Fear of making things worse!? :(

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Fear of making things worse!? :(

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  • The fear of making things worse
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    08-17-2012, 09:15 PM
Exclamation Fear of making things worse!? :(

So... Before I tell you what I need help with I'm first going to ask that you not yell at me because I know I did things wrong. I want and would really appreciate advice at this point.

My Gelding is about 15 years old. We got him about two years ago and he was my first horse. At first, my family all rode him with probably different techniques which most likely confused him. We then decided that I would be the only one to ride him. Things seemed good but then he wasn't listening to me when I said "woah" , pulled on the snaffle bit, and even his ground manners weren't the best. First of all, not really researching we went and put a hackamore on him and he listened perfectly.. Now I know that that was because the hackamore multiplies the force put on a horse. His ground manners were better because I worked really hard with him and kept patient .

Well, this year things just have been getting worse. At the beginning of the summer, He was still listening well to the hackamore so things were fine. Towards the middle of summer though he's been not listening with the hackamore. I didn't think much about it and he threw fits but before I took him home, we always went the way I wanted and he eventually did listen. But about three and 1/2 weeks ago things were going fine but he suddenly whipped him self around and took off at full speed. It scared the crapt out me that I couldn't get him to slow down and he'd never been this bad. When he did stop, I got off and walked him a little ways back the direction I wanted him to go but then turned for home because I was scared out of my whits about what had happened, Not of the horse. I did research about this time and found out the info. About the hackamore and Have been riding him In a round pen in circles with the snaffle. This horse has never really like my Dad even though he's nice the horse all the time.

I realize now that things were wrong from the start. I have learned alot from this horse and what to do under certain circumstances. I know how to treat a horse and haven't ever hit one. I never want to. I don't ever want to live without a horse. So, I have a friend who had a horse that had done the exact same things my horse has been doing. She knew more what to do though then me. She sold her horse to a different person who now has him doing what ever she wants and he's a very good horse. My thoughts are to sell my horse to a person who will be able to do things right without hesitation and get an easy going horse and start off right from the beginning. Not let it get away with things but yet if things do get bad to get help. I don't want to just give up on the horse I have right now, but I don't want him to get worse. I'm really worried about this so again I ask you for advice only.... If you do yell though, I won't be mad... I'm desperate to have this horse behaving and giving someone pleasure.
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    08-17-2012, 09:24 PM
I have two Thoroughbreds, and they love to run! The most important thing for you to know is how to be safe when your horse does bolt, because with horses- it's bound to happen. If you loosen one rein when the horse takes off and shorten the other one, it will create a bend in the neck of the horse. If you pull the shorter rein to your hip and stay balanced, the horse will be pulled into a small circle and forced to stop. This is called a one rein stop and it's super important to know.
I don't think you should give up on this horse quite yet, because every horse has a bad day every npw and then. The important thing is to stay calm. I ride my thoroughbred in a gag bridle out in the fields (I know it sounds horrible). This just emphasizes my halt by putting pressure on the top of the horses head. Since your horse has been in a hackamore, and this is a fairly big bit- I would just start out walking him in the roung pen and halting. Just do lots of random transitions like walk, halt, trot, back up, canter etc..
I would only use the gag bridle as a short term solution- you need a trainer to really help you. It just sounds like he shook your confidence a bit and so stat again where your comfortable and work your way up. Also don't get off when he does bad things because it teaches him that if he does that he doesn't have to work. Just go back to where your comfortable instead of getting off... Hope I helped :)
RisingGlory likes this.
    08-17-2012, 09:33 PM
Yes that does help, but this wasn't a one time thing. He's been doing this every once and awhile and I've stayed calm but I can't ever get him to get going again unless I get off. This time it was really bad though. I know it's in the training but since this horse doesn't like my dad, my dad doesn't like the horse. Therefore When I bring up it up he goes against everything that I think needs to be done lately.... like get a trainer. When I've been riding him in the round pen, besides cirlces I've been working on stops and backing up. He's been listening in there but I don't think it'll last long once I get him out of the pen.
    08-17-2012, 09:41 PM
I don't agree that it is inevitable that horses will run as a previous poster says. They run if they don't have any respect - and that's what it sounds like is the issue here.

It's ok if you don't ever want to hit your horse, I personally don't agree, but many others will. However you do need to discipline the horse in some way. Think of the horse like a child, you might not want to hit a child, but you would discipline in some way, remove toys etc.
A lot of people use back up instead of hitting, or just more work in general.

What you use is up to you, but you have to use something.

The fact that the horse is going well for someone else just means that they have your number and know they can take advantage of you and do as they please.

You ask if fear will make things worse. The answer is yes. There was a study done in a magazine a few years ago that really stuck with me, so I have said it here a few times.
Handlers were leading horses in hand, they were walking around an arena, and told on the third time round the arena people would jump out putting umbrellas up and down. That didn't happen, but every horse spooked because the handlers stressed.

