The opposite of 'electric butt' - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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The opposite of 'electric butt'

Whatever it is, I seem to have it - no matter what horse I'm riding, I can't seem to get it to work properly for me! Any ideas anyone can give me would be gratefully received!

Two instructors agree there are no real problems with my position, I have an independent seat and am effective enough with the aids I'm giving, apart from the crop. Most horses start off responsive to my leg, if slow, but as the lesson goes on, tend to switch off until they're ignoring me completely.

The last lesson I had was the worst, because no matter what I did, I couldn't get any more than a slow crawl out of the horse - squeezes, nudges, a tap with the whip, pony club kicks, voice aids, growling, working with a light contact, firm contact, no contact at all, making my calf sore from battering my boot with the crop, and finally as hard a smack on the bottom for the horse as I could manage (which, in all honesty, wasn't very hard at all - I hit myself harder!) The horse totally ignored all this, and even the smack of the bottom didn't get so much as a swish of the tail.

My instructor got on the horse to try and razz it up a little, and it was suddenly as fizzy as a soda bottle on april fools day, but as soon as I got on, it went right back to it's crawl. We gave up on the lesson and had a hack instead.

(I'm in England and ride English, if that affects your response)
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 08:30 AM
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Hey, welcome to the forum!

You didn't say how long you've been riding, and how long this has been effecting you.

In all honesty, its just practise, leg muscle and persistance! We all go through rough patches, and your instructor should be able to give you a better indication as to what you need to do to get the horse moving.

Keep up with the lessons though, you'll have a lightbulb moment when you least expect it!
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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wow, quick response, thanks, DuffyDuck!

I've been riding on and off since I can remember. I think by now it totals around 15 years 'on' and I'm in my late twenties.
Last time I quit lessons, I was starting to learn some laterals and beginning to work in outline. I have a bit to re-learn this time though.

After I quit lessons last time, I shared a horse. She was a veteran, and a confidence giver and there was nothing she could do to scare me. Maybe I got too relaxed on her and all I need is a good scare!
I was thinking a few shots of espresso before my lesson to help make me a little less laid back, lol!
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 08:48 AM
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No problems :)

I'm lucky enough to have an electric butt muahaha, but having any period of time off riding makes your leg muscles think OW!

I'd keep it up, your muscles will develop in no time, and you may find the horses are waiting for you with balance, reassurance etc which is good of them. I've helped with school horses that plodded for lessons and when more experienced riders got on where YEEHAW, they do know, and perhaps the horses are simply looking after you until you're ready to progress?

Good luck though, and let me know how you get on!
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-28-2011, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Tonight's lesson was the complete opposite. The horse I rode was lovely, and very forward, but not really taking any notice of my legs, apart from "go". Unfortunately, in the misdt of trying to teach me to get horses to move, they (all my riding instructors since age 6) forgot to teach me the correct aids for stop!

It was all good though - by the end of the lesson he'd stopped listening to me and decided he was tired and now it's time to wander along like a seaside donkey.

I feel like I'm either at risk of hurting them, or being totally taken advantage of. Have come to the conclusion that I'm just rubbish!
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-07-2011, 05:39 PM
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hey, your not rubbish! as duffyduck says its all just practise!
I was like that too, i then went to college (i live in england also ) and the instructors got frustrated with me because no matter what i done the horses were slow as snails! yet they all said my position is fine, the aids i was giving the horses were clear, no mixed signals! then one day i was dawdling to the dreaded jump lesson (i gave up jumping and riding at this point i'd be lucky to get a 5stride of trot!!) got on my usual donkey warmed up as per, got frustrated with myself and the horse started cantering! i nearly died! so did my instructor!! dont give up hope cos it will happen! i dont know how or why, but now i dont have any problems with sluggish horses, espcially my mare :) xx
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-08-2011, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks izzynella.
I have stuck with it and I think it's getting better. I asked my instructor to move me onto a less advanced lesson while I get my confidence and balance back and they're going to try to have the same horse available for me every week for the time being.
I seem to be getting my seat back, focusing on the horses movement and sneaking in some lateral work when no one's looking and I've given up trying to use a crop and invested in a schooling whip instead - much easier. I've also booked a few one on one lessons to help me catch up. Hopefully I'll be looking at some *new* improvements soon. :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-10-2011, 06:50 PM
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Just a note... some horses get very turned off if you TRY TOO HARD and nag them with a pushy seat or jelly squeezing legs. So it could be that.

An example would be my horse is an absolute sensitive prince when I ask for leg yields. But when I ask for a bigger walk, and try squeezing more, he just turns off and ignores me. When I give him a clear soft aid, he's so responsive.

Also the farther back on their bellies, they're more sensitive.
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-10-2011, 07:20 PM
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It's quite true that it may be that the horse who was dead to you was turned off by squeezing. I used to ride a warmblood that would kind of do that if you moved your legs back too far and squeezed, he would become resentful and suck back. But if you kept them right where they hang and instead of a two legged squeeze, you used a "flutter" of the ankle on the side, you woould find him a very active horse. My insturctor likened it to plumping a pillow with your ankle, or , for softer aids, just fluttering your ankle itself against the side of horse, like a butterfly.

Another thing to think about with all work with horses is TIMING. Better riders develop better timing. They know when to apply the aid, and more importantly, when to take it away. It takes a lot of experience to develop this skill.

The last thing is your intention. IT's possible that even when you were laying the crop on the hrose, you were not wholeheartedly committed to moving faster. You may have been afraid of going faster, or afraid of the horse over reacting, so you are holding back in your body. Horses can feel this kind of tension. I dont' blame you for being wary of his response when cropped on the butt, but he feels it and reacts accordingly.

One thing that helps is to set up a goal. I mean set up cones or just pick a place in the arena, and say to your self, " I am going THERE, and I am going at a TROT!" Look at your goal and just project yourself going there, now! stay focussed only on that goal and getting there , quick!
Just going around and around is something that really makes a horse zone out.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-10-2011, 08:42 PM
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You dumped your agenda and the horse sensed it.
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