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post #11 of 26 Old 06-04-2009, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia.
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It's definately not pain. He did have a swollen tendon in his front left leg, but it's better now. He will gladly follow other horses or people, but if nothing in front of him is moving, he won't move.

I tried applying pressure (without kicking) and that didn't work. He is definately testing me out. Our relationship is good in the fatc that he loves me, as soon as I go to the paddock he runs over and enjoys the attention.

When I first ride him, he is fine. After about 10 minutes he stops and gets it over me. If I hit him (not hard) on the rump with my hand, he will move. Soon enough though he stops again.

I am not very assertive with people or anything else and that's what makes this hard. I have recently toughened up and tried to push him. But since it's been two months and he's been getting it over me that long, It's going to be harder to reverse.

Personally, I don't like to let him feed when I'm riding him. I feed him heaps of hay and let him feed in some long fresh grass for a while before i ride. But as soon as I get on him he wants to go back to food.

I will try using a lead rope to entice him to move, annoy him a little.
Any other suggestions?

Treat your horse the way you want him/her to treat you, then the eternal bond you share will be indefinately rewarding.
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post #12 of 26 Old 06-04-2009, 09:33 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tn
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First, what do you do when this happens? Do you make him move or what?

Second, what I would do is leave a rope halter on him when you ride and take a 12-14 foot lead rope with you already tied to the halter. If you ride western just drape it over the horn. When he locks up on you ask him to move forward with the correct cues. Never get aggitated. Just ask the way you should. If he refuses, increase the intensity. If he still refuses, ok, just dismount and circle lounge a few laps. Mount and ask to move off. If he refuses, dismount and tight circle lounge a few laps, not many but get your point across,,,,mister your going to move one way or the other! This will fix it, it just may take time.

"Life is like a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up depends on what you are made of."
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-04-2009, 02:35 PM
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Try when you start to feel like he is going to halt, to catch it before he does and push him through it, whether it be with the end of your lead and swing it behind, squeezing, whatever your routine is, but you need to keep him moving out before he stops, because when he does that, and you allow it but just sitting there urging and not MAKING HIM go, then he knows he can continue to do that....there's no reason for him not to.
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-04-2009, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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I find over-under works well in this situation, if you have tried everything else. I have very soft, thick cotton reins, so it doesn't hurt, it makes a noise and movement which I think is the effective part.

I kiss at my horse and ask with my seat, then escalate to a squeeze, then to a BIG squeeze, and only then do I over under with my reins. This is where you flick the end of your reins over either side of his neck, making a thwapp noise when it hits his neck either side. It has ALWAYS got forward out of my horse, and he can be a lazy stinker :]

Nowadays I rarely have to past the seat and kiss point.

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post #15 of 26 Old 06-07-2009, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia.
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Ok, so I rode him today. In the time space of 3 hours, he reared up 4 times, bucked once and tried to kick me.

I caught him easily, which was good because normally it takes about 5-10 mins. Then I saddled him up, warmed him up and the jumped on.

I began just walking around the paddock, he was doing ok. But as soon as he could no longer see my sisters horse in sight (nothing moving in front of him) he didn't want to go.

I asked with my seat and applied pressure... he reared up. I didn't freak out though. I applied pressure again and he just stayed still. I squeezed as hard as I could and nothing. My reins are leather so they would hurt, but I knew if I didn't do anything he would just keep getting it over me.

I lightly hit him with the reins and he remained still. I went a little hard the second time while asking him to move, he slowly moved off and I released all pressure.

After that, he kept walking and I turned back towards my sisters horse (which was in the neighboring paddock). He willingly walked, but then once I wanted to turn around he stopped. I tried to nudge him on before he stopped but he still did.

I used the reins again and he moved. I eventually got him to walk around the paddock freely without needing to use the reins. I got him into a trot which was cool because normally he wouldn't go more than a walk. I was happy with the progress.

But then, he wanted to stop. He was annoyed with me. I had to use the reins once more and he knew then that I was alpha. He did pretty much everything I wanted him to.

We went on a small trail ride then. My sister is a beginner, so I went ahead because she was slow and my dad was with her. I trotted along a trail and everything, he was fine.

Then when we got back to our farm, he refused to walk thought the gate. It is a huge gate, but for some reason he wouldn't go. Maybe the mud, he might have thought he would slip over?

Anyway, eventually (using the reins again) he went through. I trotted him around the paddock again but it was the same as last time, he stop when he wanted too. He was beginning to test me again. He stopped and I applied pressure, then he reared up again and pinned his ears back.

He did the a few times after that, I'd take him around the paddock and he'd stop and do it again. Then he was really annoyed and gave a slight buck (he never has before). He started putting his head low to the ground and tossing it crazily side to side and tuning around in circles.

By then, I was tired and wanted to go home. I trotted him around the paddock one last time to ensure I had control. I also got off and back on to show him that just because I dismount doesn't mean he doesn't have to work anymore, normally he gets excited when i get off thinking he is done for the day. I then removed his saddle and decided to get him to trot behind me, while i jog, just to re-ensure my control.

He went fine but on the second lap he turned away from me really quick, ripping the reigns out of my hands. His rear end was facing me and he began kicking wildly and i jumped back. He slipped in the mud falling over and then took off with the reigns caught around his front leg.

I caught up to him once he stopped and safely removed the reigns and bridle.

So it was a big day. What I am concerned about is his rearing up, bucking and the episode of him trying to kick me.

