Help with the little things please. :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Help with the little things please. :)

Alright, my lease pony is a mare, I don't want people getting angry at me here, it's just my past experience, but I was never a big fan of mares. Long story.

Anyways, Destiny is my little angel :) But there are some things I think we should work on to make my life a lot easier, and to get her listening a little more. I've got a lot of nit-picky problems here, so bear with me !

First, she pulls the reins out of my hands when we halt, or when were just standing for that matter. She just jerks her head and usually I lose the reins because I think were standing relaxed so my grip isn't super tight. And if my grip is tight, thumbs on top and everything, most of the time I'm not ready for her to pull and I get jerked forward. Its not her teeth or anything, the bit fits her fine and so does the bridle.

Second, the first time I rode her, I picked out her hooves after. I was never really a huge fan of picking out back hooves, but I'm not scared. I picked up her foot and I'm positive I wasn't yanking her leg the wrong way or anything, because this has now happened eeverytime I try. She pulled her leg forward a bit, then more, then more, and I didn't let go because I figured she'd get over it and relax. Then she kicked. That got me so scared I'm almost to the point of asking my coach to try. There's also nothing medically wrong with her legs, or hooves.

Third ( I feel like such a whiney baby...) she doesn't come to me when I call her in her field. She always stands at the complete opposite end and ignores me. I call her name and wave treats but she never comes, I started calling her sort of uh, best friend? in the horse world haha, in hopes that she'd follow her to the gate and she didn't, she usually follows her I always end up taking the long walk to the other end of the field to get her.

Lastly, she doesn't stand for me to mount, I don't use a mounting block because I usually ride outside and there isn't one out there, and she's a small girl, 15.3hh, and I'm 5'7, easy to get up. But anyways, block or not, she walks away from me, like she's totally not interested, I've definitely had some embarrassing grasp-the-saddle-for-dear-life-as-my-pony-walks-away mounts. I just started holding the reins in my left hand with contact and it seems to be working, but I'd like her to stand there for me while I get on.

Ahh ! Sorry for the huge rant again ! Any tips would be helpful, thanks so much forumers ! :)
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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1. Never relax your grip on the reins. If she roots, give her a sharp tug back. Not enough to hurt her, mind you, but enough to say, "Hey, knock it off."

2. Grasp her hoof in your palm and flex the pastern joint as far as it will comfortably go, so that the hoof is bend back toward the fetlock. Hold in that position. That will making pulling away and kicking much harder for her.

3. Not much you can do about that. Make catching a good experience. Feed her, groom her, turn her back out without riding sometimes. Might work, might not.

4. Check her back as you get on. Grasp the left rein in your left hand and tip her nose in toward you. Not all the way bend, just turned in slightly. Hold that steady as you get on. The absolute worst she can do is circle, but not walk off, and if you keep bumping and telling her "whoa," she ought to stand perfectly still.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Wow thanks so much ! My coach said the same thing about being caught, some horses just won't, I though she would have learned by now because when the staff can't get her to come to them at the gate, she gets left out with no nightly feeding. I guess she really doesn't care :P Again, thanks sooo much, ill try your tips with her when I ride tuesday and get back with how they worked :)
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 11:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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- Bump her with your leg if she roots her head down. Pulling on her mouth can just cause her to pull harder against the pressure, and you will never win a tug-of-war with a horse... believe me, I've tried. To get the head up, use leg - if she ignores a small bump, then give a kick - leg pressure as such will generally raise a horse's head.
- When did she kick at you? After you let the leg was put down, or while it was still up? If you're standing in the correct spot, the horse won't be able to get much power behind the kick, so even if they connect, there isn't enough force to do much. Horses sometimes "kick" with their back legs to let you know they want their legs back... too bad, so sad, horse, you can get your leg back when I say so. Generally, if you keep the leg (flex it up high so they can't get any power through the muscles) they will quit after a moment when they realize you mean business. Don't put the leg down till they're standing nicely.
- Some horses won't come when they're called... at least she doesn't run away.
- Make her stand, and if she moves off, back her up (don't circle her, backing is more work) and try again. Have someone there to assist you for the first little while - reward with a small treat after she stands nicely for you to mount up. Another thing you can do is teach her the word "stand" which means "don't move a muscle till I tell you you can." You can teach this much in the same manner you would teach a dog, by associating and rewarding the good behavior in longer time periods. Start by standing right next to her, and give the command "stand." If she takes a step forwards, back her up to where she was standing and give the command again. Reward after a few moments. You can start moving away from her to the end of the leadrope, then further with a lunge line... rinse and repeat. It can take a while to teach this, but it is very, very worth the effort. This will then be transferrable to mounting.

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Thanks JustDressageIt, it definitely felt like a ' Hey I want my leg back ' pulling, and when I didn't give her it back she kindof did a huuge jerk, then kicked back, not directly at me, but enough to scare me. Thanks for the tips :)
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 11:51 PM
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I like JDI's thing about the leg, but I know that my personal TB gelding honestly can't balance very well wit hhis leg crunched up, or its uncomfortable for him since he has arthritis, I haven't figured out which. But if I hold it high, he tends to jerk and kick, but if I hold it lower and and extend it slightly, he'll stand still. Think of how a farrier might hold a back leg....lower, almost between his (or her) knees, and depending on the farrier some stand close and some stand farther away.

Unfortunately there's about nothing you can do for a horse who won't come when long as she stays put, you'll just have to think of it as a bit of a cardio routine :)

I have taught my gelding to ground tie in the way that JDI suggested as well. Now I can just drop his lead rope in the middle of the barn aisle and he'll stand there (unless there's treats or food in the open nearby, I unfortunately cannot out-train his 'eating' instinct )
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-10-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Destiny is a tb as well, but she kicked when I held her leg low and long, I was just so used to having to stretch the leg and put so much force with my last horse I'm just not used to her. It actually worked with my previous horse to stand with his hoof between my knees, in the way a farrier would. But that has to be too dangerous for me considering I'm reaaaally skinny and about 95lbs. She could easily back into me. Ill try everyones tips as soon as I'm at the barn :)
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-12-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
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Yay ! I rode destiny today and everything was perfect, she stood for me at the mounting block, even bareback. She gave me her hooves super easy, I kept her entertained so she didn't throw her head ! And of course she didn't come to me in the field, but were working on that ;)
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