Help with horse-pleasure movement - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-18-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Help with horse-pleasure movement

I've had my horse for a year now; he's an 8 year old 15.3 hand Quarter horse gelding. When I bought him the owners had had him for about a year and a half and were working on HUS and jumping with him. Before that he had had WP training. When I went to go inquire about him the owner rode him first, and he looked amazing. Every transition was flawless, his gaits looked smooth and even and very HUS-y. They said that he could do AQHA shows in 30 days, and from what I saw he totally could have. Anyway, he just looked like a pleasure to ride. Then I rode him, and he just wasn't the same. His head was high (despite me trying to get it down) and he was pretty fast. One time I got him to drop his head, but otherwise he wasn't like when she rode him. But I still really liked him because he was smooth, responsive, had a good personality, great ground manners...and I thought that once he got used to me he would go like he did for her, so I bought him. This past spring we had a major breakthrough-he started relaxing when I was riding him, lowering his head, softening to pressure, slowing down, and moving more like a pleasure horse. Ever since then he's been much better since when I got him, but I still feel that he's still not doing what he did for the previous owner. We still have some sticky transitions, and it takes a while during a ride for him to settle down and relax. I really want to do HUS, maybe some WP, with him because I know he has the potential. My question is, why is he still not performing as well for me as he did for her? What am I doing wrong? I'm going to be working with someone soon but I just don't get why I can't get him to move like she did. And when she was riding him she looked very relaxed and so did he-she wasn't pulling or yanking on him at all to go slower or anything. I know this is kinda broad but any ideas?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-18-2012, 10:55 PM
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Aha! You're riding the same boat as me! I got my gelding a month ago and he was super nice for me at the trainers and looked awesome for the trainer....I got him to my barn and it all fell apart.....I had one break through guy would not relax AT ALL! And I kind of figured I had to ride I'm with less contact and be soft soft soft! I was asking him too firmly and big! I was asking him like he was a youngster in many ways...and he's not, he's a finished reiner.....

I will keep working very slowly to find all the correct buttons on him, for now I'm just pleased we've had progress! Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-19-2012, 07:25 AM
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In the groups I used to be in it was a commonly accepted fact that it takes about a year for a horse and rider to "click".

That is a year a consistent work from both horse and rider until they really start to understand each other and move forward. Its not a universal rule but I find it happens more often than not. Horses don't adjust quickly.

So I'd give him time and get lessons. Because obviously you ride differently to the last owner, but a good instructor can teach you how to ride best to suit him.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-19-2012, 03:33 PM
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I'm in the same boat as well.

As one of the posters before me said: Babysteps to success!

I think it's kinda understandable for a horse to be a bit confused and also to test the new owner / rider after it had the same person doing the same thing for an extended period of time. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY =) It's not like he's trying to express you're a bad rider or he doesn't like you, he is probably just as much as you trying to figure out what the new "deal" is!
Good luck!!!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-24-2012, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-24-2012, 07:57 PM
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No two people ride exactly the same. He was obviously very well adjusted to the way she rode and you probably ride differently than her. It could be the way you are sitting or that your aids are slightly different. I would recommend getting a trainer to help you find his buttons. He needs time to adjust to you and you to adjust to him, this can take a long time if your riding is significantly different than hers. Just keep working at it and eventually you guys will work it out!
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-26-2012, 12:47 PM
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If you've never ridden a pleasure horse (WP or HUS), it can be hard to adjust for both horse & rider. While the previous owner may have presented a picture of an easy relaxing rider, there was probably a LOT that she was doing & a lot that she was in tune to that you never even saw. It takes a lot of "feel" when you ride a horse with the level of fine tuned training that this horse probably has. The horse goes off of feel as well. Even something so minute as the rider leaning forward by an inch will make the horse do or not do something.

At the very least, you should call the previous owner and ask for help in finding this horse's buttons. Perhaps the previous owner can refer you to a trainer that can help you continue to improve with this horse.

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Perfect Jin N Scotch - 2004 APHA Palomino Overo Gelding - Western Pleasure and Showmanship

Hanks Rainy Sky - 1998 Black and White Tobiano Paint Gelding - relaxing rides and blazing trails
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