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Neck tied in a little high -- is there hope?

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  • Neck tied in a little high -- is there hope?

    My young horse is put together pretty well, but her neck is set in a little higher than ideal. She's a super mover, and she's learning how to carry herself a little rounder on the flat, but she still jumps with her head up more than would be ideal.

    Now, in many ways I like the way she's built, since it makes her easy to ride -- very light, very soft, great uphill canter. Very easy for an ammy to deal with.

    She's barely 5 now and isn't really jumping high enough to force her to use herself any better than she does now. She's a tall horse and doesn't jump higher than 3'. Do you think that as she jumps higher and with more consistent form she'll start to jump better with her neck?

    Anyone have a horse like this who learned to drop their neck down into the jump? Any thoughts or experiences with this type of hunter?

  • #2
    My old mare, Eclipse, was built more like yours. She was very careful with her front and back end, but was more suited to jumpers than hunters! We started her in hunters but she just was happier in the jumper ring. Maybe yours will be more suited to the jumper ring too?
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


    • #3
      Yes, she is still young and it just takes time and lots of flatwork to teach her to be balanced and use herself better. Once her hind end is strong and she learns to carry herself better, her topline and neck will begin to develop nicely. Lots of transitions on the flat will help strengthen this area, shortening/lengthening of stride, and gymnastics over jumps. Don't be fooled into "getting her on the bit" without engagement from the hind end. I know people around here hate them, but draw reins can be a useful tool or reminder when used properly. However, not for daily use, or to just crank the head down. Good luck!


      • #4
        I had a mare out of Fuerst Gotthard that was beautifully built uphill but was a really nice mover. She sounds a lot like what you described...


        I bought her knowing I can put a good long and low frame on her and get her to hack well but she never jumped the way I wanted her to. Very good and tidy jumper but lacked the roundness. I did endless exercises, made jumps scary and jumped her up through 3'6" and she never did use her neck more, just jumped higher. I ended up selling her as a upper level dressage prospect but she would have been very competitive at the local level in the hunters. Kinda wish I had the balls to do the jumpers as she would have rocked it. My sister owns her son and he too jumps very tidy but flat, but MAN is he athletic!


        ( dont judge, he is very very wiggily and green)

        I think that in some cases you might be able to encourage a more "round" jump. However in a horse that is built pretty uphill, their build prevents it from happening. Depends on the level of showing you want to do, its hard to judge without pics or video. She sounds lovely, though, I enjoyed every ride on my light moving, uphill, mare!


        • Original Poster

          I'd *like* her to be a hunter, but on the up side, she is quite brave, so I'm sure she could be a jumper if it became necessary!

          I suppose we'll just see how she turns out. I'd like her to be a 3'3" a/o horse, and if nothing else, her high head should keep me from falling off if things go badly!!


          • #6
            IMO, you can improve some things, work on others to make up for a higher head but you're not going to make a super round top hunter from one that you described as you did.

            It doesn't mean she won't make a decent hunter if other things (movement, manners, consistency, way of going) are excellent but it will be a harder row to hoe. There are plenty of average horses out there that are getting the job done with their ammies and they are priceless because of it. If she can be one of those, well...that's just as good in my book.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


            • #7
              My OTTB's head ties in high at the neck also, but he still uses himself very well over fences and jumps nice and round. He also likes to carry himself a lot lower under saddle, although you'd never be able to tell from the way he inverts and goes around like a giraffe on the lunge!
              Last edited by Rel6; Mar. 16, 2012, 10:36 PM. Reason: I just almost misspelled "spelling" here...