Small rant..
 
 

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Small rant..

This is a discussion on Small rant.. within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Horse not as responsive at shows as she is at home
  • How t go back to basics when horse practices fine but will not go in arena at a run?

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    04-13-2012, 04:49 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Angry Small rant..

Most of you know of my mare, Lark, but you may not know her background. I met Lark around 6 years ago when she was being seasoned in the same association I started running with. A guy we'll call D was her rider, D was riding for the trainer, who we'll call B... B had done a super job of starting Lark and continuing her training.. D would "clean shop" and win every event on Lark... Well, Mr B sold Lark to the woman I got her from... The woman ran her for a year then was diagnosed with breast cancer, while she was going through treatments and such she leased Lark out to a man who basically cowboy'ed her.. Which I'm now paying for, I got her last November. I knew that D & Mr B ran Lark in a bicycle chain bit, and even though I didn't agree with it, she wasn't my horse, and it wasn't my business.. Now that said, Lark is an extremely powerful horse, she's just very strong and is a free runner.. Lark's problem now is that because she is so strong the guy who leased her out man handled her and now every time I ask for speed she thinks I'm going to beat the crap out of her and snatch on her mouth..I've worked with her since November on just softening her mouth and poll, she just still doesn't trust me when I ask for the speed..We can do a fast lope through the pattern at an out door arena, I don't run at home, and she's fine...I took her to a show March 24 (covered arena)..warming up she was amazing, going into the chute was amazing, as soon as she "saw" the pattern..Nope. Not happening. And she would just want to turn around and stand in the alley way.. It wasn't balking, it was a "I'm shaking and when I run you're going to snatch my mouth and hit me with a whip." I finally got her in the arena..just talking to her and getting her to walk in..we got in and were loping arena race and when I dropped my hand and check her she stiff necked me and ran right to the fence and just stopped and started shaking and breathing hard. I couldn't even get her to want to turn around and walk out. You could just tell that she was a mess and all of the hard and slow work to get her trust was just shattered.. I finally got her turned around and we were walking out, I was talking to her and rubbing her on the neck and shoulder..People started clapping and she immediately jumped forward and was like "OMFG! It's going to hit me!"... So now I'm just upset and I want to strangle the guy who beat on her. I'm not going to ask for speed ANY time soon and just continue the slow work, probably still haul her to shows and probably just trot the pattern until she gets comfortable with me and know that I'm not going to pull on her like the idiot man did. Any advice or similar situations you've been through with a horse. I don't want to ruin the foundation we've built up and I know that the horse I saw win so much is still in there, I just have to get her out of this funk..
     
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    04-13-2012, 05:43 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Dang. That's hard when you've been making awesome progress with repairing "old wounds" like that and then you have a shatter moment.

Although it is not what you wanted to go through, I believe set-backs like these ARE part of the training/healing process. So she had a little break-down from her previous treatment... it's okay! Just the fact that you of course, did not beat or jerk on her like her previous owner did, was a learning lesson for her at this show. Yea, she freaked out, but I hope she also will realize that "hey, she didn't jerk on me. I'm okay."

Keep your chin up and keep working on her.
     
    04-13-2012, 06:19 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I hope so.. I've ridden her since and did a little barrel work and she didn't even hesitate when doing what I asked of her.. I think it has to do with the whole show setting. At home doing slow work and even just hauling to other arenas to practice she is SO much better, maybe it's just the hype about a show that still makes her nervous and goes back to that "This is going to hurt me" mentality... I'm just having to chip down that wall slowly... Other than asking for speed on the pattern she's an awesome horse. She will trail ride, go through anything, loves water, I can put my 10 year old sister on her (who is still a beginner) and Lark will turn into a baby sitter.. That's just the main reason to me, she's too good of an all around horse to just sell her or give up on her because she can't run right now.. I get along with her so much that I am willing to put in the extra time and work into her..

So, I'm sorry if I keep going on and on, Sierra hears it from me all of the time, but it's good to hear I'm not crazy for doing it and keeping her from others.. Family doesn't get it so I can't talk to them, to my Dad she's just a horse, another to feed, yada yada..
     
