Does your horse have a "busy" mouth?
Horses can display conflict in many ways, one of which can be contact issues and how they deal with bit pressure. Their downward transitions may be delayed, heavy or associated with changes in neck length or outline. We need to be really clear in training our responses to ensure our horse is rewarded for slowing his legs, not changing his neck length (pulling or leaning on the bit), diving his head down or throwing his head up in the air, instead of slowing his legs. We can re shape these responses by firstly training them in hand to ensure we are rewarding the slowing of the legs then adding in another signal, such as the neck strap, to reduce the pressure on the horses mouth. The result should be a lighter more obedient response and no "busy" mouth.
Take a look at how we have used the neck strap to help train a better stop response with Nemo. This horse has demonstrated some conflict behaviours with the downward transitions, particularly with a “busy mouth” and leaning on the bit.
The first video shows how Nemo pulls and leans on the bit, usually during downward transitions and even while being led:
The next video was taken only a few days into training with our neck strap and using the principles of equitation science.
Message me if you would like to know more or book a session to try out our neck straps and training. 😊