Horse problems after a year in training. - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 58 Old 03-28-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 170
• Horses: 1
Hey update on my ride today: Saying it was a success is an understatement! We had beautiful weather, so I decided to ride in one of the outside arenas. I let trig out to roll in one of the pastures, eat some grass, then I pulled him inside, brushed him up and got him under saddle. Once outside there was LOTS going on! People were riding all over the property, horses were in pastures surrounding the arena, and there was easily ten people hanging out around where we were. The weather brought everyone out! We did a bit of ground work for a few minutes, then I got in the saddle. Trig did the same thing, refused to do as I asked! Then I just stopped being a baby and gave him a few solid kicks and clucked. He walked. A few minutes later he fought again, I did another round of bumps and clucking and he went forward. This lasted maybe fifteen minutes and the rest of the ride was near perfect! a few times he tried doing his own thing, then I would just collect myself and him and we would be on the right track. Thanks everyone for the pointers and encouragement. I will continue to post here with new updates on my boy and if we encounter these issues over and over again, but today I feel slightly triumphant!
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post #52 of 58 Old 03-28-2013, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: A good place
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Yay for you (and your horse)!
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post #53 of 58 Old 05-01-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 170
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I've been so pleased these past few weeks and just had to tell someone! After my last amazing ride with Trigger, things went down hill for a few weeks. It was horrible, I went back to lessons and even my trainer was baffled by the "stupidity" or stubborness of my horse. Anyhow fast forward to this last wednesday, I decided I was going to ride alone, without anyone around and outside in the large obstical arena. Trigger was amazing! So wonderful and with the sunshine, I got up the courage and took him out on the property to ride him around the long driveways and over some fields for the VERY FIRST TIME!!! He did awesome and I was thrilled. Today I went out, rode in the outside arena and then one of my girlfriends and I took to the rode and road all over the property again. I am so happy right now with how Trigger has been. He is still stubborn and is constantly testing me, but at least I feel I can ride him and that we are progressing. :)
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post #54 of 58 Old 05-02-2013, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 172
• Horses: 1
sounds like he was just bored lol good to hear he is doing better :)

Last edited by TheCowgirlRanda; 05-02-2013 at 12:50 AM.
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post #55 of 58 Old 05-03-2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Horses do have a way of making us feel on top of the world one day and buried under a rock the next! All depending on how they feel that day, and also how YOU feel! The thing that I'm gonna say is that every horse is capable of a wide range of emotional and physical expression and that it's completely normal. It takes a long, long time for a horse to become really reliable and until then you're going to have good days and bad. What will help you to get better at dealing with things that come up is to recognize this and train yourself to become more comfortable with whatever response he gives. I can say that the closer I've moved toward being able to do this, the fewer problems I seem to encounter in any horse. Not to suggest that they don't still 'do things', but those things bother me less than they once did.

Re: going forward, if your horse doesn't go forward and after ruling out pain causes I would be asking myself this question: "When I ask him to go forward, am I (out of an unconscious habit) holding him back? Am I holding him back mentally, as in do I hope that he won't go too fast? Am I holding him back physically? Am I prepared to cope with it if this horse jumps out of his tracks and hits a gallop in the first stride?" If that last part fills you with dread then you may be holding him back. Just a thought. ;]
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post #56 of 58 Old 05-03-2013, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 304
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The one horse I ride named Sassy almost sounds like yours. She is really buddy sour, likes to buck/be a twit in the arena, etc...

I couldn't even walk her down the road. So one day I brought my riding crop with, the moment she stopped I firmly asked her to go on and she stood there. So I popped her a few times with a crop, spun her around a few times/back her up/made her sidepass, etc.. She would usually go on after that. If she didn't I gave her a pretty hard smack with my crop and she knew business then. It happened 3 times and she never tried it again. Take off your spurs, and work on moving feet forwards, backwards, sideways, and diagnol.

With the bucking and rearing in the arena, I was taking a lesson with a new trainer and Sassy kept rearing so I asked her what her opinion was of what I should do. So I told her about Sassy and she said just ignore it like it didn't happen and push her on which helped Sassy, I used to really discipline her when she acted up but then it got her worked up and not thinking straight.

For getting your horse to move forwards, backwards, sideways and diagnol I like to do what I call the 'Square of Death'. Set up 4 cones in a square. You can do so many exercises in a square such as:
1) Walk the edges, and at the corners make your horse do a a turn on the forehand.
2) Walk a side, stop at the cone then just side pass over to the next cone, back up to the next cone, and sidepass back over to where you started.
3) Start in the middle of the square and move diagnol to a corner..

Set up 4 cones and incorporate moving forwards, backwards, sideways, and diangol and it really gets a horse thinking! You can even had poles for them to step over or other objects.
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post #57 of 58 Old 05-04-2013, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I'm so happy that things are looking up for you. If things do fall back again, here are my tips:

Personally I wouldn't rule out pain. Based on what you said in the past posts, if he does this only over time like 20 min into the ride OR if he is ridden more than once a week, my first thought is some kind of pain. I completely disagree that he is spoiled cuz he backs up. If the issue persists, try lunging him on a line WITH!!! a rider. If he lunges like a dream on the line, he should listen to that on the ground while also having someone on him asking for the same commands. If he continues to act like that, I would highly recommend a vet. If he doesn't then you know it could be more of a training issue. If he reacts to the crop so violently, try having your trainer or a friend on the ground use a lunge whip at/on him to drive him forward. Let him throw out his little fits.

I'm not sure which horse trainer it was that said this quote (I don't really follow them, nor any method, as I believe each horse is different and needs to be handled in stride, so I take each issue as they come) but the best advice I've EVER been given/heard is: "Make the right thing comfortable and the wrong thing uncomfortable". I think it was some famous trainer who said that. Anyway, that is more of an ideal then a method, I think, and I've found it pretty much always works. Keep it in mind with any future issues. Someone suggesed -telling- him to back when he backs and that may or may not work. I would try spinning him in circles one way or another. You want him to learn that his choices, in this case backing, are going to be really hard and alot of work to handle, where as your choices, moving forward, circling, etc, are the "fun" choices as you make them easier and less work. If he doesn't want to circle, make him. Do a one rein "stop" and pull his head, much like you'd do if he was bucking, and kick, kick, kick until he spins. Doesn't have to be fast. just circle circle circle circle until he is sick of it, then stand still. If he won't stand, circle circle circle! His ideas are the hard choices! It will be more comfortable for him to walk forward than it will to back up and fight the entire time.

I also agree with the 'bored' thing. My mare comes up with "interesting " things to make my rides more, well, interesting, when she gets bored. A change of enviorment or a change of lesson seems to do good. Keep his mind -always- focused. He won't have time for anything but listening to you!!

And good job working with him!! Have fun too, when he isn't driving you nuts, haha!

~He knows when you're happy
~He knows when you're comfortable
~And he always knows when you have carrots.
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post #58 of 58 Old 05-04-2013, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
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One so often hears to check for pain. If we are observant then we will know if pain is an issure. Most horses do attach to others because they are herd animals and a horse out on it's own has to be very mindful of predators unless it has a lot of trust in it's rider. There is also the aspect of getting sick of ring work. Did you know that if a horse is in pain it will pull one nostril higher than the other. It doesn't tell you where but it does indicate which side.
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