Problems with lesson horse
   

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Problems with lesson horse

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  • Riding lesson problems
  • How do you keep a stubborn horse from eating grass when leading him

 
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    06-09-2008, 01:48 PM
  #1
Foal
Problems with lesson horse

Hello, This is my first time posting on this forum. I've read alot of the posts on here and you all seem very helpful so I am hoping you can help me with a few problems I am having.
I have been riding for about 9 months and have been riding a new horse in my lessons once a week for about 2 months. I am still doing very basic riding as I am a bit of an older rider so I still get nervous very easily. For the most part the horse is very good - does not spook very easily and is very safe which is great for me. I will just name off the things he does and you can give me suggestions on what to do!
-He moves around alot in the cross ties when I am trying to groom him, trys to take his feet back when I am cleaning them and can be hard to bridle
-When I am bringing him in from the pasture or taking him out he always trys to eat the grass when I am leading him and I have been getting better at keeping his head up but sometimes no matter what I do he overpowers me and it takes forever to get to and from the pasture
-If we have to wait outside the outdoor ring for our lesson he will not stand still and trys to keep walking around me and also trys to eat grass
-My biggest problem comes when I am riding him. Every lesson it feels like he is trying to test me to see who is in control. As soon as we begin to go on the rail he trys to move into the center or turn around and I have to correct him with my inside leg to get him back on the rail. If he really decides to put up a fight I have to use my reigns to - which I try not to use to much with him because if I do he will start throwing his head and will stop listening to me even more. This usually goes on for at least half of the lesson and then he will give up if I am on him enough or will get worse and just stop listening completely.
I really like this horse and I feel safe on him but its very frusterating when I am trying to learn but also have to be constantly on him all the time. Any insight would be helpful..thanks for reading!
     
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    06-09-2008, 09:39 PM
  #2
Weanling
Hi natalier

Welcome to the forum. It does sound like your having a lot of trouble with your lesson horse. From the sounds of it, he thinks he's the boss and is bossing you around. There's not really much I can suggest except to not let him get away with it.... but its difficult to do that when your learning. If he's overpowering you that is a problem. The best idea might be to let your instructor know so s/he can help you. Sorry I couldn't be more help
     
    06-09-2008, 11:27 PM
  #3
Weanling
1.) ok I will try to help you the best I can. Ok now when you Groom him and he starts to move, it could be cause the water is cold or maybe he is abit affraid of the water. Do you start at the feet and work up? Or is he completely fine with water?

- Pickin his back feet and he keeps pullin them back, well you just got to be persistant and don't give up.

- I am lackin info on the bridlin part. Is the bit hittin his teeth when you are puttin them in and takin it out?

2)Ok so the horse likes to eat.. Ok so what I would suggest when he pulls his head down to eat I assume you pull the lead rope or grab the halter and pull up? You can either grab around his neck with your hole arm and pull him up, or you can give him a tap on the rumph and get him goin.. don't let him stop.. but definantly don't let him get his head to to eat.. Sounds like you really need to give this horse a firm hand.

3.) Trust me I have had this problem and it can be a pain in the (you know what). This horse I am thinkin is either spoilt or STUBBORN! Is there somethin or someone in the middle of the arena that seems to make him want to come into the middle???

I know you hate fightin with him, but this horse doesn't think you top mare.. What kind of bit are you usin? Idk why he throws his head but it could be the bit, or he is just bein a turkey.

Well he is going to keep testin you and you just got to straight him out and don't give in. I know you are still tryin to learn, but this is good experience with dealin with a stubborn or spoilt horse. You just gotta have a firm hand.. Or you can take the easy way out and just get on another horse.. its up to you.

Why is this horse a lesson horse?
     
