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    07-19-2011, 01:50 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Horsesdontlie    
Okay, now for my story. =o I'll try and make it short.

A year ago I finally was able to financially support my horse (he lived with my dad about 800 miles away....divorced parents) and brought him down. Long story short, my horse is the opposite of yours. He is a monster out on trails. He is horribly barn sour, randomly gets hyped up (he doesn't spook but will build up energy until he explodes) and I imagine I tense/have tensed up when I'm in a more dangerous situation (on the road/around cars/next to rough terrain/cliffs) and he swings himself into what ever I'm telling him to stay away from.

Now all of that is normal and expect, what I didn't expect was for him to get worse overtime. I thought more trail riding and he would eventually calm down. Well it just got worse, he started rearing and leaping vertically into the air. He would jump into anything or anyone. He tackled several horses (with riders), caused eye trauma from launching into a fence, would jump into the river crossing. I could not keep this horses front feet on the ground, he would canter in place, and rear every two steps. Once this started his arena work went to crap. He wouldn't canter consistently. If he had any bit pressure he would throw himself into the bit, slide to a stop and do several mini rears. I was at my mental limit, trainers were baffled, and vets found no pain. He fought everything I did, my soft mouthed horse spent 70% of every ride pulling as hard as he could against the bit, giving himself cuts and I had severe rope burn on both my hands.

Then he fell once while rearing, I managed to jump off easily. But was giving up on me, once he fell it took me about 10 minutes to convince him to get back up. A week later he had done this 3 times. At the end of the week he threw himself over backwards with no warning, was very very lucky and escaped being landed on by inches.

It was then that I wanted to give up, I had good reasons to. He was a danger to himself and anyone around him. Honestly, I don't know why I considered to keep riding but I did.

I gave him two weeks off, moreover myself two weeks off. Then restarted him, worked on ground work then moved to riding in a halter. Now he hasn't reared out of frustration/on trail in 4 months. He is doing lovely in the arena as well. Jake and I are probably horrible for each other, we know how to piss each other off and bicker between us. =) But in the end we somehow get the job done.

Its hard and it takes time, try playing games in the arena instead of working. Try working on teaching things slowly instead of just going in circles, work on leg cues, turns on the hind and fore....and so on. Keep it light and fun.

You made me feel totally better,lol.

That had to be horrible to deal with. He is lucky to have someone like you as he might have been put down because of his issues. You made me feel it is possible. I don't want to give up but at the same time' I'm thinking what's the use?' I will keep in mind about keep it fun and light. I have a lesson with her for 2 more days at the stable and I will do an hour each day. I will ask to go on a hack as she really loves to go and see whats out there. That I am happy about. I know this sounds bad but I don't want just a trail horse. I want to do CTR with her and do 10 miles at full on trot and canter...that would be fun
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    07-19-2011, 01:53 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Thyme    
Rem is about a half hour away, long country roads. . .I can see him whenever I want, and I have weekly riding lessons with him. He isnt going to be home for another month :( but we are getting better. First day we literally stood there for 10 minutes becuase he wouldnt listen to my leg commands, they kind of have to learn how you ride and give them the commands, now we are jumping! But he can be really fustrating, I don't even go ride him if I feel cranky etc. Because I don't want to get suck on him not doing his job -_-

So this is just another part of ownership and a relationship with a horse,right? Thanks for people to be motivating and keeping me positive. I was pretty dang frusterated. Tomorrow will be better.I know it will.
    07-19-2011, 02:00 AM
I think that the more you stick with her and she realizes that, she will listen more. Now that my gelding knows I will stick with him even on his off days, he tries more. She obviously trusts you if she is great on trails which is typically a more stressful place for a horse, your just in a rough patch.
I wish you live in WA we could trail ride :/
    07-19-2011, 02:19 AM
Originally Posted by Gidget    
You made me feel totally better,lol.

That had to be horrible to deal with. He is lucky to have someone like you as he might have been put down because of his issues. You made me feel it is possible. I don't want to give up but at the same time' I'm thinking what's the use?' I will keep in mind about keep it fun and light. I have a lesson with her for 2 more days at the stable and I will do an hour each day. I will ask to go on a hack as she really loves to go and see whats out there. That I am happy about. I know this sounds bad but I don't want just a trail horse. I want to do CTR with her and do 10 miles at full on trot and canter...that would be fun
I'm glad I could help. =D I know how hard and hopeless you can feel when nothing goes right. Its not easy, I still had many hard days where I went home crying (I just had to laugh at myself now, but I was in a pretty pathetic state) because all I wanted to do was beat his and my own head in. I was always thinking "why won't he just get it?" I'm making the wrong thing very very hard and the right thing easy, why won't it work? It took him months to work through what ever was going through his brain. Thinking back now I am amazed that I never really thought of our recovery, it just happened so slowly that I just got used to it.

