Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Well, as per Buster, I definately don't see anything wrong with spurs so long as they are used responsibily.
He needs to realize that you are boss and respect that. So far, he's not. He's completely ignoring you and only doing as much as he feels like doing, which is a big no-no.
If he responds better to the spurs, I'd start with working on his flxion and lateral movements.
From a standstill, flex his head and ask him to move - either his hip, his shoulder, his ribcage.
Once he is responding respectively to your leg, you should need minimal pressure and he should bend and move where you're asking him too.
The leg yeild is an excellent excercise for this, and it also involves movement that once he masters, he will be able to do at a trot and lope. Don't rush it though, that takes a lot of time.
His problem is that he is just not respecting your role as leader, and you need to reinforce that.
As for Houdini, I'm going to say he's bucking because he's sore, obviously.
You said he's sore wether he's ridden bareback or with a saddle, so it's obviously not a poorly fitting saddle problem.
I would consider getting a professional Equine Massage Therapist out to take a look at him. As good as we can be with massages, they know what to look for more precisely.
I would also consider a vet, to give him a full body examination to see if he could pinpoint a problem for his soreness.
Where is he sore? Leg, shoulder, back?
A horse will not cooperate no matter how broke if it causes him pain, nor should he, really. I know that if I was sore there's no way I'd let someone on my back and run me around.
I think he's telling you nicely (as opposed to totally freaking out )he's telling and asking you to stop by crow hopping and not telling you to get the heck off right now by going into a bronc fit, and until the problem with why he's sore is addressed there's really nothing more to say on that.
As for Turner, he is young and only has a small attention span at four months old.
Daily handling such as you've been doing - halter, leading, picking up his feet, catching, etc is great for him - just remember to keep his sessions short.
They do have limited attention spans and you don't want him to get over worked and frustrated with human interaction.
Usually about two or three 15 minutes intervals a day would be good for him. It's long enough to teach his lessons, but short enough that he will pay attention the whole time.
Best of luck with everyone, and let us know how they go. :)