    06-10-2008, 02:01 AM
  #4
Green Broke
I agree with the 'why is this a lesson horse' comment. Although you need to be the boss, you shouldn't have to spend half your lesson correcting your lesson horse (IMHO). As for grass eating, my experience has been that this is one of the hardest things for horses because...well..they like to eat grass, especially this time of year when they may have had sparse grass and/or hay all winter. Keep a short lead and head up at the first sign of going to graze..it can be mighty hard to get the strong neck back up once it reaches the ground.
     
    06-10-2008, 10:06 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon
Why is this horse a lesson horse?
I'm guessing it's more, he's like this BECAUSE he's a lesson horse! It's amazing how quickly horses learn to get away with things. It just takes one kid that allows him to eat grass, one time the kid couldn't get his head up that he realizes all he has to do is ignore the person leading him and he gets all the grass he wants!

The question is, is this the best match for you to be riding? Your trainer may have decided that you're good enough that you don't need that push button plug that plods along half asleep on the rail and wants you to learn how to deal with a more difficult horse. But if he's going to damage your confidence at all or be so difficult that you don't feel like you can learn as well I would suggest having a chat with her about it.

As far as your riding goes, sounds like what you're doing is fixing the problem as or after it happens. I would suggest trying to fix the problem before it can happen. That may involve being perceptive in the tiny body language signals he might give before he does something. You need to anticipate his next actions so you can stop the behavior as soon as you can. When you feel him START to lower his head jerk his head up with your lead rope. (he may be stubborn enough to need a rope halter or a chain, get help from someone before using one though!) When he drifts into the middle it starts with one step in that direction. Or even more subtly that might start with him leaning that way, or pointing his ear that way, or starting to put his nose there. Correct him even as he just starts to misbehave. We have a school horse that loves to stop and snack on a bush next to the arena. Once he stops he's hard to get going again. But he gives tiny clues right before he does it. Maybe his nose will point there, or he barely cocks his ear towards the bush as he approaches it. As soon as his riders bend his nose away from it and prepare to get really firm with him if he should try and stop, he gives up. He knows that if they're prepared it's not use trying. He will try it with a beginner though because he knows he can.
     
    06-10-2008, 02:54 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon
1.) ok I will try to help you the best I can. Ok now when you Groom him and he starts to move, it could be cause the water is cold or maybe he is abit affraid of the water. Do you start at the feet and work up? Or is he completely fine with water?

- Pickin his back feet and he keeps pullin them back, well you just got to be persistant and don't give up.

- I am lackin info on the bridlin part. Is the bit hittin his teeth when you are puttin them in and takin it out?

2)Ok so the horse likes to eat.. Ok so what I would suggest when he pulls his head down to eat I assume you pull the lead rope or grab the halter and pull up? You can either grab around his neck with your hole arm and pull him up, or you can give him a tap on the rumph and get him goin.. don't let him stop.. but definantly don't let him get his head to to eat.. Sounds like you really need to give this horse a firm hand.

3.) Trust me I have had this problem and it can be a pain in the (you know what). This horse I am thinkin is either spoilt or STUBBORN! Is there somethin or someone in the middle of the arena that seems to make him want to come into the middle???

I know you hate fightin with him, but this horse doesn't think you top mare.. What kind of bit are you usin? Idk why he throws his head but it could be the bit, or he is just bein a turkey.

Well he is going to keep testin you and you just got to straight him out and don't give in. I know you are still tryin to learn, but this is good experience with dealin with a stubborn or spoilt horse. You just gotta have a firm hand.. Or you can take the easy way out and just get on another horse.. its up to you.

Why is this horse a lesson horse?
When I said grooming I meant just the basic brushing and cleaning out his feet so there is no water involved. As for the bridling I always ensure that the bit does not hit his teeth going in or coming out..he just likes to be stubborn. He uses a snaffle bit and I don't think a stronger bit would help him because he requires very light hands..he responds best to leg queues. As for going in the middle he usually does it for no reason..but sometimes he will stop listening because there is another horse that another lady rides who he loves and he is always trying to get to. I have no problem riding by this other horse except if I do the horse I am riding will have his face right up to the other horse rear. Another problem I've been having is getting him to do even one full lap of the arena trotting without him stopping.
     
