How Do I Keep My Horse’s Head Down
You do need to build a little bit of an element of strength in kind of your top shoulders and biceps.
Your reins need to be a little bit like side reins. So if he’s all happy on the bit, my hands can be very soft, my arms can be soft, my shoulders can be soft, my biceps can be soft, everything soft.
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Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, How do I keep my horses head down?
You do need to build a little bit of an element of strength in kind of your top shoulders and biceps I guess. So your reins need to be a little bit like side reins. So if he’s all happy on the bit, my hands can be very soft, my arms can be soft, my shoulders can be soft, my biceps can be soft, everything soft. Because he’s accepting of the bit, which means if I do tiny little adjustments, he will listen, accept and become soft to them.
But I do know that feeling – there he got a bit strong – when the horse’s head just comes flying in the air. He’s not going to do it. Come on. Be naughty – put your head up in the air, put your head up in the air. Good boy! He’s like, “what are you doing?”
So if the horse has its head up in the air, you automatically see how everything came strong. I didn’t pull back, so if his head started flying in the air, I wouldn’t pull back. Sorry Buddy. But pulling back doesn’t help when you’ve got a horse that’s strong or a horse that’s coming above the bit.
Pulling them back onto the bit doesn’t help. What you need to do is just set your arm. So here’s a relaxed arm, here’s a tensed arm. Here’s a relaxed arm, here’s a tensed arm and hopefully, I don’t know if I have enough muscle definition to show you, but the arm didn’t move. It didn’t go here’s a relaxed arm, here’s tensed arm. Here’s relaxed arm, here’s a tensed arm. It just sits there and it can be soft, or it can be hard, or it can be soft, or it can be hard. However much I have to react to the horse doing that.
Obviously if you have a very strong horse and he’s really coming against you, like in a transition, sometimes they really come against you. You just need to be strong with your back, your stomach, your shoulders, your biceps. Everything about you has to be the anchor. Like a pole on a carousel horse that does not move, that does not tip forward, that does not give forward. You set yourself and the horse goes, “oh, I better come to that.” Then you just use your legs and push them into the contact.
When they accept the contact, then you can play away with your fingers and be very very soft and the horse goes, “oh, this is a much nice place to be”, because it’s soft and nice. Rather than it being strong, so they learn to come to the bit, accept the bit because that’s a much nice place to be.
So trust that helps. Have fun getting strong and getting it as part of your core like everything has to be strong. Have fun doing that and I’ll see you guys soon!