Oh, the discouragement..
 
 

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Oh, the discouragement..

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  • What to do when horse stops and backs up instead of going forward
  • How to stop feeling hesitant about getting on my horse

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    04-24-2012, 02:43 PM
  #1
Weanling
Unhappy Oh, the discouragement..

Shamrock and I have been doing really well, but lately he's been reminding me of how defeated I felt a year ago when we first started together. To get him moving on his hind end, I used to do a lot of transitions from walk to trot, to halt, to backing, etc. switching it up and what not. All of a sudden, he doesn't want to walk forward! He will for a few steps then stop and want to back. I feel like I must be doing something very subtle that is cueing his reaction, I just can't figure out what or how to stop it and get my horse wanting to move forward again. Yesterday just wasn't a very good day for us due to this issue. It's almost like he's too smart in that he's already guessing what I want him to do when I don't want that at all.

Any suggestions?
     
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    04-24-2012, 03:23 PM
  #2
Started
Don't worry, there's a fine balance between shutting down a horse and impulsion. You will get that back end working when he finds that impulsion from moving out of the back-up. This can be corrected with the use of a Dressage crop. Usually when I'm working on slowing my horses, I'll do a lot of backing and transitional work. Sometimes they get hesitant about going forward after that, because they think they'll just be made to back up again. Use a Dressage crop to back up your leg cues, and you'll start to feel the impulsion better. I'll come around, stop, back back back, and then immediately ask for the forward lope with the aid of my crop. When they listen to your leg immediately, you will feel them round up from the backing and step elegantly up into the lope. Then after a while you'll have to deal with them getting a little worked up, and that's when you can lose the crop.
     
    04-24-2012, 06:12 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I'm sorry, iv been there all so often myself with the young horses I have had. 10 steps forward 6 steps back. You will get back to where you where! Maybe take him out of the arena for a trail ride or change things up to riding bareback. Just switch up the routine you have now so that he doesn't have a clue to what you guys are going to do that day? Or Mabel give him some time off, do some liht massage work and just lung hi in the arena and work on forwardness from the ground? Just some suggestions. Don't you wish they could talk to tell us what they are thinking when doing things like this, we would be able to help them out much faster and correctly! I was having a few of those moments a couple months ago when I started Ollie back to work from being so sick, now we are back in the game but moving him home soon so I feel the change coming on already.

Good luck, take a deep breath and know we all have confidence in both you and shamrock to get back to where you where and go even further!
Sam
     
    04-24-2012, 07:28 PM
  #4
Trained
If it's not working, change it. Forget about transitions for awhile and just ride him forward, forward, forward, to the point of almost knocking him off balance. If he thinks he's got the game figured out, change the game. After you get the forward back, maybe try trot/canter transitions instead of walk/trot to keep a little more life into it.
RoosHuman likes this.
     
    04-24-2012, 10:49 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klassic Superstar    
I'm sorry, iv been there all so often myself with the young horses I have had. 10 steps forward 6 steps back. You will get back to where you where! Maybe take him out of the arena for a trail ride or change things up to riding bareback. Just switch up the routine you have now so that he doesn't have a clue to what you guys are going to do that day? Or Mabel give him some time off, do some liht massage work and just lung hi in the arena and work on forwardness from the ground? Just some suggestions. Don't you wish they could talk to tell us what they are thinking when doing things like this, we would be able to help them out much faster and correctly! I was having a few of those moments a couple months ago when I started Ollie back to work from being so sick, now we are back in the game but moving him home soon so I feel the change coming on already.

Good luck, take a deep breath and know we all have confidence in both you and shamrock to get back to where you where and go even further!
Sam
That's what's really strange, I haven't done the trot-halt-back transitions, etc. in a while and last week I gave him the week off from any jump work, even spending one day just working with him on the ground and loving on him. So I'm not sure exactly what's going on, unless I'm accidentally cueing him to stop or he just thinks that's what he's supposed to do since we used to do that exercise so much.

Yes! I definitely wish he could just tell me and we could talk it out. Haha.

Thanks for the encouragement, I'll try some new things with him. :)
     
    04-24-2012, 10:51 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
Don't worry, there's a fine balance between shutting down a horse and impulsion. You will get that back end working when he finds that impulsion from moving out of the back-up. This can be corrected with the use of a Dressage crop. Usually when I'm working on slowing my horses, I'll do a lot of backing and transitional work. Sometimes they get hesitant about going forward after that, because they think they'll just be made to back up again. Use a Dressage crop to back up your leg cues, and you'll start to feel the impulsion better. I'll come around, stop, back back back, and then immediately ask for the forward lope with the aid of my crop. When they listen to your leg immediately, you will feel them round up from the backing and step elegantly up into the lope. Then after a while you'll have to deal with them getting a little worked up, and that's when you can lose the crop.
I don't have a dressage whip, just a regular crop, which I use, but he is pretty much unresponsive to it when I use it to back up my leg. I would really have to whack him (which I don't and don't want to) to get him to go. Maybe he's just being lazy..? Anyways, would getting a dressage whip make a difference? If so, hopefully Tractor Supply has one so I don't have to order one online..
     
    04-24-2012, 10:54 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
If it's not working, change it. Forget about transitions for awhile and just ride him forward, forward, forward, to the point of almost knocking him off balance. If he thinks he's got the game figured out, change the game. After you get the forward back, maybe try trot/canter transitions instead of walk/trot to keep a little more life into it.
The problem is getting him to go, he wouldn't even walk forward when I got on him. I'd finally get him walking after bumping with my leg in all sorts of ways and using my crop to back up my leg and he'd walk forward a few steps then stop again. I haven't worked on transitions, other than trot-canter, for a while now. He has no problem trotting or cantering, but his walk seems to be ruined. I hate to just immediately trot him right when I get on, I want to warm him up properly. :/
     
    04-24-2012, 11:03 PM
  #8
Trained
Video would help. We might be able to see if you're sending him mixed signals, if there's any pain in play, or he's just being a butt head.
     
    04-24-2012, 11:11 PM
  #9
Green Broke
What does he do when he stops?? Is he buddy or barn sour?? Maybe wanting to go back home??
     
    04-24-2012, 11:14 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Video would help. We might be able to see if you're sending him mixed signals, if there's any pain in play, or he's just being a butt head.
I'll try to video him, but it'll certainly be a boring one. Haha. And HOPEFULLY he'll not do it anymore. :)
     

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