Really reluctant to move forward - Page 2

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Really reluctant to move forward

This is a discussion on Really reluctant to move forward within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        09-14-2013, 08:38 PM
    Typing this on my phone so hopefully it will not come out oddly. Just my thoughts here, I'm not a pro.

    For the head issue, in a fluid motion, raise and lower your hands along as though you were moving his bit. Don't think about where his head is. Think about placing the bit where you want it and moving him up into it. It will take time to build the new habit.

    As for him not responding to the leg, he needs to be held responsible. Give an aid once and if he doesn't respond, hold him responsible and get after him. Not one tap or one kick, like three hard kicks or taps with the whip. Make a correction for not responding. Try the cue again and see if he responds. If he does not, get after him again. If he does, give him a "good boy" and a pat. The aid should be a little teeny pressure. If he can feel a bug on him there's no reason why he requires a stronger aid than that from you. Do not nag him by asking over and over. Give the cue once and correct immediately if his response is not an immediate surge forward.
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        09-15-2013, 04:01 PM
    In my experience, horses always go BETTER after the first 10 minutes. So I'm still inclined to think it's not him being "lazy" or bad-tempered or anything .

    But I do think he's trying to tell you something. What could it be?
        09-15-2013, 10:04 PM
    I agree with Beling and what others have been saying to an extent- but if the horse has been checked thoroughly for soundness and ouchy issues, it's probably just a training issue. We can unknowingly be tensing various parts of our bodies that are disabling the horse from truly moving forward. It's hard to tell without someone on the ground observing. (With an experienced eye)

    I agree with dancingarab on getting him to move off your leg. One leg cue followed by a tap correction from the whip. They learn fast.

    Also, if you are only practicing this riding with him intermittently, he could just not have the correct muscles built or the strength to carry himself like that for too long, and this is his way of telling you. It's hard work for a horse to hold themselves in frame and carry a rider for longer periods of time, so just constant work of building up those muscles should help.
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        09-16-2013, 03:18 PM
    Holy front to back riding advice Batman!!!

    First of all - forget about him being BTV and neck to low. That is a symptom of a larger problem and addressing it in ANY manner suggested above is just going to make your problem worse. BTV is NOT the end of the world. Haitian children aren't going to die, nothing is going to explode and certainly, jerking the horse's face up is not going to solve world hunger. Just leave the head and neck be.

    First of all, sit up, shoulders back, put your hands together on top of the withers and stop looking down. Looking at your general posture, you are riding the front end of the horse into the dirt. Hands too wide also contributes to this issue.
    Now take your leg off and don't use it. If you want the horse to go more briskly, ride it with your seat. The more you sit there like a passenger and expect the horse to just carry you, the less inclined he is going to be to do so. He, like every other behind the leg horse on the face of the earth, expects equal participation from you. Ride more with your seat, less with your hands and legs. Think about influencing the horse, not asking him or telling him.
    Now if you do put a leg on to go forward, reward ANY "try". As he is shut down right now, keep positive on how he is responding to any of your aids. As you reward the good and ignore the bad, he will eventually come around to your way of thinking, especially if you are very sparingly asking anything from him.

    HOWEVER. This all being said - this does sound like 10-50% a pain issue and I would be having a vet who specializes in lameness out to give a full examination and treatment plan. The horse obviously needs some support for his old injuries.

    Good luck!
        09-16-2013, 03:23 PM
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    Holy front to back riding advice Batman!!! ...
    BTV is NOT the end of the world. Haitian children aren't going to die, nothing is going to explode and certainly, jerking the horse's face up is not going to solve world hunger. ...
    You have me in stitches!!
        09-16-2013, 03:31 PM
    Originally Posted by Corporal    
    You have me in stitches!!
    Hahaha sorry it's a pet peeve of mine... the whole "BTV is evil" thing
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        09-16-2013, 03:37 PM
    Agreed. You know, I can accept a QH that prefers a road trot to a canter, or my two gaited that will race on the trails at an amble.
    What un nerves me is working a horse that is turning more and more unresponsive to my cues. I know the same horse will turn on a dime and take off out of fake fear in the pasture, so I want the same while schooling.
    I can only accept dull in a schoolhorse used for beginners.
        09-17-2013, 09:04 AM
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    New Image - Did you get this horse already trained because he looks to me as if he's been worked in some sort of a schooling aid to get his head down like that - something like a chambon maybe?
    He actually almost looks as if he's done Western Pleasure and may have been taught to 'spur stop' which might be why you get the odd reaction when you use your legs
    Does he hang heavy on the bit or does he feel too light on it and not want to really make contact with it?
    I don't think its a pain related thing at all
    Beling likes this.
        09-17-2013, 09:32 AM
    I really need to get to a computer to have a look at this photo, I'm playing blind on my phone!
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        09-23-2013, 05:34 PM
    Sorry all- been on vacation and left the advice hanging...

    I cannot rule pain out. Every veterinarian has given a different opinion regarding his leg to some extent but the bottom line is everyone has said that there is nothing that can be done, he is sound when he's sound and to ride him. He gets the special treatment when I ride him because I am unsure if his quirks are leg related or if they're spoiled brat syndrome related because he is a babied horse.

    Jaydee- He was born here. Aside from failed attempts at other people riding him, I have been his only rider. He is a great trail horse for me but if anyone else tries to ride him he is full of stunts. In fact, if I am not in the pasture he can be a real jerk from the ground. He is a real prick to deal with for most. Just, not for me. He was sent to a friend of a friend who trains barrel horses but has a 4-H/Western pleasure background. He was there for two weeks in January of this year as effort to get him to comply with someone other than myself riding him. She had a LOT of trouble with him and I think she was more than happy to see him go at the end of that two weeks. He did come back riding lower like this, she did do Western Pleasure geared arena work.

    ~anebel~ I can see what you are staying. He does require more seat but the more I move him off from my seat and post bigger the more pissy he will get and just stop. I'm not saying that its right but I have a hard time using heavy driving aids with him. I do think the low nose-to-ground head set and behind the vertical is an issue, I disagree there. I do not yank his head up like you've stated. I do not reprimand him like its a issue, I am simply saying that it IS an issue because it is not what I am looking for. Of course I am willing to accept this is rider error. My talent comes in rescuing, feeding programs, deficiencies, starting horses, desensitizing trail horses and working with "problem horses". I will be the first to admit that I am in 1st grade when it comes to arena work.

    DancingArabian- I have tried that. If he gives a sluggish effort to the trot cue and you follow it with 3 hard kicks, he'll stop. If you follow it with a whip (first off, "tap" doesn't work. Whack, gets this response..) he trots off angrily and he'll crow hop. If you ride through ignoring the fact that he is throwing a tantrum and just appreciate the trot then he will trot out nicely within a few paces only to jam on the breaks when he realizes that he is doing what you wanted & that he is still mad at you for using a whip. If you reprimand the rude transition he will stop, or buck. If you push him into a canter due to his transition and tell him to go faster he'll canter, when coming back to a trot you will repeat this whole process because he is still upset with you for using the whip.

    Kayty- Two of the instructors have ridden him but he takes jackass to a whole new level and like I said, they leave with a "THAT HORSE....." - this new instructor is fabulous and both she and I are very interested in seeing if/how he rides for her. I think that her personality is far better to deal with him than the last, you have to be a fairly confident and even tempered person to deal with him.

    Maybe getting a video would help. But what a few of you have send about my body blocking the forward movement is part of the problem, I am sure.

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