Sour's First Hissy Fit
 
 

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Sour's First Hissy Fit

This is a discussion on Sour's First Hissy Fit within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Hissy fit in horses
  • I'm not allowed to go horse riding again

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  • 1 Post By GreySorrel

 
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    05-22-2012, 06:56 PM
  #1
Teen Forum Moderator
Sour's First Hissy Fit

I knew it was just a matter of time before she decided to pull one of her old Sour-'tudes on me! She's been doing absolutely fantastic for the past few months and is working really well for me, but alas...she's Sour. She has to keep me on my toes, right?

Thankfully I've been completely prepared for this and so I think I handled things really well, and we'll be moving forewards again in no time. Today though, she decided that it was no fun to go at a leisurely trot around the farm, and it would be much preferable to pretend to be a pacer! Every few moments she would start to speed up her trot and I'd have to bring her back down. Again and again and again and again, until realized that it just wasn't going to work. Then she moved on to her next idea- totally by passing the faster trots and trying to go from a jog to a canter! HA. I had hoped that the fact that I never taught her that she even COULD canter with the cart would help, but I suppose I was wrong xD She didn't get more than a stride in each time at a canter though before I'd make her stop, back up, then go forewards at a walk.

So she moves on to her next plan. Well if we can't play racehorse, we'll back up! Well that one was fun. I honestly wasn't sure how to reprimind that one, as she's always been reluctant to back up with the cart (she does it, mind you- she just give my some gawdaweful faces when she does) and suddenly she's nearly trotting...backwards Luckily my trainer was there and after a couple of swats on the butt, nearly running into a brick, and a LOT of kissy-kissy noises, we got that sorted out and I made sure to do plenty of figure eights, backing ON CUE, and slooooow jogging before she was allowed to stop for the day ;)

Crazy mare. Needless to say, we've been demoted and are going back to arena work with the buggy until I'm confident that we aren't going to be doing any more of that backwards stuff. I can easily fix too much speed...but too much speed going backwards? How on earth do you fix that?

So anyways, I'm wondering if any of you have advice for when/if that happens again. What should I do? Did I reprimind her correctly or did I screw it up? Be honest, I can only learn by knowing my mistakes!


Oh, and just for those who don't know yet- Sour is four years old, is SUPER green still (this was our 8th cart ride), yes I do have a trainer, and she does work off of voice commands as well as whip (still working on whip, however...except in this instance, apparently!
     
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    05-22-2012, 09:02 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I am confused. If she works off voice commands why was she speeding up on her own? Also if they back up try laying the whip on her rump and just holding it firmly. Are you sure everything was adjusted correctly? Backing up quickly and speeding up sounds like something might have been irritating her.

If I had a horse breaking into a canter I would just take her back down to the trot so she understood what gait she was to be doing. Maybe the stopping and backing up each time got her wound up.
     
    05-22-2012, 09:12 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque    
I am confused. If she works off voice commands why was she speeding up on her own? Also if they back up try laying the whip on her rump and just holding it firmly. Are you sure everything was adjusted correctly? Backing up quickly and speeding up sounds like something might have been irritating her.

If I had a horse breaking into a canter I would just take her back down to the trot so she understood what gait she was to be doing. Maybe the stopping and backing up each time got her wound up.
I looked at one of your other threads and saw some pictures. I am concerned that you do not have any breeching. What are you going to do if you go down a hill and the cart runs her over?

Your saddle looked like it was putting pressure on the back side and I am sure when she backed up everything went wonky and her breast collar came forwrad. Also the way your traces are wrapped around the shafts won't let the pressure and single tree work properly when pulling and turning. This could also be causing problems. You either need shorter traces or put a hole in them and let the excess hang in the cart.

She is trying to tell you something.
     
    05-23-2012, 06:55 AM
  #4
Weanling
If she is backing up and the light tapping of the whip isn't causing her to stop her foolishness, your not using the whip correctly nor hard enough. I don't often have to use a whip and carry it in the carrier, as it does serve a purpose. If I am showing it is in my hand, however....it is there when you need it and when she is backing, give her more than a tap, a good WHAP and a very firm "Get Up There" or "Walk On Mare" or whatever command you use to tell her to move forward is in order. I literally growl at my draft if they were to do what your mare did, that type of foolishness is not acceptable.

As for speeding up when your driving her, the few times my draft horses have done that while being driven single, then would not easily settle back to the gait I told them to do, they stayed in the gait they chose. I wouldn't per say let your mare canter, that isn't suggested when one is in harness, but if she wants to trot, fine, keep her in that trot and when she starts to slow down make her stay in it till YOU say she can slow down.
michaelvanessa likes this.
     
    05-23-2012, 01:59 PM
  #5
Teen Forum Moderator
Thanks for the quick replies guys.

Churumbeque- She does work off of voice command...alteast most of the time. She has a good whoah and transitions up and down really well most of the time, but she's still really fuzzy with learning that I can ask for different speeds within a gait. We've been taught to use clicking to cue for a faster trot or faster walk, and 'easy' to slow them down within the same gait. She does this about half of the time, but I usually have to reinforce with a little bit of rein as well.

