How to get the ''Positive''? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-25-2009, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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How to get the ''Positive''?

I dunno just how to phrase this question... so I'll start from the top.

I rode a little today... not far, only about two miles. I had both of my horses with me... bareback, just halters. It started out, I was just walking with them, but decided to ride back home because I was tired.

Anyway, it seems like my gelding has no... energy. He's just sluggish-like... When I ride my mare, even at a walk, I can 'feel' her energy... she's willing to go faster, just enegetic-feeling... She'll take off full out if I ask, but if I just wanna walk, she's willing, but I can still feel that energy.

The horse I learned to ride on... he was getting older when I started riding him, but he was like my mare... just a bundle of energy, even at a walk... I could just 'feel' it.

With my gelding, the energy isn't there... It's strange... He's willing to walk, trot, or canter and the gallop when we go that fast... but it's almost like he would rather just walk slowly and laze around. It takes a bit to encourage him to pick up his pace, and he doesn't really keep a faster pace (fast walk/trot/canter) unless I'm pushing him constantly. I don't like to kick him to make him keep it up, because we're working on leg and seat cues... and I've used spurs once, and they helped a bit with keeping his paces steady and faster, but I'd rather not use them unless I positively have to.

I read somewhere that a rider should 'ride positively'... but I'm not sure what exactly that meant... can anyone shed some light on this and give a bit of advice on how to get my boy more energetic...? My gelding will be four come March... he's a trail horse, but I'd like him to show some of his dam's competitiveness...

His dam likes to be out in front and loves to race... my gelding doesn't care where he is in line' and hardly breaks out of a canter when all the other horses gallop off and literally leave him in the dust... most of the time, he slows back to a walk or trot when they leave him... he just dosn't seem to care...and while I like that he doesn't get all antsy, I'd love for him to have a little more spirit.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-25-2009, 08:20 PM
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Your mare is an extrovert, your gelding is an introvert. There is the difference in energy level. Your mare has a lot of drive to go places, where your gelding would rather just stand around and eat. It's just who they are.

Point to Point exercises are wonderful to get lazy horses to WANT to go forward. Are you familiar with that exercise?
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-25-2009, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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I've never dealt with an introvert horse...

And I've never heard of Point to Point exercises... what are they?

My gelding likes to go places... he enjoys riding, but he'd just rather walk around slowly while all the other horses leave him.

He's actually really, really fast when he wants to be... My friend and I were riding my mare and him the other week and were late getting home, so we took off... my gelding and I were flying, he's literally never gone that fast with me before... but when my mare and my friend literally shoved us off into the road when they barreled past us, he immediately shortened his stride and went to a fast canter while my mare and friend kept going at a full out run.

It's like, sometimes he wants to go, but decides halfway that he'd rather walk or slow down... he's really easy to ride, and stops really well, much better than my mare... but I just don't like that he's so... slow-pokey most of the time.

Like, with my mare, I can hold her back and talk to her really fast and in a whisper, and she'll get really excited and take off when I give her the command... but with my gelding, he doesn't do a thing. Lol... It's just strange to me... I'm used to 'extrovert' horses, I guess. Having one who doesn't really care is kinda... well, I'm just not used to it... I don't know how to get 'it' (the excitedness and evergy) to the front.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-25-2009, 11:00 PM
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I agree with Spirithorse....he just sounds like he's willing to do it, but there's not enough incentive somewhere for him to really want to do it like your mare does.

Does he have respect issues? That was the problem with my boy....he was pokey on top of being a dominance biter and just plain surly...I put him back in his place and he perked right up and became very willing. His problem was he needed to know that I knew what I wanted him to do....he just needed someone to give him direction.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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He's very respectful on ground, but under saddle he sometimes kicks at other horses when we're in a group... though after working on that, he rarely does it now. Overall, he's about as respectful as I would expect a three year old horse to be and, in general, I'd compare him to my mare when it comes to respecting people... very good, but needs a reminder every now and then.

He never kicks or bites or strikes, doesn't rear, and has only bucked a few (3) times, but they were all my fault because I gave him mixed cues or accidentally jerked on his mouth (this was last year, too, when I started training him and wasn't used to him because he moves so differently than my mare).

It's like, he enjoys it, but at the same time, sometimes I feel like he doesn't enjoy it... He's a great trail horse, but sometimes I get the feeling that he's bored or something and quits paying attention, or he's so used to the trails that he lets his mind kinda... wander... I'm not used to that, and don't know what to do about it because my mare, as I've mentioned before, loves going... she'll zip up and down the same trail all day and not get bored with it.

It's just confusing to me. And sorry if I'm contradicting some things i've already said... I'm thinking about how he acts and am writing how I feel about it at times, and sometimes I get one feeling, and other times it seems like there's something else going on with him... if that makes any sense.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 02:03 AM
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I really think it's just their personalities. Some people like to hang out at home, some people like to be out and about. I am the one who likes to hang out at home, but that doesn't mean I don't have ambition or energy, I just like to be home. There's nothing wrong with it, and as long as he goes and is happy, who cares?

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 08:05 AM
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Assuming no medical problems, it could just be his personality like others have said. As hard as it may be to believe, there are horses that are 1) not food motivated and 2) are perfectly happy/prefer to be by themselves.
If you have a horse that sees walking as a 'reward', when riding, I would start by doing a lot of transitions with simple goals, e.g. trot 100 yards or to the upcoming fork in the trail, then walk, and repeat these type of simple excercises a lot.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 11:25 AM
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A dead giveaway of an introverted horse is if he kicks out when other horses get close. Yep, you certainly have an introvert on your hands! lol. They are worth their weight on gold though, they are the type of horses that make or break you because if they don't wanna do something, and the rider forces, he will simply say NO and there isn't a darn thing the rider can do about it! lol. The key is to give him incentive to want to go forward. Push his mind, not his body. If you get the mind involved, the body will follow.

Point to point exercises are great. Do you usually ride him out? Or in an arena?
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Gallant, Alabama
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I don't have access to any arena, though I was thinking about building one... but I don't think I'm going to because I really wouldn't ever ride in one...

So we ride out on the road and trails all the time, unless we're in the pasture... then we stay in a rectangular area and work on walk/trot transitions, or do hill-work... but I don't ride my gelding in the pasture often in case the other horses decide to bug us.

I love my boy, even with his kicking and personality.. because he's just like you described... if he doesn't want to do something, he'll really just say 'no' and refuse... but he doesn't do that a lot...

How do I push his mind? Like I said, I guess I'm used to 'extrovert' horses... I don't have a clue how to 'give him the incentive' to do things... :(

I'm still not very sure what point to point exercises are, either... Lol...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-26-2009, 03:44 PM
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Basically point to point is giving the horse a starting place and a finishing place, not just travelling aimlessly. Your giving him a job.

So, say you start at one end of the field and the goal is to go in a straight line to a specific point. You ask for a gait and he's to keep that speed until he has reached the exact point.

I'm sure Spirit will explain it better......LOL

Riding with purpose is not just sitting in the saddle being hauled around, you ride with intent.

I would think your guy would benefit from doing responsibility circles, I think in the 7 games they call it the circle game. When you ask for a gait or a speed within the gait he is to hold that.

I have a horse similar to yours, George is happy to mosey down the trail all day. He's my Steady Eddie, I love this type of horse, he's a bit of work but he's a dream.
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