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Old 06-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
JB Horse
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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
PurpleSageEquine
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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
Cattleman
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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
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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
killaguhrilla
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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
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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.

Steve
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
kevinshorses
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In addition to all the above advice which was great I'd like to add that you should completely forget about the horses head and focus on moving and placing the feet. Headset is a reflection of how freed up the feet are.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
MadCow
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If a horse is hard in the face that is a good indicator that he is not soft somewhere else on his body. Don't worry about the face, you need to be looking somewhere else.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
kindredspirit
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Default Comfort in the reins

There is a saying by a masterful horseman: "I want my reins to be a comfort to my horse." And also: "Every time I pick up a rein I want to get a clear change". A clear change in what? The horse's thought! When our reins are a comfort to the horse we are able to direct him in a soft, thoughtful manner. Puts a whole new twist on "head set". I am at the stage of my life that i am not interested in a headset, but very interested in a mindset. If my horse is responsive and relaxed he can be supple and soft. But if my horse is not relaxed or responsive then I have a snowball's chance in hell that he will be supple and soft. He might be LIGHT, but he won't be soft.

With all that said, I would be looking to get this horse feeling differently about the meaning of the reins. I would want to get those reins connected to the horse's feet via his mind. Which means I might be backing up to my foundation steps and taking the time it takes to get that foundation solid. Slow down and you will get there much sooner.

PS. the horseman I quoted is Harry Whitney from Salem AZ.

Happy Trails,
Kathy
Follow Your Bliss Farm
Midway TN
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
killaguhrilla
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So, my gelding Duke came to me broke, but he's a young thoroughbred, and so is willful. As you may have rad elsewhere on this forum, he and I have had some "adventures" (I think of them as adventures, not challenges or problems). He IS softening toward me on the ground, but he sets himself when I climb in the saddle. Can someone point me to some more groundwork methodology I can use to continue building our rapport? I do have Parelli's book, but not the games.
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