He may have been spooked or something and thats why he tried to kick but I want him to stop tossing his head, pinning his ears back and rearing up while I'm on him. Am I doing anything wrong? What can I do to help stop this?

I'm going to ride him in about 8 hours or so when dad takes me back out to our paddock.

Treat your horse the way you want him/her to treat you, then the eternal bond you share will be indefinately rewarding.
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-07-2009, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Florida
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It sure sounds like something is bothering him physically. Have you checked every aspect? Even to the point of calling an equine massage therapist out?
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-07-2009, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia.
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He recently had a vet check and the farrier checked him over aswell. Both agreed he was fine physically.

If my sisters horse is in front of Dusty, he will go, I actually have to hold him back because otherwise he will bolt towards him.

But as soon as there is nothing moving in front of him to follow he refuses to move. I think he was rearing up because it was the first time I've really made him move. He has had it over me for a month or so now.

This other guy my age got on him last weekend and made him move. He used a crop and Dusty reared up on him, multiple times.

I think he is being defiant.

I really don't know what to do. I'm going to ride him in a little while, an hour or so. I'm worried he will go crazy and buck me off or something.

Them ain reason I don't think it is physical is because when we first got him, he was fine and would do what we wanted when we rode him. I think because we are inexperienced he got it over us. Ever since then, he has started rearing up and tossing his head.

Treat your horse the way you want him/her to treat you, then the eternal bond you share will be indefinately rewarding.
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post #18 of 26 Old 06-08-2009, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia.
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Sorry to double post, but I just got back from riding him.

I rode for around 1 hour. In that time, he bucked twice and rared up once. Not too bad when I compare it to yesterday's 5 rares and 1 buck.

He was pretty good today. I'm impressed and happy with the progress.

Dusty gets angry when he can't see the alpha horse out there. He was trotting fine, then he slowed down once he saw the other horse. I urged him on and then he bucked.

He wants to stay with the other horses, as soon as I start to move away from them he bucks or tosses his head.

Any ideas to try and correct this problem?

He is fine once I take him out onto the side of the road away from the paddock and the other horses. When he cant see them he plays up.

Treat your horse the way you want him/her to treat you, then the eternal bond you share will be indefinately rewarding.
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-08-2009, 05:12 PM
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Location: Florida
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I think a couple things are going on. One, he's herd bound. Two, he's unmotivated and doesn't see anything in it for him, which leads to the defiant behavior like the bucking and rearing.

To solve the herd bound behavior, do a couple things. One, take him out to graze A LOT. Spend a ton of undemanding time with him. Make being with you enjoyable. This will help the relationship. Second, do a ton of approach and retreat with him with the herd. Take him away and AS SOON as you feel him hesitate, tense up, etc. STOP and let him wait. If he can't stand still retreat back from the threshold (you would be going back toward his safety spot, i.e. the herd) and let him wait there. Once he is calm take him away, then back, then away, then back, etc.

Next you need to address his motivational issues. Horses like this NEED to see that there is something in it for them. Otherwise they will fight you. So when you ride do point-to-point. Start off walking to a corner and stop and rest. The harder it was to get him there (meaning how slow he was) the longer you let him wait. This creates incentive to go where you want. Once his walk is nice, ask for the trot. Repeat this with the trot and canter. Soon he will willingly go where you want because he knows eventually he will get to stop and rest, so he will want to get there sooner.
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post #20 of 26 Old 06-08-2009, 06:25 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jane View Post
You're right....buuuuuut..........
Letting a horse eat with a bit has never appealed to me because it's a piece of metal he's chomping and trying to chew grass with it in the way, aside from the grazing getting out of hand possible issue. I don't allow my horse to lay down with me for a roll either. (said tongue in cheek!)

I'm on the horse's back, he's got 20 hours or so of the day to graze, he can hold off for the short time.

But you're right....to each their own. If that floats your boat, that's cool. But I can't say it's fine. I've got too many people asking me how to cure their horse's bad eating habit.

But that's just it. This horse doesn't respect the OP.

You have worked with your horse enough and you have enough experience to know how to handle it, and your horse respects your wishes.

I help people who don't have that from their horses for various reasons....they are just barely getting the basics of NH training and the leadership stuff and all that....so if they are learning themselves and having trouble on top of that....I can't tell them, well go ahead and let your horse graze....after I've put too much time into retraining the horse to listen to the rider and retraining the rider not to pull on the horse's mouth for any reason (that is a HARD lesson to teach).

Some people can't allow their horses to graze because the horse will tear the reins from their hands and will become so adament about it, they buck or totally ignore the rider, the rider goes to old habits of pulling on the horse's mouth....it's a mess.

So, I just tell people....don't do it. Your horse has all day to graze to eat to be a horse. When you're on his back, he can pay attention to you.....that's just easier.

But yeah, sure, if you've got full control of your horse...go ahead and let the horse graze....

BUT the OP is having enough trouble already with the horse, why add another possible issue? If the rider can't get the horse to move....who's to say going from grass spot to grass spot can be an invitation for a bad habit? At this early time of horse and rider getting to know each other....

I'm just anal about preventing problems, I guess.


That's another way, too!

If you don't mind, I'd like to add a little to your idea:


Pick up the left rein (using a plain snaffle: full cheek or dee ring)....and bend the horse's head around to your stirrup. Bump your legs against his sides. WAIT. Hold. Wait.

The horse's neck will get tired and when it does, the horse will move his body. When he does, he will step to the side or forward with one front foot. When he does, let go of the rein and stop bumping. Repeat with the other rein.

If you do this way, you can "unlock" the horse's movement.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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