Horse slows down when you kick - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-13-2007, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 168
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Horse slows down when you kick

So right now I'm riding a horse that slows down when you kick, squeeze or otherwise try to make move forward with your legs (with or without spurs) so then naturally you touch him with the whip and he stops completly and starts bucking. Anyone have any ideas? He doesn't do it all the time and it's not his saddle thats the first thing we checked, he gets seen by a chiropractor and massuese, several vets checked him out and found nothing. He also sometimes pulls back or lays down when you tighten the girth while on the ground. It is really frusterating because he could be such a nice horse if he didn't have this attitude problem he has a trot to die for and can jump the moon.
futolympeventer327 is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-13-2007, 04:43 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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It sounds like you have taken care to make sure it is not a health problem. It sounds like a possible behavior problem or even a misunderstanding in communication between you and the horse.

If I were in your situation, I would take a step back and review some lessons from the ground. Re-teach the horse how to move away from pressure every time you ask - no excuses. Start with one side, and very gently touch in the area where your leg would squeeze. If the horse doesn't move away from the pressure immediately, I would give a little more pressure. If he still doesn't move, I would give him a spank. I would repeat this until the horse was moving away from the lightest pressure on that side. I would do the same from the other side, and then from the front. This would really reinforce the idea that the horse needs to move away from pressure, no matter where it comes from - when you squeeze with both legs and the horse cannot move away side to side - the only choice is to go front or back depending on what you do with your seat and reins. Hopefully if you really, really reinforce moving from pressure from the ground, he will get and respond to what you are asking from the saddle.

There are probably many other ways to solve your problem that would work fine - this is just the first approach I would take. It is pretty safe for horse and rider, and gives the horse the benefit of the doubt by saying - "okay, you forgot this, let me show you again" :)

Have you ever tried any Pat Parelli? He also has some great ground activities in his level one that have some really good support for in the saddle. HIs activities also really just help you communicate better with your horse from the ground or in the saddle. He gives you a lot of tools to handle your horse gently, safely, and effectively in most situations.

I haven't done John Lyons in a while, but he also has some really great methods of ground work that can transfer to saddle work.

-Both trainers have videos and books you could look into
AKPaintLover is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 06-13-2007, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oak Hills CA, High Desert
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I'm no expert, and I agree it sounds a lot like a behavior problem. Which ends up with lunging, and lots of ground work.

I just wanted to add: Have you looked into tying-up? If the horse is not currently doing it, the vet can't diagnosis it. The symptoms can vary trememdously.

The reason I ask is because Christy was super girthy, she even got to the point where she wanted to toss her saddle off before I could cinch it. Then, after 15 - 20 minutes of riding she suddenly started bucking, wanting to drop and roll, rearing, kicking out... All her tack fit well, I spend months trying to figure out what was going on. Finally the vet said she might be tying-up. Apparently instead of getting muscle tremors or weakness, she colics. Very painful colic.

I have put her on a low sugar, low carb. diet high in fat. She has been on this diet for 2 months and I have no more problems. The vet wanted me to bring her to him ASAP at the first sign of colic, well, no colic. When they are tying-up a blood test can determine which type etc... Otherwise, the vet just has to guess. Under the circumstances, I'm fine not knowing which type.

Anyway, I wanted to mention this... Just in case.
DesertGal is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 06-17-2007, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I actually once rode a horse that was trained that way. Perhaps that is teh case with your guy?
fuzzy_pony is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 06-17-2007, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I actually once rode a horse that was trained that way. Perhaps that is teh case with your guy?
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