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end of my patience with this nag.

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        08-16-2011, 07:31 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iridehorses    
    I just came across this thread. I don't know about your history or your ability. Based only on the paragraph above, I would be more inclined to ask "What am I doing wrong?" not asking what is wrong with this lesson horse. I'm afraid that, as an instructor, I would not put a whip in your hands.

    If the horse was acting that way with everyone, then I would be looking for a different place to ride but, as you say, he is only like that with you.

    Lesson horses can get very cranky after a summer of new riders banging away on them but if you are the only one who is having a problem, then I would more inclined to think that the problem is you. Now you need to figure out why.
    I'm not asking for a whip and don't have any intention of doing so. When my instructor thinks it's time to teach me to ride with a crop, she'll do it.

    The whip only comes into it when I ask myself "Why does this horse listen to the others, but not to me, even though I am sending him VERY consistent signals, and signals that are heard, understood, and acted on by other horses?" And the answer is, "All the people he listens to ride with a crop."

    This is an extremely smart horse, and he knows that I don't have anything "bigger" in my arsenal than a boot to the side, and he's taking advantage of it. My teacher, herself, has said this very thing.

    In addition to being the only person who rides him regularly that never rides with a crop, I am also the only person who rides him with any regularity that insists that he behave when he's tied up. I do not let him lean, I do not let him paw, I do not let him throw his weight around, I do not let him bit me on the butt when I'm bending over to do his hooves. Everyone else puts up with this behavior and says "Oh, that guy." I learned, early on, that if you let this horse get away with ANYTHING then he tries to get away with EVERYTHING. The teacher also observed this.

    He is not generally used in the lesson program, probably because of exactly this kind of thing. He *has* been getting used a lot with the Horse Camps, and his behavior started going downhill like a shot when the camps started up.

    He behaves for all of 15 minutes, in fact, I didn't think I was going to have a problem with him for a while today, but he wears out his "good" pretty quickly. I am pretty sure that - among other things - he's getting bored and acting out.

    So, one more time, please, before anyone else gets too slap-happy about blaming me for this bad behavior - the FARRIER hates dealing with this horse, NO ONE including the barn owner or the horse's owner or any of the stable hands, catches this horse in the paddock without a major hassle, and *I* am the ONLY person this horse will even halfway behave for from the ground because EVERYONE ELSE - this includes the people who are riding him with crops - lets him get away with whatever he wants to do on the ground, INCLUDING pawing a giant hole in the ground by the hitching post. The teacher has observed, in these words, that the horse is screwing with me and has decided that he just doesn't have to listen to anything I tell him from the saddle.

    So, yes, I am a better rider from having been riding this guy. I have been exposed to an impressive panoply of undesirable behavior, and have developed an extensive toolkit for dealing with it, because every time I get something that works once or twice, he starts up with something new, or stops paying attention to the new tool. At this point, I am spending 100% of my time on this horse working on new ways to deal with his crap, and 0% of it developing technical riding skills, like circling, pole trotting, serpentines, cantering, etc. I cannot get into any of that stuff because, as I mentioned above, this horse blows through the aids. He is also making me a WORSE rider, in that he's teaching me to be heavy handed, heavy on the leg, and not to use my seat (because while he pays enough attention to the other aids to change his posture, if not to do what I'm requesting, he pays no attention whatsoever to my seat).
         
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        08-16-2011, 07:43 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    I am not sure what you are looking for in this thread. Given your responses perhaps the only option is to take lessons on another horse.

    Losing your patience with a horse will never lead to success in any dimension of horsemanship. You must either change your approach, which you don't seem too willing to do, or try another horse before you really sour the relationship further by continuing to nag him ineffectively.

    Yes, I sympathise to an extent and it does seem like he is a particularly obstinate character. I wonder if your instructor is having you ride him as something of a test? It may just be that he is beyond your experience level at this point. I wouldn't suggest such a thing so blatantly except for the fact that you have stated that others do not experience the same problems.
         
        08-16-2011, 07:52 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    Well, I might start looking for another school to train at. You should be enjoying your lessons and not looking at them as a one hour trip through hell. That horse probably dreads his rides with you just as much. Not that you are bad, but because you now have a culture of conflict with him and he picks it up right away and you answer. It's always a tango of two, though that is not saying that you must change your way. If you dont' want to change, you will have to change horses. NO inbetween. He will not change unless you do. No inbetween. You decide.

    Either you pick up a crop and start MAKING him listen or you look for a horse that is not so deaf.

    YOu can maybe have the so called "come to Jesus " meeting with him.

    That means when you get on and he walks off, you pick up one rein and turn him in such a tight circle that he is rapidly disengaged, then as for a slow walk off.
    If you ask for a trot and he trots so slow , you crack him one with the crop. Just be ready for a small explosion. If he reacts by big bucks then he is just too much for you. There ARE horse that just plain and simply are too much for you, and me and most anyone.
    Only you can really decide that.

    But if you decide to find another school, there is no shame in that. Just be aware that there might be some other problem shcool horse there, too.