Side note - my horse wouldn't listen to 'woah' either. It was something he was never taught, nor have I felt the need to teach him, if I can sit up there, I can use none verbal aids.
    08-17-2012, 09:54 PM
I don't think my horse has respect for my when I'm on top of him either. I also think he thinks that he can just get away with things. I've heard that lunging is very good connector and that it brings respect. I don't know how much of that is true. But I'd like to try.. what do you guys think?
    08-17-2012, 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by RisingGlory    
I'm first going to ask that you not yell at me because I know I did things wrong.
Hey, sounds like you're doing well on your way to getting things worked out anyway & have a good attitude about it, but remember, if you feel 'yelled at' here, it may be just people giving strong opinions sounding abrupt because writing lacks tact of face-to-face... & if people really are truly being rude to you, still don't take it personally because that's their problem, not yours!

because the hackamore multiplies the force put on a horse.
I'm guessing you're talking about a mechanical leverage type bitless. Yes, they can be very strong & also unclear to the horse. They're not generally great with direct reining, for eg. But changing headgear/feel/cues isn't just about application of pain at all - true hackamores & halters for eg can make a great difference to a horse that's 'bit spoiled' just because they have such a different feel, so don't 'provoke' the automatic responses the horse makes with a bit.

Have been riding him In a round pen in circles with the snaffle. This horse
Very good idea IMO, to keep to a 'safe' environment. That way, you can practice asking for responses without worrying about the horse running away with you. I'd personally suggest you keep to enclosed environments until you're going well & reliably, although a round pen may be too small after a bit & remember 'improved' behaviour will not automatically transfer when you finally go out, but will certainly help you & your horse be in better 'synch'.

My thoughts are to sell my horse to a person who will be able to do things right without hesitation and get an easy going horse and start off right from the beginning. Not let it get away with things but yet if things do get bad to get help.
That sounds like an entirely reasonable option. But this won't help you learn to do better & you may not find yourself a better horse - the devil you know may be easier than the one you don't. Not blaming for this - none of us are born understanding & much of our knowledge comes from making mistakes - but it's highly likely it's the way you're riding & using the reins, etc as to the behaviour of your horse.

So I'd personally suggest you find a good instructor/trainer to give you some lessons & help show you how to turn around your relationship with him. You & they may come to the conclusion after a lesson or 2 that you & he are better off apart, but then again you may find that he's the perfect horse, with some different tactics up your sleeve.
RisingGlory likes this.
    08-17-2012, 10:08 PM
I am wondering how old you are - at first, I thought you were an adult, but if that's the case, I don't understand what your dad's opinion of getting a trainer has to do with anything. If you're a teen, is it possible for you to find a trainer and do a work exchange? I know that one of the trainers in my barn lets teenagers who need some training for the horse work it of by grooming/tacking/untacking the other horses she needs to work on. But the answer, I'm pretty sure, is that you guys need to get some training. Probably more for you than for the horse - it's amazing how much important stuff you can learn just with two 30-45 minute groundwork training sessions.
loosie and HagonNag like this.
    08-17-2012, 10:10 PM
... because if the horse's behavior is coming from something you are doing (or not doing) then even if you get an easy-going horse, you're going to have a monster on your hands again right quick, if you keep doing (or not doing) whatever is happening...
HagonNag and Skyseternalangel like this.
    08-17-2012, 10:10 PM
Originally Posted by RisingGlory    
I don't think my horse has respect for my when I'm on top of him either. I also think he thinks that he can just get away with things. I've heard that lunging is very good connector and that it brings respect. I don't know how much of that is true. But I'd like to try.. what do you guys think?
I'd guess that your horse doesn't have any respect for you when you are riding - same as on the ground, you are the same person. You need to change how you behave with the horse in general.

I think you would really benefit from a trainer.

Maybe you could talk to your Dad? Explain that you don't want to run away from your problems, and you'd like to work through them? And so could you get a trainer to help you?
loosie and Skyseternalangel like this.
    08-17-2012, 10:17 PM
Sorry you had such a bad experience!

The first thing I always say is that you HAVE to have all of your ground work down pat before you even thing about getting on. Some of the biggest breakthroughs I've had with horses is during In-hand work.

Put his bridle on and stand at his shoulder in a round pen. Have a stick in one hand and treats in your pocket. Work him to load to the outside and to stop with the outside rein. Never pull with both reins! It hurts. Try to do walk/halt/walk/trot on the ground next to your horse. If you don't know about inhand I can tell you LOTS more.

Don't use the whip as a punishment... just use it to tell him to go and when he does immediately stop using it and give him praise. If he doesn't stop when you ask him first use your hand on his chest and say whoa. If that fails use your hand/ then step in front THEN if he refuses to stop wave the stick in front of him to know you mean business!

Build a friendly trustful relationship with him before you ever hack him out!

Let me know if this helps
RisingGlory likes this.

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