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Fwd: Kicking

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>What exactly do you do to teach the horse to drop it's head?

It's a simple ground technique.  While you have your horse in halter,
preferably a rope halter, stand facing your horse's neck. hold the halter just
under the chin with the back of your hand toward his chest.  This will
accomodate making him back up a little later on and gives you the best hold
possible.  Gently pull down, putting pressure on the pole.  The second he
gives to this pressure release the pressure and generously stroke him on the
neck.  Continue this procedure until he drops his head at the slightest
pressure.  When he has this down (no pun intended) then give him the down cue
but pull the halter back toward his chest asking him to back up.  Be sure and
have a good grip on some of his mane.  I find at this point that a lot of
people who thought their horses were well ground trained get a huge surprise.
Quite often a horse who has not been previously trained to give will brace and
throw his head up and back up like a rocket. Be prepared to continue a
consistent downward pressure until he once again drops his head and unbraces
his body.  The result you want is that he will back up in a calm, controlled
manner with his head down.  After you have acheived this you can give him a
down cue, pull his head ever so slightly toward you and put hand pressure on
his side, thus asking him to move his his quarters over. And so it goes.  I
trained 5 of my horses, ranging in age from mere months old to 20 years old,
in this manner.  When I then stepped up on their backs the head dropping,
backing, and moving the hind quarters translated almost immediately.  When you
are up on their backs you put backward pressure on the reins.  You don't
release the pressure until he gives to the pressure.  Don't ask for perfection
at first.  Any give will do.  Immediately release the reins and stroke his
neck profusely.  Pretty soon you will have him dropping his head from the
upstairs position and then it is only a hop, skip and a jump to response to
your leg pressure.  Remember, you already taught him that from the ground.  He
will remember, I promise.

Besides my own horses, I train rescued wild mustangs for a local rescue and
have not had any problems.  Hope this works for you too.

Randi/Spiritdog Ranch

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