    I wish you luck and I symjpathize. I doubt I would enjoy riding such a horse.
    Thank you for this. I haven't been riding this guy lately, and it's been such a freaking relief. It's so much nicer to ride a horse that halters up politely, stands quietly to be groomed, and responds to requests by saying "OK" instead of launching an argument. I got switched off to the polite horse when the hell horse threw a shoe - that's how I know that the farrier hates working on him, because I stuck around to watch - and the teacher said I was going to be just switched to the polite horse. I don't know why I got the pleasure of riding the hell horse this afternoon - this isn't my usual lesson time, and polite horse was being worked before I got there, so maybe he'd just been worked enough today.

    I'm a novice rider, and I'm up to handling a fair amount of nonsense, but this guy is just too much of a pain in the butt under saddle for me. I feel like, yeah, it's good to be able to ride a wide range of horses, but honestly...if this was my horse, 1) it wouldn't be my horse, because I want a horse I can enjoy instead of one that tests me every second of the day, and 2) I would have packed this guy off to a trainer, someone with the experience to remind him thoroughly of how to listen to the aids and behave on the ground.

    His owner is 13 years old, and this may explain some of the problem.
    tinyliny likes this.
         
        08-16-2011, 07:56 PM
      #14
    Trained
    There really is no magic to riding with a crop, I'm unsure why you think you should need much instruction.

    Just a thought, some horses just behave differently when you carry a crop, so maybe it's time to ask about adding that to your bag of tricks
         
        08-16-2011, 08:06 PM
      #15
    Started
    Riding with a whip is not complicated and now sounds like a good time to learn. I would at least ask your instructor why you're the only student who is forced to ride this horse without a crop.
         
        08-16-2011, 08:25 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sarahver    
    I am not sure what you are looking for in this thread. Given your responses perhaps the only option is to take lessons on another horse.

    Losing your patience with a horse will never lead to success in any dimension of horsemanship. You must either change your approach, which you don't seem too willing to do, or try another horse before you really sour the relationship further by continuing to nag him ineffectively.

    Yes, I sympathise to an extent and it does seem like he is a particularly obstinate character. I wonder if your instructor is having you ride him as something of a test? It may just be that he is beyond your experience level at this point. I wouldn't suggest such a thing so blatantly except for the fact that you have stated that others do not experience the same problems.
    I am frustrated, and expressing that frustration. It seemed better to do that here than to tell this horse that if he cut up one more time, I would personally load his butt on the truck to Mexico.

    Sympathy or useful suggestions would be nice, but there appears to be a lot of jumping to the conclusion that this horse is behaving well for everyone but me. This is not what I have said. What I have said is that this horse behaves very badly on the ground for everyone, that I am the only one who won't put up with that, and that all of the people who ride him without a huge amount of pushback and arguments from him are people who ride with crops. I am not sure how any of this leads to the assumption that the main problem is with me,since his behavior with anyone who is 1) not on his back and 2) wielding a crop while they are up there is disrespectful (and I said all of that before here).

    I would also like to explore in what ways I can change my approach, because listening to my teacher and doing what she tells me to doesn't seem to be working. I am doing exactly what she suggests, and he either doesn't pay attention, or he pays attention once and then stops listening thereafter. The other thing that hasn't worked is requiring him to deliver respect, or at least the appearance of respect, from the ground.

    The teacher is the one who told me to kick him, because he wasn't listening to my leg. She is also the one who observed that he was trying to avoid listening to the aids by acting up in other ways. I am wondering if there is some other trick, other than increasing the intensity of my requests via the aids, because I am already doing that as instructed, to get and keep this little blighter's attention, or if there are some horses that just need to know that the crop is there and will get used.

    Additionally, I am concerned that riding this horse is teaching me bad habits. I do not think that I should have to haul on a horse's mouth like I'm towing a truck with my bare hands. I would prefer not to kick a horse at all, let alone to have to do it pre-emptively every time I get to the X or M.

    My preference is to ride another horse, because I have none of these problems with the four other horses I have ridden at this stable.

    I am not sure how to handle this with the stable. If I were making any headway at all with this horse, it would be one thing. I have gotten to the point where it's easier for me to catch him than it is for most of the other people who ride him. And he makes no more than a token effort with the bad behavior in the ties when I get him there. He does understand that even though the others let him get away with any old thing in the ties, he cannot do that with me. If I was seeing that kind of progress in the nonsense under saddle, I wouldn't be so frustrated, but I'm not. Every time I ride him it's the same dratted thing - he cuts up, I correct him, he gets bored, or tired of listening, and then it goes directly downhill. It has gotten to the point where I feel like any lesson on him is wasted, because I spend the entire time dealing with his nonstop challenges and arguments. I do not want to ride him, because he is a pain in the butt. For everyone, not just for me. He can get away with it with me under saddle easier than he can with the others, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't try.
         
        08-16-2011, 08:30 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
    There really is no magic to riding with a crop, I'm unsure why you think you should need much instruction.

