Pissy Horse and Crops
 
 

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Pissy Horse and Crops

This is a discussion on Pissy Horse and Crops within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Holding a dressage whip
  • Big pissy Horse

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    08-20-2012, 02:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Pissy Horse and Crops

I have a horse that I have been riding for about 8 months now, when I first started riding him I really doubted if it was going to work out because he is very stubborn and disrespectful and we seemed to butt heads....but, we have been doing a lot of ground work to build respect and I was finally seeing a big change in his behavior towards me when I ride him.

I do carry a crop with me and I show it to him to get him nice and responsive, the number of times I have actually touched him with it can be counted on one hand......MY question is this: will there ever be a point where I can ride without a crop and he will listen just because I ask him to?

This was prompted by a horrible ride on Saturday, I had gone out to the large upper arena, mounted, and only then realized that I had left my crop in the trunk. I figured it would probably be fine since we have been working together for awhile now and I felt that he had some respect for me as a leader.....ugh, it was horrible. It felt like I was moving mountains to get him into a trot and even then it would only last for a second before he dropped back out into a walk. I was sweating like a pig and TIRED! Anyways, I decided it wasn't productive riding at that point and that I HAD to go get the crop to end the day on a good note.

After getting back to him I started to realize that he must have been having a fantasy that paralleled the scene in the movie titanic where the guy stands at the front of the ship screaming "I am king of the world!" He wouldn't let me mount up = a fun 10 minutes backing up. Then when in the saddle I asked him for a trot, not only did he not trot...he actually stopped walking. I had to give him a pretty good slap on the rump to get him up and going and into the trot. It seemed like everything we have been working on for the last several months was tossed out of his head!

On a normal day I typically hold the crop for the first 10 minutes or so, after that I put it on one of the fence posts and usually don't need it for the rest of the day.

I am not sure why this is bothering me so much, I guess I felt that he was responding to me and not the crop? Reality stinks! Lol

Btw, I am not asking if crops are okay to use, just wondering if anyone has had any success in getting a really stubborn horse to listen without a crop...how do you phase it out? I don't mind using the crop and find it handy but it would be nice if I didn't HAVE to use it.
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    08-20-2012, 02:53 PM
  #2
Foal
Do you wear spurs at all? Also, how fit is this horse? My first horse was incredibly lazy until I worked him and built up some stamina. I also always had to wear spurs of carry a crop if I wanted anything faster than a jog.
     
    08-20-2012, 02:56 PM
  #3
Foal
Well the crop is what...an artifical aid that reinforces your leg aid. Using a crop is not a bad thing. Your crop should you be on top of reinforcing at the correct time in the correct degree of pressure will make your horse sensitive to your aids. When he is sensitive he will respond correctly making it more enjoyable. Ontop of him learning he must follow directions. You the rider are not asking something he can't do, and he must not make his own plans. You don't want a 1,100 pound animal making there own plans sometimes it can be dangrous.
I hope this helps.
     
    08-20-2012, 03:03 PM
  #4
Foal
No spurs

I don't wear spurs, I have nothing against them but I think they might not be the right tool for me to use.

Typically he works really well with me just holding the crop and most of the time I don't even have to wiggle it at him....he just knows I have it and he listens.

He is a pretty fit guy, I pulled him off an extended pasture vacation when I first started riding him. He had a huge hay belly and lots of flab but now he is pretty fit, has abs lol. These are from saturday after the ride when I was rinsing him off.

     
    08-20-2012, 03:04 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDCervantes    
Well the crop is what...an artifical aid that reinforces your leg aid. Using a crop is not a bad thing. Your crop should you be on top of reinforcing at the correct time in the correct degree of pressure will make your horse sensitive to your aids. When he is sensitive he will respond correctly making it more enjoyable. Ontop of him learning he must follow directions. You the rider are not asking something he can't do, and he must not make his own plans. You don't want a 1,100 pound animal making there own plans sometimes it can be dangrous.
I hope this helps.
Lol, yes...I agree I don't want him making his own plans....horses with ideas can be dangerous.
And yes, this does make me feel better...just feeling kind of down after such a horrible ride.
     
    08-20-2012, 03:10 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Yes, you need to take a no BS route. He know what your asking him to do, but he chooses to ignore you. You ask him nicely to trot, if he doesn't he gets whacked hard behind your leg twice. Trot, back to the walk, ask again. Do it over, and over and over. Short trot (maybe one side of the area), walk, ask again. You need to change his mind that listening is the easier of options.

Also, NEVER let him get his own way. If he is being a pig gather up your reins and smack him with the end on his shoulder. I do it fast and alternate shoulders, it enough to get there attention and let them know you mean business FAST It's better then nothing! That's why I love split reins, build in crop ;).
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    08-20-2012, 03:38 PM
  #7
Weanling
Hello,

I really admire that you admit spurs might not be the best solution for you - I also choose not to use spurs because my legs are not strong enough to control what I do with them lol - I just wish more people would think about it too :)

However, if you really wish to avoid spurs (which it sounds to me you ARE probably knowledgable enough to at least TRY them) have you tried lunging him? Lunge him with side reins too if you can if you don't already. I think a lot of people under estimate lunging as a tool to reinforce who is in charge. It can be as simple of a que as trot-walk-trot-walk over and over again and when he starts to listen it should carry over into when you are in the saddle.

Also, you might want to try holding a dressage whip rather than a crop because they are longer and will not throw you out of position.
     
    08-21-2012, 03:24 PM
  #8
Weanling
Spurs are generally for lateral work (like leg yields) not for forward. That said you have done a great job so far - now it's time to take it to the next step. When you mount ask him nicely to go forward (do NOT show him the whip), if he ignores smack him with whip. If he runs forward do NOT pull back, rather tell him "good boy" and SLOWLY bring him back to the walk.

The idea here is to ask once nicely (but firm enough he knows you asked) then demand (via whip) that he listen. IF you are consistent with asking nicely and whip if he doesn't listen he'll soon start to listen to your asking nicely.

Problem solved.
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