Though I do have to say that the slowness of our retraining was my fault. I am emotional and get frustrated easily, so I would get rougher with him, and he would get frustrated and refuse to do anything I asked. Honestly I thought I was training him, but in all honesty those six months he was training me. He wouldn't and still doesn't put up with any of my crap. If I was impatient he would only get worse, throwing more temper tantrums and working himself into a nervous wreck. It wasn't until I could stay calm and work on myself that I could even START to work with his problems. My friend/trainer started coaching me because I was such a wreck I couldn't think for myself anymore. So as hard as it is, not getting frustrated is very important. Also getting help, through lessons/trainers always helps.
    07-19-2011, 08:16 PM
I am going to recommend you google horse clicker training on youtube. Once she understands the concept (10 min.) just take her into the arena on halter and a bag full of treats. Perhaps just walk to the far end, click with your tongue and give her a treat. Food is a great motivator. Walk somewhere else, c/t. Over a few rails, c/t, This is making the arena a more pleasant place for her. Work her like this for 4 or 5 days. Pick up her feet, anything you can think of that she can do and get rewarded. I would repeat when she's under saddle. Keep her to a walk and keep it to about 20 min. For about a week. Be sure to trail ride her and find things on the trail to reward her for. Sometimes a 10 min session that goes well is far better than a poor one that's dragged out over and over. Putting her away can be a great reward to her as well. If she did well and you're happy, put her away; she deserves it.
    07-20-2011, 01:35 AM
Green Broke
Thanks for the info. I don't have access to an arena all the time so that is an issue. I am planning on boarding her over at my trainers for a month or so for training and lessons.

We had a lesson to see if we were ready to gallop..well I had issues getting her to move forward and it's a work out just getting her to do it but once we were out in the pasture to gallop she did FANTASTIC! We have to work on us keeping our pace as she likes to race other horses but I was so proud of her as we did very well. I am going to work with her everyday.
    07-20-2011, 05:21 PM
You can have a trail and an arena horse :)

Your on the right track. Horses teach patience, it seems, above all else. Keep at it, building that relationship and filling in the gaps in her training. I firmly believe you can have a horse for the trails, and in the arena, in the same horse. If she can handle trails, she can handle an arena.
    07-20-2011, 05:37 PM
Green Broke
I'm sorry you're so discouraged with Gidget. With rather, with Gidget's arena work. She is a fabulous CTR horse, which takes skill that arena horses just can't touch! Look that way, on the bright side, when her difficulty with arena work wears you down. That's a facet of riding that she needs to improve, but she's still a uber awesome trail horse. By no means have you failed her or has she failed you, if you feel that way.

You two will get it soon. Keep the faith! Don't be discouraged! It took a very long time to build Rome, after all.
    07-21-2011, 01:08 AM
Green Broke
Awww,thank you :)

I had a super experience with her yesterday and today was great as well. So maybe we just had a rough day or things are beginning to click.
We went cantering in the pasture. All the campers headed out to the field and my horse enjoyed the trail ride over to the grassy field. I let everyone know she was a competitive horse..which she ended up showing everyone as she wanted to race! I had to slow her down which is hard to do once she gets pumped up. I then asked if I could canter so my friend and I set off to a canter and I was up in a half seat..it was amazing! I asked how my position was and she said I got it down so I was super happy and Gidget was happy to not be in the arena.
Today I went on a trail ride with her and a camper who brought her horse. We are workers there and I wanted a private lesson so we saddled up and went in the back for a trail ride. We took turns jumping logs and ditches. I then had my private lesson in the evening and we did a lunge lesson.I was praying that she wouldn't buck me off.I wasn't nervous but I wasn't going to say she wasn't going to buck me off as she has been known to buck when being lunged. I worked on the trot and walk and driving her. She listened to me pretty well and she didn't sneer and pin her ears back. She had the forward and she was listening to me! My hands have become relaxed but I gotta keep my arms from turning into chicken wings. I was told Gidget has a nice trot and a decent walk to her. She didn't take baby steps like she is use to..she was moving forward and didn't hate every minute of it.

I am having 3 lessons a week which will really help me speed up on my riding skills.

BE,that means a lot. Gidget is an excellent trail horse that will do anything I ask her. She loves it and doesn't spook a lot unless something is really different...like a tarp with logs. My trainer said she actually sees a lot of potential in Gidget and that made me really happy.
    07-21-2011, 01:41 AM
Green Broke
Doesn't sound like you're are having too bad a time with her! What you did yesterday and today seems like it went great. Maybe it was the trail riding you did before hand. Might it help if you trail rode every other day you rode, and maybe after arena lessons as a reward?

She sounds more bombproof than Baby Girl. Tarps and logs and bushes, oh my! She had an off day today where I would give anything to be riding Gidget instead!

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