View Full Version : Head up and back too far...
9th Sep 1999, 09:36 PM
I was riding a horse yesterday that would put his head up and back really far (I think as far as the martingale, etc. would allow) whenever I tried to get a slower paced trot. He wouldn't give me the slower pace either, and he put his head so far back that I lost contact. So, I let the reins out, and tried again. Sometimes he would slow, but most of the time he lifted his head up. I wanted to sit to the trot, then canter, but this was making it difficult. Of course, I couldn't get the canter either. I had just rode him with my other instructor the previous week and this didn't happen at all. My instructor said she wanted to see me on that horse in a lesson with her, but I wouldn't be riding him regularly because he needs a rider that has an understanding of more advanced aids. She used to have the double reins on him, but took those off because she said he's happier that way. My question is, what could I have done to make the ride easier on myself and the horse? Does anyone know?
10th Sep 1999, 03:21 AM
okay, so what I hear you saying, is that the horse is putting his head back towards you? And making his back hollow? Am I sort of on the right track?
It might have a terrible sore back. There is a simple (however not dirt free) way of testing this. After you have taken the saddle off, take your thumb and forefinger and make them like you are going to pinch a large hunk of flesh (sort of like this "/\")
Space your thumb and finger as wide as the spine is, and starting at the withers, puch down firmly and run your hand down the length of his spine (excuse my example here):
the dotted line (--------) supposed to represent his spine, and the (>>>>>>> ) represesnting the way your fingers move.
If he sinks away from that, then he has a bad fitting saddle.
Did what I say make any sense at all? If it doesn't I'll try to get a hand-drawn picture for you to see easier.
10th Sep 1999, 06:40 AM
Thanks Medalia! :)
Yes, he does put his head back toward me and his back hollows. I was thinking it was me causing him to do that, but he may have been sore because my instructor said he needs a break, and I think she went in to have a look at him after the lesson. I'm so new to all this I forget completely that the poor horses could be in pain and that it might not even be anything I'm doing with my riding. In any case, is there anything that a rider could be doing to cause a horse to put his head up like that?
10th Sep 1999, 01:37 PM
Sorry to hear about your trouble in your last lesson. The horse could also have had somethign wrong in its mouth - sharp teeth sticking into its cheek or something. If a horse suddenly changes its behaviour, it is usually due to pain of some sort - it is just a shame that it can't talk and tell us what is wrong!
Another thing that could be causing him to hollow his back and raise his head is if you are pulling hard on his mouth and using no leg on him at all, but i think this is unlikely in your case.
11th Sep 1999, 02:33 AM
Unless you sit there with extreme protruding seat bones, and your gravity is somewhat MORE than everything elses...then no, I don't think that it's you at all.
I agree with Sarah as well on that one too. It might have wolf teeth as well. These are not the canines, but they are smaller and fit right in there in front of the fist molar, where the bit goes.
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