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Re: [RC] High headedness and arabs and martingales - Jon . Linderman

My horse is an arab/saddlebred cross so "Llama" could be an apt tem for his
naturally high head set.  We have used a lot of long lining in the arena to
teach him to lower his head and collect.  It has had a phenomenal affect on
his headset, back and abdomen strength and his movement has become much
smoother.  However, he does have this "up periscope" phenomenon when he
spy's things in the woods that get him unnerved, like cammo-clad hunters.
Two years ago his head was in my face, now it has improved.  I have found
that a running martingale helps me to keep his nice low head set using a
snaffle on the trail and unless he's ramped up really bad, the martingale
and reins hang nice and loose.  I can't offer any advice on using a hack
w/a running martingale, but you might try the long lines for patiently
teaching collection and a lower headset.

Jon K. Linderman,

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                     ridecamp-owner@xxxxxx        cc:                          
                     durance.net                  Subject:  [RC]   High 
headedness and arabs and martingales                              
                     01/14/2003 11:08 AM                                       

My trainer is working with an arab mare I got recently. She has had many
"issues"...one of which was balking and bucking. After 2 months of daily
riding we are getting past that. She was barely broke to ride...traveled
all strung out and was pretty clueless except for the most rudimentary
commands. She gets mad if you ask anything but is learning to learn.

This mare though--I have never seen a horse carry her head the way she
does. She carries her head like a llama...even when at liberty. yesterday I
turned her out and she flipped her head straight up and traveled a couple
strides like that! I have no idea how she can see. She looks very
arabianish  with her high head but I'm not sure how this is going to work
out under saddle. She has learned to relax at the poll at the walk but as
soon as trot comes up goes the head. Forget about vertical...I've never
seen her even come close to that position!

My trainer wants her to learn to carry her head low naturally, without
forcing it into position with a martingale. I'm wondering if this will ever
happen. I can't keep her in training indefinitely...in fact... the meter is
almost up :)

Since so many of you ride with martingales can you give me some info on
introducing it to a high headed horse. I have a feeling she will panic if
her head is confined. Does the running martinagale only engage if she pulls
up? How does a horse react the first time she wears one?


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