New ride - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-10-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: MN - Twin Cities
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Exclamation New ride

I'm a little puzzled. My daughter and I just bought a 16 yr. old Appy gelding from a friend. They bought him for their daughter a couple of years ago (novice rider) and had no trouble with him. Anyway, my daughter is a fairly new rider (has ridden friends horses, etc.) and I am starting over after a LONG hiatus.) Anyway, he is a former trail horse, but hasn't been ridden much lately, especially the last several winter months. When we went to try him before we bought him, he did well for my daughter and her (experienced) friend. He is quiet & gentle. Then we rode him yesterday (so different saddle, bridle - used a snaffle, etc.) I rode him first and he did really well. Then when my daughter started riding, he started getting stubborn, and eventually, no matter what she did, all he would do is back up, to the point that I was feeling the situation was becoming unsafe. So I got back on and he did the same thing. I'm very concerned about this behavior, and am not sure where to start: could it be the bit or saddle? We aren't looking for a perfect performing show horse, just a pleasure horse to enjoy riding on our property - so I'm not looking to spend oodles of money on training, etc., but as I said, I am very confused about what happened yesterday! Frankly, I'm starting to second guess my decision about getting another horse. I bought this horse because he fit everything I thought I was looking for, but now am questioning my decision! Need some encouragement or suggestions please. (Sorry for the long post!)
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-10-2010, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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It sounds to me like he just needs a firm hand. He is testing you, and can probably sense that you aren't very confident riders. Let him know who is boss.
That being said, make sure you check for any signs of pain first.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-10-2010, 06:19 PM
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I think you need to check the saddle and bridle fit first. Chances are one or the other doesn't fit, and the more you rode him, the more uncomfortable he became. My guess is that if you fix the saddle, he'll be much better off.

It's possible he's testing you, many horses will test a new rider, but poor saddle fit is more likely.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-10-2010, 06:32 PM
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I agree with both of the above posters; first check for saddle and bridle fit, and if nothing seems to be wrong, he may just be stubborn and testing you.

It may be worthwhile to work with him on the ground before you ride him. Make him move: back him up, push him sideways, get him going forward, get him to stop and give you your space. As soon as he gives you what he wants (ie takes a step back, steps sideways etc), remove all the pressure (rope, hand) and praise him.

He's testing to see if you're leader material or not, and if you don't let him know who's in charge, he will take advantage of you. If he respects you on the ground, he will respect you in the saddle! (:
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: MN - Twin Cities
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Thanks for the suggestions. I guess part of the reason I'm puzzled is that he does behave on the ground very well - he's not pushy, we've walked him all over the property (on the ground) without any problems, he stands well for tacking up, feet cleaning, etc.
We did have some issues with the saddle: it kept shifting to one side or the other, even though we had tightened the cinch up. Hopefully, you are right and that is the issue. Thanks all!
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-12-2010, 03:36 PM
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If the saddle is shifting to the side, it's probably too narrow. Good luck with your new friend. :]
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-12-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
If the saddle is shifting to the side, it's probably too narrow. Good luck with your new friend. :]
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It could also be too wide. :) The saddle I use on Lacey shifts all over the place and that's because it's documentedly too wide for her. But it could definitely be too narrow.

OP: if you're aren't sure how to properly fit a saddle, you could take pictures of it, front and back and a side shot, all with the horse's head up, and then post them. There are quite a few people on this forum that are great at determining if a saddle fits right or not. :)

Good luck!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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