Green horse is completely dead to leg aids? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 26
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Green horse is completely dead to leg aids?

I got a 4 y/o tb last November. It was a semi-rescue situation.
The girl who owned him before me messed up his training in every way imaginable. He was pushy as heck, attacked people and was all around dangerous to handle. Needless to say, we didn't try riding him, even though she was.
We started again from the ground up, and he's pretty much gotten to the point where he's as well trained as any other green youngster. He has his moments, but he's very responsive with lunging, tack, etc, so my trainer's just started backing him over again.

His issue is since the previous owner kicked him (lots and very hard) every time she wanted him to move, he's completely dead to leg. He doesn't understand it at all because she numbed him to it (I saw her ride him)
When my trainer gets on him he's totally fine with her presence. He'll let other people lunge him with her on him, doesn't buck or try to bolt. But when she applies leg, he refuses to move. If she pushes enough with her leg he gets really upset, and we know that if she keeps pushing him then he'll likely explode and injure somebody. When he gets frustrated he tends to shut down, but if he's pushed enough things don't go well.

My trainer thinks he's just being a jerk and needs more ground work. I'm not exactly sure that ground work is going to fix this problem. He goes forward fine off the ground. He's still a bit of a lazy horse, but he'll move when I ask him to. I am 100 % sure that this is because of the way the last girl 'trained' him.

How would you deal with this problem? He's the kind of horse that doesn't care how much physical aids you give him (spurs, whip, etc) If he doesn't understand the situation he just shuts down. I don't want to scare him or beat him into moving, I want him to actually understand what's being asked of him.

I'm talking to my trainer about it tomorrow, but I don't think she's ever dealt with a greenie that doesn't want to move, so any ideas would be appreciated :P

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2010, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 212
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Try teaching him voice aids while doing ground driving. If he learns the vocal aids and you get on him, then it will possibly be easier for him to understand what you are asking of him. For my horse I do one cluck for walk, two for trot and kiss for canter.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I dont mean to be rude but I would be looking for a new trainer. Retraining is 100 times harder than training an untouched horse. It can take years but doesnt have to. It does take a HUGE amount of patience which your trainer doesnt seem to have.

I am currently retraining a very timmid Arab x QH. Same thing although he also bucks and bolts when afraid. I simply ask verbally for a trot and bump with my legs until he picks it up. Then heap on the praise and pats. He is very forward and I let him pick his own speed for now. I keep every action simple and quiet and he is slowly learning to trust me. I do keep my leg on, but I keep it to a hug. That way he is supported during the ride and it keeps him calm.

I also ride with very light contact. Its always a challenge to get his head to come down. Everyone else has pulled it down. I give him his head and it slowly comes down by degrees while we ride and he relaxes.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 08:43 AM
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Location: MD
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Voice. My paint is similar to your boy - have to be careful with too much legs, but I always use voice whether I work on ground or in saddle with either of my girls. I say Whoa, walk, trot, back every time I ask for something. Also I found whip to be useful. I tap lightly the butt when she doesn't want to move forward and generally it's enough to focus her attention on me and keep moving (however my girls are not afraid of the whip, they know it's a tool, not a punishment).

Does he responds to the seat cues? Did you try to explain to the trainer the whole situation?

P.S. Don't use anything for canter - still can't find a good word (canter or lope just doesn't sound to me ).
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Thanks for the advice guys
He responds to voice commands decently while lunging, I guess that's one of the things she wants to keep working on before we progress at all.

I talked with her yesterday and she really does seem to have a plan for working with him, so I'm feeling a lot more confident now.
emilieg is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 08-12-2010, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 775
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At this point of the training work on just getting your horse moving in a quiet and relaxed manner.

One of the ways to overcome this challenge is to employ another horse and rider to pony you and help give the horse the idea of movement.

The horse has to find the joy of the ride and have a chance to work out the balance of carrying a load.

Start like this and then move to a passenger in the seat and I do mean passenger and not rider that is trying to steer the horse.
No leg aids at all at first.

"The greatest strength is gentleness."
- Iroquois Proverb
Marecare is offline  

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