Phew what a ride! Long but with a question. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-10-2010, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: South West West Aussie
Posts: 92
• Horses: 1
Phew what a ride! Long but with a question.

Went out bush today with my bestie, her baby anglo and my clydie cross. Before I even left the paddock I had dramas, Riley (clydie cross) was having a "moment"! Every time I asked for forward movement he would respond with a pigroot. I eventually got him to go with Fanta (anglo) but it was with soooo much reluctance it was funny. The ride out was mostly uneventful, we were moving forward without resistance, well not overt resistance anyway. He was pploddding sooo slowly so he wasn't actively being a bad boy, just slow. Fanta was having some baby moments too and things were quite scary in the bush! hehe. The sun was shining and the sky was that deep rich blue that makes you think of crystal clear oceans and basking in the sun, I was totally unprepared for our next battle.

The wind was up a bit which made hearing traffic slightly difficult and when we did come across a car I turned Riley around to face it in case he decided that it was much too scary coming from behind. The car crawled past us and kept going up the road, and I attempted to do the same. Liz and Fanta were heading up the hill, cruising along most oblivious to the war raging back where we passed the car. Riley had decided that since we had made the turn around it must be time to go home and although it was a silent war it was pitched on both sides, I was resolutely determined that we were also going up the hill and he was determined to go home.
Liz turned near the top of the hill and saw my non existent progress (actually I think we were going home backwards LOL) and came back down to see if she could lend a hand. Riley decided at this point in time that it was ok to go forward and we met her half way up the hill. Aside from a few spooks due to the wind we were going great guns and rode into a tree plantation that had its gate wide open, and everyone knows that a gate wide open means come on inside, so we did.

At this point it was silently agreed that we open them up a bit and Liz and Fanta took off in front with me holding back a little so as to get a bit of a canter (or faster) out of my lazy beast. Towards the end of the long driveway Liz stopped Fanta and turned around to tell me how frustrated she was that her lazy beast would only trot, and a huge extended trot at that. As she turned Riley stumbled and I swear to god I knew I was going "flying over the handle bars"! With some sort of herculean effort Riley managed to drag himself back up onto all fours and stopped dead. I dropped the reins and reached down to hug my fabulous beastie who some how managed to save us both from certain injury. I checked to make sure that he hadn't hurt himself and we rode on amazed and over awed that he had saved himself. Liz told me that at his lowest point his knees were less than an inch from the ground.
I had my warm and fuzzies on then and nothing he did before that point was going to get in the way of how I felt about my baby boy. We decided to head for home not long after that and like always Riley picked up the pace, no gait breaking, just a much faster walk. A branch fell out of a nearby tree and almost gave the horses heart failure and it started a discussion about rider relaxation that lasted all the way home, and as a side note, from the time the convo started until we got to our driveway there was no spooks from the horses. Probably a good thing because neither of us was paying the slightest attention, but I imagine that was why there were no spooks too, complete relaxing from riders :)

When we got in our gate I mentioned that due to the nappiness of Riley after the car and stuff I would like to head in the other direction and let him know that just because we are almost home doesn't mean I can't change my mind and go back out. WELLLL... that led to another battle that waged for approximately 10 minutes and only finished because Liz ponied him off Fanta. Quite frustrated I was, I did not win the war after all, but he did not get to go home so technically he didn't win either. I was not especially happy about leaving it like that but too stuffed to keep fighting the way we were. Even when we turned back for home I kept turning him back to the trail and standing there for a few minutes, just so he didn't think home... run... LOL. I finished the ride with a mini argument about going up the hill to dismount near the tack shed instead of right outside the paddock. I am happy to say I won that one by myself, but I have no idea how.

Ok, now that my novel is finished can anyone tell me how to stop the nappiness? I would like to turn around and go in the other direction without big fights from my super strong mount. I tried; using my reins to smack him on the shoulders and butt, growly voice, (shamefully) kicking him in the guts, kissing, clicking, stopping him facing out waiting until he was calm and asking again, and circles in both directions fast enough to make me dizzy. None of it had any effect in making him move foward. I am stumped and really don't need him to know that. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maui
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Because I truly believe horses like to move, especially in company, out in the open-- sounds heavenly-- I'd recommend you give him a physical checkup. He COULD have low-grade founder (very hard to detect); or he COULD have a slight low metabolism problem (also very hard to detect.) I've seen these two conditions (there are probably others) and in both cases, we all thought it was just laziness.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
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Having them vet checked is always first, but sounds like he might be barn sour. I often felt like I would have to carry my mare home, until we turned for home. Everytime she left the pen, coming 'home' meant 20 minutes HARD work in the area next to it first. Worked for her, but she still sometimes has to be convinced to move out at a faster pace by bumping.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-2010, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NQ, Australia
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I get the impression that your boy is young / green. He is going to test the 'balance of power' so to speak (and he doesn't have to be young for that). Perserverance, repetition and downright stubboness on your part will win the day.

I take it he will move off your leg and he is just being naughty as opposed to not really understanding the aids you are giving him.

I like to have a whip which reinforces my leg. My boy gets the following aids - leg, stronger leg, leg and whip 'i mean now' . I give him a good whack with the whip right behind me leg and the same time as my leg so he has no mistake understanding my intention. Sometimes he'll leap forward and give me a much faster pace than I want but I let him go a few steps then bring him back to the pace I am actually after. I praise him no matter what speed I get because it's the forward response to my aid that I want - the speed comes later. It's surprising how quickly they start to move off the slightest touch of your leg with this method.

My daughter prefers spurs (rowels are her favourite) and I've seen her use the same principal with those. The ask, stronger ask and the 'wham I mean it!"
The young horse chucked a big tanty when she did it the first time, and the reared up the second time but after that, no problem - she didn't have to use the spurs.

I reiterate though, be sure your horse understands the forward aids before battling the going away from home issue. Repetition really is the key

Only As Old As You Feel - Sometimes I Feel VERY Old
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