at the same time.

    Get rid of these horses, and go find a trainer with school horses. Learn how to ride a properly broke horse, memorize the Pony Club manuals, and THEN go get yourself a horse of your own.

    Just because you haven't killed a horse or yourself yet doesn't mean you should just keep on pluggin'.

    AGREED.


    Realistically though, I say invest in some dressage lessons. Soon.

    (It's not all about the reins, its about using the leg. That will help YOU to help HER pull her under herself behind and get some of that weight off the forehand, and it will also help to teach you how to support a horse around a turn..If she's falling in, that's a sign of a mistake on your part. JM2C)

    Blah blah blah I'm done and over it.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pirateer
    I hear the train a comin, its rollin round the bend...
    or, if you prefer...

    This train is bound for glory, this train.....
    Pirateer - you are just not in a happy place my dear. Let's all sing together....


    Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come
    And I believe it could be, something good has begun


    Oh I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one
    And I believe it could be, some day it's going to come


    Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
    Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again


    Now I've been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
    And I believe it could be, something good has begun


    Oh peace train sounding louder
    Glide on the peace train
    Come on now peace train
    Yes, peace train holy roller


    Everyone jump upon the peace train
    Come on now peace train


    Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too
    Cause it's getting nearer, it soon will be with you


    Now come and join the living, it's not so far from you
    And it's getting nearer, soon it will all be true


    Now I've been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
    Why must we go on hating, why can't we live in bliss

    Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
    Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again



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