A horse that won't stand still! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Location: South Sutton, NH
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A horse that won't stand still!

So Gizmo has been kind of bratty since I bought him about putting the saddle on. He just doesn't like to stand still. I know the saddle fits him. His saddle pad could be thicker and I'm working on that. But he will stand like a perfect gentleman when being groomed and when you put his pad on but then when you are about to put the saddle on he starts to prance and gets excited. When you get it on him he will move from side to side and its really hard to get it on perfect and straight and then his saddle pad messes up. Sometimes I have to take it off and start over because he messes it up so... much. It's very annoying. I think he just gets excited because he is going for a ride. But I don't know what to do. I have his head tied really close to the ring, but he can still move from side to side easily. Any good ideas on how to get him to stop it? I have tried telling him ho many times and giving him a smack, but nothing has worked.
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 05:42 PM
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Perhaps you could try backing him up whenever he gets silly. When he dances, back him up 5-10 steps fairly quickly, and then stop. If he continues dancing, back him up again. That's what worked for my horse, anyways, when she decided to sway and prance. It taught her that standing still is less work than being silly. I've had some people disagree, and say just give them a jerk with the lead shank, but the backing up thing is what worked for me in the end.

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah that has worked for him when mounting. Cuz he wouldn't stand still doing that either. But he has gotten, A lot better at that. I will give it a try though, thanks.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 10:51 PM
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Kind of like if your horse won't stand when riding. Make it unconfrontable for him. Just back him like AllThePrettyHorses said. He should get the point after you do it awhile.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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He will stand when riding, just when tacking up. He used to do it when mounting too, but I got him over that. Just don't know how to go about the tacking up thing because I don't want to reward him for his behavior by taking the saddle off and then backing him up and putting it back on. It seems like that is giving him what he wants.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 07:20 AM
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Don't take the saddle off, just back him up with it still -partially, I guess- on.

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 11:07 AM
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If you have access to a round pen, I would do some round penning work, again like with the backing, give him a choice, he can work or he can let you put the saddle on. Even if you dont have a round pen you can use the Pony Boy method, I believe its called the circling game or something like that. You use a fairly long lead line and carry a whip under arm, or if he will go from the end of the lead that works too, and every time he moves even a step, remove the saddle and chase him around you for 3 circles. The key to this is to make it unenjoyable, it cant just be let him trot leisurely around you three times, you really need to make him work. Dont worry about taking the saddle back off, as he is learning when the saddle is on he isnt uncomfortable, but when he doesnt let you put the saddle on he gets uncomfortable.

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post #8 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 11:24 AM
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have you tried to calm him down? is he nervis or scard or something like that?
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 11:43 AM
Green Broke
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My horse used to do that.
I would correct her with a stern "no" & maybe a lite smack on the rump. Just enough to let her know that was not acceptable. Then continued saddling.
If the horse moved or stepped sideways, I would follow her holding the saddle on, until she stopped. Then praise her, and continue saddling.
If she moved into me, I would push her to where I wanted her while holding the saddle on & continue saddling.
(I'm assuming you horse will be tied & that they give to pressure instead of moving into it.)

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 12:23 PM
Green Broke
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Are you sure its not the girthing? If its not pain try a approach and retreat. Do this on days you aren't going to ride. Do what you normally do and when you try and put the saddle on, just pretend to do it and take it away. But only take it away when he stops moving. Do it on both sides. Getting closer and closer until you are able to set it on his back. Don't take it off until he settles. Repeat this however many times it takes for him to understand standing still. Once you get that down, go to saddle him up completely, let him stand there and then take it off all the way. Its going to take time but hopefully it will help.
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