Re-rider help

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Re-rider help

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    03-02-2011, 11:19 PM
Re-rider help

It's been awhile since I've ridden. I'm trying to get back into it. Purchased a blue app last Sunday. I rode him three times with no problems. When I tried to ride him today, he refused to leave the area we were at. He kept trying to graze while I asked him to move. I walked him in circle 8's done bending, backing etc, but when I asked him to leave the green grass he wouldn't. He threw me twice. The second time hurt my tailbone, actually have a big purple bruise there. I couldn't ride anymore after that. I done some groundwork with him. He done what I asked with flying colors. So why when I'm mounted and asking him to walk away he refuses but can be led away with no probs? Any advice? How can I get him to understand that work is the same weather I'm in the saddle or on the ground? Thanks in advance!
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    03-03-2011, 12:04 AM
Do you have a riding crop?

Every now and then I have to ride my boy (every couple of weeks or more) a time or two a day out on the trail. Being at a livery, young children ride him -- and let him get away with everything, including grazing. Being he's used to children, kicking isn't always adequate. So when he starts to look around like he's going to eat, I give my thigh a whack. It's not scary, but a wake-up. If he starts to lower his head, I pull up and give him a moderate tap on the neck and a kick. If he gets his head dropped I pull up and kick; if it still doesn't happen, I pull up, kick, and then thwack him (of course not "too" hard) on the neck, as well.

I've never heard of a horse wrecking its rider to graze ... it sounds odd to me. Is there someone else who could ride him once you get sore? By "calling it quits," I'm sure you're well aware that he's going to be tempted to do the very same the next time you ask him to go out.

Usually if I ask for motion (bending, circles, 8s, what have you), I do it ... well, faster than a walk. A walk is rather effortless; I want the horse to learn that if they do something unacceptable it leads to more work, not just getting bored. I usually go for a trot, and if the horse is fairly fresh I ask for a canter after a little bit. So if I'm walking and my horse acts like he's about to buck or kick out at a horse behind us, whatever the case, I ask/tell/command him to go a little faster. The key is to get his attention without upsetting him; so don't pull-kick-thwack until it's a last resort. Try to do so safely and try to catch the action before the horse does it. In addition, make the working worth while. (:

Not sure if it helps, but it usually helps Ben and some of our other "problem eaters" quite a bit ... for at least a good 2 weeks before we have to "re-train" the behavior out of them.
    03-03-2011, 12:24 AM
Makes a lot of sense! Thank you! I was told that mainly children rode him, so that could be it. As far as making me fall, he didn't actually buck, just crow hopped and I couldn't stay in my seat, lol. The owner told me that I'd probably need spurrs because he said he uses them on the trail. And he got upset when I used my heel to try to nudge him forward. I didn't use spurs tho. That may have stemmed from the spurs?
    03-03-2011, 12:50 AM
Originally Posted by SouthernComfort    
Makes a lot of sense! Thank you! I was told that mainly children rode him, so that could be it. As far as making me fall, he didn't actually buck, just crow hopped and I couldn't stay in my seat, lol. The owner told me that I'd probably need spurrs because he said he uses them on the trail. And he got upset when I used my heel to try to nudge him forward. I didn't use spurs tho. That may have stemmed from the spurs?
Maybe being "spur sour"? I admit I don't know much about it but a barrel trainer/ex-racer I know has told me of it. Sounds like one of our horses sneaking a little "bunny hop" in on you. Lol

Children -- and yes, some adults -- tend to spoil horses. My biggest issue on the trail with them is when I say, "pull up and kick him," they think they're going to hurt the horse. Really? A 120-pounds-and-under twig is going to hurt a 1,000 pound animal with no spurs or other assistance. And then we get those people who are one step away from PETA activists and think that us kicking our horses is "cruelty." Now they are a riot.

Ranting aside, the best I can do is suggest to keep at it. Did the owner tell you why they used spurs?
    03-03-2011, 01:08 AM
Hello Southern,

I saw pictures of your new Appy on your other thread. He should be a very nice trail/daily use horse, after he has some weight on him.

Since this horse has some history of being used by children and maybe riders who were not capable of getting the obedience that they wanted from him, he may have some bad habits. Not a bad horse, just bad habits.

First of all, moving a horse is traumatic, so wait a bit before riding him outside of your arena. Let him settle a bit. Do only ground work and hanging out with him for a couple of weeks. Work on having him be respectful of you on the groundd. One thing, do not take him out to hand graze on a leadline. When he is on the leadline, do not allow him to graze. If he gets his head down, throw the tail end of the leadline at him (if clucking and lightly pulling on the rope doesn't get his head up.) Startle him and if he jumps away from you, ignore that. You just want to intereupt his desire to eat. Over and over until he stands on the lead line, even if grass is under foot.
Be sure to let him graze, but just not when he is on line. And be consistent. NEVER let him graze when online. Make a clear seperation.

If you can, work with him in an area without the temptation of grass while you are getting to know each other. Work on just go/stop/turn/trot/ bend right, bend left. All those little things and make your sessions short and end on a pleasant note.

If you have a round pen, I would do some work in there and even ride him in there. Half an hour will be enough. He may not have the back muscles to support the saddle very well, and this might be part of his crowhopping.

After the two weeks, if you do decide to tackle the issue, let someone who can go through crowhopping and stay on do it first. When they get him to walk away from the grass, then go only a short distance/time and then quit.
Make each thing short and easy to build up the knowledge in the horse that he can trust you not to ask a lot from him. Horse's like to know that there is an end to the work and it isn't just forever far away. Some horses don't care, but others, at least at first, need to have that relief and reward given after a short stretch of the abilities.

Appy's are generally smart horses and often complex and maybe willful. Some folks wont' ride them 'cause of that. But they are also strong, sturdy and multitalented.
    03-03-2011, 03:37 PM
Thank you for the advice! I will try it. I think I can ride for a short distance if I can get one of those saddle cushions.

The man told me that he used spurs on the trail because he would fall behind and wouldn't catch up with the others. He also said the last time he rode him, he acidentlly spurred him in the flank and he gave a buck.

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