I am hoping for some advice. I bought a horse in February from my friend who boards and has many horse all are quarter horses. I had not owned a horse in a long time I am a good rider. But have not ridden much in the last few years. So I started out slow with just halter and lunging him. The owner of flash said he did not ride much in the last 2 years. We both are doing fine in the saddle. But he still is jumpy at anything how can I get he to settle down . He is 15 and the other owner said he was a good trail horse. And my friend said to be firm with him and I think I am but I can not get him to relax out on his own. Please help. Kristin
1) What are you feeding him? Are you feeding him a lot of grain and if so what kind?
2) When you say he is jumpy, do you mean he spooks a lot or moves around, is hyper, what?
3) Is he this way on the ground?
4) Do you lunge before you ride?
5) Did you say he is an Arabian? If so (and I DO NOT mean this negatively) know that Arabs are very alert animals and are generally more high strung than some other breeds. Their stamina is incredible and their brains just go and go and go. They think a lot. LOL Simply put, his breed could be a contributing factor to this.
6) Are YOU nervous around him because you are anticipating his behavior? You may not think you are, but chances are, you very well might be sending him a signal that you are nervous, therefore, because of #5 he is going to get nervous, jumpy, whatever.
I'll wait for your reply and see if I can come up with some advice or techniques for you. :)
Thank you, I do feed grain but don't what kind I trust the person where I board him I trust to give him good food, she has been around her life.Yes he spooks and is very alert to what is around him. If in the arena he is fine it is out on a trail that he is not.Not sure what you mean" on the ground". No I don't lunge him before I ride.I have lunged him. Yes he is Arabian. I think I am relaxed but I know he is high strung.
Thank you for your help, Kristin
I also own a very alert Arabian mare. I've only owned her for a couple of months but she's been rapidly calming down. I think she just needed to understand that I wasn't going to hurt her and that I wasn't going to ask her to do anything that she couldn't do. I wouldn't advocate being "really" firm with him just because he is an Arab and they are so sensitive. I'd advocate being calm about everything and not scolding him for spooking, just let him see that whatever it is isn't going to hurt him and that you're going to protect him.
My mare is like that. Try rotating sweetfeed [or your usual feed] w/oats. Like for every other meal. Between that and lunging before I ride, it helps Breeze alot. Now if I could only get her to concentrate....
Some of it is going to be because of his breed. Most arabians are a bit on the nutsie side (like any breed, they are not all like that. I think they are nice to look at). Keep in mind that this poor animal has been sitting in a field for 2 years and hasn't done much of anything. Some things might even be new to him.
He will require a lot of patience and some time to adjust to his life, back as a riding horse. Things like that take time. Similar as raising babies. The more they see and do something, the more they get accustomed to it and settle.
I have an QH/Arab. She was 11 when I got her and she had not been riden much in a few years. Well, she was so alert at everthing including the wind. Not to mention very high strung. I thought I was a pretty good rider (not to say your not) but I had been taught on school horses who where riden daily and knew the ropes. So what I did was hired someone once a week to help me ride her. He taught me how to do some ground work with her like lunging but other stuff too and then he would ride her around for about 15 minutes or so (which when he rode her she acted great and was fine) and then I would get on her and ride. She knew the differenence in riders and would actually do stuff like drop her shoulder in a turn so I would lose balance. Plus, stuff like freeze and hop cause a leaf blew. Anyways, the point is after about 2-3 months with my trainers help she started acting just fine with me. I learned how to ride her and fix the problems when she would try to do something. Maybe you just need more time with him. Oh and ground work does help alot building a relationship with your horse. Hope this helped.
I've owned Arabians most of my life and all of mine were as calm and quiet as could be, never spooky ever.....a lot of it is how they are handled when young and started out....they get a very undeserved bad rap about being hyper when a lot of it is how they are trained or handled, altho not always, some Arab bloodlines do tend to be more high strung (such as the halter-bred horses). I also agree with taking the calm and patient approach, being firm and tough will not work on an Arab, they are too smart and too sensitive and are very quick learners....I would start out by doing a lot of riding in an arena....just some good steady quiet riding there.....and not even do trails a whole lot till everything was 100% in the arena....and just venture out for a quiet trail ride with someone who has a very quiet and reliable trailhorse along with you. Longeing never worked at all for my Arabs....it may for yours tho....I dunno. And I would not feed a whole lot of grain, unless the horse really needs it.....and I would stay away from the high sugar and high starch grains (makes them more hyper, Nutrena makes some good feeds low in starch and sugar, as do others I'm sure). Ground work is another excellant thing to do too. And keep in mind this horse has had 2 years off so it will take some time to get him back into a good quiet riding horse, he has had a long vacation....lol.
I just want to add that so far every Arabian I have worked with wants a "job" they don't do well just standing around and start to get into things. So it just may be after just hanging around for 2 years it's going to take a little time for him to settle back in. They have a fantasic work ethic