El Dia Octavo

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  1. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    Historyrider: Thank you for the well-written response. It was very clear and undertandable, even for a amatuer. For the first time in many months, I have some confidence that this boy is salvageable and I'm looking forward to working with him. I want to thank you all for the time and effort put into responding. It is more help than you know. My wife woke me up at 5 AM this morning to talk about this horse, worried about what we can do to "fix" him. I told her about what I'd learned on this forum and we're both looking forward to working with him. If you don't mind, I'll be back for more advise...! And I think I know what "collection" should look like. I don't know as though I've ever seen it in our horses but I'll sure be looking now. I don't know how to tell when they are wearing saddles but I'm starting to get the idea what to look for.
  2. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    Truly outstanding input. I understood it all quite clearly and thank you. No, he doesn't throw his head while on the ground - at least not that I remember. He's a pretty nice boy but "no mouth". When there is a difference of opinion between my wife and him about what to do next, he does what HE wants...too often. He is not controlled and commanded and this is not acceptable. We are not afraid of this boy - we ride him regularly (at least my wife does...I've got an old retired roper that is so broke he makes me look like I know how to ride). We're not concerned about hopping up on him and doing the exercises you explained. What I was thinking is that we were advised to kind of go back to square one and start over - teaching him properly as if he were a two or three year old. Of course, we'd like to move forward more rapidly than that but neither will we risk doing something wrong with him. M Robinson and MRS - thank you both. Big help. If you don't mind, I'll be back for some more advise once we worked him with the things you've explained. I am, literally, building a round pen this weekend. Sand, cedar posts, and rope strung from post to post for the time being. But at least we'll get him out of the pasture and away from his mates for training. Thanks again...but I still don't understand "collection". LOL
  3. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    I just re-read that bit about English style - do you mean there are reins on the bit and tied off to that strap around his barrel? Is that what is causing him to tuck his chin that way? Is this what they mean by "collected"?
  4. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    Ahh, now I'm starting to get it. And I thought that lateral was what you meant but I know so little I wasn't sure. What is the best way to do this on the ground? Say I want to move his head left (I'm standing or walking with him on his left), do I pull the rein back toward his withers or toward me? I'm having trouble figuring out how to lead him forward, keeping his feet moving, and apply lateral pressure to get him to give his head over. I can see the collection and the give in the photos - just can't see how to do it from the ground, to keep pressure off and then apply it gently to send the message to give or keep his chin tucked. Also, one cowboy trainer who road this boy a month ago said "he's got no mouth". He had mentioned the "all day" tie down method to me and, when I asked this gal last night, I think she just didn't want to offend me by saying the other guy was nuts or cruel. But both conversations have left me believing something like this might be necessary but uncertain what to do next. Or who to have do it. BTW, thanks for taking the time to post answers - with pictures, no less. That is a big help.
  5. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    I am uncertain what you mean by vertical flexation - could you explain? I'm not clear on what you mean by picking up one rein. We started on a similar exercise we studied out of a John Lyons article and he did quite well the first two sessions (last week). Also, we have all of our horses checked each spring when they get their shots. We had two horses floated this spring - this gelding's teeth were excellent.
  6. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    I probably was not clear - the lady that came out to help our daughter mentioned the tie-down method in passing and indicated that different trainers use different lengths of time - including just a few minutes to all day or several hours. She was NOT endorsing anything and she was not holding herself out as a trainer. She was just giving me some background information. I am sorry I was not more complete in my notes the first time. BTW, I posted on this forum for more guideance because I do not know what we should do. I am grateful for your advise and appreciate that you took time to help. I am listening very closely, believe me.
  7. Training A Horse To Soften, Keep Head Down

    To CheriWolfe and Historyrider: I just read a response you wrote back in 2008 to Farmall 706 about how to re-train her 16 year old gelding to stop throwing his head, etc. My wife has the same problem with an eight year old gelding. He is a wonderful horse in many ways - kindly, peaceful, sociable, no bad habits, no biting, kicking, etc. He's just a good horse. BUT, he is headstrong and will not give to the bit, tosses his head, pushes through when he wants to, and similar behaviors. We, being unskilled, attributed this to the wrong bit or simple bad behavior. Last night we had a trainer stop by to discuss 4H with our daughter. The subject of this horse came up because we've been thinking about just selling him and buying a finished mount. However, the trainer suggested we give this boy over to a trainer for a while and see if he can be rehabilitated. She mentioned a trainer would "tie his head down and leave him like that"...maybe all day...to teach him to relieve pressure by giving to the bit. Then she said the trainer would probably tie his head to each side for a "few hours" at a time for the same reason. At first I felt like this might be pretty severe but then I read your posts. No sensible person, including us, would willingly cause a horse distress with nothing to be gained. But I am starting to think that this lady made sense. Can you give me some input to help me make a decision on how to proceed - including how to determine which trainer to use? I don't want to give up on this horse. He's a pleasure to be around, by and large, but if he is unrideable, he loses his charm pretty quickly. Moreover, my wife has lost her trust in the boy - trust that he will do as he is asked reliably and not get her hurt. We need to fix him or move on. Any help you could offer would be gratefully appreciated. You both sound like you have sound thinking on this subject.