Originally Posted by Cowgirls Boots
Back in November I bought a 12 year old paint who was the lesson/trail/lease horse and I assumed ridden multiple times a day during the good riding seasons. I haven't ridden him much since I've gotten him besides bareback here and there.
His two major problems are -
1) He walks away from you sometimes when you go out to catch him. Lately he hasn't done it because I haven't ridden him and whenever I catch him he knows he gets to go in and eat.
2) He's ring sour. He always tries veering to the gate and sometimes swishes his tail in a bit of an 'angry protest' against me not letting him go towards the gate.
He hasn't been bad yet but whenever I ride I always walk to the farthest corner of the arena and make him stand with his butt facing the gate and when he's good that's when I get off. That's about the time he usually gets pissy and swishes his tail. And I usually also back him out of the gate.
I know they say to work him harder passed the gate but would that work in this situation? How do I make riding enjoyable for him?
Posted via Mobile Device
Your on the right track with the first problem. Keep mixing it up. When I catch my mare I always change our routine. This really helps if your horse thinks every time he is caught, he has to work, which sounds exactly like the case here. Also try just hanging out in the pasture with him. Don't always halter him, sometimes halter him and then immediately take it off, try going on walks in hand instead of riding, bring him out just to groom, etc... Make it pleasant and not all work.
Another option is make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. With one particular horse I know, the only way to catch him is by working him. I have to run him around until he joins up. The concept behind this is make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. When he walks off I send him out and make him work, if he stands with me then he gets to relax.
Problem 2: take the same approach. Wrong=work and Right=relax
Whoever told you to work him harder by the gate is right. He drifts toward the gate, get his attention and move his feet. Let him relax once he is no longer focused on the gate. My mare tries this occasionally and figures out pretty quick where she can relax so we often have to switch relax spots or she starts drifting there thinking she can relax lol
Your on the right track though so keep it up, sometimes it just takes time, practice and consistency :) Good luck and it sounds like your doing great already Posted via Mobile Device