I actually thought/still think theres something wrong with her tack too. Those pictures that you've seen were of one of her first few times out, and we were mostly walking, so I didn't use breeching. I actually didn't even have any breeching that fit her at the time, to tell you the truth. And since we have absolutely NO hills in our area...I didn't really think about it .

All of her tack is borrowed and I'm slowly buying her own set. So far I have breeching, some extra pads, and a breastpiece that fit her. Actually...that breeching that I have is brand new and yesterday happens to be the first day she's worn it. Perhaps she just didn't know what was touching her in the rump?

So should I not be stopping her and asking her to back, then sending her forwards at a walk to trot? I really wasn't sure what to do in that instance. I've had riding horses do this with me, and know how to send them forwards with my leg, but without that extra contact I'm kind of at loss.

I'll try just bringing her back into a trot instead of a walk instead, if she tries that again I suppose ^^ And see about getting shorter traces ASAP. The ones she is using are supposively for a Class B miniature, but they're far too long for her. I just can't for the life of my find a local tack shop that sell driving equipment, which means I'm having to order everything online, which is not only expensive but hard to check quality on...

As for the saddle, does it look to big or did I have it up too high/low? I need to know so that I can fix it, as I've had it in the same spot every time I drive her and would like to get that resolved quickly. If its too big I can see about getting our Class A saddle repaired (a piece snapped a few months ago and no one took it to a leather shop, its just sitting around now.) and using that.

GreySorrel- thanks for the information! I'll admit it right now, I'm actually a little nervous about really laying that whip on her hard enough to hurt, because of all of the problems that we've had with whips and ropes before. I guess I just need to cowgirl up and do it. I know that what she's doing is highly unacceptable and the last thing I want is for one of us to get hurt.

With the speeding, while that was one of my first ideas (its what I do when round penning or riding a 'speed-speed-speed' horse) I'm not completely sure that even that devils trot that she was doing is safe to do at our farm. We have about 5 acres to drive around on, there are a lot of obstacles in the way that I'd be afraid to hit. The good thing though, is that when she was trying to speed- she was still listening to my hands and turning where I wanted her to. It would be a big hairy mess if she didn't, and that's why I want to get this stopped ASAP! I don't want her getting it into her head that she can just ignore me. She's a very pushy, very dominant mare to begin with, after all.
     
    05-23-2012, 02:12 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku    
Thanks for the quick replies guys.

Churumbeque-

I actually thought/still think theres something wrong with her tack too. Those pictures that you've seen were of one of her first few times out, and we were mostly walking, so I didn't use breeching. I actually didn't even have any breeching that fit her at the time, to tell you the truth. And since we have absolutely NO hills in our area...I didn't really think about it .

All of her tack is borrowed and I'm slowly buying her own set. So far I have breeching, some extra pads, and a breastpiece that fit her. Actually...that breeching that I have is brand new and yesterday happens to be the first day she's worn it. Perhaps she just didn't know what was touching her in the rump?

So should I not be stopping her and asking her to back, then sending her forwards at a walk to trot? I really wasn't sure what to do in that instance. I've had riding horses do this with me, and know how to send them forwards with my leg, but without that extra contact I'm kind of at loss.



As for the saddle, does it look to big or did I have it up too high/low? I need to know so that I can fix it, as I've had it in the same spot every time I drive her and would like to get that resolved quickly. If its too big I can see about getting our Class A saddle repaired (a piece snapped a few months ago and no one took it to a leather shop, its just sitting around now.) and using that.
If you would post some current photo's hitched I would be happy to give my opinion on her harness and fit. It sounds as though you have changed things so I don't see the purpose in my opinion the old harness.
     
    05-23-2012, 02:34 PM
  #7
Teen Forum Moderator
I'll do that as soon as I can ^^ Its pouring rain today so I can't, but hopefully within a few days. One question though, should I not drive her until I can get shorter traces or will she be ok for a walk around the yard or something? I'm short on cash right now so I'm not completely sure as to when I can get some. And should they not be wrapped around at all, just once or...? I guess what I want to know is what the optimal length would be.
     
    05-23-2012, 03:22 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Plodding around the yard should be ok. They shouldn't be wrapped at all. With the cart shafts at the point of shoulder. Measure back from the breast collar buckle to the hook on the single tree. Let's say that is 59" The hole for the breast clooar should also allow for some adjustment so the traces may be 6-10" longer. I would ask who ever is going to make them and tell them how you measured them. Also they can have a couple of slots on the cart end for adjustment.

You can also take the ones you have and pull them back and see where a new slot would need to be added.
     
    05-23-2012, 03:26 PM
  #9
Green Broke
I just looked at photo again. The pony could be moved forward about 4" or so to where the shoulder is lined up with the tip of shaft. That would take up some slack so maybe you wouldn't need to wrap them. With them wrapped the pressure won't be equal and release as it should and I would think that would effect the breast collar position also. Good luck
     
    05-23-2012, 03:32 PM
  #10
Teen Forum Moderator
Alright, I'll try that. Thank you so much!
     

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