Disrespectful under saddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-16-2012, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Disrespectful under saddle

Alright, I started my guy under saddle about 6 weeks ago after much groundwork. He is an absolute angel on the ground- gives to pressure, backs, turns, listens to cues well. He knows that if he shows any disrespect, he is going to be reprimanded.
Under saddle he is doing well, but still has much to learn. He is great with walking on, and is getting along well with trotting. His stop is not the best, but we're working on it and its slowely improving. Backing up is an issue though, as well as he ignores some cues and tries to push through them. This is completely disrespectful and want to stomp it out quick. To get his respect on the ground, I had to push him until he blew up, and kept going until he submitted. After doing this once, he was an angel afterwards (only needing light correction when he started to misbehave).
As he's being like this under saddle, I have a feeling that I won't gain his respect until he 'blows up' and learns that he must do as I say- on the ground and under saddle. He knows I can't get after him as much under saddle so takes advantage of it. My BO is a trainer, and I do plan to ask her opinion, but was wondering if anyone on here had any advice as well. (I like to get lots of opinions, then make a decision).
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-16-2012, 07:35 PM
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in situations where the horse knows and understands what is expected on the ground but not under saddle, my recommendation is to have someone work with you on the ground when you are riding. this way he can respond to the cues the way he would if you were on the ground, while you give him the riding aids. eventually start to phase out the person on the ground and only use them when he doesn't react the way you want under saddle. soon enough, you'll have him understanding the riding aids as well as he does on the ground!
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-16-2012, 07:51 PM
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To me he sounds like a basic green horse.......it is way different when your asking on the ground and get on and ask. It is a adjustment period that needs to be firm but not intimidate the horse into figuring it out.

Like I said it is different cues when your on them then when your on the ground...if you don't know how to fix the problem I would find a trainer who knows how to correctly go about it.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-16-2012, 09:16 PM
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I too agree with others. Consider the horse, the little experience he's had, the way he's been taught & how you can make it clearer for him to understand what you want. As part of your consideration, I'd also want to make absolutely sure it's not the saddle or something else causing him pain so he feels he *can't* do what you ask.

I am assuming you're meaning obedience by the term 'respect'? Regardless of your meaning, no, you don't have to(& I don't think it's helpful or productive to) cause the horse to 'blow up' to teach him anything. Not to mention pushing him that far under saddle may only cause him to learn how to get rid of the discomfort you cause, if 'blowing up' causes you to come off or at least quit hassling. Instead you need to find ways to get across what you want him to learn without forcing him to get upset & reactive, without forcing him to practice this 'wrong' behaviour & attitudes. I believe it's important to make it a pleasurable game for him, not make his time with you an unpleasant confrontational experience.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-16-2012, 09:37 PM
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I think I have an idea of what you mean when you say "blow up". I think the Natural Horsemanship folks might say "Cut loose". Not sure if that's what you mean. Like, if the horse won't really go forward with freedom, wont' bend with softness , won't ever relax. There's some kind of "logjam" that needs to be broken up. Some trainers know that they do have to work a horse "through" the rough spot , to the other side, and that it will get ugly before it gets pretty.
With those kind of issues, that's where I hand the rope to a professional.

However, I do agree that the first thing , is to question whether or not there is some physical issue why the horse finds forward movement uncomfortable.

And, I agree that making the horse get all emotional and blow up is risky (if you do come off) and may not be good or necessary.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for all the great suggestions. By blowing up, I do mean what you would call 'cutting loose'. He was very disrespectful on the ground at first, and when asked to do something that he knew, would blatantly refuse. I would ask him something, and he would say, 'ya right, I'm not doing that' instead of 'yes sir!' When we reprimanded him, he blew up and fought, until he realized that it was easier to give in, and that he was no longer the boss. (This was under the supervision and direction of a professional trainer).
Under saddle, sometimes he's an angel, and sometimes he says, 'ya right ma! I'm not doing that!' I mix up groundwork and saddle work, but he's an angel and submissive on the ground. His saddle fits him good, and he has been checked for pain. Teeth were just done as well.
I do not want him to blow up under saddle because if I fall off, it will make his behavior worse, but would like other ways to make him submit and listen. The suggestion of having someone on the ground and in the saddle is a great idea and I will give it a try.
I do agree that he is still very green, but he does understand the cues that I ask, he is just resisting.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 06:16 AM
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Keep in mind, on the ground he is pretty darn aware of his own body and can balance himself.

Put a person on his back and the game changes. There's now weight that feels weird as it moves on his back and he feels pressure from his sides, his back, and his mouth all at once. It's strange, and takes some getting used to. Harder to keep his own balance.

Only focus on one or two steps of backup. I like to make a wall and keep pressure on until he gives me a step back. As soon as he even LEANS back, I release a little bit and release completely as he steps back.

Little by little.. backing up is hard for a horse period. Under saddle it's a challenge. Take it slowly.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 09:10 AM
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What does your reprimand involve?
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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That is what I do for backing up. On a good day, he can do one or two steps back, which is great. I'm taking it very slow with him and am in no hurry at all. I started with release as soon as he shifted his weight. For backing, he was taught voice command, then before working under saddle, it was done with rein cues from the ground as well- same thing for turning- all of which he does fantastically on the ground.
For reprimand, I start very light, and build until he listens. Voice command comes first, then a one finger touch, then a tap (the tap gets progressively stronger). On the ground, he only needs a voice command, and occasionally a light touch.
Could be that he's still a bit unbalanced. He does not pin his ears or act grumpy at all, just says, 'nope! Not doing it!' like a toddler.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-17-2012, 10:41 AM
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I think it's a case of unbalanced and doesn't quite understand the link yet. Keep working on it.. he'll get it in time :)

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