Leg Dead Horse, Spurs??
 
 

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Leg Dead Horse, Spurs??

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  • How to get reaction from a leg dead horse
  • English spurs for lazy horse

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    08-20-2013, 06:29 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Leg Dead Horse, Spurs??

My horse is rather leg dead, which is terrible because it is not something that can always be fixed. Asking him to move into any gait, mostly the trot, is a chore. I know it's not a saddle fitting problem because he has the same behavior even bareback. He seems completely dead to whips and crops also. Even when I occasionally lunge him he ignores the lunge whip. I'm worried that there is nothing I can do to fix this. Should I try spurs when riding? He's a slender horse and I have long legs, would longer or shorter spurs be more effective? I have a relatively steady leg position, not perfect of course, but I can assure that I wouldn't accidentally spur him when I'm not asking. If spurs are the way to go, what kind/style should I look for?
     
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    08-20-2013, 07:06 PM
  #2
Green Broke
This may be more of a dressage mentality, but I've always been taught that spurs are for helping in lateral movements- not for "go." My horse is pretty lazy, too, and it's hard to resist the urge to go to stronger aids to get the desired reaction.

Do you have a trainer (or even a very experienced friend)? It might be worth having him/her help you re-train your horse by backing up your cues from the ground with a lunge whip, but I'd only have someone very experienced help you with this as having good timing is critical!
     
    08-20-2013, 09:57 PM
  #3
Started
Our daughters pony is iron sided, kinda, she actually stubborn.

While this may or may not pertain to your situation, I'll tell the story anyways.

We bought said pony, ground manners SUCKED, but she ride all day. A few weeks of our daughter teaching ground manners, they were way better.
Manners=check, calm ride= check, control at speed=kinda.
Many many hours of riding, by both my daughter and I got her right, spurs, crops, and what we recently found that helped the most was proper feeding.

We took quite a few pounds off the ole gal and she's almost another pony. She's more responsive, more active, and more willing.
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    08-21-2013, 12:49 AM
  #4
Showing
IMHO, no normal horse is immune to the whip if the handler is using it in earnest in the way it should be used. Most handlers are much too tentative with their whip for fear of "hurting" the horse. Being tentative is one of the reasons that horses become dead to the aids.

Ask, tell, demand

Give a gentle squeeze with your leg to ask for forward or increase in speed, if he doesn't respond, give a smooch and lightly bump his sides with your heels, if he still doesn't respond, give him the whip with all your strength. MAKE him move forward, even if it means making his butt sting. When he moves forward, remove all pressure and let him coast along. If he starts slowing down, start all over with the gentle squeeze and build up again.

BE PREPARED FOR THE FORWARD JUMP WHEN YOU APPLY THE WHIP SO THAT YOU DON'T JERK HIM IN THE MOUTH ACCIDENTALLY.

I've never rode a horse that didn't start responding to the gentle squeeze using this method, even the laziest, most dead-headed horse.
     
    08-21-2013, 01:09 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
Another thing is that a horse that is ridden slow all the time forgets about going fast and might need a good race or something to perk up the ol' competitive spirit. Could you go out for a ride where you literally raced with, or chased someone else? Get your horse to cut loose and GO!
kbg7506 and konikirule like this.
     
    08-21-2013, 11:43 AM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
IMHO, no normal horse is immune to the whip if the handler is using it in earnest in the way it should be used. Most handlers are much too tentative with their whip for fear of "hurting" the horse. Being tentative is one of the reasons that horses become dead to the aids.

Ask, tell, demand

Give a gentle squeeze with your leg to ask for forward or increase in speed, if he doesn't respond, give a smooch and lightly bump his sides with your heels, if he still doesn't respond, give him the whip with all your strength. MAKE him move forward, even if it means making his butt sting. When he moves forward, remove all pressure and let him coast along. If he starts slowing down, start all over with the gentle squeeze and build up again.

BE PREPARED FOR THE FORWARD JUMP WHEN YOU APPLY THE WHIP SO THAT YOU DON'T JERK HIM IN THE MOUTH ACCIDENTALLY.

I've never rode a horse that didn't start responding to the gentle squeeze using this method, even the laziest, most dead-headed horse.
Thanks for the excellent info! I will definitely try this before going to the extreme and buying spurs. This sounds like it will work well and if I do it right I'm hoping I won't have to prod him with spurs and crops. Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions also! They all help :)
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    08-21-2013, 11:48 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
another thing is that a horse that is ridden slow all the time forgets about going fast and might need a good race or something to perk up the ol' competitive spirit. Could you go out for a ride where you literally raced with, or chased someone else? Get your horse to cut loose and GO!
This may actually be part of my horse's situation, He was ridden western pleasure before I bought him and now I'm riding him English hunter. He might just be used to the slow short strides gaits used for western pleasure. Thank you for bringing this possibility to my attention!
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    08-21-2013, 12:05 PM
  #8
Green Broke
What smrobs said! This actually happened to my girl, and it was all my fault for constantly NAGGING her with my legs. I swear it got to the point where every stride I had to squeeze JUST to keep going! It was exhausting and I was using LONG spurs at that point too.

I moved barns and switched trainers, and my new trainer (who is also still my current trainer), took away my long spurs and taught me that if I asked (nicely) for her to move forward off my leg and give her 3 seconds and if she didn't respond, I was to KICK her hard, then once she responded STOP NAGGING! If she dropped down from the current gait before I asked, same thing BIG KICK and once I get the response leave her be with just a normal supporting leg, not a SQUEEZING leg. After about a week she was a different horse and MUCH more responsive, forward, stayed in front of my leg.

I hadn't realized how much of the problem was from me and my constant nagging. No more nagging now and surprise surprise, I don't get NEARLY as tired riding her these days ;)
     
    08-21-2013, 12:43 PM
  #9
Green Broke
I would suggest a crop first, as well. Both spurs and crops are effective aids if they're used properly.

I ride an older H/J that I ride with a crop and spurs (not always both). Many times I have them, but do not need to use them. That's an important thing to remember/differentiate between. Having it and using it.
     
    08-21-2013, 01:20 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExplanation    
This may actually be part of my horse's situation, He was ridden western pleasure before I bought him and now I'm riding him English hunter. He might just be used to the slow short strides gaits used for western pleasure. Thank you for bringing this possibility to my attention!
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Okay, this brings up another question. Do you know how this horse was trained for WP? If he was trained to have a "spur-stop" then, to him, more leg actually tells him to slow down.

If that's the case, then the re-training is basically the same as I posted earlier, but I wouldn't get after him quite so harshly at first. Learning a whole new set of cues that is so contradictory to what he's been taught before is terribly confusing.

If the spur stop is his problem, he would likely respond to a brush or a tap with the whip instead of an all-out wallop.
     

Tags
english hunter, english riding, spurs lazy horse, training help, western pleasure

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