How to stop crow hopping? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-19-2011, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to stop crow hopping?

My 8 year old Belgian/Quarter cross has the habit of crow hopping. She was really bad about it shortly after we got her when she was 6. Then she'd gotten better about not doing it to the point where it was only occasional, but now she has started up again. I don't understand why really. It's probably a respect issue. For instance, I rode her yesterday and she did very well with mounting (it's something we've been working on and it's going great). I actually mounted her two separate times before actually riding her and stood very well both times. What I don't understand is why she started crow hopping at the beginning of our ride and then later towards the end? Any ideas about why she does it and how to fix it?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-19-2011, 11:14 PM
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Have you ellminated any issues with pain? Chiro? Teeth? Saddle Fit?

Horses don't buck or in this case, crow hop, just because. Usually there is something causing the response you are getting. I don't think it is a respect issue.

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post #3 of 11 Old 07-19-2011, 11:14 PM
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she could possibly be in pain if her saddle no longer fits her or she is out or it could be just her testing again as some horses do. Just push her through it encourage forward movement (not kicking the crap outta her just nudge nudge nudge) if that doesnt work circle her keep her feet moving and keep her guesing so she doesn't have the chance to hop.

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post #4 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 07:48 PM
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If she's bucking, or some offshoot of it, it is not likely a pain issue. Horses move away from pain, not into it. Bucking involves rounding the back. If it were pain, the horse would be hollowing the back. Any chance the saddle is just too far forward? We had a mare who was hard to fit. Every saddle would slide up her shoulders after awhile and then she would start crow hopping until we fixed it.

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 08:48 PM
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I disagree with that about horses moveing away from pain. Horses willoften lean harder onto a painful bit, run right through it in fact.
Bucking is very often a sign of pain. It's like a tantrum, the horse just saying, "I hurt!!! Listen to me! I hurt!"
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I disagree with that about horses moveing away from pain. Horses willoften lean harder onto a painful bit, run right through it in fact.
Bucking is very often a sign of pain. It's like a tantrum, the horse just saying, "I hurt!!! Listen to me! I hurt!"
I agree. I had a young horse suddenly start bucking ALL the time when ridden in my dressage saddle, but never in my jumping saddle - I had a master saddler come out and fit him, and the dressage saddle no longer fitted him at ALL! The jumping saddle fitted him fine.

That said when we started jumping a bit higher (about 3ft) he would sometimes throw in a cheeky buck on landing - just because it was fun and he felt good! After the first couple of jumps he would stop
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 08:54 PM
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I agree that it could be a pain issue. I would get everything checked.
My mare crowhops sometimes when we run & did it all the time when I got her but has calmed down alot. I found out (with my mare anyway) that the cause of this is either because I have too much contact with her mouth when we are running, in which case I let off, or she is in a grouchy mood & testing me, in which case I turn her in circles & then start again.
She also doesn't like it if you continue to pressure/kick after she's already doing what you want.
Just make sure of how you're riding & that you are not confusing her.

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 08:59 PM
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I have an old mare that will buck when going into a canter on occasion if she has not been ridden in a while. Frequent riding stops the issue. Another thing that helped her is going to a milder bit. I suspect that she gets too excited and bolts forward. Then when the bit hits her, it hurts and she bucks. The milder bit (a very fat egg butt snaffle) doesn't really bother her even if she tries to pull through it, so no bucking.

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-22-2011, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
If she's bucking, or some offshoot of it, it is not likely a pain issue. Horses move away from pain, not into it. Bucking involves rounding the back. If it were pain, the horse would be hollowing the back. Any chance the saddle is just too far forward? We had a mare who was hard to fit. Every saddle would slide up her shoulders after awhile and then she would start crow hopping until we fixed it.
I'll check where her saddle sits. I just always assumed that where I put it on her is the correct place because she is a small horse and therefore a shorter back so her saddle seems to just fall into place so to speak, but I'll try moving it back further.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-22-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I still think that it's something other than pain that's causing her to hop. I think it's probably a lack of respect to some degree and simple laziness. She can be a very lazy horse. She usually hops when we first head out on our ride when we are moving away from her pen and buddies like she's saying that she doesn't want to go or do any sort of work. Then later on she tends to start again when we are once again moving in the opposite direction of where she knows (or thinks) home is. I don't think she ever really does it in the woods, just out in the open. She may associate the trails with going home. If we are taking a direct path home or a path that she knows will take her home she's fine and doesn't hop; however, if we are moving away it's a different story especially if I ask her to do anything over a walk (sometimes even over a very slow walk) she starts to hop and tries to turn around to go home. If I point her homeward she will walk, trot, and canter all the way home. She has no problem going fast toward home. I don't typically allow her to run home though for obvious reasons.
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