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Horses/horse cantering with head too low

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Question
hello Shelley. i am Caine from India. i would like to know the benefits of working a horse long and low? actually, i am thoroughbred racing industry. we have a huge chestnut 4 year old gelding who canters putting its head down almost on the ground. sometimes, throwing the riders off balance. may i know why do they do canter like that? he's gets spooked easily. the groom made the animal like that. always yelling on the horse.

Answer
Dear Caine,
The "long and low" to which you refer comes from the western disciplines where horses are schooled to lengthen their frames and to carry their heads unnaturally low. It is NOT something that a Thoroughbred would be trained to do as it slows the horse. It sounds more like the horse you describe is evading bit contact by ducking below the line of force to avid having his mouth hurt. This can happen from a number of causes, bad bitting (wrong but or bit size, bad dental care (sharp hooks or ridges), rider with bad hands- hurting the horse's mouth so the horse learns to evade. It could also be a reflection of physiological pain elsewhere, such as the neck (cervical)or back (lumbar). You might also have his vision checked.
I would have your vet and a professional trainer observe the horse and give you their opinions.
Regards.
S. Evans

Horses

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Shelley Evans

Expertise

I would be happy to respond to enquiries in the following disciplines: dressage, working western, hunter, halter (open and IAHA), hack and pleasure. I can also offer assistance with schooling and equitation issues.

Experience

Twenty years Class A show circuit including multiple championships.

Organizations
CEF, IAHA, BCHC, IALHA

Publications
Inside International

Education/Credentials
BA, MEd, Teaching Certificate (PDP), CEF Western Level I Coach, provincialy approved Hack, Equitation and Western Judge.

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