Does your horse ever have a bad or naughty day?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-09-2011, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Does your horse ever have a bad or naughty day??

Ugh. Maybe it's winter. But my Appy has been very barn sour the last 2 rides. Well, he is fine going out, and he has a history of being barn sour (3 years ago) so we often do exercises or "tests" pretend we are heading home...go half way down driveway and turn around. He has been a total JERK the last 2 rides....and I love him with all my heart, but he will lurch/spin to the left to get out of where I am telling him to go. If I try to use a right rein aid, he starts to go up a few inches and then lurches forward and flips me the bird basically. This only happens after our trail ride when I take him past the entrance to go home, or try to turn him around to go back out again. If I make any attempt to turn right with either my leg or rein, he spins left again. Yesterday and today it turned into a huge battle. I do eventually win but I am mad at myself that it takes me so long to nip it in the butt.

Today we started our ride with some groundwork. He was an angel. Very respectful. We headed out to go down the dirt road and I was very determined to keep his straight and forward. No problem. He rode out beautifully. When we reached furthest point he got a nice break and rest. The ride had gone so well maybe I should have just gone home, but I tried to test him again, and low and behold he did it again. I fixed it quicker but it got ugly again. Ended nicely - when I asked him to go back down the drive one last time to head out he walked nicely - he got my message, and behaved at the end, but I was still so mad at him.

I am just venting and perhaps I shouldn't be "testing him". Perhaps it is bringing back old memories. But I don't like that he is NOT going where I ask him to go.

Do your horses ever just have bad days or act up? We haven't had too terrible of a winter. It is cold but the ground thaws almost daily. He has good turnout but is perhaps getting a bit too much alfalfa matched with how little he is being worked. I sort of remember him acting up this time of year last year and we cut his alfalfa back. (we currently ride 20-30 min. trail rides or flatwork few times a week, and one lesson weekly which lately has been walk only due to footing - and lots of work on just me on his back - like yoga on horseback!) I haven't been able to trailer him anywhere because my trailer is plowed in a bit.

I always try to remember they have good days and us and I try to put the bad days and rides behind me. Do you ever run into this with your horses?
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-09-2011, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I've had the exact same problem with a horse I used to ride! You had to ride to the ring, from a path from the barn. Basically she would always stop at the bridge over the water,(not a wooden bridge but a gravel road, but theres water on both sides) We had some nasty fights trying to get to the ring. She would spin so fast out of nowhere i ended up on the ground a couple times. Basically it took alot of riding back and forth, and a pair of spurs and crop. Sometimes a little attitude adjustment is all it takes. After a few times with spurs and crops, she didn't want to tangle with me anymore and began walking quietly down :) Cold weather makes the ponies funky. I always have a bad day or good day riding. Theres usually no in between, horse either wants to work together with me, or he has his own agenda. I can usually tell what kind of mood the horsey is in before I even get on. But you just gotta but the bad rides behind you and forget them, and expect for it to be a good ride. Cutting down his calories is a perfect idea! They usually don't want to fight with you as much when they're not all fat and happy. Hahah
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-09-2011, 08:40 PM
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If the horse spins left when you ask him to go right, then spin him left, and left and left and left and keep going past when he wants to stop. When he does stop (you let him) then take a big breathe, calm yourself and say, "Alright now, let's go" in a sweet and postive voice, and direct him the way you want him to go. If he starts to spin., use "Ah! Ah!" negative voice reinforcement and make him keep spinning the direction he is trying to go, but don't let him out of ti until he is past wanting to stop. Then off him to go forward, the way you tell him and on and on.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-09-2011, 09:16 PM
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HAHAHAHHAHAHA I'm sorry...the title got me. My horse has a bad or naughty life!

Anyway, a lot of horses get a little stir-crazy in the winter and will be naughty more. This can be to do with the weather, but mostly it tends to be that they aren't being worked as often. You got some very good advice above on dealing with barn sourness, and I know there are some other good threads on that topic as well if you do a search, so I won't get into that part. Good luck!

A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-09-2011, 10:00 PM
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My mare definately has her days. Some are better than others, and some can be preditcted. The key is to be able to know what kind of mood your horse is in, and prepare accordingly. Just like you, your horse can get in a mood. You know how she responds, and just vary your routine to match.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-10-2011, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I think I may have pushed him too far. Also, the mare he is turned out with may be going into heat. He is quite attached to her. He is out with her and 2 almost yearlings - male and female. The colt was just gelded so he may feel the need to be with his herd more right now. He is the type of horse that can get very agitated. I like the ideas - TinyLiny, I think your approach would work best. Once he calms down and I release the reins and ask for forward firmly and calmly, I usually get it. I just hate the battle beforehand.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-10-2011, 09:42 AM
Green Broke
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So far Reeco's naughty days seem to coincide with when It is piddling down with rain and I'm short of time. It is only on those days that he wont come to call untill I'm drenched through and have removed every other horse from the field. Then and only then can I catch him!

Normaly he comes to call at the canter!

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-10-2011, 05:42 PM
Green Broke
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Not a day goes by that Hunter isn't naughty in some way shape or form. It's what he lives for I am sure.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-10-2011, 06:05 PM
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The battle might not be fun, and I've fought it a few times with my mare...but that feeling on the day when you don't have to battle, when you just get on your horse and calmly ask to move out and next thing you know you're moving down the trail thinking "YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!! WE DID IT!" is an amazing feeling...well worth it.

A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-11-2011, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Amlal - your horse is gorgeous by the way! Is he/she and Appy? I LOVE greys.
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