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Help, What Am I Doing Wrong?!

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    11-17-2012, 01:40 PM
  #21
Showing
Punk, you are setting yourself up to do battle with this horse and it will only get worse until he is totally out of control. If all you do in work in an arena he may have gotten sick of it.The next time you ride, do small circles at the walk, gradually opening the circle until, if he's relaxed allow him to walk in a straight line then begin tight circles going the other way. The idea is go keep him relaxed so lots of deep breaths to keep yourself relaxed. When he'll do the graduated circles at the walk ask him to whoa. If he wants to move bring him into the tight circles again for 3 rounds then ask again. By bending he's working harder and will come to welcome being allowed to stop. When he does, dismount where you are and put him away. Big reward. Do these same exercises at least three days in a row to reinforce what you want and the repetition makes it easier for him. Only when you are happy with how he's doing do you move onto the trot. Same circles. Use a regular snaffle. As you ask him to bend lightly squeeze and release the inside rein. Or tickle it with your pinky. Given a chance most horses will respond to this and become very light.
The moment you feel frustration or anger as your thinking has shut down and what you've experienced with your horse is his has done the same thing.
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    11-17-2012, 01:42 PM
  #22
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
I just saw the picture of your bit, is the exactly what it looks like? Where the mouth piece connects to the bit is it that tall? My only other thought is the bit could be too narrow. If his mouth is cracked the bit is pinching. This happens because either an ill-fitted bit, a pinchy bit, or too strong hands.
I think a dentist is definitely in order, any vet should be able to say whether or not he has back pain, though they aren't specialized in chiropractic work. If he's still bad after getting his teeth floated I would have his back checked by your vet. If they say he's in pain and he needs a chiropractor I'm sure you could have the vet explain it to your parents, assuming it's affordable. But I would check his mouth first.

If that is exactly the bit your using, that's a nice bit, most horses are comfy in it, so long as it fits.
So work on your own relaxation skills, keeping your hands soft and your body gentle. Move with the horse, if he gets too worked up - small figures, deep breathes, slow it down. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
Agreed about checking the tack for fit, but the "green 8yo" says a lot. My gut tells me that he has holes in his training. I would spend the winter checking out EVERYTHING in this horse's training. On the ground you can watch his reaction to every command, and see where you need to work. Work him without and with your saddle. If you can, film it and watch the two of you working together. You are building a partnership, and you might not see where you both are working against each other without watching the training sessions.
Lists are VERY HELPFUL. List your objectives and knock them off when you achieve them. NOTHING is more satisfying than success!!
I used to buy/train a lot of broken horses and retrain them to several different disciplines. BC they worked about 7-10 lessons/week, the repetition (and my student's hugs and carrots, =b ) fixed many problems. Now, I have a much younger herd and no lesson program. I find that my younger horses learn very quickly. Both 6yo geldings were started as 2yo's, and ground training progresses quickly with them, too.
My 6yo QH is very stiff on the left side. I started flexing him, and his gives easily on the right, and even offers to keep his neck flexed. On the left it is much more difficult for him, but he has a good attitude. So...I am creative. I ask for less on the left, and praise him greatly, so he tries, even though there is probably some pain and stiffness there. I know with me, I can stretch to the right more easily to the left when I straddle the floor to stretch out, so I can be sympethetic.
Good luck!
Thank you very much. I suppose I could be expecting too much from him and then getting angry
     
    11-17-2012, 01:45 PM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Punk, you are setting yourself up to do battle with this horse and it will only get worse until he is totally out of control. If all you do in work in an arena he may have gotten sick of it.The next time you ride, do small circles at the walk, gradually opening the circle until, if he's relaxed allow him to walk in a straight line then begin tight circles going the other way. The idea is go keep him relaxed so lots of deep breaths to keep yourself relaxed. When he'll do the graduated circles at the walk ask him to whoa. If he wants to move bring him into the tight circles again for 3 rounds then ask again. By bending he's working harder and will come to welcome being allowed to stop. When he does, dismount where you are and put him away. Big reward. Do these same exercises at least three days in a row to reinforce what you want and the repetition makes it easier for him. Only when you are happy with how he's doing do you move onto the trot. Same circles. Use a regular snaffle. As you ask him to bend lightly squeeze and release the inside rein. Or tickle it with your pinky. Given a chance most horses will respond to this and become very light.
The moment you feel frustration or anger as your thinking has shut down and what you've experienced with your horse is his has done the same thing.
Don't you mean Finn, and not Punk lol. I will have to try this
     
    11-17-2012, 01:48 PM
  #24
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by finn113    
Actually that very well could be it I don't have it with me but that might be it. And the one that is giving him cracks was his first bit hopefully not his new, though I have not ridden in his new one yet.

