Help with new horse that fights me while riding
   

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Help with new horse that fights me while riding

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  • Horse fights me when riding

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    08-14-2013, 01:14 PM
  #1
Foal
Help with new horse that fights me while riding

I recently adopted a BLM mustang from a horse rescue and he is a sweet guy but I am sick and tired of fighting him and getting no where. I rode for 45min last night and was both physical and mentally exhausted by the time I was done. I pulled a muscle in my back and he smacked my head off a tree. I had a friend of mine come out and ride him and she told me that I need spurs and I am just going to have to smack him around to show him who is boss but that has never been my way of training with any animal. I prefer to train by positive reinforcement but I am at a loss with this horse. To put it in easy terms he acts "herd bound". He will ride like 20 feet from the fence just fine but then the entire time after that he is constantly fighting and trying to turn back. I can make him go to a point then he will fight through and head back. That's what happened with the tree last night I came around the opposite side of the house then what the pasture is on and between us and the fence was this tree with a low branch. By this point he is trying to get me off by any means so he trots straight for the tree I finally get him to listen and stop but we are under the tree by this time so I turned him right to get away from the low branch, which is right in front of me. With his head turned all the way right he ran straight forward and smacked my head off the tree because he could see the fence and the other horses and wanted to go back. The horse rescue where he was said that he was perfect and anyone could ride him. So I guess I am just to dumb to ride this horse.
     
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    08-14-2013, 01:41 PM
  #2
Showing
I think they forgot to mention that he's fine as long as another horse is along.
     
    08-14-2013, 01:50 PM
  #3
Weanling
Please please please do two things:

1. Get into riding lessons so you know how to effectively control a horse, especially one that is misbehaving.

2. Get a trainer to work with both you and your horse.

Without those two things, I sadly see bad and/or potentially dangerous things happening if you continue to ride this horse without help.

Edited to add - do not listen to your friend. Spurs are not for making a horse listen, the are for refining the cues that your horse already knows. You don't smack a horse around that may not have the proper training to do what you want in the first place. Heck, you don't smack a horse around at all, you reprimand only at the instance of misbehaviour otherwise horse has no idea why it is being, literally, attacked.
     
    08-14-2013, 02:06 PM
  #4
Started
You are in over your head. The horse might well be fine, but it doesn't view you as a leader, and thus you should be a follower. Having a follower try to tell it to leave its buddies, where it is safe, is never going to go well.

You need to go back to basics, and learn how to become a leader from the ground, then you can move back into riding. You can try to do this your self, by getting books and dvd's from a trainer like Clinton Anderson and learning step by step, or the best way would be to find a good trainer that would be willing to work with you, and the horse.
     
    08-14-2013, 02:07 PM
  #5
Foal
One of the most important lessons I've learned with horses is from when I started as a farrier. That lesson was a horse won't lean on you if you don't hold them up, they can't because you won't allow it. That applies to your situation, he can't fight you if you won't fight him. If he wants to be by the barn that's ok, but under one condition you put his feet to work. After a little bit of work ask him if he'd like to walk away nice and easy, if he does good, then go, if not that's ok too, put him back to work. Set it up for him to want to do what you want, but never fight him.
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    08-14-2013, 03:03 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Zimmerman    
One of the most important lessons I've learned with horses is from when I started as a farrier. That lesson was a horse won't lean on you if you don't hold them up, they can't because you won't allow it. That applies to your situation, he can't fight you if you won't fight him. If he wants to be by the barn that's ok, but under one condition you put his feet to work. After a little bit of work ask him if he'd like to walk away nice and easy, if he does good, then go, if not that's ok too, put him back to work. Set it up for him to want to do what you want, but never fight him.
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What work by the barn would you suggest doing?
     
    08-14-2013, 03:06 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
You are in over your head. The horse might well be fine, but it doesn't view you as a leader, and thus you should be a follower. Having a follower try to tell it to leave its buddies, where it is safe, is never going to go well.

