Flattens ears

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Flattens ears

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    07-06-2007, 03:35 PM
Flattens ears


I just got a new horse that flattens his ears when you ask him to go faster than a walk. He goes into the trot but he flattens his ears first, then he quits.

He also tries to bit at my feet. He seems pretty sour.

About what I'm doing...I am not using any spurs, I know better than to pull and kick, I am squeezing softly first and than harder if he doesn't respond.

I actually think I got snowed on this horse...but I really like him and would like to keep him.

I also want to teach him to ride in the bridle and neck rein. He's cowy, 12 years old and well mannered on the ground.

Any thoughts?
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    07-06-2007, 07:14 PM
Could maybe be a girth or poor fitting saddle problem.. I'd check those to make sure they aren't pinching, pulling etc. Maybe do some ground work and reward him in the round pen when he does things correctly to help him gain more trust in you. Keep us posted! Good luck!! :)
    07-07-2007, 05:05 PM
With the girth, one way that you can help keep it from pinching is to take his leg in your hand and stretch it out/up to unwrinkle the skin under the girth. Just be sure to support the knee and not go out of his range of motion.

When he drops out of the gait give him a sharp boot with your heels and keep riding. Don't let him get the best of you. If you continue to have problems, call his former owner and ask about his history and how he's used to being ridden. You don't have to sound accusatory; just say "hey I'm having some problems here and I think that he may be not used to me and confused. How did you..."

As far as the biting at your feet, a quick smack on the shoulder should do the trick for most horses. Always on the shoulder or neck though; never the head. You don't have to get mad, nor should you. Just let him know that this isn't appropriate, and then move on.
    07-07-2007, 06:00 PM
Is he turning his head and biting at your feet when you are in the saddle? If he turns head in the saddle that is a good thing (not the biting thing just give him a kick in the lip if your in the saddle) but back to the head thing they call that bending.

If there is nothing wrong with your saddle, and he stills put his ears back a lot of cow horses do dumb things like that, I was just on one yesterday. Spurs are not to make a horse go faster, and you are right never kick your horse to go faster, just squeeze and kiss and if he doesn't go faster hit him with a rein or crop.
    07-09-2007, 01:08 PM
I am going to try a different cinch. I think the one I have might be too short.

You think it's better to use the end of the rein vs kicking...why?
    07-09-2007, 02:03 PM
Because your legs are to make him go forward, left, right, and back not faster if you kick to go faster then when you want him to go left, right or back you will have to kick. So when you want to lope you want to just kiss once, to train him to do that first you take him and bend his head to the inside of the arena then take your outside foot and move it back 2" and then take your outside rein and then kiss and whack he should start running and fast if not keep your outside foot on and kissing and whacking until he is loping and then stop kissing and whacking just let him run just kind of sit there, he should be on the correct lead. Only work on one side a day, and then when you want him to lope you won't have to go trout first you can just go lope from a stand still. When you are at a show you can be walking and then they will say "lope your horse" they don't want to see you trout first and then go into a lope. You can have the ugliest horse out there but if you do what they say and every one does not, then you will when. But if you kick to go in to a lope then your horse will think kicking means to go, and he will not go left, right or back with out you kicking first. And that is how the pros do it , Justin
    07-10-2007, 01:22 AM
Okay, well I went from a 34" roper cinch to a 36" prof choice cinch and he was WAY less cranky.

I think the cinch was too short and the prof choice one covers the ring.

You back up with legs too? How do you do that?
    07-10-2007, 11:12 AM
You ride with your legs not your hands, the bit is for people and makes it easer to train horses. Backing up is just like going forward you just sit a little different and squeeze, I have a 4 year old that I can bring out with nothing on its head and ride him better then most people can ride at all, because most people don't ride with there legs.
    07-15-2007, 08:30 PM
I'm big on riding with legs and seat and not hands. Sometimes it's necessary to get in the mouth to get a horse in frame etc, but with a good rider, most of the work has nothing to do with the hands.
    07-29-2007, 01:18 AM
Some horses seem to lay their ears back when they just don't want to work. Is he used to working? And another tip...* make sure you don't give your horse treats before they work. Because then they will just want to quit working and have some snacks! :roll:

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