Getting Her to Stand Still - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Getting Her to Stand Still

So for those of you that read my previous thread: I've deduced that my problem was about 30% of my horse being full of pep and spunk and being difficult at times, and 70% of the problem is me-being so unconfident in my riding abilities. Since she doesn't buck, rear, kick, bite or bolt with me, I've decided to forge ever onwards in our journey together. For those of you who DIDN'T read my last thread, don't worry about it.

So in my last thread I mentioned having some trouble bridling and getting her to stand still. Yesterday I went out and resolved the big part of her bridling issues in about 10 minutes (yeah, REAL big problem lol) and tonight I'm going to work on getting her to stand. I like to set one goal for us each week that I can work on and see improvements by the next week's riding lesson. And yes, this week I'm going to work on getting her to stand.

So as you may know, my horse has lots of go, and gets quite frustrated when I ask her to stand. She tosses her head and shakes it and tries to move off without me telling her to. What I do currently is ignore the head shaking and make her stand still until I give her a nudge to move off again. If I were on the ground and she did this, I would make her back up, then tell her to stand, and if she didn't I'd make her back up again until she got the point that it's a lot more work to misbehave than stand still. I'm going to try this tactic, but when I'm in the saddle and she is less than agreeable when I ask her to back up she puts up a fight, and [rarely, but sometimes] gives a little rear. How can I make her back up when she doesn't want to? (Obviously, I always fight her until she gives me a step back-I'm not that clueless.)

I've also heard that when they try and move off you can take them in a circle so that moving when they're not supposed to=boring circles, but I'm not really sure it would work with my horse. How does everyone else feel about this idea? Has it worked for your horses? Any details I'd need to know?

AND, finally, when she doesn't want to be standing, and I finally get her to stand still and wait, she moves off really quickly when I tell her she can go. She doesn't run or trot, just walks really fast and refuses to slow down until we're a good way off. If she did THIS while I was on the ground, she'd be stopped, backed up, and then allowed to continue (repeating until she stopped trying to barge ahead of me) so I think I should handle it the same way while riding. But again, if she doesn't want to back up how can I make her? I'm not saying I'm afraid to make her-I literally can't force her to do it while we're riding-she's like, 1000 lbs bigger than me.

Any help and advice would be appreciated-and I'll update again after I've ridden her.. I'm just feeling that even if she is full of wind and piss, which I understand, that's no excuse for her to be ignoring me and I want to put an end to this.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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To get her to back up while your on her, try having her face a solid object like a door, the side of a barn or something to where she can't go forward. Than keep getting on her to back up...pull and release, pull and release and get some leg pressure in there as well. Even if she turns to the left or right, thats good, as long as she's not going directly forward.

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 05:28 PM
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By her not standing still, she might not see you as dominant so she doesn't listen freely to what you say. Before each and every ride, put her on the lead rope and walk around the paddock on a loose lead. do lots of halting and a bit of backing up.
When you want to halt, say 'halt' or 'whoa', take one step then stop. she should stop as soon as you ask her. It will be a gradual thing. make sure she gets a small rub on the head as a reward. themn start walking again - still loose lead - and say something along the lines of 'walk up'.
When backing up gently place your fingers on her nose and chest and say 'back'. release when she takes a step back and praise.

Now for the standing: somewhere in between all of this halting, walking and backing up, gently wrap the leap rope around her neck(so it isnt on the ground), tight enoungh so she can feel it under her neck, but loose enough for her to....well breath. Ask her to stand somewhere for 3 seconds. Say 'stand nice' or whatever. when she does, praise her well. unravel the rope and continue walking.

This doesn't have to be a long walk, just enough for her to understand that you are boss, you are asking her to behave.
Learning to stand still is another gradual thing. horses can become easily bored just standing there with nothing to do. Gradualy increase the time you ask her to stand still and make sure she gets lots of scratches when behaving. Eventualy you will have a close to perfect pony!

