How would you work with this horse? - Page 4

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How would you work with this horse?

This is a discussion on How would you work with this horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-17-2013, 10:06 AM
    Super Moderator
    I'm constantly asking that question and its something that seems more commonplace than it used to be for some reason - possibly because pre. EU restrictions after these ponies had bounced back into the auction ring a few times a dealer would make their next trip be the one to the nearest slaughter yard
    I love the welsh breeds, I grew up with them but even the non spooky ones tend to be too much pony for a novice rider to deal with and the prettier ones can be the worst so people do fall for them
    This mare you have there might come round and work well for an experienced rider but if she's that sensitive she's likely to pick up on any nerves and tension. It was the thing with the ball in her stable that most concerned me because quite often when a horse has had a bit too much rough treatment they lose trust in humans and you notice that the things they spook at when a human is involved they totally ignore when you remove the human from the equation - like its not the plastic bag on the stick they fear but the worry that the human on the end of it is going to hurt them with it.
    In a similar way they will use inanimate objects to try to get out of work - especially trail riding/hacks on their own but I bet if that log or whatever was in their field they wouldn't take one bit of notice of it. We have the 'monster in the corner of the menage' sometimes and one day Looby got really hyped up about some crows that were sitting on the fence in there yet they peck around their feet in the field and I've never seen them even flinch when they suddenly fly off
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        04-17-2013, 10:12 AM
    Super Moderator
    Originally Posted by faye    
    What a small world. I bought Pride off Tom (at Beeston horse market, bought him before he went through the ring!)
    Oh dear old Tom - I bet he's dead now isn't it? I last saw him at Malvern Sales about 8 years ago - maybe more than that. I knew him from when I was really young, he was a real character and like all dealers it was his game to sell horses and he knew all the tricks in the book but I can't help but think of him as a loveable rogue.
    The last 2 foals we bred were by a Welsh Cob stallion of his he talked me into having at my place to do some basic handling with, it was then gelded and sold to George Bowman for driving.
        04-17-2013, 10:26 AM
    Green Broke
    Lovable rouge yes. But thankfully a fairly honest one. We got pride on a 2 week trial, could return him for any reason other than his temper which was explained up front.
        04-17-2013, 10:40 AM
    Super Moderator
    Originally Posted by faye    
    lovable rouge yes. But thankfully a fairly honest one. We got pride on a 2 week trial, could return him for any reason other than his temper which was explained up front.
    I think that having children of his own and then grandchildren plus a very strong wife who wanted to keep a good reputation gave him a conscience that a lot lack when he was selling anything, he didn't want to put people lives in danger by telling lies.
    Both the 'A's my kids had came from him - though the first one started life in his bareback rodeo enterprise of all things and was sold to a riding school after that.
    Just having a giggle because he used to call the lad who worked for him at one time his 'male model'!!!
        04-18-2013, 06:36 PM
    I went out there today with a view to trying something else. I thought I'd first try to see if I could drive her past the scary things on a lunge line, as you're far more powerful driving a horse from behind than you are on its back. That would either (a) improve things or (b) she'd have such a meltdown that I'd know we'd have to try something else. After a couple big spooks, she settled down and went past the scary stuff without much trouble. She would not spin and wheel towards me carrying a lunge whip, so she found the chutzpah to go forward past the object.

    I told her owner I wanted to try her in the long lines and owner went off and scared up a second lunge line. I set her up in the long lines and after a moment's confusion as she realized this wasn't plain old lunging, she got a brain transplant. Soft, obedient, "yes ma'am" to everything I asked, working in a lovely, consistent outline. No spooking at the stuff she normally spooks at. No being distracted by stuff going on around the barn. No reactivity or refusing to go or spinning. For the first time ever with this horse, I felt we were on the same team.

    So riding, especially in the arena, is our issue. It's either a pain thing or she just feels uncomfortable and unbalanced with it (owner assures me she is much better on a hack). Or perhaps she just wants a career as a driving pony. I'm going to long line for a while and use that to build up muscle and balance, then revisit the riding. If she's still a spooky nutcase, I'm going to encourage the owner to call the vet. But the horse was happy as larry to long line, so that's what we will do for now.
        04-18-2013, 08:31 PM
    I was going to suggest groundwork; good job, ss! It translates to ridden work, so it's a physical issue if she doesn't improve.

    Just a reminder, too, that it's about the relationship, not the task (getting past objects, in this case): when she trusts the leadership of the human, the tasks will get done.

    Thank goodness, too, that the owner is gaining skill at lessons; otherwise, a train wreck would likely have occurred.
        04-19-2013, 09:15 AM
    Super Moderator
    A lot of horses just plain hate schooling work - they find it too boring. Once our young horses understood the basics and were safe to hack out they spent their first year doing just that and then go back to the ménage work once they have a mindset for it, you can do a lot of stuff out hacking without them even realizing its a training thing
    Her behavior could just be avoidance of doing something she doesn't want to do or isn't mentally mature enough to deal with yet in anything other than small chunks though that doesn't explain why she found that ball in her stable so scarey.
        04-19-2013, 10:18 AM
    One horse didn't like plastic on the ground. If it moved he bolted. I started feeding hay in the paddock and laid a plastic tarp across the opening. One crossed it after a sniff but it took the other a couple of minutes and he then took a flying leap. When the other left, the second wasn't as hesitant and charged across it. At the second feeding he was a little goosey crossing and when leaving he was completely unconcerned. It works best when something is hung where the animal can move away, not a box stall, and be left alone to deal with on it's terms. Place the feed at a comfortable distance and with each feeding move it a few feet closer.
        04-20-2013, 04:26 AM
    Green Broke
    Silverspear, so she is happy in longreins but not under saddle? Suggests to me that someone started her very well but never finnished the process properly and she doesnt trust the rider on her back to be a leader.
    I would going right back to the beggining and rebreaking her.
    jaydee likes this.
        04-20-2013, 07:54 AM
    Yes, I'm sure that's what has happened. She was sent a breaking yard after failing as a broodmare, but the yard apparently went bust and had to auction off their horses not too long after they got her. I guess the people who got her from the auction didn't finish the job.

    I'm going to long line for a while, then slowly revisit the riding in the arena. If she could work under saddle like she worked in the ling lines, she'd be a ****ed nice pony.

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