Saturday, July 20, 2013

Teaching Headsets And Other Finer Things- Are You Ready?

Headsets, people love them.

There are few things prettier than a horse with a nice level headset. (Headset meaning- relaxed, light, not too high, not too low,  and on and nearly on the vertical with little to no rein interference.)

While everyone wants an attractive headset many people rush through the training process and try to teach/achieve a nice headset before a horse is ready.  In order to be ready for headsets and other more advanced maneuvers a horse must first have a firm grasp on the basics.  

In order to achieve or school on a headset a horse must first-
*  Have forward movement.  A horse must first be moving freely and willingly under saddle with little to know encouragement from the rider.

*  Be under complete control of the rider and light and responsive to all aids.  A horse should not warp circles, veer off a straight line, or resist rein or leg pressure.  

*   Be able to rate.  A horse must be able to maintain a constant speed at all gates as directed by the rider and do so on a loose rein.

Only after all of the above is achieved should a rider even consider schooling more advanced maneuvers. And a rider must also be willing to go back to the basics and do a little tuneup at any time before continuing in training.