Horse problems after a year in training. - Page 3

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Horse problems after a year in training.

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        03-25-2013, 11:29 AM
    Better take the spurs off or you could wind up in big trouble. Then are meant as a fine tune of the heel, not to jabbed into the horse.
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        03-25-2013, 11:36 AM
    Wow thanks everyone for so many replies! Ok so as for lunging- he lunges like a dream! One click walks, couple clicks trots, kiss he lopes, and a simple woe and he stops on a dime- some people say I should train him for skidding stops because he stops so well, but that's not this topic. Anyways, he lunges perfectly. Yesterday here is how my ride went by detail: got him brushed and saddled, lunged him both directions- walk, trot, lope about five minutes both directions(not free lunging but on a line), next I do ground work for about 5-10 mins just to focus him on me more. Then I get in the saddle(yesterday I did put out 3 cones right away that we could weave through). Once unbend saddle he did great! We walked a few laps, trotted a few and then did a serpentine through the cones. We went back to walking/trotting around the arena, stopping, backing up. Then I started circling the cones to get his neck moving, after two times of thus he was being a little annoyed, but I pushed through. Then we started to lope in a large circle- did fine for a bit. Then after the lope we walked started doing cone work and that's where he began acting "spoiled" as some say. He started backing up, kicking his left rear leg out, doing a few head tosses. I tried to use spurs on him( I wear them all the time), he just crow kicked in response with some heavy tail flicks. After a bit of fighting, I got off lunged him at a lope both directions, got on and he kept doing it. At this point he would back into a complete corner! Got off again and lunged him in a tight circle making him focus on me. Get on, backs into a corner. At this point I'm frustrated so a fellow friend I ride with came into the arena and forced trig out of the corner and walked next to us. He was so heavy in his feet, dragging his front hooves, but he walked as long as she would. After a lap of pushing him with her on the ground, we called it quits- I know I should have kept on and continued to push him, I just had to leave the barn and be home because I had already spent to long there and had to meet family. So continued, I see my mistake in "giving in" but at the same time I can only spur him so much without riding a bucking bronc and climbing of to lunge him is doing NOTHING! So there is kinda more detail on my ride. Thanks everyone again!!
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        03-25-2013, 11:36 AM
    Slidding stops* not skidding ha ha
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        03-25-2013, 12:04 PM
    I agree with Cherie that you have allowed this horse to become spoiled. It can happen when a horse displays a behavior that we feel we may not be able to ride out. We can bring in another more experienced rider to ride through it, but that doesn't solve the problem for us.

    Equitate is right too. When a horse acts up, the less experienced rider will squeeze their legs and shut the horse down on forward movement.

    Prepare for your ride with a halter and long lead under the bridle. Take off the spurs and get a crop, cue the horse forward. If the horse doesnt move with a light squeeze, then cluck. If the horse doesnt move then spank with the crop HARD behind your leg.

    If the horse doesn't move, jump off with the lead and make it lunge. Go after the horse with energy, like if it doesn't do exactly what you want, you will eat it for lunch.

    Once it moves well, making plenty of changes in direction and giving you full attention, stop, praise, mount up and start the cue progression again: squeeze, cluck, spank, lunge of death. Repeat as needed.

    It only took 4 "lunge of death" treatments for my friend's gelding to be nice and forward. Try to always use the progression of cues to keep your horse light and responsive. Really, as Cherie and others have said, this comes from us as riders not following through when a horse first refuses.
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        03-25-2013, 12:07 PM
    Green Broke
    First, as saddle bags said, spurs are for fine tuning, not retraining a basic issue.

    If pain is ruled out( this doesn't sound like a pain issue to me, but I can't see it in person) then you need to look at your self. You have been given some good advice, and I really think what is happening is that he is not being kept interesting in his work in the arena(not enough new exercises, etc), and the biggest issue is you are backing down when he throws tantrums. He is saying essentially "I'm bored, and you arnt the boss of me! I quit" and you are not effectively addressing the problem. Try this. Go out when you have lots of time. Have a plan of what excercises you want to do, and do them decisively. If he tries the stop and back thing, make it your idea. Ask him to back up until he wants to stop, then ask him to stop(don't alow him to stop on his own, the cue must come from you). Then wait. When he has had a good long while to think about things, he likely will want to get going. When you feel like it, ask for him to walk on.

