Is he still testing me?
 
 

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Is he still testing me?

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  • He did still testing
  • He's testing me

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  • 1 Post By AislingxXx1234

 
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    08-21-2011, 05:24 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Is he still testing me?

I've had my 21 year old AQHA gelding for a few months now and he still does the same things. It's like he's still testing me. I'm thinking he's doing that plus might need a refreshing course of how to do things or retraining...I don't know. What do you all suggest?

He used to show in the past with previous previous owner, then the owner I got him from didn't use him much at all for months at a time and just trail rode him. When I got him, he used to eat grass every time you walked him on the ground, every two seconds or less he'd stop and do that. I've been working with him on that and he's done amazing. Now he just tries every now and then but he walks a lot better. He listens to you better now and the walk to the barn is a lot more pleasant.

He also has problems picking up his feet. He does have a little iffiness in the left front foot but his other feet are fine I'm told by farrier and vet. But, he gives me such a problem with picking his feet up just about each time. And that front left foot, he picks it up pretty smoothly, the other front is iffy (but that's to be suspected because of the other front foot, but he still gives me such a problem with it though) he'll lean with just about all his weight against me and won't pick it up, but he is off and on with that though. His back feet are sometimes iffy, but sometimes he picks them up pretty fair. So, picking his feet up depends on the days or something, I've had him checked by the vet recently and the farrier came out a few days ago and he's fine all around (except for that left front foot). But, he does fine with that one because he does put weight on it, etc.

Also, with leading, he'll stop and lag behind me. With riding, he's iffy about turning, when you ask him to trot he'll instantly turn the other direction going towards the rail (just about scraping your leg). He doesn't limp and he walks fine, trots fine, etc. I'm just wondering if he's really still testing me and/or he needs some tuning by a professional. Also, he's my first horse and I don't really have anyone here at my boarding barn to help me with him...If it's relevant, he is out 24/7 with a dominant 6-8 yr old, but they get along fine :) Thanks for suggestions and support.
     
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    08-21-2011, 05:36 PM
  #2
Foal
I think you are on the right track by getting him checked out and everything. Lot's of people are very ready to say the horse is just "mean" or "stubborn"!
He probably is still testing you...it sounds like you are doing a good job and not giving up but I definitely think he could use a refresher course by a professional. If they are doing there job right, they will also make sure he will be good for you too before he leaves! I would definitely recommend looking at a refresher course for him. It will probably be very worth it!
:)
Lafitte likes this.
     
    08-21-2011, 07:02 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
You don't have a horse problem. Your horse has a people problem. A tune-up probably would not hurt him, but it is not what he needs either. You need to learn how to handle him a lot more than he needs a tune-up.

This horse is not 'testing' you as much as you have taught him not to take you seriously --- so he doesn't. He is not mean or he would be biting or kicking you when you get in HIS way. He is simply not taking you seriously enough to do anything you want him to do.

I think you need to find someone that will teach you how to interact with him in a way that he understands and respects. You cannot get in a tug-o-war over a foot or let a horse drag you off to eat grass one day and have him take you seriously for any reason the next.

Read the article I wrote that is anchored at the top of the training forum. It explains how every time you interact with a horse, he is learning how to respond to you. If you do not know how to interact with him in a way that teaches him respect for you and your directives, he will learn to blow you off completely. Your presence will only be a small impedance to what he would be doing if you were not there at all.

So, bottom line -- get help learning how to interact with him. You will find that the more you know, the more he knows. I have an old lesson horse that does not act like he know anything if he rider/handler knows little. [If he handler knows nothing, you'd swear he was as dumb as a box of rocks.] If he has a knowledgeable rider, there is little that he does NOT know how to do and can do it all very well. The better his rider, the smarter he gets.
     
    08-21-2011, 08:47 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
You don't have a horse problem. Your horse has a people problem. A tune-up probably would not hurt him, but it is not what he needs either. You need to learn how to handle him a lot more than he needs a tune-up.

This horse is not 'testing' you as much as you have taught him not to take you seriously --- so he doesn't. He is not mean or he would be biting or kicking you when you get in HIS way. He is simply not taking you seriously enough to do anything you want him to do.

I think you need to find someone that will teach you how to interact with him in a way that he understands and respects. You cannot get in a tug-o-war over a foot or let a horse drag you off to eat grass one day and have him take you seriously for any reason the next.

Read the article I wrote that is anchored at the top of the training forum. It explains how every time you interact with a horse, he is learning how to respond to you. If you do not know how to interact with him in a way that teaches him respect for you and your directives, he will learn to blow you off completely. Your presence will only be a small impedance to what he would be doing if you were not there at all.

