Frustration, Disrespect, Sadness, Death, Explosians... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Frustration, Disrespect, Sadness, Death, Explosians...

My 6 year-old gelding was quite well-behaved two years ago. I rode almost everyday, most of those being trail rides. He was then off for about a year and now whenever I try to do anything with him, he lacks enthusiasm, rebels against everything, ignores all of my cues, etc. One of the biggest problems is that when I ask him to trot, he dives inside the arena, and when I put pressure on the outside rein to get him back to the rail, he braces his neck and won't give. So typically I pull a bit harder and use my heels a bit more and I can see why he hates these lessons, but if I don't do that then he gets his way. He also lowers his head to the ground for no appearent reason, as he usually doesn't buck. I think the core reason is that he's bored of the arena, but I'm afraid to take him out lest he bolt or some such.

Anyway, every lesson is a bloody battle and both of us (if he could) want to cry at the end of it.

He wears a plain snaffle.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 12:54 PM
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maybe you should go back to basics, like ground work. You also want to rule out the fact that he might be in pain of any sort back, feet, legs, mouth. sometimes pain can cause the nicest horse to turn into a devil
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 01:41 PM
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id o agree with the above post i would make sure hes not in pain he could have a chiorpractor problem to a friend of mines horse gets really stiff when hes out of wack and becomes difficult to work with then if that dont work take him back to basics and work on flexing

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post #4 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 01:56 PM
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Definitely do as said and get him checked out to be sure he's not in pain

If that is ruled out, it sounds like its a respect problem. If he is ignoring all of your cues and signals, I would consider this a lack of respect and will to work. Going back to certain ground work exercises will help the two of you build trust and then respect. Start with basic work in the arena, but mix it up for him with plenty of transitions and figures, this will help him understand that even though you're working in the arena, you're not always doing the same thing.

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 01:57 PM
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My Boyfriend Says: Get An Eclipse!!!! Theres fun and have way more horse power =P! but he wishes you good luck!!

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post #6 of 14 Old 02-25-2009, 05:01 PM
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Sounds to me like a pretty classic set of behavior issues related to a combination of saddle fit/back pain coupled with chiropractic issues. A horse that's in back pain will tend to try to stretch more under saddle, hence the diving head down. Some horse buck, but others do not and it's a sure fire way for me to know when my one gelding needs an adjustment. He will pull the reins out of my hand and dive down onto the bit and just want to stretch and pull.

However, chiropractic issues are also coupled with saddle fit issues. You said your horse had some time off, which likely also means that he changed shape since you last fit the saddle to him. Lack of muscle mass, increase in weight, change in shape due to lack of work ALL can contribute to a change in the way the saddle fits. It's entirely possible that the saddle is exacerbating or even causing the likely chiropractic issues.

Find a good chiro in your area, and have them out ASAP, and also find someone who can help with saddle fit. From there, build up to walking and yielding to leg pressure, and some longe work to bring back fitness, and then incorporate more "regular" workouts as your horse progresses. Also please note, that having a chiro but not addressing the cause of the chiropractic issues will not solve the problem - but just offer temporary relief.

Good luck!

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-27-2009, 09:53 AM
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Go out there and do something with him that you know he can do. Make his job easy for a while. What do you know that he does really well? Can you walk around the arena, and do decent walk halt transitions? Can you walk figure of eights? Serpentines? Can you walk over ground poles?
Go back to something he is confident at. Avoid pressuring him into to anything you're asking for a fight with. When he dives to the inside of the arena, lt go of the "in the box" type thought and think outside of the box. Your horse knows you're going to try and pull him back out. The harder he tries not to, the harder to try. Say you're tracking right. Right hand on the inside. And he dives to the inside, instead of an instant fight, turn him right. If he responds, release. Do this gently, and not abrasive. Every time y ou feel him wanting to turn in, then turn him in yourself until he's with you, then continue on. Do not fight with this type horse. Go back to something really boring and something he knows hes good at, and from there you will build his willingness to perform for you. If you are always out there tell him he's doing everything wrong, then I'd agree with him and say no thanks as well. :)
Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Let go the idea that he has to be perfect. Work with him a little more and you'll rebuild your partnership.

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-27-2009, 11:02 AM
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I agree with koomy56. Well put.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-28-2009, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koomy56 View Post
Go out there and do something with him that you know he can do. Make his job easy for a while. What do you know that he does really well? Can you walk around the arena, and do decent walk halt transitions? Can you walk figure of eights? Serpentines? Can you walk over ground poles?
Go back to something he is confident at. Avoid pressuring him into to anything you're asking for a fight with. When he dives to the inside of the arena, lt go of the "in the box" type thought and think outside of the box. Your horse knows you're going to try and pull him back out. The harder he tries not to, the harder to try. Say you're tracking right. Right hand on the inside. And he dives to the inside, instead of an instant fight, turn him right. If he responds, release. Do this gently, and not abrasive. Every time y ou feel him wanting to turn in, then turn him in yourself until he's with you, then continue on. Do not fight with this type horse. Go back to something really boring and something he knows hes good at, and from there you will build his willingness to perform for you. If you are always out there tell him he's doing everything wrong, then I'd agree with him and say no thanks as well. :)
Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Let go the idea that he has to be perfect. Work with him a little more and you'll rebuild your partnership.

Ditto many times over.


This happens with me and my mare as well. I'm at college, and my mare is back at home, so I don't get to ride as much as I would like. I've been able to take lessons when I'm home every other weekend or so, and they have helped because we are doing just what is stated above. Working on things that are easy for her to do and she knows she can do.

She was bucking and acting like a twit, but now we can take her over some jumps and even start to work on her impulsion and collection.

Remember that perfection is only in the eye of the beholder. No animal is perfect, and we can't expect our horses to be.

You need to grab a hold of that line between speed and chaos, and you need to wrestle it to the ground like a demon cobra! ~ Ballad of Ricky Bobby
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-02-2009, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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He doesn't wear a saddle, as I haven't found a western saddle that's pony size and yet adult size.

Speaking of which, is English saddle fit as vital as British people say that it is?
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