Forgive my rant but I am frustrated. Frustrated with a horse that is so young and stubborn (I know it isn't his fault and I don't take it out on him), and frustrated with books that tell you how to train the perfect horse! Why don't training books tell you what to do when the horse doesn't follow directions? My horse is a RMH and was trained as a big puppy for the first year. Moving away from me is the last thing on his mind, and although we are building respect he is still 2 and stubborn. Today for instance I wanted him to circle me. Simple request in ALL of the training books and videos. I can get him to walk and sometimes the next gait (still don't know what it is called), as long as it isn't clockwise! He did it once two days ago but not today. NO matter how much I pushed his shoulder the right way, wave the rope, bop him in the face because he wont move, turn him by looking at this hips he would NOT walk clockwise! What do you do with this? I tried leading him and he was fine, but it is like he doesn't want his right side facing me! I am perplexed and frustrated! Please help!
Please consider that a person that trains horses every day does not have these kind of problems and that you need to go find that person.
There are small things that might get worked out in your training program by something that you picked up in a book or on the Internet or video...
Training is a skill that you must LEARN like math or spelling or how to drive a car.
I mean no disrespect of any kind, but if you don't know that the next gait from a walk is a trot, then you are probably in way over your head.
That being said, the best thing you can do is put this horse in a round pen and get him OFF the lunge line. He is getting confused by the lead line being attached to him. If I were you I'd get two lunging whips...one for each hand. The left whip is used to keep him away from you, and the right one to move him forward. Unhook the lead, step away. If he steps towards you then you immediately extend the left whip in front of you and literally push him out of the way if you have to. It's ok to tap him with it gently. Then use the other whip to drive him forward. Once he is moving get him moving quickly. Really move him out and if he tries to cut into you put the pressure on him and drive him forward. Soon he will get the idea. But truly, I think it would be best if you could get someone more experienced than you to help you. Horses are hard to learn from books...at some point you need to watch this stuff in person and learn by doing.
Sorry, missed the RMH reference. Your horse should be doing a pace or ideally a single foot (or rack). Do lots of breed research too! I don't know much about these horses, but if it were me, I'd be reading everything I could get my hands on.
I would suggest doing a lot more hands on learning before striking out on your own. Can you get someone to teach you lessons? Go to clinics? What you are asking the horse to do is very simple and virtually every horse is going to be able to "get it" when asked correctly. It would be great if someone with experience could come and show you. It sounds like the horse is confused, and I think it would be a quick fix in the right hands!
I am working on getting a trainer and going to a clinic. I am trying to get all I can on these horses but there isn't a whole lot about them. I can get the history of them easily but not so much the conformation and gaits. I am getting a whip, the rope I am using is not working as it was. Part of the problem is that he is 2 and I have to remember that he won't always (often) remember what we did the day before. He is a strongly left brained horse, he is smart and would rather do nothing but follow me all day. He was trained to just follow and cuddle so breaking him of that habit is hard. I am trying to get someone to train me with the lunge whip but she was a no show last time... I wasn't working him on the lunge line when I was asking circles, he was just haltered. In parelli (I know a lot of people don't like him, but I thought his groundwork was good), he makes the horse yield his quarters. Well Jacoby will yield his back to me by just looking, but his front take a lot more effort. Because of this when I put pressure on the hips all I get is a pivot. What am I doing wrong? Should I just stop the circles and word on sacking again while I wait for that lesson?
Just calm down, relax. I'm "training" I guess you could say, a 2YO for groundwork as well, and I know it can be frustrating and time-consuming and tiring. Granted, mine wasn't ever treated as a pet so I can't relate there, but man, she is probably the most stubborn horse I've ever met in my life! Every 5 minutes I'm having to remind her that I'm boss, that she may not come in my space and that she needs to settle down and quit being such a brat.
Go in every day expecting the unexpected. Just because he went in a lunge circle a few days ago doesn't mean that he'll decide to go easy with that today.
What you are lacking is the forward movement. So when he yields his hindquarters, move him forward. That's where 2 whips come in and no rope. It's hard to juggle ropes when both the horse and the person are new. I can see what's happening in my mind. I see you trying to move him out from you but him just yield his hind quarters and keeping his head tipped in towards you. When that happens...move back from him quickly holding the lunging whip straight out to keep him from crowding your space (or get a big stick in the meantime...just something to hold that space) and drive forward with the whip...*loudly* if need be. Put as much pressure on him as necessary to get him moving. Once he's moving he's going to keep trying to come in to you. Your timing will have to be good...when you even get a slight sense that he's thinking of it, you need to urge him forward by snapping the whip. Never get in front of his forward movement...if you shift your body towards his front end he's going to stop or he's going to turn around. Stay aimed at his hip and stay slightly behind him at all times to keep him moving forward. Horses have great memories, and he'll remember this once he understands. It just sounds like right now he's not understanding the cues he's getting. Good luck and I hope you can find someone to help you out.
Thank you Cobalt, you can see EXACTLY what is happening. I am not going to train in circles again until I have my whip. I am still looking for a trainer...not as easy as I thought to get a good trainer, especially one who understands the gaited horse.
Marecare, I am not going to go chasing my horse don't worry about it. UNtil I can get a trainer for me and Jacoby I am sticking with the basics, feet yielding, and more lead rope work (forward, back, whoa). He has tying down fine so that is good. Thanks for the great pictures too!