RaeRenee

Tack...?

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so i have a gelding that i barrel race and he does throw his head up quite a bit so i ride him in a tie down then he doesnt do it as much.

i just bought an english saddle and plan on riding in it a lot this coming summer but i need to find an english bit for him that will work. right now he is in a twisted wire bit with chain curb chain and a nose band on it also for a bit, so for an english bit it has to be something that will get his attention a lot otherwise he just doesnt pay attention to the bit...any input would be nice, because I have no idea what to look for!

also, i was wondering about an english version of a tie down? is there anything out there that fits the bill? something that will help keep his head down? i am pretty sure that if he had something to put tention on his nose at times and doesnt allow him to lift his head a lot then he would be fine...any reccommendations?

another thing i am curious about is the martingale thing. there is a running and a standing martingale, so which would i use. im not going to tack my horse up to just stand there and that is what a standing martingale sounds like, but im thinking it is for the flat where a running martingale is for jumping and stuff like that? i want to jump, and just ride on the flat so would i need one of both to switch every so often?

im at a total loss, please help me!!!

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Good for you for wanting to branch out! [bat Eyelashes]

With all due respect, though, training will be the right thing to do--for both of you!

Alas, just putting on a martingale (especially a standing m'gale) will not "fix" the problem...it will only be a band-aid. Although tie-downs are fine for barrels, western gaming, etc., your horse is still getting away with the behavior because he doesn't know better yet how to use his body effectively, without throwing his head.

Best to get with a basic hunter or dressage trainer for a while so you can train and ASK the horse to lift through his back and move forward/up into the bridle without going all Giraffe on ya.

Training will also help you back down in the bit severity department. By learning to use your body properly to ask for collection and suppleness, you will not need to hold that head back with a strong bit. I prefer to use French Link D-Ring or Full Cheek bits, since they tend to be mild and avoid the "nut-cracker" effect on the pallet of the horse. Your training will also help you ride independent of your hands and, therefore, you'll be soft on his mouth.

GO FOR IT! [Yay]

Edited by Chocomare

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i understand what you are saying about the trainer thing, but I do ride English and I know how very well but I have been given a bridle and a saddle put it on the horse and went. I never had to worry about what went on the horse because I never owned the horse that I rode english.

my barrel horse does throw his head and where it is not okay, he has been getting a lot better with everything since I got him. He actually has smacked me in the face and broke a tie down strap before, but that was when i first got him. right now he is still throwing his head when we go out on a run, and i think it is only because he gets excited which we have been working on.

now i thought that a martingale, either standing or running, was pretty much like a breast collar and held he saddle in place while running/jumping? i am also working on getting my gelding into better bits because i hate being hard on his mouth.

i was asking for some help on tack options and to have the questions answered, anyone got any options for me?

thanks!

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If you still want to try a martingale, go with a running. It will give a wee bit more control and let you "ask" for his head. A standing is just like a tie-down...just a different name.

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thanks chocomare! also wanted to see that i feel like i was rude with my last post and it wasn't your fault but there is a lot going on and i just took my frustration out on the closes person..sorry!

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I would go with the standing martingale at first, until you see how your horse goes in it. A standing martingale attaches to the caveson (noseband), and like a tie-down, will prevent the horse from throwing his head up. A running martingale has two straps with rings on the ends, and you run the reins through the rings, so as you exert pressure on the reins, the pull is not directly back toward your body, but downward and then back. It's not necessarily "stronger" but it is different, and it will come into play every time you use your reins, not only when he throws his head up.

You say you think he throws his head because he's excited. Perhaps when you're working english and not running barrels, he'll be less excited, and less likely to throw his head.

Also, if you plan to show english at all, there are some classes in which a running martingale is not allowed.

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i do not plan to show, just some fun around the farm is all because i like it and my horse will hopefully have fun doing it too!

thanks for the explanation between the differences for a standing and running martingale, i think that we will start with the standing as you suggest, then gradually move to a running martingale as we get used to it. i have a wonder bit that he does pretty good in, so maybe i will use that on him for a little while in english tack so that we can move down to something less extreme i hope...thanks!