    06-10-2008, 03:43 PM
  #7
Weanling
Ya nana has the problem of stoppin at the gate when we are loping. She will do just fine and then she will just stop, and she has gotten a bad habbit of this becuase of other people lettin her get away with it. What I would suggest you do is just before you reach the point where you know she is going to stop or slow down, keep cluckin to her and give leg pressure, that way you are lettin him know not to stop. Don't kiss to him or he will probly take off in a lope, but just keep cluckin and have those hands on the reins just incase he think its lopin time (no pressure on the bit tho).

This will probly take some time before he gets the hint not to stop where he usually does.
     
    06-10-2008, 05:52 PM
  #8
Weanling
You are getting some really good suggestions! I am not going to add to them because I am a fairly new older rider also.....but I will say that for me, being on a horse that challenged me every other step really helped me to learn faster how to handle many different situations quickly. If you can ride a more stubborn horse, imagine how easy it will be when you get on a welll-trained (not lesson sour) horse. That is how I looked at my difficult lesson horse experience, and it has worked!
     
    06-10-2008, 05:54 PM
  #9
Weanling
Re: Problems with lesson horse

Quote:
Originally Posted by natalier
-He moves around alot in the cross ties when I am trying to groom him, trys to take his feet back when I am cleaning them and can be hard to bridle
-When I am bringing him in from the pasture or taking him out he always trys to eat the grass when I am leading him and I have been getting better at keeping his head up but sometimes no matter what I do he overpowers me and it takes forever to get to and from the pasture
-If we have to wait outside the outdoor ring for our lesson he will not stand still and trys to keep walking around me and also trys to eat grass
-My biggest problem comes when I am riding him. Every lesson it feels like he is trying to test me to see who is in control. As soon as we begin to go on the rail he trys to move into the center or turn around and I have to correct him with my inside leg to get him back on the rail. If he really decides to put up a fight I have to use my reigns to - which I try not to use to much with him because if I do he will start throwing his head and will stop listening to me even more. This usually goes on for at least half of the lesson and then he will give up if I am on him enough or will get worse and just stop listening completely.
I really like this horse and I feel safe on him but its very frusterating when I am trying to learn but also have to be constantly on him all the time. Any insight would be helpful..thanks for reading!
ok well I know you said your an older rider and get scared easily-well im very sry but if this horse is a lesson horse I highly doubt your instructor would put you on him if you can't handle him.i think your problem is that you are not firm enough.i mean yeah, your not letting him get away with it but you have to be even firmer.

1)grab the cross ties and say NO very firmly..and if not then a litte smack on his rump should do it.and if not ask to groom out on the driveway or something-no grass fields!

2)well you can either use a chain on him(very lightly) OR back him up when he does this.and also I tend to NOT KICK but slip my fot under the horses mouth..or push it I should say.oh and also a tight lead would help

3)and no..walking around you is not acceptable. I would snap the lead and back him up..only back him up if he doesn't stand still after you snap the lead.

4)the only thing I can say is get him over to the rail as quick as possible.and to tell ya the truth-if you control him better on the ground I think he will he much better when riding too.what im saying is just don't let him walk all over you-literally.haha.but as I've said before-i don't t hink your instructor would put you on him if he/she didn't think you were capable of controling him.
You said that you can't concentrate with him walking all over you-but really, the quicker you get him under control so he doesn't think he can overpower you, the quicker you can really start learning.because once he knows you mean business then he should behave and you can "start" your riding.hope this helps :)
     
    06-10-2008, 07:48 PM
  #10
Yearling
I used to ride a horse that loved to charge to the center of the ring at random times and I think it is because the center of the ring means no work. So I started doing tons of circles and having him work lots in the center of the ring and it helped tremendously. Remember to be firm and never let him get his way.
     

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