So, bottom line -- get help learning how to interact with him. You will find that the more you know, the more he knows. I have an old lesson horse that does not act like he know anything if he rider/handler knows little. [If he handler knows nothing, you'd swear he was as dumb as a box of rocks.] If he has a knowledgeable rider, there is little that he does NOT know how to do and can do it all very well. The better his rider, the smarter he gets.
This is very sound advice! I would add that once you have someone helping you, it can take a little bit to gain that respect, but as long as you remember that you ARE training your horse every time you are with him (with help learning how of course ), he will improve. He may always test you a little bit, but Cherie is absolutely right. He isn't testing you, he's just not paying attention because he doesn't think he needs to.
     
    08-21-2011, 08:59 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
You don't have a horse problem. Your horse has a people problem. A tune-up probably would not hurt him, but it is not what he needs either. You need to learn how to handle him a lot more than he needs a tune-up.

This horse is not 'testing' you as much as you have taught him not to take you seriously --- so he doesn't. He is not mean or he would be biting or kicking you when you get in HIS way. He is simply not taking you seriously enough to do anything you want him to do.

I think you need to find someone that will teach you how to interact with him in a way that he understands and respects. You cannot get in a tug-o-war over a foot or let a horse drag you off to eat grass one day and have him take you seriously for any reason the next.

Read the article I wrote that is anchored at the top of the training forum. It explains how every time you interact with a horse, he is learning how to respond to you. If you do not know how to interact with him in a way that teaches him respect for you and your directives, he will learn to blow you off completely. Your presence will only be a small impedance to what he would be doing if you were not there at all.

So, bottom line -- get help learning how to interact with him. You will find that the more you know, the more he knows. I have an old lesson horse that does not act like he know anything if he rider/handler knows little. [If he handler knows nothing, you'd swear he was as dumb as a box of rocks.] If he has a knowledgeable rider, there is little that he does NOT know how to do and can do it all very well. The better his rider, the smarter he gets.
This is very sound advice! I would add that once you have someone helping you, it can take a little bit to gain that respect, but as long as you remember that you ARE training your horse every time you are with him (with help learning how of course ), he will improve. He may always test you a little bit, but Cherie is absolutely right. He isn't testing you, he's just not paying attention because he doesn't think he needs to.
     
    08-24-2011, 11:45 PM
  #6
Foal
I worked with him today and I thought back to when he used to do good for picking his feet up. I remembered we did a routine. I couldn't remember all of it, but he actually kind of helped me out there. I tried the front left foot but he wouldn't let me, so I skipped it and went to the hind foot, then on the right side went to the front, then the hind, and then back to the left front foot and he gave it to me with no problems what so ever. So, I think I'll try that routine again and see if that routine helps. Even though I know someone up here is going to say he won that battle with that foot but I got it in the end and we'll go from there, but if that routine works from now on, then I'm happy it works for us.

Before I rode him, I did some ground work with him. I made him do some circles in both directions, a little pivoting, backing up, and he did some bowing (he used to do it in the past I think but was rusty, but he does it good now). I learned a lot from him today: he is really smart! He never once tried to eat grass while I got him to bow (and he usually does), I used a treat at first but he wanted the treat and bowed. I had one more treat left in my pocket and I left him without me holding him to stand back and he actually bowed without me or treat! He stayed like that until I noticed and I gave him a treat and told him he did very well and rubbed his neck, etc.

Are there any suggestions about grazing problem though? Just out of curiosity, what do you all do for that? He's not terrible, he used to when I first got him - he'd stop all the time while you walked him. He tries every now and then so you do walk better to your destination but he still does. Thanks for suggestions and support :)
     
    08-25-2011, 12:02 AM
  #7
Showing
Take him for a walk on halter and when he puts his head down to eat, pop him on the rump. He'll likely trot forward a couple of steps so give him enough lead to do so. Do this until he quits trying to snatch grass. When you ride, take your crop and ride on a loose rein. If he drops his head, pop his butt. It doesn't have to be hard, just enough that he'll lift his head. Be consistant and he'll give up. I have found that after the groundwork, one pop from the saddle is all it takes. He knows the rest.
     
    08-25-2011, 12:44 AM
  #8
Foal
Thanks Saddlebag, but he doesn't do it while I'm riding - just when I'm leading him on the ground.
     
    08-25-2011, 02:37 AM
  #9
Yearling
Don't let him lag behind and don't nag him forward with the line - all that will teach him is to pull on you…there's nothing worse than trying to drag a horse along. Get a long whip, hold it in your left hand (like you would hold a ski pole so that you can reach behind you while leading) and tap his butt with it if he doesn't come forward and stay with you while leading. If you stop and he puts his head down to eat grass, ask him once with the line to keep his head up…if he doesn't, nudge or tap him under the chin with the toe of your boot or tip of the whip him until he learns to keep his head up and that stopping doesn't mean it's time to graze. He needs to understand that if that halter is on his face, he has to listen to you.
     

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