Newbie here and frustrated. HELP!! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-10-2010, 10:28 AM
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I agree with the other posters, he's probably bored. My horses are used to being ridden out and about. When I take them into the arena - even when I
'mix things up' it doesn't take them long to become bored by the confined space. What was this horse used to before you started leasing him?
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-10-2010, 07:19 PM
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Trail rides are great he needs to get out of the arena a little. Is there any team penning where you are that is a lot of fun and the horses love it and it also gives them a job to do.
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-10-2010, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Trail rides are great he needs to get out of the arena a little. Is there any team penning where you are that is a lot of fun and the horses love it and it also gives them a job to do.
Before she considers team penning, she has to make sure that her daughter would be capable and that her horse isn't afraid of cows, because that could otherwise turn into a nasty situation.
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 03:18 AM
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gratifite actually asked a good question...what did he do before you started leasing him? Maybe he's been a school horse for years and is now just really bored of doing the same thing, and is crying out for a change.

As suggested above, maybe try trail riding every odd day, or even if there is a safe field or paddock you can ride in and do some riding in there. Try make it interesting for him, but at the same time safe for your daughter.

Another thing you can maybe try, is everytime he wants to go back to the barn, don't reward him by taking him straight back to the barn. If you could get someone more experienced to help when he wants to stop working that would be great. That person can then carry on riding him even after he wants to go back to the barn, and as soon as he relaxes and stops thinking about going back to the barn, get off immediately and reward him then by taking him back and grooming him.

Hope that helps abit. Let us know how things go.

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post #15 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 04:18 AM
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My horse gets a little bored as well, so I don't give him time to think. As soon as I feel him drifting off I change the direction a few times and he gets back into it and settles down. I also ride in my paddock, which he seems to love. Is there anyway you could ride in your paddock? I live in Australia so its a bit different and I don't have the facilities (an arena) so I'm sort of forced to ride in his paddock but he never seems to bored.

Like I said, if he does I do change of directions. But I only do about 20mins-1/2 hour of flat work before he does get bored and I just leave it at that and not push him. Slowly, I'll start to lengthen this time but at the moment it works. Especially since I don't have an instructor. After this I go for a ride around the paddock and do some jumping. It really works for us!
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 04:38 AM
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Two things: your daughter has to gain the horse's respect--no horse should be allowed to just end a session--and develop a bond--a horse will work for a person it knows and cares about.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 05:25 AM
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While the horse is probably bored I think the main problem is the "respect" one.

The horse probably rides around and thinks "hey, I'm the boss here, I can do what I like and I want to go back to the barn" and if your daughter ends the lesson there its just reinforcing his behaviour.

Whenever he goes to finish work I would make him work harder. If he gets very stubborn then lunge him from the ground, teach him that the lesson isn't over.

Also don't have the gate for the "end of lesson" cue. I imagine that when your daughter is finished riding she rides him out of that gate? Instead maybe get into a routine for finishing. Like a lap on a really loose rein then halt in the centre, dismount and lead out of the arena. If the arena is far from the barn then get back on him outside or just walk him back. Don't preceed the barn and food with riding out the gate.

Keep changing before he reaches the point of boredom. There is heaps to do. Jumping, cross poles, circle work, transition work, bareback, riding without stirrups, bending, mounted games type (picking balls of cones and such) etc. Most horses get bored in the ring everyday, break it up.
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
While the horse is probably bored I think the main problem is the "respect" one.

The horse probably rides around and thinks "hey, I'm the boss here, I can do what I like and I want to go back to the barn" and if your daughter ends the lesson there its just reinforcing his behaviour.

Whenever he goes to finish work I would make him work harder. If he gets very stubborn then lunge him from the ground, teach him that the lesson isn't over.

Also don't have the gate for the "end of lesson" cue. I imagine that when your daughter is finished riding she rides him out of that gate? Instead maybe get into a routine for finishing. Like a lap on a really loose rein then halt in the centre, dismount and lead out of the arena. If the arena is far from the barn then get back on him outside or just walk him back. Don't preceed the barn and food with riding out the gate.

Keep changing before he reaches the point of boredom. There is heaps to do. Jumping, cross poles, circle work, transition work, bareback, riding without stirrups, bending, mounted games type (picking balls of cones and such) etc. Most horses get bored in the ring everyday, break it up.
I agree with a lot of this, but I will also add that in my experience, you want to have variety in when and how long you work in addition to the variety of the work itself. In training (or solving problems) we rely heavily on consistancy and repetition, whether to work on a new skill, get a spooky horse past horse monsters, or a herd bound horse further up the trail. The down side is that you can fall into what I call a 'consistancy rut'. Horses love consistancy, but whether you're in the ring or out on the trail, if you consistantly do the same 10 things, ride the same 10 miles, ride at the same time every day, or ride for the same amount of time, even an experienced horse quickly learns the point where it believes the work and you are done for the day. To get out of the rut and get your horse to the 'next step', you need to be purposely inconsistant. By working on this as a real training excercise with a goal and not just a casual boredom diversion, it will reinforce and foster your horse's willingness to work with you until the 'job' is done, whether is takes 30 minutes or 4 hours, 1 mile or 20. In time, you'll be rewarded with a horse that will willingly go an extra 10 miles or 2 hours even if it is bored, hot, or tired.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #19 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 09:18 AM
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I was thinking maybe your daughter needs to practice being the one doing the riding and remind the horse that the work is not done until she says it is. Now she can make it more fun and interesting, but this is part of what she has to learn- to control the horse, including when it is time to go to the gate.

That said, I would make it a habit not to ever stop and dismount by the gate. My child is learning this too so to aid her, we stop Citrus at the far end of the arena, get off, and walk him in. We stop at a different area of the far end, as long as he is not facing the gate.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-11-2010, 09:22 AM
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Reading these replies with interest, because My daughter has some similar issues with her horse. He's only 5, but very well trained. She's 9, still a beginner. Put an experienced rider on him and he's perfect. But he plays little games with my daughter like deciding just not to move, or walking to the middle of the arena and standing there. I think it's a combination of lack of respect (he knows that she won't make him do what she wants if he acts like a butt), and boredom. Last week we set up an obstacle course at the trainer's, and they did great with that, so we'll do more of that. He spent all last summer trail riding with his previous owner, but I don't think she's ready to take him on the trail, so I may have someone else do a little trail riding with him.
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