help with training / opinions
 
 

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help with training / opinions

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        11-08-2009, 08:49 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Unhappy help with training / opinions

    I have a quarter horse cross stockhorse named Storm, I've had him for about three years, but I've been unable to do anything serious with him. He has the smoothest trot and most powerful canter I've ever felt, and although he's fifteen hands, he's jumped 1.3m and 2.5m spreads. My problem is that he has an attitude like you would not believe, and he knows exactly how big he is (he's all muscle). He also has a habit of bucking when I ask him to canter. I would like some opinions on how to train him enough to compete on him in hunter trials and one day events again. He's a lovely horse, and a big softie on the ground, but when I get on he turns into a demon!!! I love him with all my heart and I don't want to have to sell him on. If anyone could help me with opinions that don't involve the previous ones of hitting him with a crop, I would love to hear them. I don't want to lose his lovely nature on the ground.
         
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        11-08-2009, 09:01 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Why would hitting him with a crop when he is doing something you don't want him to do cause him to lose his good nature on the ground? If you abused him then that is a different story but just to give him a smack to get him to stop kicking or bucking isn't going to make a difference. Not displining your horse is the most common form of cruelty and generaly leads to the other forms. Don't let him stop when he bucks. You can try to ignore it and push him through it or you can smack him on the ass with your crop and really get him moving.
         
        11-08-2009, 09:01 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    First check out all sources of pain. So much bad behaviour is caused by a bad fitting saddle, or too sharp teeth etc. To me the bucking when cantering is generally a sign of discomfort.

    Besides that, it sounds like he doesn't like he respects. How are his ground manners? You said he's softy but is he good on the lunge, yielding, is he very responsive etc? Respect starts on the ground. I don't really know how you ride or what he does, so its a bit hard to help. Its probably best to get an instructor who can help you more personally.
         
        11-08-2009, 09:14 PM
      #4
    Foal
    I've tried riding him through the bucking, but that doesn't really teach him that he shouldn't buck, and hitting him with a crop makes him buck harder. I've also checked out sources of pain - his teeth are fine, the saddle fits correctly and there's no pain with any of his joints. Or so says the vet, the saddle fitter, the chiropractor...He's responsive on the ground and yields when asked to, and is not pushy or disrespectful. We've taken him to a clinic and there's nothing wrong with his ground manners, it's just in the saddle.
         
        11-08-2009, 09:26 PM
      #5
    Trained
    As soon as he bucks, haul that head up, yell, basically make him think he's about to die. I will often stop and back up a GOOD distance if a horse bucks out of disobedience. As soon as your done, continue like nothing happened. The key is shutting him down AS SOON as he starts to buck - Don't be gentle. For a few seconds he needs to think it was the worst possible decision he could have made - Then let it go and continue on your ride.

    Mmmm.... QH/SH - Pictures???
         
        11-08-2009, 09:33 PM
      #6
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
    Why would hitting him with a crop when he is doing something you don't want him to do cause him to lose his good nature on the ground? If you abused him then that is a different story but just to give him a smack to get him to stop kicking or bucking isn't going to make a difference. Not displining your horse is the most common form of cruelty and generaly leads to the other forms. Don't let him stop when he bucks. You can try to ignore it and push him through it or you can smack him on the ass with your crop and really get him moving.
    Too right!! If you don't get on top of your issues under saddle he will probably pull the wool over your eyes on the ground as well once he works out he can walk all over you when you ride him.
    If he bucks, give him a good whack on the bum and make him go forward, bucks again at the crop, whack him again until he works out that bucking makes you whack him more, and going forward makes you stop.
    Horses are VERY simple creatures, they learn from comfort/discomfort. If you let him stop or don't get up him when he bucks out of being naughty, then he learns that bucking is a comfortable thing to do because life is much easier for him when he does it. Mum lets him stop or rest rather than keep working!!
    If you give him a good whack, gob him and make life generally uncomfortable WHILE he bucks, he will very quickly learn that bucking is uncomfortable and going forward and into canter is comfortable because you will just sit there and let him travel.