You need to go back to basics, and learn how to become a leader from the ground, then you can move back into riding. You can try to do this your self, by getting books and dvd's from a trainer like Clinton Anderson and learning step by step, or the best way would be to find a good trainer that would be willing to work with you, and the horse.

This is the part that baffles me. He respects me on the ground he stays out of my space, he follows me around, leads, stands but when I get on him its a different story.
     
    08-14-2013, 03:46 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by pineappleash    
This is the part that baffles me. He respects me on the ground he stays out of my space, he follows me around, leads, stands but when I get on him its a different story.
A horses behavior shows you what holes he has in his training or relationship with you. His lack of obedience and trust in the saddle is your clue to what needs repair. Try to be excited everytime you find a new hole in his training, because it is telling you exactly what bothers him. You can always ask folks here what to do and you will get lots of ideas to work with.

I agree with other posted suggestions and your own instincts. Spurs and whipping are not going to solve this problem, and fighting with him will create other issues. Once you are sure that a horse knows what to do, then you can punish him with a spank if he doesn't, but even then you need to pay close attention. My mare was very ornery one day and wouldn't go to part or our pasture. I was spanking her and it didn't help. I finally realized she was afraid of my neighbors llamas. I needed to desensitize her to them, not spank her.

If your horse resists leaving the barn, stay there but work him hard. If he will work hard with you in the saddle, back him, do circles, serpentines, and anything else you can do with him to keep his feet moving and make him WORK! If he resists in the saddle, get off and work him on the ground, remembering to stay out of kicking range. You don't have to be in the saddle to teach saddle skills.

Once he is puffing and ready for a break, ask him to move away from his preferred area. If he moves off in the direction you want, even if it is just a step, let him rest and get his wind a minute. Ask him again to move in the direction you want. If he refuses, WORK again till he is puffing. REPEAT, repeat, repeat.

After some time, and each horse is different in the amount of time it takes, he will connect moving away with REST and go further and further. Finally, he will be more eager to head out than to work so hard at the barn (or wherever he prefers to be).

This is making the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. It is a great strategy, and not just for horses (teen aged boys come to mind).

Finally, think safety at all times. If what he is doing or what you are doing makes you uncomfortable, it probably isn't safe. If he isn't doing well at something, try to go down a level in what you ask, to something he can do successfully. Get both of you calm and successful, then try again, being very careful to reward every little try, and timing that reward in the INSTANT it happens. You will soon find the horse back on track and both of you much happier and safer!
usandpets and pineappleash like this.
     
    08-14-2013, 04:00 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by pineappleash    
What work by the barn would you suggest doing?
Trotting small figure eights would be a good place to start. Remember this is not a punishment, don't work him into the ground. When he feels like he would want to slow down let him, and ride away at a walk. You might only get a little way and he'd want to go back, that's ok go back and start over. Be ready to ride and take as long as it takes, a mustang can have a high level of self preservation telling him it's safer at the barn, or with the herd, so you might be at it for a while until he comes through for you. You don't have to show him who's boss, he'll respect you as a leader because you alowed him to think and choose, you showed him you're willing to stick with him and show him the better way.
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    08-14-2013, 04:04 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by pineappleash    
This is the part that baffles me. He respects me on the ground he stays out of my space, he follows me around, leads, stands but when I get on him its a different story.
You are in over your head when you cannot recognize that your horse is very green. This is especially a problem with a Mustang bc he spent some of his time being a wild, unpredictable animal, unlike some foals handled all of the time for several years before anybody puts tack on them.
When I rode with spurs with my seasoned horses I hardly used them. Then knew that I had them on, but just like a crop, I only had to raise the crop up and they saw it and immediately responded.
You want your horse to react slowly to stimuli and react quickly to your commands. YOUR horse is reacting quickly to stimuli and tuning out your orders.
You spook ME to say that this horse knocked your head into a tree. Sometimes, when I garden around my fruit trees I wear a big floppy hat and I can't see the limb until I knock into it. It really hurts to bump my head but it isn't anywhere NEAR the amount of energy that a horse can exert.
Get help before you take a trip to the ER.
AlexS, beau159, Palomine and 3 others like this.
     

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