Horse doesn't want to walk forward
 
 

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Horse doesn't want to walk forward

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  • Horse doesnt understand how to walk forward
  • How to make a horse walk when it don't want to

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    07-17-2013, 04:29 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Horse doesn't want to walk forward

Okay, So this is going to be a lengthy question, but I seriously don't know what to do. I have a 7 year old mare, called Mary.
She is lively and trustworthy. She has been out of practice for a few months, so this past month, I have been lunging her. Walking, trotting and just recently, short periods of canter. She reacts to voice commands.
Earlier this year, I purchased a new, fitted saddle. I begun to lunge her with the saddle on and she is perfectly fine. She doesn't react badly to it at all. She continues normally. (Last week, I ordered a lunge roller, side reins and a cavesson which haven't yet arrived) I have mounted on her back a couple of times, just for a walk, to get her used to it all again and slowly re-introduce everything. The first time, everything went great. She walked around for a good half hour. She has the tendency to stop and walk backwards. I make her halt and then, ask her to walk forward whilst squeezing with my feet. The last couple of times I have tried to get on her though, something rather different occurred. She didn't walk forwards or backwards. She stands still, looks back at the girth (it wasn't too tight or too loose, I verified). Whilst doing so, she leans back on her back feet and relaxes her front legs until she is about 40 cms off the ground. Then she stands up and repeats it over again. At first I was convinced that it was the saddle, but when I remove her saddle and mount on her again, she does exactly the same thing. Yet the moment I dismount, she stands up and goes back to her normal lively self. I can't tell if she is playing, or if she has back problems. When she walks around normally she doesn't do any of this nonsense and doesn't look back like when I am sat on her back.. (Additionally, she has a bitless bridle so it can't be the bit that is doing this..)Please please help..!
     
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    07-17-2013, 05:31 PM
  #2
Showing
First off, howdy and welcome to the forum.

Let me make sure I read that right. Whenever she picks her front legs up, they are going 40 centimeters off the ground? That's over a foot. That's big.

I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with this mare's health. What it sounds like to me is that she's learned a rearing type behavior that will get her out of work. Each time she does that, you get off and stop whatever you're doing. That has taught her to do her little rear thing whenever she's decided that she's done for the day.

Unfortunately, this is not a very easy thing to fix, especially if you don't know how to fix it. And, I won't make any suggestions on how to fix it because if you don't know how to react just correctly, any fix is going to be dangerous.


I strongly suggest you enlist the help of a good trainer to get her moving forward comfortably and confidently. Also, that trainer can help you to learn how to effectively ride her so she doesn't start the same behavior again.
     
    07-17-2013, 05:46 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
I seriously doubt there is anything wrong with this mare's health. What it sounds like to me is that she's learned a rearing type behavior that will get her out of work. Each time she does that, you get off and stop whatever you're doing. That has taught her to do her little rear thing whenever she's decided that she's done for the day.
Right on the head.

This horse has your number, and that's never a good thing. You're not being the leader in this situation, she is. She's telling you to buzz off and it's working; she's seeing you as an inferior.
smrobs and rideverystride like this.
     
    07-17-2013, 06:55 PM
  #4
Foal
Agh, I'm rubbish at explaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToRun    
Right on the head.

This horse has your number, and that's never a good thing. You're not being the leader in this situation, she is. She's telling you to buzz off and it's working; she's seeing you as an inferior.
Okay, so she's not rearing up. I mount and everything is fine. She used to buck but she doesn't anymore. I give her a nudge in the sides to egg her on to move forward. She leans back on her hind quarters. She rests one of her back feet and she almost takes the weight off of her front hooves. However, her hooves stay in contact with the ground, She leans back so far, that it feels like she is going to lay down. It is her ribs that are probably around 40cm off the ground. She is a 15.2hh horse. She turns her head round and looks at my feet, she sort of nibbles my boot and starts to close her eyes. This is when she leans back. I thought it could have been laminitis but her field is right next to my house, and she doesn't do any of this whilst in her paddock. I stay on her back and talk to her in a firm tone to get her to snap out of it, but it doesn't work. Her front legs almost give way, as though she is going to lay down on the ground. When I see her front knees bending, that is when I get off. I stay on her whilst she is doing it. I really don't know why she does it..
     
    07-17-2013, 06:58 PM
  #5
Foal
Please see the quoted response to the other members comment!
Thank you ! And sorry for not making myself clear!
(I'm new to all this forum stuff :) )
     
    07-17-2013, 07:02 PM
  #6
Foal
Agh, I'm rubbish at explaining.

Posted twice. Woops
     
    07-17-2013, 07:11 PM
  #7
Showing
Oh, okay, now I can picture what she's doing.

Something similar to this except both front legs are out in front, right?



Do you walk her around after you cinch her up and before you get on or do you just cinch and step on?

I suppose it's possible that she might have a problem with ulcers (a vet would have to scope her to say for certain), but I'm still leaning toward her learning to do that as an aversion tactic. Perhaps there might have been an actual cause for it at one point like an ill-fitting saddle or back pain, but a horse can and often does continue a behavior after the cause is corrected if they've learned that doing it will get them out of any more work.
     
    07-17-2013, 07:21 PM
  #8
Foal
Yes, pretty much like that.
She does a lot to get out of work. Because she is young, more for my safety, I lunge her for a good half hour. Mixed transition with voice commands and the riding is to cool her off. Before, I would just hop on her and she would bronco and do her rodeo act. I stayed on most times, but had a nasty fall, she reared as I fell and landed on my leg so I couldn't ride for a while. Her previous owner didn't want to give me the saddle when she sold me her. Mary was also trained on a chainlink bit which I suppose is for stallions or horses that are hard to handle. Mary has a sensitive mouth and I have only had her for a year so am still learning myself. She was completely headshy, scared of water, etc and I have managed to build up trust so she lets me touch all over her head and she comes swimming in our river.
I'm going on, I thought the saddle might be ill fitting. Her previous saddle was a 17,5" and so is this one (it has been fitted). I get on her, she does the leaning back thing, I get back on bareback and she does it again. So it isn't the saddle, I too am convinced that she is messing about but it seems to weird. She doesn't normally doze off like that. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow maybe of me on her whilst she's doing it. It's not normal. Is it worth calling out the vet? (Thank you so much by the way)
     
    07-17-2013, 07:23 PM
  #9
Showing
IMHO, if you're unsure about something, a vet is never a bad place to start as they can generally rule out health issues...which would just leave training issues to deal with.
     
    07-17-2013, 07:26 PM
  #10
Showing
Loosen the girth a hole. There are a set of nerves that cause a horse to do this. If you google Endospink on youtube you will see how he puts it to good use. It will help you to understand what is going on.
     

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back problem, help me!, help needed, not normal, please help me!

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