Help my horse doesn't want to work anymore,

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Help my horse doesn't want to work anymore,

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    11-15-2011, 04:35 PM
Help my horse doesn't want to work anymore,

Hi there,
Looking for some help/opinions, I have a 16.2hh holstiener he's 16yrs and an ex showjumper, I took him as hed been badly neglected, very very thin(his ex owner admitting to feeding him a handful of bread a day for four years!) and his hooves were in very bad condition.
He was originally imported to greece from Germany, spent time in athens showjumping then came to were I live in Kos greece.
During his jumping career he had a fall and was out of action for a while. He became very timid, he has been checked over by the vet and has no back problems, before I took him he had been ridden in two riding schools. A couple of times and pass on as he was too big for the riding schools, (i know both these ladies with the riding schools) then he came to his previous owner who neglected him and then to me. I have had him fed him up now for over 12months. He is not timid whatsover anymore, I've had him checked by the vet and see the farrier regularly. I can sit on him and he will happily, follow me round the field. He will play about, bucking and jumping the small bushes when turned out.
However he will not lead, it takes alot of persuasion for him to walk down the path to the beach (once there he will roll in the sand and the walk back is no problem) he will not entertain the lunge, and will move nowhere when I mount him and try to get him to move forward.

I know he's an older horse but I would like to hack him on a sunday afternoon just at a walk along the beach which is 10 mins from his field.

I'm really stumped of how to move forward with him,
He is out to graze on good pasture, with additional hay and hard feed twice a day, he takes cod liver oil biotin for his feet and a multi vit supplement.

Any ideas????
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    11-15-2011, 04:41 PM
Start him on a lunge line - at the walk. Wear gloves and drive him forward with a whip. Praise him verbally when he walks forward and swing whip near his butt when he slows or stops.

Idea is for him to stand quietly until you ask him to "WALK ON", reinforcing your verbal cue with the whip (wave whip, if no response pop him on hocks with whip). After you can reliabely get him to walk and halt on verbal command add trot into he mix. Don't make him trot for long periods of time - he doesn't have the muscle for that.

Be certain to lunge him in both directions. After he'll walk and trot on lunge using verbal cures then you can start riding him and use those same verbal cues. If he's OK with it carry a crop and use it as needed.
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    11-15-2011, 05:12 PM
How much riding and training experience do you have? Do you have access to a good horse trainer for hire?
    11-15-2011, 05:17 PM
I've been riding and handling for 20 years, however my experience is with training youngsters. He's got me stumped.
    11-15-2011, 05:19 PM
And we don't have anybody I can send him to to train him.
    11-15-2011, 05:21 PM
Have you put him in a round pen or on a longe line with a whip and just made him work?
    11-15-2011, 05:23 PM
He has been in a round pen, He isn't fazed by the whip at all, nor sounds. He's been on a lunge line whilst led to attempt to start him off, Still reluctant to move forward..
    11-15-2011, 05:28 PM
Have you actually whacked him a few good ones with the whip?
    11-15-2011, 05:31 PM
I have and still nothing. I even gave the lunge to the hubby and bashed a bucket behind him, we got a walk but no motivation. However when he's turned out he rockets round the field!
    11-15-2011, 05:32 PM
If he has been used to being worked relatively hard in competitions and riding schools he could be sour to not being worked much. You see it in OTTBs but generally these horses are fit and raring to go so get sulky immediatly after being taken out of work. Your horse is probably only just fit enough and carrying enough condition to be wanting to work again if he was beaten around and was as skinny as you say. Perhaps he is bored with just going in hand to the beach. Maybe try tacking up leading to the beach then mounting once on the beach? Or lunge on the beach- if safe to do so.

Obviously you can't work him physically hard but mentally you could also be giving him a workout. Research some inhand training session to exercise him mentally. This can help him to feel as though he has had a workout but really you have been training his mind. In hand exercises will also help him become more responsive and eger to please you under saddle too.

By the way- how lucky are you to have a beach 10 minutes hack away?!?

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