Confused. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-18-2011, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia
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I have been riding Joe a lot latley and while some of those rides are normally of alright quality LOL. I have had a few problems, and it is quite difficult to explain;

When I am riding Joe in the dressage arena at the Equestrian Park down the road he gets really tense and refuses to listen to my leg aids. I manage to get his walk relaxed and collected but when its time to trot, he throws a tantrum and trys to canter, which results in me pulling on his mouth, leaning back and trying to get him to trot, when he finally trots he does it on the spot - and I allow him to go forward with my hand/legs and he still doesn't trot he just trys to canter.

This has been happening more and more, and I am lost at what to do. I once had a lesson with him and he was like that, and they were saying stop holding on to his mouth and let him move forward, but when I allow forward movement he chucks up his head and starts to canter, thus ignoring any of my aids.

We got his back checked so it's not a pain issue, and I am so confused at what exercises I can do with him when he is like this. I have tried just letting him canter but being a TB he has so much natural fitness it is so exhausting.. I also got told to get off and lunge him, but that also didn't make a difference.

Could it just be a freshness issue, or maybe he's tense?

If he is tense, how do I ride him to make him more relaxed?

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post #2 of 4 Old 09-18-2011, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nine Mile Falls, Washington
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From what you've stated about his behavior, it may just be uneasy tension. Has he been in the park before without any issues, or is he completely new to the area?

Also, do you expect him to go into a canter when you ask for a trot? Are you, as a rider tense?
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-18-2011, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
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Oh Joe if only it were possible to write a few lines and give you some words of wisdom which will help you from over the internet. But schooling a young TB is a complex issue, especially one feeling frivolous.
I suspect as you have already been told, the horse needs some basic schooling part of which is work in hand and part on the lunge. But you have a need to know what you are doing.

What you need is some hands on help from a kindly benefactor. Look for someone to help you to find your way. First buy/borrow a basic schooling book and read it. You'll have questions - so take your book and go and find someone you respect as a horseperson and ask them to explain. Say 'please'.

Then introduce that person to your horse and tell the horse to behave.

But over the longer term, if you rescued the horse, if you feed it, if you tack it up and ride it and if you love it - then I am positive one day the horse will understand it has to do what you ask it to do. But first it needs to understand you and that's the tricky bit which you are going to have to learn.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-18-2011, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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My money's on he's being a butt head. I'd say half halts, but if he's tense, they won't go through and he'll just keep blowing you off. The good news is he's a TB which usually equals very smart horse. They learn quickly. If I were on your horse, I would first let him know that I can shut him down at any darn time I want with a one rein stop. Get him moving along at his nice relaxed walk and stop him a few times by letting one rein go slack while pulling the other around so him neck bends toward your hip. He'll probably spin around a few times until he stops completely at which time, release the rein instantly. Do that at the walk until he stops the instant he feels you pick up the rein. Then move onto trot. The split second he tries to blow you off and jump up into canter, use the one rein stop to shut him down. He should quickly get the idea of this game and hopefully start behaving himself as a result. Once he's doing what you want, the go back to riding him normally, asking for the changes of gait through proper seat cues and half halts. The logic here is that your horse will now know that you can shut him down whenever he wants, so he might as well listen to your normal cues in the first place. I recently went through this exact same nonsense a few weeks ago with my TB and had it fixed in 20 minutes. Try it. Can't hurt!

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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