Put the new bit on his bridle, give his mouth some time to heel. Practice in the ring with just his halter, from the ground, giving to pressure.
Really you should practice all the ground work techniques, but particularly ones related to his head/face.
So stand with clip on reins attached to his halter, no tack on him besides that. The reins over his head, Hold one rein with just a tiny bit of pressure, so you can just feel his nose, and rest your hand on his wither with that much pressure. If he knows what to do he'll turn his head into the pull. But he may not. If he doesn't he may try to pull away, he may try to walk away, he may toss his head, just hold even, gentle pressure on that one rein and wait. Move with him so he's not getting away from it, so it's the same amount of pressure, just wait. At some point he'll try turning his head toward the pull, even if it's just an inch at first give it to him! Drop the rein, scratch his neck and tell him he's the most wonderful, brilliant horse in the world! Then do this again and again on both sides of his body and turning his head toward and away from you until he's bringing his nose to where a stirrup would be, with only the gentlest pressure on the rein. Then practice the same skill but with both reins, gentlest pressure, to get him to back up from the reins. Then practice getting him to put his head down, nose to the ground, with pressure on his poll (puling straight down with a lead rope).
People often over look the giving to poll pressure skill, because it's not vital to riding. But with a forward horse it IS vital to learn. When they're head is down they are relaxed, when it's up they're looking for danger. So getting him to be able to put his head down with gentle pressure can physically shift him out of flight mode.

I'd also work on practicing his ground yielding skills - yielding his hind end, front end, backing up and side stepping. Practice all these skills until he's really focused and listening to you.


This will give you good stuff to do while you wait a little while for his poor mouth to heal.
Then practice the same giving to the rein pressures you did with the halter with his new bit. Make sure it's a french link not a Dr. Bristol. Once he's turning his head very softly to his new bit on the ground practice at the halter from his back. Practice again at the walk. Use only the tiniest amount of pressure you can, only increase if he's ingnoring it (not doing anything) if he's trying to figure out what to do (tossing his head, pulling the wrong direction, ducking his head, anything) just hold the same gentle pressure until he tries the correct direction.


Good luck!
Corporal likes this.
     
    11-17-2012, 01:52 PM
  #25
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Punk, you are setting yourself up to do battle with this horse and it will only get worse until he is totally out of control. If all you do in work in an arena he may have gotten sick of it.The next time you ride, do small circles at the walk, gradually opening the circle until, if he's relaxed allow him to walk in a straight line then begin tight circles going the other way. The idea is go keep him relaxed so lots of deep breaths to keep yourself relaxed. When he'll do the graduated circles at the walk ask him to whoa. If he wants to move bring him into the tight circles again for 3 rounds then ask again. By bending he's working harder and will come to welcome being allowed to stop. When he does, dismount where you are and put him away. Big reward. Do these same exercises at least three days in a row to reinforce what you want and the repetition makes it easier for him. Only when you are happy with how he's doing do you move onto the trot. Same circles. Use a regular snaffle. As you ask him to bend lightly squeeze and release the inside rein. Or tickle it with your pinky. Given a chance most horses will respond to this and become very light.
The moment you feel frustration or anger as your thinking has shut down and what you've experienced with your horse is his has done the same thing.

Maybe I wasn't clear, that's exactly what I meant! XD Only use circles to bring him back to calm. If straight lines get him going, rather than see-sawing his mouth or pulling hard, or using a stronger bit, just bring him around to slow him down, do some small figures then gradually straighten him out again while he's relaxed.
Completely agree about keeping the rider soft and relaxed - if they aren't there's no chance the horse will be xD

Personally arena exercises bore the guacamole out of me and my horses - but I wouldn't trust this horse to do anything else yet. So he may be bored but he needs to be trustworthy before attempting something else.
Corporal likes this.
     
