Horse Hates Contact?
 
 

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Horse Hates Contact?

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  • My horse hates contact when riding
  • Horse hates rider

 
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    11-27-2010, 08:27 PM
  #1
Weanling
Horse Hates Contact?

Well I recently had a lesson a few days ago. First lesson in a week or two, due to being sick, and I still wasnt feeling well, but me loving horses, I pushed it aside and demanded to go to my lesson :P Anyways, I was put on one of the 'easier' horses to ride so it wouldnt be so stressful on my body. The thing I noticed is that when riding, he would almost yank the reins out of my hands. Constantly. Like, every 5 minutes, he would stick his head out quickly and pull the reins away suddenly. I wasnt wearing any gloves, so I had to be real conscious of it not rubbing my hands each time he did it.
When I asked my trainer why he does this, she said he just hates contact on the reins.
I probably will never ride him again, or much(he's a lovely ride, aside from this, don't get me wrong. I just don't think he does jumping as he's in his 20s now) but for future reference, do some horses just HATE contact on the bit/reins? I had to almost hold the reins at the buckle to get him to stop, and when I tried to hold contact, he would quickly yank them out of my hands, throw his head up, and ignore me. When you have no contact, he moves forward and does great.

Why are some horses like this? Is there any way to fix this or stop them? Just curious.
     
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    11-27-2010, 11:00 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
I have no doubt that he has had a long string of riders who did not know how to make fair and meaningful contact. Thus he got bopped in the mouth over and over again. And seeing as how he is the easier horse to ride, then he gets stuck with the lower level riders who are the worst offenders when it comes to being hard on a horse's mouth.
The horse may have had years of people just haning on his mouth, literally, I mean posting by pulling themselves up by the reins. I am sure you don't do that, but the horse is set in a mental pattern. Assuming he is a good soldier and does his duty at the school, I would guess one could just cut him some slack there and let him have his way.
Hope you feel fully recovered soon.
     
    11-27-2010, 11:06 PM
  #3
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I have no doubt that he has had a long string of riders who did not know how to make fair and meaningful contact. Thus he got bopped in the mouth over and over again. And seeing as how he is the easier horse to ride, then he gets stuck with the lower level riders who are the worst offenders when it comes to being hard on a horse's mouth.
The horse may have had years of people just haning on his mouth, literally, I mean posting by pulling themselves up by the reins. I am sure you don't do that, but the horse is set in a mental pattern. Assuming he is a good soldier and does his duty at the school, I would guess one could just cut him some slack there and let him have his way.
Hope you feel fully recovered soon.
Sounds reasonable. At my lessons in the morning, there is something called Pony Mania (even though some arnt put on ponies :P) for the little kids, and he is always there as one of the horses used, so that's probably it. I never ride him, except for then, and I've been riding for a good 9 years now. To be honest, I have trouble having contact. Im not really inbetween, Its either contact or no contact for me. I guess its because I've ridden many horses who with the slightest contact freak out. And unfortunately I can't help with that, since theyre lesson horses. Bah. Im kind of afraid of having contact now with some horses. I feel like Im pulling too hard, or when I have contact, I drive them forward with my seat and body, but they take the contact as being stop or slow, it drives me nuts!

Thanks Im a lot better now :]
     
    11-28-2010, 01:47 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
I remember when I took some hunter lessons way back when I was younger and I rode this big old black hunter, huge! And if I took up contact, he would just lean the harder on it, so I would pull the harder and so on. My teacher would yell at me, saying the old , "it takes two to tango!" Meaning if I didn't pull , he wouldn't pull. Ok, but then how to have contact? I was really frustrated by that.

Then I took dressage lessons (years later) and it was all about taking a contact and pushing the horse into that contact, and tighter and tighter . . . .and you WOULD get the horse dragging back and you'd have to use a lot of leg to counteract the drag from the front. (all incorrect. I know the dressage experts will jump on me about this. You know, "back to front! Ok!!

So, in recent years I have been riding Western and trail and I guess doing what you would call natural horsemanship. And the trainer I work with emphasizes that contact has a meaning. You take up contact for a reason. If your contact is dead and heavy, it loses its' reason and then becomes background noise.

AND, the horse sets the amount of pressure that it will have on the rein, by coming off the bit when it feels pressure applied. How much pressure that takes, is up to the horse. Trick is, if the horse has never gotten a well timed release for giving to the bit, then he hasn't learned that there IS freedom in contact. He will feel he has no escape, thus there is no point is coming off the bit .

You, the rider, must put on the contact (pressure) and in order for him to give to that pressure, you will have to MEET HIS RESISTENCE AND ONE OUNCE MORE.. If you only meet him, then you are in stalemate. You MUST exheed him, but only the tiniest amount. And the instant he gives an ounce, you give a pound. At least at first, until the idea that there is freedom in giving is well understood.

Once he has given to the bit, it's the rider's responsibility to maintain a soft and responsive contact. Like if the horse needs to reach down to cough, you have to softly follow, or if it stumbles, you have to follow the head. You know what I mean.

That's how you get the horse softened to the bit. At first, it can look really ugly because the horse WILL resist, no doubt about it. But eentuallly you get him really soft and then you can, in theory, ride like a cowboy with only the drape of the reins creating the contact.
I don't think I would do that in jumpers, tho.
     
    11-28-2010, 08:43 PM
  #5
Weanling
Thanks! That makes a lot of sense! :]
     
    11-29-2010, 07:16 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Oh my gosh my horse hates contact too! I've never seen her canter with my attempt of contact, but I don't think that it worked too well!!
     
    12-01-2010, 08:50 PM
  #7
Weanling
Tinyliny well put! I just want to echo that some horses do hate contact but that it is almost always because a rider (or riders) didn't use their hands correctly. So sad! My guy has a problem with contact because the rider before me was way too busy with her hands and now he just wants to fight me on it. Sometimes I have to float the rein and sometimes I have to take pounds. Once they get it in their heads that contact is bad it can be a real challenge for those of us who strive for correctness! Learning to ride correctly (without relying on your hands to steer) is so important!!
     
    12-03-2010, 07:17 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shasta1981    
Tinyliny well put! I just want to echo that some horses do hate contact but that it is almost always because a rider (or riders) didn't use their hands correctly. So sad! My guy has a problem with contact because the rider before me was way too busy with her hands and now he just wants to fight me on it. Sometimes I have to float the rein and sometimes I have to take pounds. Once they get it in their heads that contact is bad it can be a real challenge for those of us who strive for correctness! Learning to ride correctly (without relying on your hands to steer) is so important!!
quite often that's true. But some horses really just hate contact. My horse is one of those horses. She has been ridden by a lot of people (she was a lesson horse before I leased her and she's been to lots of owners) and she hasn't liked contact with anyone of them. One person had been riding for around 17 years and she still didn't like her. Same with her owner she just doesn't like contact. This could be the problem with tinyliny's and RidingTowardsGrace's horse too.
     
    12-03-2010, 07:19 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Oh I'm sorry! Reading that over that sounded kinda rude! I didn't mean to be rude, I just wanted to point that out!
Sorry!
     
    12-03-2010, 09:02 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyennes mom    
oh I'm sorry! Reading that over that sounded kinda rude! I didn't mean to be rude, I just wanted to point that out!
Sorry!
It's not rude :] you were just pointing something out.

As for the horse I rode, Im going to say that it's just because the little kids are put on him since he's pretty easy to ride. Unfortunately, I can't do anything to work with him since he's not the horse I normally ride. So we just leave him be sinces he's well into his twentys now.
     

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