Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Our 27 year old mare Puddin' came to us partially blind in her left eye, as well, and for a while, I had a very hard time getting her to respond to me for a left turn. She neck reins (was a cow horse back in her day) so it wasn't hard for her to resist my directions.
What I did was work on softening her. Before I even asked her to walk forwards, I would have her flex her neck towards my boot- starting on the left, going to the right, and back. The first few times she would just angle her head a little bit, but after a few tries I had her stiffly pulling her neck in towards me. I continued until I felt her loosen her neck up and really flex into the pressure, then I stopped and praised her.
I would then angle my whole body to the left, apply pressure with my legs, and send her off to her left from a standstill. Not moving her forwards or right beforehand gave her less of a chance to argue with me. I'd ask her to trot diagnol across the arena, then half-circle left, then when she did what I wanted- I rewarded her by going forward. I would continue this exercise, sometimes doing full circles, sometimes half, sometimes just asking her to take a step to the right, until I felt her relax and really flex herself into her turn. I stopped for the day as soon as she had completed a full relaxed turn.
If she didn't turn when I asked, I would half, repeat the neck exercise, and try again. It only took two or three times before she calmed and really listened to me.
With her I think she was just nervouse about going somewhere that she couldn't see clearly, not that she was being lazy. When I had her relax completely and start again, she was fine. I'm also fairly sure that her previous owner didn't enforce turning to the left, since she knew that Puddin' couldn't see well, making Puddin' think she could get away with turning right instead.
If you're sure tha boy is lazy, you might want to think of a disciplining him differently than I did, and different than you're doing right now. If he's trying to get out of work, you stopping and dismounting is going to make him think he can stop if he doesn't listen.
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