Really reluctant to move forward - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 35 Old 09-23-2013, 06:21 PM
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I admire your ability to stick with this horse. Good for you. Do you think herbs that calm would help him? Maybe take the edge off and keep him out of the "I'm so mad at you for making me do anything".
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post #22 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by New_image View Post
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 hes 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.
You know, now that I think of it, I do know a horse like this. I helped start her a few years back and she was a wonderful mare, and fast too. She would do anything for my trainer and myself- we limited it to just us working with her.

Years passed, things happened and both of them grew out of the picture until a few months ago when I discovered that a younger girl that I know had acquired the mare. I went to her place to say hello to both of them and ride her and now she does the same things that you above described. The girl didn't want me using any aids either. I've dealt with the refusing to go forward issue many times, but this is the only one I couldn't crack, partially because I just didn't have the time necessary to work with her. It's very frustrating and I do understand your predicament.

I'd say you already have a great relationship with him, just keep reminding him that you call the shots, that with consistent work I think will really help. It's awesome that you are tackling something new with him, so keep it up!

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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post #23 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 11:49 AM
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I don't think that the spell of western pleasure style training has done him any good just lowered his head too much - but obviously not his whole problem
What's he like on the lunge?
I know its not the cure-all for everything but with a horse like this I would probably go right back to the beginning and see if there are any visible cracks in his initial training
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post #24 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lchad View Post
I admire your ability to stick with this horse. Good for you. Do you think herbs that calm would help him? Maybe take the edge off and keep him out of the "I'm so mad at you for making me do anything".
Oh he is never going anywhere. Even if I didn't love the challenge that is this horse and even if he wasn't my heart horses son... who would want him! As far as herbs he can get edgy (er) when he gets low in Calcium so we have supplemented him when need be. But he is otherwise not deficient and herbs wouldn't help. Its just who he is. He was born a brat. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me "that colt is going to be a handful..."
He is a huge intimidator and he gets his way with absolutely everyone else who he comes into contact with. I have had countless farriers have trouble with him but with a bad back and the worlds weakest hand grip I can trim him, taking three times as long and requiring far more patience on his part.

Jaydee- We have actually gone right back to the basics with him a couple of times. I think he would benefit from lounging with side reins and at some point, I will find someone who can properly instruct me & get the right equipment to do so. He does know how to lounge and go through the basics. When he was away this year for a couple of weeks she did ground work for a week. He came back with a rope burned face and whip marks on his chest from all of the attempts to attack her (another fun habit for him. IF you are not me and you wish to drive him in a circle). She had him more respectful of her at the end of the week but he was still a snot, he'd come in at her cautiously and when she went out in the pen to catch him she would have to work for it. He would plant his face in a corner and just swing at anyone who came to get him. A habit that I'd forgotten about! It has been years since he tried that one on me. As bad as it sounds I had a good chuckle at his rope burn and whip ruffled furr - something he was not expecting from someone else. He and I have gone rounds with extremes that I have never had to use with any other horse. Most of his ridiculous and dangerous threats had been defused by age 5. I think from baby on up to 5 years old every couple of months he would try something new and I would have to go to some extreme to make it known that we do NOT do that. We've had a good three year run now. He is my best buddy. He comes when I call. I lead him out into the barn by his head, he stands un-haltered and un-tied for anything that I do with him. He knows when my head is messed up for the day (some form of Epilepsy) and he'll be very quiet, try to keep other horses away (sweet, but sometimes inconvenient) when I turn everyone out in the pasture he'll walk next to me, they'll all run out and Image will take me back up to the barn before turning around and running out the far gate himself. He has a very unique inelegance and interesting way of learning. He is a great grudge holder to. I had an ex who seemed to think that he was bigger and stronger than horses and could man-handle them to get his way. Image loved this challenge. The horse used to make it a mission to walk up to this guy, sideswipe him and walk by. All "guy shouldering into another guy coming through the door" style. Image has never done this to anyone else. That guy left my life and when he came out for a visit 3 years later Image saw him from across the pasture, strode over and sideswiped him. Hes like "He still does that?!" I said "I guess he just remembers you because, no." I'd forgotten that he ever did that. Just last week when I got back from vacation the girl who was taking care of the farm here said GOOD. Go see Image. He has been in a horrible mood ever since you left and he is going to start eating people.

