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Head down
Originally posted by tchighhope

What are some of the ways that you guys use to teach your horse to carry its head and neck level like in Western Pleasure? Our horse carries its head way too high. My neighbor trainer swears by this tool that is connected to the girth, comes up between the front legs, separates into two rings that you run the reins thru the rings (maybe called draw reins??). But another trainer told me that they are dangerous and can cause the horse to panic and not to use them under any circumstances? I don't have any experience with them and don't know the proper way to teach lower head carriage and definitely don't want to do anything dangerous.

Hi, as much as having a head too high isn't the best, solving it with something restricting does not teach your horse to do it correctly.. You can teach your horse to lower his head with ground work, a slight tapping at the base of the neck, with immediate release and reward when he does it (even if its just a try at the beginning) to be done often throughout the day, but not for long Wink .. This way just with brushing your hand on his neck he will lower his head.
The other thing is to put him on a circle, he will naturally lower his head.
The way i prefer is when riding, on a slight bend or circle, keep your outside rein in position while raising your inside rein (without pulling), and reward grandly when he puts his head down.. This is the Philip Karl way of doing it and i really like it.. This way he learns to carry himself, and its not you carrying him..
But most importantly, if he is carrying his head very high, he is probably not at that level yet, so go back to the basics [Smile]

Happy Training,

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