Question # 268: So, I took my 4 year old, Todd, to his first combined training last weekend. It was his second time jumping a full course and very first dressage test, and he was fantastic for how green he is. I'm a proud momma! I have a question about.

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...I have a question about a comment the dressage judge wrote on my test. She said when I put him on the bit, I need to make sure to get his head up higher so he doesn't feel tempted to drop on the forehand. My question is, how high exactly am I supposed to keep his head up? He is still growing, he is in a growth spurt right now so he is very croup high. If I ask him to get his neck up higher, I'm afraid it's uncomfortable for him with how he is built right now. I've also heard that it's better to let them learn to move through the back into contact, even if they are slightly on the forehand, then ask them to raise the neck and step under as they get stronger. I don't want to ask him to do more than he's ready for, physically and conformationally. (Holly)  

Hi Holly! 

First off, congrats on your young horse doing so well at his very first competition! That is awesome! I have to say I am rather surprised to hear this comment from the Dressage Judge.... and what I am wondering is... (Click on Question Title above (in blue) to read full answer)

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