Novice Rider, Newbie to Forum - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 01-31-2010, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Novice Rider, Newbie to Forum

Hi ... I am a novice rider. Been riding a little since 2006. I'm not a young girl ... late 40s. This one horse I've ridden pretty much exclusively since 2006 is great. Although she has a strange habit (?)

When we are in the ring and trotting, all is fine. When I urge her to gallop she hesitates, drops her head to the ground (or as close as she can get ... but it's ALL the way down) and then THROWS her head back and then gallops. What??? Is this just a behavior? Is her vision impaired? It's all good from there until I tell her to stop or whatever. Just curious ... and I'm not a good enough rider to know what's going on. Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-31-2010, 05:25 AM
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it may be so she gets more momentum... but I'm not to sure
Welcome to the forum as well :)
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-31-2010, 06:21 AM
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Sounds like to me that she's uncomfortable in her hind end for the canter departure, and that she's moving her head that way because she pulls herself into the canter on her front end.

The way you phrased your post makes me think you don't own this horse - is there a way you can ask the owner what she thinks the behavior is?

If it were my horse, first I would ask the farrier if she's stiff or uncomfortable when he trims her hind feet. If he said yes, I might give her a little bute and see if that changes her way of going, and then I might have the vet look at her. But that's me; and if it were my horse.

Anyway you could post photos or a video clip?
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-31-2010, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Maura, you're right. I don't own Gina. I have asked her owner and he just said ... "that's just her way". Actually I first asked the owner if Gina had a vision problem, and he said "NO ... she certainly sees me coming to get her for trail rides!" ... Gina's about 15 or 16. She is SMART. She is a GOOD horse ... but she isn't in to ANY kind of nicety. I'll feed her apples and carrots ... she LOVES them. Then she'll bite me ... just so I know she isn't going soft. She kicks and bites other horses. She rubs her sweaty head on other horse's butts on trail ridges ... but if anyone gets too close to her ... watch out ... she kicks. She will WAIT (if the last horse behind her) is trailing too far behind, she'll wait 'til ther close so she can kick them. Then I put her at THE BACK of the train of horses and she HATES that. She likes being the lead. OK ... so I know this ornery girl. But she's a GREAT horse. Hope someone out there gets that. Mariel
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 07:06 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

It sounds like that is a horse who has had no discipline or training. That kind of behavior is totally unacceptable at my place or with any of the people I ride with. I understand that she isn't your horse so you are limited in what you can do about it also that you are a novice rider, but, with all that baggage, how is she a wonderful horse? What does she do on the positive side?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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iridehorses: She is smart, she is alert and listens and is very aware of her surroundings. She has heart, she is stubborn ... sometimes in a goodway ... as in she'll haul my a** up a hill. In the ring, she'll do what I ask. She is REALLY sure footed ... slid down a hill of loose rock/shale. Never stumbled, never trips, I think she's a great horse.

Her owner has told me over and over and over ... NOT FOR A SECOND do you let Gina get her way. I have let her get her way and I've seen what happens and what she does.
Riders were getting on their horses for a trail ride. I was up first, Gina wanted to walk down the hill ... what's the harm? What's the big deal? I let her walk down the hill. Well ... it took A LOT of effort to get her back UP the hill when the ride was going to start. She didn't want to go where the other horses were going, she wanted to go her way. It was another trail. I got her up and headed the right way ... but I saw immediately what the owner meant.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 04:41 PM
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LOL

Give them an inch and they'll take a mile and a half. Sounds like you answered your own question. You gave her an inch. You need to ride a horse like this and not just be a passenger. You need to be proactive and anticipate her. You need to "feel" this horse and know what each movement means and absolutely never give her an inch. She sounds like she is taking advantage of you and not that she has a vision problem. Does she have a canter departure problem (I'm assuming that you mean canter and not gallop) when her owner or someone else rides her?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure you're right ... canter, not gallop. I don't know if she does that with anyone else. I did ask her owner about it ... but all he said was 'it's her way'.

I completely understand and agree with you. I have ridden Gina MUCH better in the ring than on the trail. I am surprised Gina is a trail horse with children and adults alike riding her. Oh well ... it's not my business and it's none of my business. : ? )
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 05:57 PM
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Welcome !!
Have you observed how she transitions to a canter in the pasture without a rider? Does she do the same thing on a lunge line or free lunging in the arena?
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-01-2010, 06:13 PM
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Chances are that this horse could be a little awkward with where she places her during the transition. Some horses concentrate so completely on what their rider is doing that they find it difficult when it comes to changing pace. I have a horse like that. He concentrates so much on what I'm doing that he forgets where he's putting his feet. There's nothing wrong with his paces or transitions on the ground. Just with a rider and going from trot to canter, as it is a difficult transition.
As you said your horse is very sure footed, check the hindquarter muscles, she could have difficulty pushing herself forward, hence the head thing. I think someone's already mentioned this.

That's just some suggestions. In the end, there could be nothing wrong with her, it's just how she does things. I have a horse who holds his neck waaay up in air. Not for any particular reason, that's just the way he learnt to do things when he was younger. If it just seems odd (isn't pain) and doesn't worry you, then you're probably best leaving her as is. She's probably perfectly happy doing it, even if it seems unusual. =)
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