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My horse was a barrel racer and I have an English background. We didn't "mix" for the longest time because of the tie down/throwing head issue. I've been focusing on dressage with her and after months and months of trying different bits switched her to a french link bit. She, too, used to get excited if she thought she was going to get to "run".

The standing martingale is a great training tool as it's something you can use for schooling and showing. It's even better if you can stop there and not have to rely on moving on to a running martingale. I don't know if you'd want to even venture this route without talking to your trainer, but when I was focusing strictly on the head issue we used a German Neck Stretcher. We only used it once a week for a short time, but it really helped us and I never had to resort to using a martingale. She's now a lot more focused, supple and relaxed (we do a lot of figures) which in turn makes jumping with her so much more pleasurable than it used to be.

Hope you find some tack that works for you.

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A standing martingale is more or less the english version of a tie down.

A running martingale is more or less the english version of a training fork.

A standing martingale will work independently of your hands and take any unsteadyness you might have out of the equation.

A running martingale's biggest advantage is that the bit will hit his mouth the same way every time as long as your hands remain above the level of the rings. This is also it's biggest disadvantage, as if you are a rider with very solid and experienced hands, it takes away a lot of options you have of working the bit in the horse's mouth in different ways.

If the horse is comfortable going in a tie down, then I would continue with a standing martingale. I would also work towards getting some dressage lessons and fixing the head tossing problem all together.

Please make sure as well that you work with someone who is experienced and can make sure that your tack fits him properly and nothing is too tight or anything like that. Ill fitting tack creates so many more issues.

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as i said before, we have come a long way in the head tossing thing and are getting a lot better. i have had my tack checked by a trainer and it fits him pretty close to perfectly so that isn't a problem. thanks for the help guys!

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Before we jump to conclusions...let's determine why your horse is throwing his head. As a barrel racer myself, both of my horses do not throw their heads or run in tie downs. Barrel racing in a tie down will actually hinder your performance more than help you, because the horse learns to lean on it and evade the bit.

Why is he throwing his head? Is he trying to avoid pain? What do you normally ride him in?

Check the bit to see if the sides are pinching his lips. Have the Chiro come out and check his back and neck for pain and pinching in his spine (You would be suprised at how much this helps!).

Do you have any pictures of you riding or videos?

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I just read your post...twisted wire bit with a curb chain and noseband..and a tie down on top of it all. Your horse is screaming that he is in pain. Twisted wire combo bits are made for horses who don't come off the bit and need turn. They are not meant for stopping power. I imagine you don't have any bit guards on that bit either.

What your horse needs is training..and an entirely different bit. I don't believe your horse would do well in a smooth mouth snaffle. Your horse needs more bending and flexion..resort to Clinton Anderson training for proper techniques to effectively get that horses head down. I could imagine your horse leans on the bit, evades pressure, most likely rides by hollowing his back, and has little to no muscle tone in his shoulders.

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I agree with StopDropRollChic, I've never had a horse toss his poll back in a tie down/martingale. Make sure the animal doesn't have an oral abcess or need it's teeth floated-if you haven't already.

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When a horse is constantly eating grain and grass in the pasture the horses teeth are constantly grinding. It could cause the horse real bad pain when the teeth become pointed and sharp. It will cause them to toss their head. Whatever you do.... Don't pull back on the reins continuously over and over again because you and the horse could become seriously injured. Especially if you are riding Western because one rider was in that situation her horse bucked up and roll back on top of her and the saddle

horn tore her skin off her face from her hairline to her nose area. Then she was drug by the horse with her foot stuck

in the stirrup. Luckily she survived so always be aware of your horses health!! And always wear a helmet!

Any questions? Just ask!

Have fun and be safe!

NWOhio Cowgirl:)

Edited by NWOhio Cowgirl:)

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