Green broke and irritating - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Green broke and irritating

I rode Red Man yesterday and had several problems.

1. He spooks at tree branches.
I sent him for 60 days to be trail broke, then discovered yesterday that the moment a tree branch touches him it's OMG PANIC WE'RE ALL GUNNA DIE time. He had a small rearing and bucking fit (I ended up bailing-on purpose) and the moment I was off and he was away from the branches, he was fine. Didn't take off, just wandered back over and waited around for someone to come and get him.
For some reason, he seems drawn yet terrified of them.

2. He's not SOFT
AT ALL. He'll turn and what not, but it's more like "GOD your making me TURN and I DON'T LIKE IT " not, "We are turning in a smooth, elegant manner. We are calm, collected, and comfortable" I ask with very light pressure from the heel on the outside, and neckrein him.

3. He decided to stop and not move an inch.
This was extremely frustrating for me. I don't carry a whip because I like as few things as possible to hold on to or have to balance. I do however wear soft rowel spurs when riding, and am very aware of my legs.
I ask the horse, the horse responds. Not, I ask the horse, I ASK the horse, I'M ASKING YOU TO MOVE, HELLO, ANYONE, LETS GO ROVER.

I do NOT agree with harsh training methods or anything that involves pain. But I tried adjusting my seat, clucking, kissing, slight pressure, rolling, slight pressure and rolling, medium pressure with and without rolling, and finally I just turned my heels in and applied This Is Horribly Uncomfortable pressure.

No stabbing or poking, but I was persistent. I attempted to turn him, and all he did was bring his head around. One time he attempted to bite me on the leg (what the heck?!).

I attempted to back him up, wouldn't move, evaded the bit, put his tongue over it, etc. I didn't rip, yank, or pull, I applied the usual light, steady pressure (1-2 discomfort scale) and deepened my seat.

This PEEVES me to NO END. When I brought him home, he stood, now he doesn't. Now he steps away and acts like an idiot. Arg.

This is a Missouri Fox Trotter, naturally gaited. He doesn't gait, he trots his horrific, gaited-horse trot. You can feel the gait, he just won't pick it up.
This is probably the thing thats plummeting the quickest to the bottom of my patience. This is not a Quarter Horse, or a Racking Horse, or a Pacing Horse. This is a Foxtrotting horse, I want my foxtrot.

-He rides in a solid-mouth medium port curb bit with curved shanks. It is a very quite, very gentle bit but honestly his behavior is making me rethink it.
Unfortunately, I don't have a three-piece snaffle (he has a small mouth), and my eggbutt would not go over well at all. Maybe he needs contact, who knows. He's trained as a Western trail horse.

-He teeth have been checked my a vet, they are fine. So, no problems in that department.

-Saddle (english) is fitting very well with the new pad, with no pinching, rubbing, or uneven sitting.

-My heels are down, my toes up, my reins are just short enough that I'm at the bit, but not engaging it in any way. I roll my shoulders back and move and flex with the horse (when I ride, I spend a lot of time thinking seat-legs-hands)

He's really a beautiful boy, especially under saddle, but he's being such an unholy idiot it's fraying my nerves. I can understand a young, untrained horse. But this is a five year old, matured gelding who absolutely, positively knows better.
He's ALWAYS been a stubborn blockhead, but I sent him to the trainer. For 60 days and an even thousand, I expect my horse not to dance while mounting, stop randomly, or act as flexible as a brick. I'll let the tree branches slide, because he's just to flightly for his own good, but still.

Am I being to hard on him? He is green, I understand that completely. I have zen-like patience on the ground, even with my older boys and especially with the young ones.
Red's has the build and looks of a show-bred Foxtrotter. Very flashy boarderline prissy looking. Perhaps he has the temperament as well?
I keep telling myself to just stick with him, he'll get better with rides and age but god this is so frustrating. And I HATE falling off, intended or not. I had a mild panic attack when I did yesterday, I'm not sure if it's because I fell off or because I was unscathed.

I'm not even sure if he'll safely pick up a canter. I don't think he's ever been cantered. I absolutely love me some Missouri Fox Trotter canter, too.

Be honest, am I being to hard on my green horse? I think that I am, but at the same time I'm very unsure about it.
His ground manners are excellent as well, he's extremely well behaved. Like a 30 year old Seen-Everything-Including-The-Apocalypse instead of a I-Have-60-Days-Riding-And-An-Impatient-Owner

Wait! I'll fix it....
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 03:38 PM
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Take him back to the trainer. He is hardly what I would expect after 60 days. Your trainer should also have worked with you as well as him for the last week or so. It's important for you to know what aids he used and how to apply them.

All this assuming that he is not in pain and your tack fits him properly.

EDIT - check all your adjustments. It is extremely hard for a horse to get his tongue over the bit unless it is not adjusted properly.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 06-01-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 05:20 PM
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Yes, go back to this trainer. And how did you pick that trainer? Have you any experience with horses he/she has trained? YOu need to know how he has been trained.

If he isn't light on the bit, then he wont be able to be bent in the turn in a solid curb, neck reining. Personally, I would go back to direct reining in a snaffle of some kind. buy a thinnish one for his small mouth. That, with your seat aids , will help rebuild a softer turn.

There is nothing to do but start over, or is there? Certainly, being irritated won't change this. So sorry that the training did not result as you thought. I hear this a lot, with training.

Good luck. I LOVE Missouri Fox trotters. Never ridden one but they are just gorgeous!
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 05:31 PM
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How frustrating :( I agree with iride & tinyliny, go back to the trainer to discuss it, I don't know that I'd want that trainer back on my horse however. As a trainer myself, I'd expect more out of one I'd only put 30 days on than what you got after 60.

Hope you get something figured out!

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 08:43 PM
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I agree with going back to the trainer, discuss it, and give some heavy thought as to whether you continue with this trainer, or go to another. In all fairness, however, if you were not actively involved as much as possible in at least the LAST part of the 60 days, you cannot expect to know what aids the trainer taught. That, IMO, is your mistake. It has youm and most likely your horse, frustrated. Something as simple as mounting, you need to know how the trainer reinforced it. I wure know what I would do, and mine, who was in training for 6 months, even tried that crap when he came home. I knew, however, what the trainer would do, reinforced it, and he has been fine since.

I am a little confused about your bits tho-from what you said you are direct reining, but in a shanked curb? That will not work as far as I know.

Good luck-

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post #6 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 08:49 PM
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Your situation sounds frustrating. How long has he been back with you? I have a horse who is emotionally sensitive and to send her off to live at a trainers house would be like taking your child and scooting them off to boarding school, except that the child you could talk to and explain what is happening. If your horse is anything like mine he is probably mad at you, holding a grudge, knows how to act, but is angry and hurt by you sending him off. It is a frequent practice, we send our horses off for off site training for a few months then ship them back. I understand our reasoning, but to the horse it is confusing and he has no idea why he is being ripped from his home, sent away, just gets used to his new home, then brought back again. It's upsetting and they are emotional beings as well. If it's at all possible see if a trainer will come to your home. I think you will have much better luck. Good luck
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 08:52 PM
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Totally agree with franknbeans. We currently have ours with our trainer for 30 days. She was a total b----.
Now when we pick her up he will go over things with us and we will go for a trail ride (luckily there are some wonderful trails where he is). He will ride her to start with and then my husband will take over. These are the kind of things I think everyone should do with their trainer. Sometimes we need trained as much as our horses.

A woman can NEVER have too many horses.....

Last edited by Macslady; 06-01-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-01-2011, 09:48 PM
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I agree with what has already been said. Your trainer should have worked with both you and the horse together at some point.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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