    11-17-2012, 01:55 PM
  #26
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
Put the new bit on his bridle, give his mouth some time to heel. Practice in the ring with just his halter, from the ground, giving to pressure.
Really you should practice all the ground work techniques, but particularly ones related to his head/face.
So stand with clip on reins attached to his halter, no tack on him besides that. The reins over his head, Hold one rein with just a tiny bit of pressure, so you can just feel his nose, and rest your hand on his wither with that much pressure. If he knows what to do he'll turn his head into the pull. But he may not. If he doesn't he may try to pull away, he may try to walk away, he may toss his head, just hold even, gentle pressure on that one rein and wait. Move with him so he's not getting away from it, so it's the same amount of pressure, just wait. At some point he'll try turning his head toward the pull, even if it's just an inch at first give it to him! Drop the rein, scratch his neck and tell him he's the most wonderful, brilliant horse in the world! Then do this again and again on both sides of his body and turning his head toward and away from you until he's bringing his nose to where a stirrup would be, with only the gentlest pressure on the rein. Then practice the same skill but with both reins, gentlest pressure, to get him to back up from the reins. Then practice getting him to put his head down, nose to the ground, with pressure on his poll (puling straight down with a lead rope).
People often over look the giving to poll pressure skill, because it's not vital to riding. But with a forward horse it IS vital to learn. When they're head is down they are relaxed, when it's up they're looking for danger. So getting him to be able to put his head down with gentle pressure can physically shift him out of flight mode.

I'd also work on practicing his ground yielding skills - yielding his hind end, front end, backing up and side stepping. Practice all these skills until he's really focused and listening to you.


This will give you good stuff to do while you wait a little while for his poor mouth to heal.
Then practice the same giving to the rein pressures you did with the halter with his new bit. Make sure it's a french link not a Dr. Bristol. Once he's turning his head very softly to his new bit on the ground practice at the halter from his back. Practice again at the walk. Use only the tiniest amount of pressure you can, only increase if he's ingnoring it (not doing anything) if he's trying to figure out what to do (tossing his head, pulling the wrong direction, ducking his head, anything) just hold the same gentle pressure until he tries the correct direction.


Good luck!
Thank you so much, you have been much help to me
     
    11-17-2012, 01:57 PM
  #27
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
Maybe I wasn't clear, that's exactly what I meant! XD Only use circles to bring him back to calm. If straight lines get him going, rather than see-sawing his mouth or pulling hard, or using a stronger bit, just bring him around to slow him down, do some small figures then gradually straighten him out again while he's relaxed.
Completely agree about keeping the rider soft and relaxed - if they aren't there's no chance the horse will be xD

Personally arena exercises bore the guacamole out of me and my horses - but I wouldn't trust this horse to do anything else yet. So he may be bored but he needs to be trustworthy before attempting something else.
But when I do put him in a circle to slow him down he doesn't he either gets faster or goes into a canter
     
    11-17-2012, 01:58 PM
  #28
Started
No problem Finn!! Working with green horses is tough ^^ You've been very receptive and willing to learn - this makes it all the easier to want to help xD

I can't promise all I say will work or fix everything, but it won't hurt!
So get his teeth done, make sure of the bit, practice all his yielding exercises in halter and when his mouth is feeling better with the new bit. When you get to riding, be as gentle as possible, but as firm as needed. Keep yourself relaxed and quiet - think positive. Work him straight, when he gets worked up make small figures and gradually open them up keeping him relaxed.

Most horses are SO relieved when they realize they don't need to rush!

:)
     
    11-17-2012, 02:02 PM
  #29
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by finn113    
But when I do put him in a circle to slow him down he doesn't he either gets faster or goes into a canter
This is interesting. Are you sure? It's very hard for a horse to canter a tight circle. Most horses break their canter and go into a trot when brought on a circle. I've never seen this before So I'm going to leave that to someone who has.

But it could be his running through pain if his mouth/bit is hurting him. When you pull him in a circle it could be hurting and causing him to just say 'screw this' and bomb off. If that's not it I'll leave it to someone else, that's my only idea.

I still think you should stick with the plan I just posted and I doubt this problem will reoccur if you keep things slow.

It could be that when he's forward and you feel the need to pull him in a circle, you could be tense causing him to launch. There are many variables to consider.
     
    11-17-2012, 02:08 PM
  #30
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
This is interesting. Are you sure? It's very hard for a horse to canter a tight circle. Most horses break their canter and go into a trot when brought on a circle. I've never seen this before So I'm going to leave that to someone who has.

But it could be his running through pain if his mouth/bit is hurting him. When you pull him in a circle it could be hurting and causing him to just say 'screw this' and bomb off. If that's not it I'll leave it to someone else, that's my only idea.

I still think you should stick with the plan I just posted and I doubt this problem will reoccur if you keep things slow.

It could be that when he's forward and you feel the need to pull him in a circle, you could be tense causing him to launch. There are many variables to consider.
well how tight of a circle do you mean, because I have been doing 20-meter circles is that not tight enough.
     

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