    04-13-2012, 07:02 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Why don't you just take her off the barrells for a while until she trust you? You can still haul to shows and if they have an area to warm up or just ride around the grounds until she stays calm. This way she will not feel pressured and may learn to relax. Have you tried her in an arena at home with a hackamore or bozal to get her a bit more responsive with out a bit? I did not see this in your post. Maybe work her like she has never been "broke" start from the ground with giving and bending? Yep the guy whom abused her needs beat!
     
    04-13-2012, 07:54 PM
  #5
Trained
I'm sorry that your having to deal with that. I think the best absolute thing for you to do with her, is exactly what you said. Work her at home. Take her to shows and just walk or trot the pattern. Just getting her into the arena will be tricky enough. It'll do her a world of good Take your time with her, she's still young and will have plenty to give you once she trusts you.

I went through a rough couple of months retraining my ex barrel pony. He started racing at 4 years old with a good trainer. Then he was sold to a 10 year old (well, his mom) and the 10 year old raced him. Well, when they would knock something down, the kid would continue to run Dakota. So he got rewarded for knocking stuff over. By the time I got him, he barely ran a clean pattern. And he'd fight me with everything. Finally I got through to him and we just clicked after 2 months of competing. (And 7 months under my ownership) We started cleaning up at shows and people would come up to me that had seen us at the beginning of the season and be like "what did you do?! He's not even the same horse!" Which made me feel really good.

I still ran him, but if he knocked anything down, I pulled him up and would make him redo it at a trot...well...prance. He didn't trot, LoL. He figured it out pretty quick that he couldn't get away with that type of crap with me.

He was never abused but he was bad enough to deal with. So I definitely feel for you and wish you well in your quest to win Lark's complete trust.
     
    04-13-2012, 07:56 PM
  #6
Showing
That's a bummer. It's never fun to have to start over when one has baggage. Just keep at it, nice and easy. It may take her some time to realize you aren't like the previous monster on her back.

Wish I had more advice to offer but speed horses aren't my forte. I've dealt with ring sour horses in other disciplines & those with other baggage and totally get how you are feeling. It takes time, lots of patience and a ton of work to get past it. It will feel like you take one step forward and two steps back sometimes, but eventually enough baby steps will get you there. Keep your chin up.
     
    04-13-2012, 08:44 PM
  #7
Started
I wonder if breezing her would help at all? Even with another horse? Just so she knows running is okay?

Good luck!
     
    04-13-2012, 09:33 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Thanks for reading and responding... She's 13 this year, was started and trained slow.. started seasoning at 6 or 7.. She definitely knows her job, we only will do barrel work once every two weeks, if that, I don't want to sour her. We do lots of long trotting, bending and flexing, just the basic stuff.. We trail ride almost every time I ride her.. I can hop on her bareback and lope circles and stuff.. I can trot or lope the pattern bareback on her...The only problem is when she IN the arena, no gate issue..She walks right in like a champ but at the end of the chute where it meets the open arena she's like NOPE.. I'll stand here, but I'm not going forward. It's weird.. Another weird thing she does.. Do you know how foals will go up to big horses and open and close their mouth? She does that, and it's not biting, she just opens and closes her mouth. Teeth are good, everything fits, I'm never harsh on her..

I'm the same ClaPorte, if they knock something down I stop pushing and just coast the rest of the pattern.

I'm going to try the breezing this weekend and see what she does..I'm usually not for it, but I will try new things to find out what works for that individual horse..

I was riding her in the Jr Cowhorse and she rides great in it at home but when she gets more speed she stiffs through it, I'm 98 lbs and I can't man her around like the guy did, so while still just focusing on softening her mouth I talked to a bunch of people and ended up with some kind of combo bit that I've never seen in my life.. I'll get a picture up tomorrow. She does respond really well to it and seems to favor it more than the JCH now.. I've tried other bits, MANY infact...I'm completely for "retrain a soft mouth" but that crap just isn't happening to the point of a snaffle.. When I first put her in the JCH she pulled me around like a rag doll. I am no match for her in a battle of the strengths. She pulled me around in a lifter bit, a hack, another combo, a sidepull, just everything.. Soo we'll see what happens with this new combo..
QHriderKE and Horsealot like this.
     