All that said- he is never going to hand me anything. But I am willing to take lessons when I find an instructor qualified, ask advice, find someone with some opinions that will help, accept critiques. I do not feel like I am such an awful rider "riding his front end into the ground" that he can justify not giving me so much as a trot. Dressage isn't something that I am set on doing with him, its something that I'd like to learn and since he is here and I am stuck waiting for my yearling to reach 17hh... Image it is. Its good for him too. He will move freely into a trot if I'm bareback with a halter and leads and bouncing all over the place. He must not like the structure and must think that it means slow OR he just doesn't want to ride hind end engaged in a circle.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and thoughts all.
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post #25 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Some pictures from yesterdays ride:

This is the 'tude I get for reprimanding his sluggish behavior, he'll leap like this into a trot for about five strides before stopping and repeating until enough of this has gone on for him to throw in the towel and just trot.

Then we trot.

Shortly after a nice trot, we'll stop and attempt to grab our reins so that we can spin ourselves in circles. Luckily, I have discovered that a training snaffle helps us avoid the actual rein grabbing.

Then we trot some more.

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post #26 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 03:13 PM
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It really does sound as if its all down to attitude doesn't it - in the UK we call that behavior 'napping' - basically its "I don't want to do this so I'm going to refuse to move and if you make me I'll have a hissy fit'
When its done to avoid leaving the yard then spinning them around does seem to work a lot better than the whip - they get fed up of it, it distracts their mind and off they go - till the next one.
In your case I think the only thing you can do is not give in to his tantrums because he's learnt that he can get out of work by throwing them. Lots and lots of changes of direction will make him focus on something other than not working
I would try lunging him some days so he gets a change and has to accept the discipline of it - be sure to use clear verbal commands that you can then use from the saddle
I wouldn't worry too much about side reins right now because he already has a habit for getting behind the bit by the look of it - just tie his reins to the rings on the front of the saddle with some baler twine so they don't flap and slide around.
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post #27 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Yet, I just took a nice long trail ride with him today where we trotted for 10-15 minutes at a time. He is SO forward on the trail, it is the exact opposite problem. On the trail we have lalala, Can we canter? No? collect, trot pretty, behave, RABBIT! Look left. Oh, trot pretty, lalalalala WHATS OVER THERE CAN WE GO THERE?! Oh! Doing a job again, trot pretty, lalalalala. Way more enjoyable for the both of us but it is like riding two different horses. He is such a tool :)

Spinning circles for misbehavior is how he was accidentally taught to grab his reins. He'll spin himself and beat you to the punch line. Flexing has worked GREAT for slowing him down when need be or random bucking, I just have to find something that makes him GOOO.
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post #28 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 04:52 PM
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He's a lovely horse, and sounds extremely intelligent.

My approach would be, ignore the bad, reward the good.

If he wants to canter, unless you have a very good reason not to, go along with him. Show him you're on his side. If he acts up when you want to trot, focus on the fact that he's moving forward. All good! Praise him!

Sometimes a horse (especially mares, and I love mares) just doesn't like being "told" what to do. But most horses really want to go along with the "herd" and with this sort of horse, being more of a friend and partner can be very rewarding.

Of course, timing is everything. There are times when you NEED to be boss. I'm just saying, it's not necessarily ALL the time.
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post #29 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 05:55 PM
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Smart horse!!!
He's doing something like our Honey - she gets so bored with schooling that she 'invents' herself a monster in the corner of the ménage and spooks and tries to bolt away from it. The constant changing of direction works well for her but like your boy she is never a problem on the trails which she enjoys
You can do a lot of schooling while you are riding on the trails - maybe a break from the ménage for a while and then limit it to once a week would work best
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post #30 of 35 Old 09-24-2013, 10:36 PM
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I really agree with Anabel's post about getting a lameness specialist. I thought my own horse had an attitude problem but it turned out it was caused by arthritis acting up in cold weather and I'm so glad we are able to treat him instead of trying to force him to work through pain. I really recommend a thorough exam and imaging.
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