Horse is refusing to trot - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Horse is refusing to trot

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum so I hope I'm not posting this in the wrong section. Anyway, I have been taking horseback riding lessons for about 8 months now. Things have been going well until recently. At my past four lessons, my horse has been very stubborn and is refusing to trot. If I nudge him gently with my heel, he won't move. If I apply more pressure he starts to buck and kick. I know there is nothing physically wrong with him because a vet has checked him out and my instructor who has been riding for over 30 years always makes sure the saddle fits properly. I've tried using a crop these past few times to get him to trot, but even if I just lightly tap him with it, he starts to either kick or throw his head around. Other people ride this horse and don't seem to have this problem. Like I said, I haven't had problems getting this horse to trot until these past four lessons. I do everything my instructor tells me, but nothing seems to be working. It's very discouraging, especially since things were going pretty well until now. Do you have any tips or advice on how to get this horse to trot again? Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 03:58 PM
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What does your instructor say when this happens?

And welcome!
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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He told me to nudge the horse harder with my heel to get him to trot, but that hasn't been working lately. If I nudge too lightly, he won't move. If I nudge or kick him harder, he starts to buck. My instructor also said to hold the reins more loosely, which has worked in the past but isn't working now for some reason.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 06:10 PM
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It sounds like he has your number and knows bucking = I'm not going to do anything.

Has he been checked out for pain?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 06:13 PM
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Do you use the exact same tack (especially saddle pad(s) and saddle) as the other riders? Have you watched them ride to see what you might be doing differently? A video would be very helpful.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 06:22 PM
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You say others are riding the horse with no issues - are these others riding the horse the same day as you and prior to your lesson? What I am getting at is, is it possible that by the time your lesson rolls around the horse is just *done* and knows that you are the one to pull this crap with (for whatever reason he is reading you as that person)?
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-07-2012, 08:01 PM
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Well, everyone, you do know this is a lesson horse, right? I don't know how the stable is run, but around here, most of the horses are used 6 or 7 days a week, all throughout the day, usually in ill-fitting saddles, exceptionally tight girths, and usually with improperly fitting bridles. Couple that with riders who are learning and often haul on the horse, no wonder you've got a sour horse.
Anywho, before you discipline the horse, make sure you're not the problem. Do not stand up in the stirrups or even lean forward when you ask to trot. Try clicking at the horse when asking to trot. Keep your hands down. Don't 'squeeze'. Instead tap. If that doesn't work, give a kick with ONE leg and then try tapping again.
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