Hi all! My horse has a lot of issues currently (that I believe are simple fixes). He was not ridden very regularly prior to me getting him. He's currently pretty rusty in A LOT of areas. I feel that a crop would be helpful in fixing some of the more important issues I have stumbled across.
Some of his current issues include:
-Refusing to move forward without having to circle him.
-Backing up when I ask him to move forward--sometimes he will even back in a circle when I attempt to use a circle as a fix. Usually in this situation, I will ask him to back quite a distance. I've found with a lot of horses that they would rather walk forward than back, and when given the choice, will walk forward--problem solved..temporarily. A smack on the butt helps as well--but I don't like being physical with him any more than absolutely necessary.
-His transitions need work. His walk to trot has gotten nearly flawless--however, his trot to canter is bloody horrid. Instead of transitioning smoothly and fluidly, he merely proceeds to trot faster and faster until it's both silly looking and extremely uncomfortable for the both of us, I'm sure. At this point, It's very difficult to both ride such a trot and continue ask him productively for a canter. He will eventually pick up a canter, and it's lovely! However, this needs work. A pop on the withers will more often than not work--since he was ridden western before me, his previous rider would use the split reins on the withers; unfortunately I can't do that with English reins (though I shouldn't have to!)
-He isn't necessarily refusing jumps, though he slows down drastically and hops over them or even steps over instead of jumping. This problem, I'm not extremely concerned with as I feel that this just needs a bit of work. He is most likely new to even small jumps, so I want to take my time with this. I just figured I would mention it.
Would a crop help me if used properly? I have never had to use a crop on a horse more than once or so, and it was because said horse was just plain lazy. I don't want to be cruel to my boy--I just can't imagine him thinking of me as an aggressive rider. I want to be assertive, but not aggressive. I want him to enjoy our partnership as I do, not fear it and me.
Any and all opinions or input welcomed and appreciated