Hoofdhouding als een vast punt trainen 1/
Today I saw a photo from a clickerClicker A toy noisemaker. Animal trainers make use of the clicker as an event marker to mark a desired response. The sound of the clicker is an excellent marker because it is unique, quick, and consistent. trainer running next to her trotting horse. The horse trots slowly, at liberty, with his head behind the vertical. Won’t paste it here but I still want to take the time to put a training suggestion out there.
Not sure if she gave this some thoughts on biomechanics before she trained it, and maybe this is a photo where it just looks that way in this unfortunate moment (which coincidentally is what a competition rider would probably say if I’d suggest a different head position ?) so just take this as a suggestion for further training.
Do NOT ask for a headset, unless it’s as an incompatible behavior that you can click for in case your horse is a recovering biter or such, and even then it should be a training phase, not an end goal.
A horse’s healthy head position comes from putting his hind feet further forward under his belly, as a result from an upwards arching spine. If a horse has a strong hind end, he’ll be able to move more upright vertically and more compact horizontally. An untrained horse can’t do that yet, so ‘forcing’ it with a clicker is as unhealthy and unethical as it would be if you forced it with reins. Teaching a head posture as a separate behavior may make your horse move slow and feel controlled, but he’s actually tensing up and on the forehand. He tucks in his chin instead of lifting his back and whithers. This will shorten his steps which makes you feel better, but not him.
Just be patient. Make it fun for your horse to move and leave the head alone. It’ll happen miraculously, after he gets stronger. It doesn’t work the other way around.