No one likes a horse that raises his head as high as he can the moment you bring the halter or bridle near him. It’s the same horse that constantly raises his head while riding! Believe it or not, there’s a simple cue you can teach your horse in order to avoid this problem. It’s all about giving in to pressure.
1. Begin with your horse in a halter. Grab the cheek piece of it with your left hand.
2. With your right hand, reach up to the poll (between his ears) and apply downward pressure. You can use your thumb and index finger.
3. Hold the pressure until he lowers. Immediately release when he gives you downward movement. If he raises his head higher, hold the pressure until he stops fighting it.
4. Repeat the exercise a few more times. You can continue to ask him to lower his head until he touches the ground. He should also hold it there until you ask him to rise up.
5. Eventually, you can work up to just applying light pressure on the lead rope. The halter will provide the pressure to the poll and he should drop his head.
Keep sessions around 15 minutes long and frequent. Within time, your horse will catch on that the downward pressure means to lower his head. It will be much easier to teach in the saddle if he is already familiar with giving in to pressure.