    Just a thought, some horses just behave differently when you carry a crop, so maybe it's time to ask about adding that to your bag of tricks
    Thank you for that - I don't know how to hold it, or where to hold it, or how, where, and when to use it - that judgment bit is where instruction would come into it.

    I am coming to the conclusion that I either ought to stop beating my head against the wall and refuse to ride this guy, or to ask about the crop. I haven't needed anything like that with the other horses I've ridden here - I might have to remind them to pay attention once in a while, but pretty much, they all keep their attention pretty clearly focused on me, and when I ask them to do X, Y, or Z, they say OK. Some even say OK! But they're all, like, "you're the boss, just tell me what to do..."
         
        08-16-2011, 08:33 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serafina    
    I am already doing that as instructed, to get and keep this little blighter's attention, or if there are some horses that just need to know that the crop is there and will get used.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
    There really is no magic to riding with a crop, I'm unsure why you think you should need much instruction.

    Just a thought, some horses just behave differently when you carry a crop, so maybe it's time to ask about adding that to your bag of tricks

    Already answered that one, but obviously you are wanting to vent rather than look at the advice, so

    There there, I'm sure that is a horrible experience for you, I hate riding horses with bad manners as well.


    Now that is actually said in all seriousness, but very little actual sympathy, because I own my own horses, and I have had to work darn hard to find that special key that makes everyone work, and they are all different. I can choose, mainly who to ride on what day, which is different, if I don't feel like dealing with whatever challenge each one presents I can choose another, but it never goes away. I look at it as an eternal puzzle which is fascinating.

    Nearly as fascinating as why you have identified that the one single difference that you can identify between you and other riders on this horse is that they carry a whip, but you haven't gone on to see if this theory works for you.
    Dressage10135 and nicole25 like this.
         
        08-16-2011, 08:37 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
    Already answered that one, but obviously you are wanting to vent rather than look at the advice, so

    There there, I'm sure that is a horrible experience for you, I hate riding horses with bad manners as well.


    Now that is actually said in all seriousness, but very little actual sympathy, because I own my own horses, and I have had to work darn hard to find that special key that makes everyone work, and they are all different. I can choose, mainly who to ride on what day, which is different, if I don't feel like dealing with whatever challenge each one presents I can choose another, but it never goes away. I look at it as an eternal puzzle which is fascinating.

    Nearly as fascinating as why you have identified that the one single difference that you can identify between you and other riders on this horse is that they carry a whip, but you haven't gone on to see if this theory works for you.
    No, I'm interested in the advice too - I think my response to you thanking you for the crop suggestion crossed paths with this post.

    I haven't gone there because it wasn't until I was writing the top level post that I realized that the only other people who ride him successfully carry crops. I was racking my brains trying to figure out why I can get him to behave - more or less - on the ground and they cannot (or do not) yet he will behave - more or less - for them under the saddle. That's when I realized that I had seen all of them, at one time or another, ride with a crop.

    So I haven't had an opportunity to run this one up the flagpole at the barn, because I only just thought of it.

    I am also, as a side note, trying out different horses to see what I like and what I don't, before I buy one for myself. Coming to the conclusion that I like some independence of spirit, but I want a little more cooperation in the mix...I'm sure that this guy is absolutely some people's cup of tea, in the same way that some people feel called to teach in junior high. I like a little challenge, but not this incessant uphill battle.
         
        08-16-2011, 09:07 PM
      #20
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serafina    
    Thank you for that - I don't know how to hold it, or where to hold it, or how, where, and when to use it - that judgment bit is where instruction would come into it.
    It sounds like you're riding dressage (judging from the X & M reference), so you'd probably be using a dressage whip, which is longer than a crop. You should hold it in your palm and grasp the reins normally. You can do it in such a way that you're not actually gripping the whip itself, but it's laying in your hand securely and comfortably. With a whip, it's long enough that it can lay gently across your thigh when not in use. To use it, you can just rotate your hand so that the whip leaves your thigh then comes back down across it, landing the tip on the horse's hindquarters, if that makes sense. It shouldn't really move your hands from the normal rein position. You should always ask the horse normally first, then if he doesn't respond you'll use the whip. It sounds like this guy might require a nice smack, while others will just need a "tickle" or tap. The idea is obviously that after awhile, they know you mean business and they'll listen the first time you ask.

    If you have a crop (shorter), you'll have to put both reins in one hand so you can reach back with your free hand to use the crop in the correct spot. If you attempt to use the crop across your thigh like I described for the whip, you will successfully smack yourself and not the horse

    With the whip, be extra careful to have steady, correctly placed hands. Bouncy or raised hands can cause you to inadvertently hit the horse when you're not trying to cue for anything. Some horses will really put it in gear if you hold the whip up all the time accidentally, because they're convinced you're going to absolutely beat them to a pulp or something. Also, you might need the whip/crop more for one direction than the other, or you might have to switch sides when you change direction. That would be better explained in person by your instructor, but I hope the other stuff helps some. Good luck! Hang in there
         

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