Horse won't go forward? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Horse won't go forward?

So I was riding last night and Aria was SUPER moody...she was being a little witch about everything, even more so than usual.

She's always been a very sensitive and stubborn horse...if she doesn't like what you're doing, she WILL protest, whether that means leaping straight up in the air, going completely sideways, or (and this is a new one) stopping dead in her tracks.

Last night, for whatever reason, Aria started doing this thing where she'd stop and just refuse to go forward. Usually at the faster gaits I'd feel it coming and push her through it (though she did get me once at the canter) but when we were walking, she'd just freeze. I'd leg her on and on and she'd completely ignore me, tucking her head in and puffing her belly out.

I don't carry a crop with her because she is SO sensitive 99% of the time and would flip out, but a few times I actually reached back and had to smack her with my hand behind my leg/on her rump to get her to move forward. She was making me SO MAD. If I could move her shoulders over or her hindquarters over and get part of her moving we'd generally get the forward motion back but she was so set on ignoring me that it was hard to do.

Unfortunately for her, I'm probably one of the few people who are more stubborn than this horse so I won every time and we moved forward, but it was frustrating.

She's always been thrown little fits when things didn't go her way and I know that's what she's doing here. We've been spending a lot of time getting her to listen and respond to all of my aids and she's not happy that she can't just drag me around and travel all crooked.

I'm just wondering...has anyone else dealt with this? Tips on how to get her moving again once she stopped?

My trainer just had me keeping my leg on/backing it up with a smack but then it was like a game of outwaiting her and I'd rather not spend that much time fighting with her.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 09:35 AM
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i had a problem like this, i posted it a couple of months ago on a different account, literally the horse wouldnt move forward if she didnt want to i found that backing up bout 10 steps or circling tight or going side ways or anyway you can get the horse moving is helpful because they learn that stopping means harder work, my horse still has her moments but its getting there

be determined, i read a while ago in a book that if you imagine your being chased and if you dont run you will die then it makes you put all your effort in, it can also work the other way round if the horse wont stop imagine there is a cliff edge at one of the letters and you have to stop

hope it goes well :)
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 09:35 AM
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I would work first on desensitising her to the crop. Then I would carry it, and I would use it.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 10:30 AM
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Since the stopping part is new, check for pain. My horse started doing something similar to this and I finally figured out that she had problems with her feet. It wasn't serious, but just enough to make her a bit miserable. She was not lame, but in her own way was telling me she'd had enough.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 10:32 AM
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Have you checked her saddle or tried a different one on her? Or had her joints checked?

All these signs could be from pain, causing the resistance. Get on her bareback & see if this behavior stops or is less.

I had a gelding that was constantly "testing me" or so i thought until i put on a different saddle and he was fine. Sometimes what we think fits, really doesn't.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 02:30 PM
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Is she perhaps getting sour?

It sounds as if she's learning to hate being ridden, which is so wrong---horses should learn to enjoy it. Mares especially, I think, sometimes need to be met through the "back door"--that is, not using punishment, so much as somehow finding something satisfying for them to do, then rewarding it.

Even if you can back-'er-and smack-er through it, her cooperation would be less than ideal.

Assuming she's not hurting in any way, I suggest doing something different--anything--that she is willing to do, and edging back into her normal routines.

One more note: it's not to say you shouldn't carry a crop--you should, and be able to use it too. But I feel that when you do, you must accept what she does, no matter what--there has to be a short moment of freedom for her, before you take up where you left off.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-21-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm like, 99% sure it's not from pain. The vet was just out this past week and the farrier was out a few weeks ago to do hers (if I remember correctly). I do have a video of her being ridden if anyone wants to see it, but it's not me riding so I won't post it on the open forum.

If there's a jump in front of her, she's super happy and willing to's just the moving a normal speed on the flat that she has always and probably always will throw a fit about. 0.o

She did a similar thing when her owner first brought her to the barn. It was the first time she'd been taught to listen on the way to the jumps and wasn't allowed to gallop and leap at insane distances, and she had a period of a few weeks where she threw a fit every time she felt a half halt stopping her from going forward...she'd leap straight up and then go sideways instead of forward, often missing the jump entirely. They worked her through that (mostly, she still does it when she gets super wound up) and now she's actually really adjustable to fences. I'm positive this is her doing that same thing over...she's stubborn and wants to do it her way and I won't let her.

I actually just started riding in my saddle again after using a different one for almost a year. I don't want to make assumptions about the saddle based on one ride though. I'm hoping to ride her on Monday so we'll see then. The two saddles are very similarly shaped though, so I can't see it making that much of a difference.

I can try working her with a crop the next time I ride her...I guess if my flat hand didn't make her panic when she's in that mood, the crop won't either.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-22-2012, 01:51 PM
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forgot to add make sure shes not in pain :)

that last post you made makes her sound exactly like my mare, good jumping not so good on the flat, my mare went lame (not related) so was out of work shes slowly coming back into work now shes alot more forward and happy i think she sounds sour :) maybe try doing somthing fun an new to get her enjoying being ridden and looking forward to it :)
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