    It is crueller to let him get away with bad behaviour than to give him a good sharp whack and be over with it. You may think he's lovely on the ground, but have you challenged him on the ground? Make him move around you, back him up, yield him from pressure on every point of his body- nose, head, neck, shoulder, hip, girth etc. If he's walking all over you under saddle, it's likely you're just not challenging his authority on the ground, so of course he's going to be lovely! He's comfortable, he doesn't need to do anything, life is great :P

    Having said that (sorry it's a little annoyance of mine when people don't want to use a whip on a horse that is miss behaving!), Saskia is right in that you need to check that he doesn't have any soreness anywhere and that his saddle is fitting correctly. Bucking/pigrooting into a canter transition is a very common sign of an ill fitting saddle or an out back. Does he do it on both leads, on the lunge? Or just when you ride him? It may be an issue of balance rather than naughtyness/pain. You say he hasn't done much in the 3 years you've had him, it's quite likely that he just doesn't have the muscle and balance to go smoothly into a canter transition. Work him on some hills, and do lots of transitions between halt-walk-trot-halt etc. to get him clued into your aids and build up the muscles required for canter.
    Are you having lessons with a good instructor? We always blame first the horse, then the tack then go back to the horse again! It could be somethign about how you are sitting in the saddle that is throwing him out of balance and making him buck.

    It's a tricky question for anyone to answer because there are so many different possibilites as to why your horse is bucking. We don't know how you ride or haven't seen the horse to be able to pass judgement.
         
        11-08-2009, 09:44 PM
      #7
    Trained
    ^ Just want to add, you don't need a whip to discipline. I never ride with a whip, yet can nip any bad behaviour in the bud with my angry voice :]

    Your voice is a great tool - Use it.
         
        11-08-2009, 09:45 PM
      #8
    Started
    Are you sure to be out of his way when asking him to canter? Make sure your weight is back, hip shifted to 'open the door' for him, making sure not to bang him in the mouth, etc.

    Usually horses that buck do not want to go forward. So make sure he goes forward when you ask on the ground first of all. Next make sure he goes forward at walk and trot right when you ask him to. The cues from you should be subtle and light, and if he doesn't respond use the end of a mecate rein for example to swing across his hindquarters. Smacking him with a crop will not fix things, that's using force and with these horses, the more forceful you get, the more they fight back, and the rider will not win. Plain and simple. Plus it does nothing but piss this horse off and he will have no respect for the rider....and it does nothing for the relationship, it doesn't make the horse WANT to do things. Anyway, maybe he is sour of doing what you are asking him to do. Maybe try taking him on trail rides and doing fun things like that. Use A LOT of variety, that will keep him interested. You can also use point to point exercises to get him to WANT to go forward, and with a positive attitude. Are you familiar with that exercise?
         
        11-08-2009, 10:58 PM
      #9
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
    The cues from you should be subtle and light, and if he doesn't respond use the end of a mecate rein for example to swing across his hindquarters. Smacking him with a crop will not fix things, that's using force and with these horses, the more forceful you get, the more they fight back, and the rider will not win. ?
    :roll:Ummm...I'm sorry, but smacking a horse with a mecate, and tapping him with a crop are the same things; you are still asking him to go forward with another cue, other than your voice, leg, or seat. I'm not talking about repeatedly whapping him with the crop, either, as I DO agree with you in that this doesn't enforce anything.

    As far as the horse in question, if you've ruled out pain, which it sounds like you have, you may just have a horse who doesn't understand, or doesn't want to go forward into the canter. Work him from the ground up, and make sure he knows how to go forward with little cues from you. Then work from the saddle, using a progressive cueing. Kiss to him, and if he doesn't respond, give a squeeze with your legs and kiss, no response, then use your mechate, or crop, and kiss, squeeze, and give him a tap with the crop. If he bucks, try to ride him into circles. And do lots of direction changes to keep him focused on what you are asking him to do, rather than allowing him to focus on what he wants to do. Whenever you ride, do alot of gait changes. Don't focus on collection, necessarily, just on his willingness to do the gait changes for you. As he gets more comfortable, and more respectful of your authority from the saddle, you can then focus on collection.
         
        11-08-2009, 11:06 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Maybe your horse needs a change of pace. Have you tried taking him out of the ring and working him on the trails. A ring sour horse is a dangerous horse when you don't know how to correct him. Work him daily - if he has enough energy to buck and carry on when you ask him to canter then he needs a little more exercise. Don't let him win or you are going to end up with a horse you love but doesnt work for you. Don't get hurt fighting with him - get a professional to help you out.
    Also keep him in draw reins to help you keep him in frame if you know how to properly use them.
         

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