Sooo frustrated...Will NOT go forward! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sooo frustrated...Will NOT go forward!

Ok, I've had Danny for almost three months and have been back in the saddle for about four months. We moved to a new barn with one of the best trainers I've ever seen and put Danny on training board. My trainer rides him 2-3 times a week and I ride in lessons or for a hack about 3-4 times a week, with a day off for him.

I'm starting to think that the old saying is right about Paints being stubborn and lazy! He has one or two great days during the week. He'll occassionally move forward off my leg, start to bend a little, and have fairly decent transitions (his canter depart is DIFFICULT). The other days he's basically sleeping during the ride. Last night was day 4 in a row, prior to that he had 2 days off. Sun, Mon & Tues were easy hacks, no more than 30-45 mins. Last night, I rode in an hour group lesson. By the time we were done trotting, I was completely exhausted, out of breath and strength just from keeping him moving. He randomly decides to stop dead while trotting, and when he does trot he's behind my leg and moving as slow as he can possibly get away with. When we start to canter, some days he's ok and will pick it up after a few tries and continue around the ring several times, other nights he trots around the entire ring, refusing to pick up the canter, and tries to break every few strides. He's not buldging at the right shoulder as badly as he had been, but he still fights me to get to the center of the ring no matter what we're doing when going to the right.

It's COMPLETELY exhausting. There's no way were going to any shows this year until he can consistantly move off my leg and have some forward momentum. No matter how hard we try, he won't engage his hind end, and just seems to try to do as little work as possible. I'm getting extremely frustrated to the point where I don't even want to ride in lessons any more because he just doesn't want to work for that long. I don't know what to do!

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 10:06 AM
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It sounds to me like he is testing you. 3 months really isn't all that long and he probably still hasn't accepted you as "boss". I would just keep working with him and don't let him stop. The more you let him stop when you are telling him to move forward, the more he is going to do it and its going to turn into an even bigger battle.

I'm assuming you have ruled out any pain issues that might be causing him to be this way?
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 10:33 AM
mls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmyperch View Post
I'm starting to think that the old saying is right about Paints being stubborn and lazy!
I have no idea where you ever heard that. I own/ride Paints and QH. Stubborn and lazy - no. One mare I am training is pleasure bred and a putz but that is very different from being lazy.

To me he sounds incredibly bored. Do you do anything besides arena work?
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Saddle fit is good, he is a bit stiff in the back and we've started him on joint supplements. He's never been off or sore, but he doesn't have the greatest movement in the world. He's very straight up and down, with short choppy strides and doesn't really know how to lengthen or collect.

I keep after him anytime I feel him thinking about breaking, stopping, or slowing down. Each time I relax and give him the chance to carry himself, he breaks. I use the "ask, tell, demand" theory, but he just doesn't, or won't, get it on "ask or tell". By the end of the ride, my trainer usually has to get on because I'm totally out of steam and he'll take advantage the minute he feels me losing my stamina. 45 mins of nudging, squeezing, kicking, cropping, and constantly lightening the forehand takes a lot out of you!

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
To me he sounds incredibly bored. Do you do anything besides arena work?
There are no trails at the new place, and the weather has been really bad up here. We lunge at least once a week and try to do a variety of things in the ring, like patterns, transitions, lots of change of direction, but there's not a ton of variety in the hunter eq world.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 11:18 AM
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soft leg, medium leg, hard leg, cluck, crop ! If you get to the crop point & he's still not going, I would use it until he gallops. It seems like he is not taking you seriously. Also if you are having trouble getting him forward, get off of his back. It helps the horse if we arent in their way while trying to get them to really go.

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 01:30 PM
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First of all I would actually have a vet out to do flexion tests and an exam. Horses who are unbalanced and/or don't have naturally good movement are tough to see or feel lamenesses on. Once that has been cleared up you know that it is a training issue and that you aren't forcing the horse through pain.

Your trainer is already riding the horse 2-3 times a week. She has been for how long??
My trainer rides my horse once and generally most of our problems are solved for at least a week. If I am also in lessons I can keep the training on my horse from one "trainer ride" for much longer.
The reason we have a coach/trainer is to solve our issues. If your coach/trainer is not solving your issues then I would look at finding someone else, personally.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 05:26 PM
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Please don't stereotype horses by their breed, or anything else for that matter. It's just a way of blaming the horse (even when you think you aren't).

Can your trainer get him going better in a single ride? If not, I'd agree with Anabel that your trainer isn't effective with him. If she can get him going better in a single ride, then you should humbly admit that the problem is that your own aids are ineffective. Now I don't know that for a fact because I can't see you ride, but I know (from personal experience) how easy it is to block your horse's forwardness with your aids without realizing it.

You don't say how old he is, but any horse that hasn't been in work regularly can take a while to become more athletic. Three months isn't a lot of time to overcome that. Your trainer should be giving you specific things to work on with him and discouraging you from things that she thinks are too much for him right now.

Don't worry about his breed, worry about things you can change, mainly your own position and riding finesse, and giving him plenty of reward for even small attempts at doing things right. And do some occasional fun things with him, play horse soccer or clicker train or something.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-11-2010, 07:46 PM
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Any chance he's just not getting enough energy foods in his diet? I'm no food expert, but maybe you could try adding something that packs a little energy punch and see if it helps. Just a thought.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-19-2010, 03:39 PM
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Are his teeth ok?
This is how it was explained to me...
If a horse has bad teeth, they're not going to want to do any real work for fear of having their mouth pulled on/pain, AND if his teeth aren't that great he might not be eating well thus not getting the energy he needs from his food.
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