Stubborn horse won't go...
   

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Stubborn horse won't go...

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    05-31-2011, 07:02 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Stubborn horse won't go...

I have a 12 year old quarter horse mare that I started working with last summer (my "project", since I was forced out of my sport due to injury). She has EXCELLENT ground manners now (she used to be really rammy, but we managed to work past that). As long as I'm on my own 2 feet, she loves me, but it's a whole different ball game as soon as I'm on her back. For starters, she does NOT want to go. She just stands there and pins her ears and paws the ground. When I finally get her going (more her choice than mine), she either starts bucking or heading for the trees. She also has a very hard mouth, so it took me a while to learn how much pressure I could use. She has been vet checked and got a perfectly clean bill of health. How do I get her to listen to me while I'm on her back just as well as she does when I'm on the ground???
     
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    06-01-2011, 03:08 PM
  #2
Foal
Hi Klumsy Tumbler, I'm sorry you are having these issues. I've had the same problem with horses in the past and it ain't fun.

Firstly, I am by no means an expert, but I do know a few things.

Have you looked for any physical problems? Ill-fitting tack, lameness? Things like this can effect a horses ability to comply with what your asking him.

I've also heard of using a whip (particularly a dressage whip). But as I said, this is my thoughts and opinions.

My last bit advice would to be using the progression of riding aids. You don't want a horse that needs to be kicked to death in order to move. First start with a little lower leg pressure. Then if he doesn't respond, become more forceful as you progress.

Hope this helps a little. Anyone feel free to correct me! Or build on to what I've stated.
     
    06-03-2011, 02:47 AM
  #3
Foal
I would also say check for any physical problems with tack, especially the saddle as this could be causing her back pain which is why she is bucking etc.

Also, as she seems to be well established in groundwork, you could try riding her but having someone (or yourself with someone else riding) on the ground leading her and doing groundwork exercises except for that someone is on her back. This gives the rider the opportunity to back up the groundwork commands with ridden commands, and should hopefully be better for her as she is in a situation she is more familiar with.
     
    06-03-2011, 06:40 AM
  #4
Green Broke
This is what I would try. If it is a back issue, tack her all up as if you were going to ride. And then lunge her. Make sure to tighten that saddle good. I would say if she has a issue with the saddle fit she should show it while you lunge her. If its while your in the saddle, maybe see if you can find someone to help you. Get in the saddle and have someone lunge you together. Then you really should see if it is a saddle fit problem if she reacts the same.

If you do these things and no reaction, she is being disrespectful and stubborn. Then, if that is the case, you need to work on softening her. If she has a hard mouth I would start over with her in give and take pressure. Even with kicking her to go. That right there tells me she was treated badly. Former owners possibly made her that way.

So you will have to sensitize her to pressure. She has been desensitized. Now, before I give you advice on how to soften her up and sensitize her, I need to know how well of a rider you are and where your level of confidence is with her. Because she has shown her displeasure of pressure by pinning her ears back and offering a buck the training I'm about to give you may upset her. But it will help her to understand that you are not going to hurt her but that she needs to respond to your cues. And during this training I need you to make sure to wear a helmet.

Last question: what type of bit are you using?
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    06-03-2011, 10:03 AM
  #5
Foal
I have a horse I would love to adopt with this same issue. Lovely, Lovely ground manners, actually looks deep in your eyes and sighs! Then, if you ride her, the ears go back, and if she moves, its with the good chance of a buck or two. She is very large morgan/draft cross..and so has some power behind those bucks. My trainer will not agree to let me adopt her because she is not trustworthy (and I am 56!)...Are there just some horses that need to be appreciated on the ground only?
     
    06-10-2011, 07:53 PM
  #6
Banned
Too many people say "stubborn" when they should be thinking "pain."
     
    06-10-2011, 11:43 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathyk    
I have a horse I would love to adopt with this same issue. Lovely, Lovely ground manners, actually looks deep in your eyes and sighs! Then, if you ride her, the ears go back, and if she moves, its with the good chance of a buck or two. She is very large morgan/draft cross..and so has some power behind those bucks. My trainer will not agree to let me adopt her because she is not trustworthy (and I am 56!)...Are there just some horses that need to be appreciated on the ground only?

I think I would like to clarify what "good ground manners" should mean. It doesn't just mean that the horse stands next to you and looks sweetly in your eyes. It means that whatever you ask of the horse, they do it with a focus on you and a respect, and willingness and promptness. It means they have an awareness of your space and keept the boundary.

So, I would take that a step further. If in the round pen, you ask the horse to go forward, and it doesnt' go forward promptly and at the speed you are really asking (not thinking you are asking but actually saying with your body), then it doesnt have all that great ground manners.

To get the hrose willing to go forward under saddle, you need to have it willing to go forward in the round pen, or on the lunge line. Go there and get your horse to really move out when you ask , how fast you ask and as long as you ask.

I do , however, agree that an unwillingness to move out under saddle is hallmark for a saddle that is ouchy.
     

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