His new name is Pedigree... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-16-2012, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Northern Ontario
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His new name is Pedigree...

Just venting here... But took my ottb out for a ride today in my English tack. Now I'm a horrible English rider and I know it. Western feels so secure, and I just feel more relaxed, but hey I'll never get better if I don't ride English... So I went English. A little voice in the back of my head told me: wear a helmet... I didn't listen.

So I took Nikki on the trails and he is fresh off like two Weeks off... But whatever. I worked on his cues, lightening him up so I hardly had to ask for ths walk, trot, and a wonderful collected canter. I also was working very hard on achieving a good stop and back. He was doing good.

So I'm about ray to head home and I feel him get "silly" ... I reiterate the stop, and require him to stand.. And he it's hardly doing it.. Just fussing. Did not want to stand. I wait until he finally does it. Then I ask for a walk...

And the little *insert inappropriate name here* takes off into full on gallop... So I start asking for a stop... And he goes faster. He ran all the way back to the barn then rounded the bend and went back out to the feeders, picking up speed with every step...

At the feeders he FINALLY stopped... And I'll admit I didn't do any natural horsemanship techniques... I jumped down and slapped him in the nose, them proceeded to circle him about ninety times a fast as he would go.

When the lips were going I finally stopped, got back on and rode back out to where our little escapade had started... Where I did about twenty more circles in each direction. Then we walked home... And I tell you he was grateful to be walking...

and know what the most irritating part is? That wonderful horse, who shall now be renamed Pedigree still thought he deserved a carrot when we got back
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-16-2012, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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You handled this badly. You should not have hit him in the face, and you should not have longed him in a small circle with the reins and bit (I'm assuming that is what you did). Instead, the moment you felt him gain momentum, you should have immediately shut him down by circling him or doing a lateral stop. This is exactly the same English as Western. Shut him down, make him stop, make him back up, make him stand, ask him to walk off slowly, repeat as necessary.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-16-2012, 11:18 PM
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Hope you didn't give him the carrot, but ate it right in front of him.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-17-2012, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Northern Ontario
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Oh I know there are a million little things I should have done differently....

I was just beyond angry.... And there was nowhere to circle him once he got going. Its all trails with big ominous looking trees and exposed roots covered in snow on either side. In hind sight, I can see, and remember the place in the trails that would have opened up to deep wide snow... That likely could have been a good place to force a stop.... But all I remember from the ride itself is feeling him pick up speed, then hesitate for just a moment, then pick up speed again.... I've never been on a faster horse.

And I felt unable to get a good secure seat in the English tack running that fast... Like if I stood up or turned him too sharp I would come off.

I know my horse will never buck or deliberately try to lose me.... So the safest thing I could think of on the fly was to let him run until he stopped....

Good gosh what a rush though.... He hasn't done that since I got him two years ago.... And the time before I was riding western and got him stopped on about half a dozen strides
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-17-2012, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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and no... He definitely wasn't getting any carrots from me lol.

I can't help thinking though that maybe he was doing what he thought I wanted him to do... I mean I know a few times I was accidentally bumping him while trying to figure out those deceptively light stirrups.... So maybe I was doing the same while he was running? And usually we do canter... Or gallop depending on the mood of the day that last stretch before you can see the barn.

I dunno.... But I do know I'll save English riding for when I have other people with me, and stick to western when I'm by myself. Also figured out that that little voice has more insight than I normality give it credit for... And should be listened to with the utmost care.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-17-2012, 11:15 AM
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Pulley rein is your friend. Learn it, use it :)
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-17-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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yup... will definitely be working a lot more on emergency stops lol.

A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-17-2012, 01:22 PM
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Location: East Central Illinois
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The more I find holes in Clinton Anderson's training the more I find parts of his training to suggest. ...anyway...
I REALLY like how he "shuts down" a horse's impulse to bolt. I KNOW that you know you need to retrain--that's a given. Check out his site and look at his exercises at the walk, trot and canter where he slides his hand down the rein and does a one-rein stop. Start schooling this. I don't care how old or how well-trained, EVERY horse has the impulse to run back to the barn. It's a safe place and he eats there, too, so everybody has to deal with this problem, more or less.
When you've retrained try having a shut gate between the barn and the outdoor places that you ride. When I re-fenced my property a few years back, I put a gate separating my rectangular north pasture from the turnout around the barn. My horses are unable to run back to the barn (proper). The 5 ft. open bar steel gate is too tall and not inviting enough for a horse to want to jump it, either.
ALSO, practice around 25 feet from that gate before you venture out again. Spend a 15-20 minute session for a full WEEK, every day, trotting AWAY from the gate (barn), then walk-halt, walk-halt back to the gate--speed away, veeerrryyy slow back to the gate. The 2nd exercise is to work on each rein, again, speeding up away from the gate and slowing way down moving towards it. When you get to the gate you push forward to a fast trot to emphasize that you are in charge of where your horse goes. You can practice this exercise in an arena if you don't have a gate to the outside world. Hope this helps. =D
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-18-2012, 10:13 PM
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Actually what you did AT the barn (work his tail off) was probably the most helpful thing you did that night.

Think about it...that is the place he wanted to be, and you made it very uncomfortable for him by working his butt off. He may not even think about trying this on you again.
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"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-18-2012, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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You got his attention and let him know you mean business.
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