Voice commandes are things to have! tag what you want her to do with its own little voice command. I use;
Stand: 'stand nice' Walk on: 'walk up' trot: 'hup up' and backing up: 'back'

I find the circles work the best with Pumpkin when i'm riding him an he misbehaves, he doesn't listen and respond as well to them on the ground. but give them ago, you never know.

Sorry for the book hope it all turns out well for you and your girl! :)

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky

Last edited by PumpkinzMyBaby22; 04-16-2010 at 05:31 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, she respects me perfectly well on the ground, and she knows the saddle is the only place she can get away with stuff, and takes full advantage of that fact. *And she knows how to do all that stuff-on the ground and in the saddle; she's just stubborn.*

And now she's convinced she can race back to the barn every time we turn to face it, despite me having never let her even TROT in the direction of the barn.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 07:35 PM
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i had this same problem with my horse. i stopped it by getting a Tom Thumb bit instead of a snaffle (!) which she was totally ignoring, that is one tip, but try stopping your horse a lot (that helped me a lot to) and doing things when you stop, example she trots when she is supposed to walking stop her and if she doesnt stand quietly turn a circle (or reverse,back up steps,, etc, just make sure it is VERY simple) and see if she doesnt stand do something "harder" for her to do (sidepass, back up 5 steps, etc. make sure it is medium hardnest!!) and keep on uprgrading the hardness of them till she stands. if you have trouble going from whatever gait you are doing to a stop, DO NOT PULL CONSTANTLY HORSES CAN BRACE AGAINST IT!! do checks, pull release pull release etc. till she stands. or you can do a one rein stop- where you pull on ONE rein and bring it to you knee-make sure you other rein is loose and the one you are pulling her with is tightish, if you have to check her around- after the one rein stop she will probaly turn, that is fine just when you release make sure she does not keep circling!! always make sure when you stop you do differnt things not always circling, backing up etc. otherwise she will do it automatically. Also not a lot of people have enough room/confidence to do this- gallop straight out for a while, and when she tries to slow down cause she is getting tired dont let her. This works well but I warn you you have TO BE CONFIEDENT FOR GALLOPING UP TO 4 HRS!! rarely it goes to four usuall 30 min-1 hr 30 min. IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO COOL THEM DOWN TO I AM WARNING YOU!! :)

Over all she needs to respect you so her are the tips in short term:
-Change to a stronger bit
-Do stops a lot
-Keep her "occupied" when you stop her
-Dont always do the same thing when you stop!! :)
-Gallop straight out until she is asking to stop- stop 10 min after that!! :)

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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The new bit helped yours? We were thinking of getting her a new bit. I'll definitely look into it.

Now that I've simmered down some and actually thought about it, do you guys think her bad behaviour could be boredom? I know that's not the whole reason she's acting up, but she's always really good the first few minutes and only after that starts getting annoying. She loves loves LOVES trails and whenever we go trailing she's never misbehaved, but I don't know if I should take the chance and just go out. As you can tell, I'm not the most experienced rider and if anything happened way out there, well...also, going farther away from home means it's a farther distance I have to fight her if she decides she wants to run back to the barn. Our past trail experiences have been great, but I don't have another person to go with me this time, so it would be hopeless if she did decide to do anything drastic.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-16-2010, 08:06 PM
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I'm going to first ask how you make her back up when on the ground. Are you using just a rope halter? Since the cue for back is basically the same for stop, every time she stops make her back up a few steps. Then in the saddle use your rope halter or a hackamore. Ask her to stop and back the same way you did on the ground. I like using voice commands so do that enough so she associates the word with the motion. Horses aren't totally stupid, they can learn a few words. If she starts saying no, you've gone too far
Just sit and relax for a few minutes. Ask her to walk out, take a few steps say "whoa" or "halt" then "back". do this over and over and over some more. Till she will do it by word alone.
I'm a great believer in going backward instead of forward when there is a problem. Go ahead and bit up if you want, but I think in the long run your horse would be better served by taking a little more time and a step back.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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