Problems with Buster - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Problems with Buster

I ride a QH gelding, he's a lesson horse and when I ride him, and repeatedly trot up to long side of the arena he starts to anticipate in and it's really annoying. Also, when I have too tight of a rein on him, he yanks me and I feel like I'm going to go over his neck. What can I do so I don't go over his neck?!?!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 01:00 PM
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There was an Arab horse in our menage and I rode him for a year.I still ride him =P Well he was yanking on me too and last week while we were cantering he pulled with his head so hard on the reigns and in a second I was on his neck still cantering =P I didn't fall but it was scary. You shouldn't let him do whatever he wants and show him that you're the boss. Mayeb you can geta little crop and tap him on the shoulder when he does that :) Hope it helps xoxo
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 01:02 PM
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When he's collected and riding at the correct pace then you need to release his reins some. I don't mean loosen them as in making them longer, I mean bringing your hands forward so that the reins are softer that way if you need them in a pinch all you have to do is pull your hands back and don't have to scramble to collect up the reins. I'm not sure what you mean by anticipating in but if you mean he's anticipating the canter then you need to change up your routine. Do something different, don't just hit the rail that's bad. Do circles, serpentines, directional changes and many different changes of pace.

As for him yanking you forward. It could be that your reins are too tight and it could also be that he's got a little attitude. My older gelding at home yanks the reins to be a jerk. But before you counter act that behavior it needs to be determined just why he's doing it.

Good luck!

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 01:20 PM
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Anticipation and pulling on the reins is a common problem a lot of lesson horses have because they are used to being able to get away with things and do what they want because they are only being ridden by inexperienced riders. Even seasoned lesson ponies should be ridden periodically by an experienced trainer to keep them respectful and responsive to the rider. At the barn I used to work at that was one of my biggest jobs, I rode the lesson ponies on a regular basis and made them work hard to gain their respect so that they would respond better to the children that rode them. There was a huge difference in the horse's behavior when I had ridden them the day before as opposed to when I had not ridden it in a couple weeks. Does your instructor ride the horses you ride on a regular basis?

This is the second post of yours that you have talked about trouble you are having with the lesson horses you ride. Both cases sound like problems with the horse's training, not your own riding. How long have you been taking lessons with these horses? Is this the first riding barn that you have ridden at? If you are having problems with the horses you really need to talk to your instructor because she will be able to help you the most directly. These training issues are not something a beginner rider should try to deal with on their own. (I am assuming you are a relative beginner).

If after talking to your instructor she is not able to help you I highly suggest you try to find a different riding barn to take lessons at. You need to learn to ride on a horse that is respective and responsive to your aids. Riding horses like what you described will only result in you loosing your confidence and possibly getting hurt. Not everyone out there that calls themselves a riding instructor or trainer is actually qualified to teach or train. ANYONE can call themselves a trainer, even if they have only ridden a horse a few times. Just because they own horses does not mean they know what they are doing.

Now, I don't know your trainer, I've never seen the horses you have ridden. I do not know the whole situation. I'm not telling you right now to leave that barn. I can't know for sure unless I have seen the place myself. But it something you should think about. Get the advice of some more advanced riders you know. Look around at different riding barns in your area. If you do decided to switch barns look for a place where the instructor actually rides her horses (I once took lessons from a lady that had not ridden a horse in years. The first time she got back on one she fell off and broke her collarbone. I left that place pretty quickly). Ask if you can watch someone else take a lesson before you commit to taking one yourself. If they say no, be suspicious of them and look somewhere else. Look for horses that are quiet and responsive when being ridden. There should be very little head shaking or pulling on the reins and the horse should go where the rider tells it to at the speed the rider tells it to. The instructor should seem in control of the situation at all times and not seem flustered. She should be able to give easy to understand instructions, should not yell all the time, and the riders should look like they are having fun. That is the kind of riding classes you want to ride in.

I know it might be hard for you to leave the barn you are at. You must be attached to Buster. I know I got very attached to the first horse I rode, her name was Shelby. I cried when I left her, but it was for the best. I'm telling you know, there are plenty of wonderful horses out there for you to fall in love with. What is important is that you establish a good foundation on a safe horse that will build up or confidence, not tear it down. The first few months of your riding experience are the most important months of your life. That is when you will establish ridding habits that will stay with you for the rest of your life, both good habits and bad. And let me tell you, it is hard to break the bad ones once they are ingrained.

Sorry for the long post, I hope I was of some help.


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post #5 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Jubilee, I have ridden at another stable, I was there for a couple years and was only walk/trot. But I stopped going there because it was close to my vacation home, meaning I couldn't go there during the winter. So I went to the stable I'm at now with my friend to check it out. We liked it so my mom signed me up for lessons there. I'm probably going back to my old stable this summer to work there. As for the other horse I have problems with, thats just my lack of confidence. My instructor lunges the horses and rides the two geldings (Boomer and Buster), but not the mare (she's a very old pony) before the lessons. Thanks for that looooooong post. :) I'm not being sarcastic F.Y.I
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-09-2010, 09:40 PM
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Ok, I was not sure how much riding experience you had. I had the impression from you other post that you had not been riding very long. Just talk to your instructor and asked her advice on the situation, she can help you better than anyone.

Good Luck!


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post #7 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 12:22 AM
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My horse used to yank on me a lot when I first started riding her. It would usually be when we were about to cool down, then she'd just yank to pull the reins out of my hands so she could put her head down. Right now she rarely does it, but I do have to keep reminding her about it or she'll go right back to the bad habit.
What I did to correct the bahavior was a combination of vocal reprimend, tapping with my legs and/or whip, making her work every time she did it, and yanking back. Looking back, I don't think the latter was a very good solution. o_0 Some horses are sensitive to vocal commands, so a sharp "hey!" or "quit it" sould be sufficient. If not, when ever he does that you could do something that's hard for him to do. Most horses will figure out that if they don't do the bad behavior then they don't have to work hard and most horses like taking the easy way out. ;) Jubilee's right though, first you should consult your instructor, especially since she rides Buster. Ask her how she deals with it.

As for Buster anticiapting... What exactly is he anticipating? I couldn't quite grasp the meaning of your orginal post. =P If he's anticipating the next movement you're about to ask him for, make sure that you're not tensing or tightening your own body. And mix things up. if he things you're going to canter, walk instead. Change it up so you're not riding a repeating pattern.

Hope some of this helps!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-10-2010, 01:24 AM
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Also, when I have too tight of a rein on him, he yanks me and I feel like I'm going to go over his neck. What can I do so I don't go over his neck?!?!
I had the same problem with the horse at my last lesson. My first instinct was to pull back on the reins but I heard that pushing slightly onward is more efficient. As a beginner, I am hesitant to discipline a horse for fear of pissing it off so I plan on giving it a try The horse I work with isn't too forward or spontaneous so I don't think she would respond by taking off or anything.
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