    04-13-2012, 09:55 PM
  #9
Weanling
Oh man.. and I though I had odd problems. This is horrible I once rode a jumping horse who got abused and my cousin got him back took us years for that horse to run again. Then my cousin got another horse a mare that had ben beat every time she ran she would only trot. That took me about 3 days everyones diffrent only you know your horse but I breeze splash to let him be a horse. That's what she needs to remember sounds like she got too much on her mind. Just take her out and let her be a horse. Sometimes we have to let go of training to reach what we desire. Sounds crazy but shell come around
     
    04-16-2012, 10:14 PM
  #10
Banned
What I can not seem to figure out is how she was fine when we went and you practiced her at both Gresston (outdoor pen) and Unadila (indoor pen).....I was not there for the March 24th show but I did see how she acted at a show back when you first got her (Nov 2011 indoor pen) but I chalked up her behavior back in Nov at that show to just be because it had been a little while since she had been shown and you had not had her for very long....she was fine that day other then being wide on her turns and y'all no communicating very well, but like I said I chalked it up to being because it had been a little while since she had been shown and you had not had her for very long

When you told me about her behavior at this show you are referring to it really had me stumped....she worked so well for you both times you took her to the indoor and outdoor arenas to practice so I really do not understand.....it could be the whole "show" aspect but I find that hard to believe just because of all the shows she was hauled to with "D" and "Mr. B" and as far as I know the guy that cowboy'ed her never showed her just ran the mess out of her at home but I could be wrong that is just how I took what previous owner told us the time your sister went and rode her.

A little more info that was not included above.....
I looked at this mare back in like 2007 and rode her at home and we did VERY well together (mind you this is when she was owned by Mr B and had only been off barrels for a year + due to having a baby and then used as a trail horse).
I then ran her at a show and she was a totally different horse (not crazy but just knew her job) I ended up eating it --> my fault. At the time she was VERY responsive to all pressures, not heavy at all....like Amber said she was being run in a bicycle chain bit but all you had to do was run her into her pocket, sit & drop your outside rein (putting you weight more on the outside), tip her nose in, and she would do the rest...the only reason I came off is because my seat was terrible and I leaned into the turn sending her to opposite direction....what I meant earlier about her being a different horse at the show then how she was with me at home is that I could get away with minor jockey errors at home as well as getting her to take it easy at home rather then being extremely responsive at the show and not knowing anything other than "DO WORK" at the show....I was just not the rider at the time to handle that.
Since then my understanding was that she was not shown at all but between the time of then and summer 2010 she ended up with the lady Amber talked about above whom allowed some guy to ride her who ended up running the crap out of her
Because back in the summer of 2010 Amber's little sister went and rode this mare because she was thinking about trading her gelding for this mare and when we all got there we were all stunned at how bad she looked....she was very down on her weight and coat was dull...she just looked ragged (she had just been picked up from the guy that cowboy'ed her) but that day when Holly rode her she was heavier in the mouth you kinda had to pull her around the barrels but other then that she worked good.....from that day until Amber got her she was a pasture ornament at that ladies house (as far as I know) and when Amber got her she looked SOOO much better...nice and shinny and a little plump

I do not know if this will help anyone try and figure out what may be causing this issue because I know other then the things both Amber and I have considered we can not come up with any other explanations

To be honest I think she has run her course and the damages the guy did are what is causing this behavior on top of her already "DO WORK" mentality at shows.......I would hate to see her sit in the pasture for the rest of her life but it seems to me she may not be "fixable" to the point where she will be able to be run again at shows.....I am not saying give up but the odds of her coming back from the issues she is having is slim unless it is something unrelated to what we are thinking.....to me taking her off of barrels would really do her no good because she had down time when she was not being used for barrels......it would not be a bad idea to take her to some shows like you said and just do exhibitions and work on just keeping her calm but that (if it works/helps) will take a long time to have any effect on her

I know what a nice horse she was and I can understand your frustration but I think, like me, you are beginning to realize she may never be "that horse" again...I would look into taking her to a few more shows before making any decisions but I think it would be best to just let her be and go to someone who will trail ride and spoil the mess out of her
     

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