helppp my horse won't listen! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-22-2012, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
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helppp my horse won't listen!

This is going to be long, so bear with me! :)

I've been leasing a 14 year old mare for four months now. She has only been ridden for six months, because she was a broodmare her whole life, but is trained. The first couple of months were great - but now she stops listening to me.
I should note that the first couple of months I used a single joint loose ring bit, and then I changed to an eggbutt french link because I thought the loose ring was pinching her mouth. She at first worked better with the new bit, but now I'm beginning to question if she is uncomfortable with it as well.
So basically the problem is whenever I half-halt and ask her to slow down, she veers off to the outside and refuses to go the direction I ask her to go or simply halts and refuses to move forward.
Figuring I was too up in her mouth, I gave her a loose rein. This helped as she stopped veering off, but then she speeds up her trot again (because I'm not stopping her from doing so). And when I ask her to slow down she gets frustrated and bucks.
Yes, I have tried using my seat and weight to slow her down instead, but this has no effect on her.
Right now I'm so lost and frustrated because I know she can be so good, and I'm confused as to what happened. I don't know whether to switch bits, try a bitless bridle, or if there's something else I'm doing wrong or should try differently.

Please give me any suggestions or tips you have!

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-22-2012, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
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Horses are like kids....they test the rules LOL no matter what age they are most horses will test their rider to see if they have to or not.
I would suggest doing ground work with her, lunging, desentisizing and basically gaining her respect of you as her leader. I have a 18 yrs. QH who was a ex barrel racer, last year she did tons of trail riding up until the fall and then her owner got sick with cancer and was unable to ride her. My friend passed away this spring but left me her horse, she is a well trained horse! I have a 15yr. girl who has taken 3yrs. of riding, so she does know how to ride.....she started riding her in the late she had almost a year off from work. She was great for the first while but then I started noticing her testing the girl, she rode out the problem but every so often she still tests her........
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-22-2012, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: northwestern montana
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Amen to that. Horses always test there riders at some point. i have a older quarter horse mare i trained when she was 2 on up till she is pretty much bomb bomb proof as you can get with a horse. and i still have to take her out and put some miles on her in the arena and trails so she remembers she not only an do it.but has too. every novice rider i know comes over and rides her in my small arena and she does great. for awhile. but she will figure out what she can get away with. since they dont ride her steady its left for me to remind her so that when the next young rider comes in she does really good for them. sounds to me like its her figuring out what she can and cant get away with. good luck..keep me posted.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-22-2012, 09:57 PM
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Location: An English Girl living in beautiful Alberta, Canada
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Has she had her teeth checked recently?

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-22-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
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She had her teeth done over the summer, so I doubt that's the problem. I could definately do more lungeing and groundwork and try some desensitizing. I definately agree that she has been trying to push her limits with me lately, but I still can't figure out if that's the problem, or if the bit itself is the problem. Or if it's a combination of both? I guess I'll try your ideas then see if I get any improvement!
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
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The fact that she is 14 years old and has only been ridden for 6 months is a huge red flag. Sounds to me like she has some huge gaps in her training that are starting to show up. You need to find out what these gaps are and fix them, if you don't know how or aren't comfortable doing it you need a trainer. I would say this has very little to do with the bit and everything to do with poor training.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-23-2012, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Agreed, sounds like she needs to be completely restarted from the ground up to find and fill any holes in her training, which means ground work, not in the saddle work. It will be a difficult task, as she is 14 years old. but not impossible. Start from step-one round pen work, or ground work, keep a log, have a plan, when you come across something, take your time to work on that, and then move on to the next step.
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