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  "Horse Class" #31 Keith Hosman, Lyons Certified Trainer
Horsemanship101.com
Drop Your Head... Now!
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Drop Your Head... Now!
Welcome to your next issue of "Horse Class," your how-to source for equine tips, tricks and solid foundational training brought to you by horsemanship101.com and John Lyons Certified Trainer Keith Hosman.

This time we teach our horses to drop their heads like rocks - at the touch of our reins! Who wants that? You do if your horse nips or annoys other horses while you're trying to have a conversation with other riders. (Dropping their head below their withers also has the effect of calming the horse - and that's a trick in itself!)

You'll find "
Teach Your Horse to Lower His Head While Standing" sampled below. To read in its entirety or to print it out, follow the links provided. If they don't work or you're not getting the emails properly, see the bottom of this page.

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Previous horse-training tips and articles can be found 24/7 at Horsemanship101.com/Articles. All can be printed out & saved for easy access later.

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Quit Jigging & Slow Down!
Lowering Your Horse's Head
While plenty of my articles teach you how to drop your horses head while you're actively riding, (to travel in a more "collected" frame, to "calm down," etc.) this article will show you how to do so while you're standing still. There are two reasons you'll want to know this material: One, if you're standing around (daisy-chain style) hanging out with your equestrian buds, you'll want a way to tell a mischievous horse "quit playing games with that appaloosa and behave yourself. Drop your head, leave it there, quit antagonizing me and the appy." Two, you can take this material and extrapolate. Learn this routine at a standstill, mull over what you pick up and try the concepts out while walking, trotting, loping, spinning, barreling... etc. (Yes, the approach to bringing the horse's head down here is slightly different from the things you might try while moving but I'm not going into it because that'd be really, really boring.) Oh – actually, there are three reasons to learn this exercise: This is a pretty neat trick once you get it down pat and it makes you look really cool. (That's the reason I'd learn it, personally.)

I teach this routine to students in my clinics – and you would be amazed at how many observers will jump up, wanting to know how to do this themselves when they get home. Performing this "trick" on horses, teaching a horse to instantly drop his head after he's spent the morning with his head craned to the skies, is a great sales technique, frankly, for the Lyons methods. It's very simple, takes mere minutes to teach – and, if you read this and it ain't working later – you're either trying too hard or you're not applying enough motivation to your horse to "figure it out." More on motivation and what-to-look-for later. (As a rule of thumb, John Lyons' son Josh frequently teaches this in under two minutes... from the moment he first picks up the reins. Once practiced, however, mere mortals such as you and me should expect this to take... more than two minutes.)

Your goal will be this: When practiced to perfection, you should be able to pick up your reins gingerly with two fingers (like holding a stinky sock) to a height of about two inches – and....

keep reading this article

The Fast Way to Improvement
Here's an excerpt from an earlier article called "How to Pick Up the Reins Like a Pro." It's called out specifically in this month's featured article ("Teach Your Horse to Lover Its Head," above) and is included here for your convenience.

"Here's the fastest way on the planet to radically change the quality of your next ride. We're talking night vs. day forever-lasting results with maybe an hour's worth of practice. But wait - there's more! Besides improving your everyday training, there's an added benefit: Much improved safety. Practicing the nuts and bots of "rein handling" in the quiet of an evening, spending long enough to build a bit of "muscle memory," will go a long way to helping you out the next time you get out on the trail and your horse wigs out. A lot of our riding fear comes from not knowing "what to do if." People get scared, they panic and grab up the reins. They freeze with six billion pounds of pressure on the horse's face. Frozen hands cork up all that horse energy, trap a prey animal - and..."

Read the entire article by following the link or by visiting Horsemanship101.com/Articles.

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More recommended material (for ground control):

- "Cinchy Horses"
- "The First Thing I Do"
- "I'm Scared of My Horse"

All articles are online and available 24/7.

 
4 Trick Videos!
DIY: trick videos
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John Lyons Reins
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Find nearby utility vehicles being sold on eBay & local ATV dealers at my site:
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Bucking Horse?

My Downloadable Book "Stop Bucking" can help!

Here's a sample
from Day Five:

"Is this you? You think your horse is about to slow down so you give him a good kick? That makes sense to you - but the horse figures he got kicked for no good reason. You'll burn out your “move faster” cue quick that way. I need you to start thinking and riding differently.

Instead, continue this exercise by walking your horse forward and asking it to speed up; demand a “noticeable change of leg speed.” If your horse was traveling at 4 mph, ask for faster and make sure he does just that. It's not a maybe it's a definitely. If he doesn't speed up, kick until he does. If he breaks into the next higher gait, ease him back down and keep trying....

To read more, see
this page
 
Cost: About a buck a day

Also available:
"What Is Wrong...?"
"Rearing"
"Get On Your Horse"
"How to Start a Horse"
"Your Foal"
"Stop Bucking"
"Rein In/Speed"
"Trailer Training"
"Round Penning"
 
See all guides