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Old 06-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
JB Horse
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 38
Question Maintain Soft Correct Headset

1) Horse is 8yrs old. Does not maintain soft,proper headset. Brings nose into correst position momentarily & then pushes nose out. At times braces against bit & resists moving nose. Was mistreated when younger, before I got him. Previous owner constantly pulled on reins -- hard. He was very bracy when I got him. Has taken alot of work to achievs current status.

I have gone thru snaffle (JWP eggbutt) & Bosal (Vince Donnely 5/8")
I use the best equipment I can find -- I put the horse's comfort above mine.

Currently, I use a curb bit three-piece dog bone mouthpiece. He takes to this bit better than others. I let him "tell me" what he is most comfortable & responsive with.

2) I want feedback on approach to using or similar bridle bit. bit use for this horse. I am new to working into bridle bit & am not sure where to go from here.

Last edited by JB Horse; 08-22-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Adin, CA
Posts: 66
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Get rid of that "dog bone" and go back to the snaffle the only reason he is backing off that torture device is due to pain. He has learned to brace through previously handling, that means it will take 3-4 times LONGER to teach him to get & stay soft.

Start out by asking for that soft feel and holding if for 3-4 steps. If he sticks his nose out, you have to HOLD UNTIL HE SOFTENS AGAIN, this may take 5 steps it may take an entire arena of steps. You don't set the time table, he does.

Build on this day by day.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148

I am going to agree with PurpleSageEquine on this. There is no reason to "bit up" Start back on the foundation to get the proper feel in the horse. The other thing I always try to remember is when starting out on a horse I don't worry about his headset. I find that if I put my focus on his feet, the head will follow. My main concern is if I can get a handle on those feet. If I can get his feet where I need them to go, then it is much easier to work on where his head belongs. I have found that it is much easier to work this way then vice versa. Keep us updated on how it goes.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:23 AM   #4
Steve C
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: "Hampshire Station" Merriwa, NSW Australia
Posts: 91

Yep, I agree with the answers given, work on soft feel and take the time it takes.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 11

I have a question to add here - I've heard mention of the possibility of using a tie down, which, to my way of thinking would be counterproductive - yet, I watched a rodeo recently, where all the roping horses, every single one of them, had tie downs maintaining their head position. Thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
Steve C
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: "Hampshire Station" Merriwa, NSW Australia
Posts: 91

Did the horses have an option when they were forced to wear a tie down, ask yourself this question - have you ever seen Tom, Bill, Ray, Ronnie et al ride with tiedowns. They all set the horse up for success and made it easy for him to find the right way.

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