    I would focus on getting good willing forward movement.
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        03-25-2013, 12:19 PM
    Oh, I see I was posting as you were updating us! So yes, just lunging does not work. It must be, as I call it, the "lunge if death." You need to make him work hard and worry that you are going to kill him. Seriously!

    How long are you working him? Is he in good enough condition to perform what you are asking of him? Sounds like he is getting tired and shutting down. You may try shorter sessions of work and try to end on a positive.

    But you definitely have to turn this around. No refusal will go unanswered!
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        03-25-2013, 01:39 PM
    So WHAT were YOU doing when the horse begins to refuse you? What is 'get the neck moving'? (Hopefully not truncating the neck by pulling r/l.) Sounds rather like an effect of the bit on the bars of the mouth. Not spoiled but INFORMATIONAL about your effect on the mouth (ever try going all the way back to a hackamore?) The ultimate in pain: spin the horse around in a circle (esp with a dropped inside hand).

    Dragging the front feet? See a vet, that much lack of lifting and placing the forelegs seems problematic in the shoulders (or an effect of spinning the horse). And it has nothing to do with 'giving in to the horse', nor having the horse 'give in' to you. A horse has to be asked in such a way it CAN say YES, rather than reject the question. That is the job of the rider. And certainly lack of forward is NEVER fixed by spurring the horse (the belly just tenses more).

    Perhaps a vid would help answer what you are doing, why he is responding in such a way.
        03-25-2013, 01:54 PM
    I used to ride a pony who did the same thing. We'd be walking forward and then he would stop and back up. I would begin to kick him and lean forward, and he would toss his head, buck slightly and back up even faster. As soon as he would stop backing up, I would kick him in his sides and make him trot forward. This is what I think most people would do in a situation like this, but actually it made it MUCH worse. He began stopping dead in his tracks out of the blue and would back up so fast he would nearly fall over.

    Instead of trying to direct his attention forward, let him back up. If he backs up, pick up the slack in the reins and let him back up as far as he wants. As soon as you feel him want to slow down, give him a reminder with the reins and back him up even more. Back him up all the way around the arena if you have to, but let him go when you start to feel him wanting to stop. Don't kick him or push him forward, just let the reins out and relax. Anytime he backs up, make it a chore for him by backing him up with the reins, but let him come to a stop when you feel him try to stop. He'll begin to learn that when he backs up, it's going to be hard for him because you're going to make him back up a lot, and he'll want to avoid doing that himself.
        03-25-2013, 02:49 PM
    I will reiterate the need to lose the spurs and use a crop. I have a feeling that you feel more comfortable with spurs, and are somewhat afraid of his reaction if you use the crop. He will react, and you will have to ride through whatever it is. I also have had this issue with my guy, and I can tell you that you have to nip it in the bud before they stop. If they start to slow without being told-cue FORWARD. Ask, tell then demand with the crop. Once they stop it is much more difficult. I do think he has your number, as has been said here-and that you may want to make sure that when you ride him you ALWAYS end on a positive note. If you are getting what you want from him-know when to quit. Sounds to me like you keep pushing until he gets ornary. I also am wondering why you are lunging prior to riding? I can understand occassionally, but not every ride. Get on, make him do what you want and get off. Gradually make your sessions longer.
        03-25-2013, 03:49 PM
    I agree with the 'let the horse continue to back' They will get sick of it and/or back into a wall (realize that takes energy/strength). Right now you are teaching the horse to react by backing, and losing the transaction. One thing is to teach correct aids in the first place (progressively), it is another to remedy the situation that has been created (adding a whip to a horse which is doing what blocking it is creating the adversion will NOT work).

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