I feel like giving up on this...

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I feel like giving up on this...

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  • Is giving a horse time off after heavy traing good or bad
  • Giving up on horse

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    05-16-2012, 10:24 PM
I feel like giving up on this...

So Selena excels at most things she does. Reining, working cow, barrel racing, eq classes, in hand trail/showmanship, hell she's even done some dressage and hunt seat.

So alas, in my desperate attempt tp make her an all-around horse, I have been trying since last summer to make her a trail horse.

When my Mom first bought her (Before I bought her from my Mom) she was emphasized that she was NOT a trail horse. Never really said why, but we didn't ask. I mean, we had no intention of riding her on the trail.

I took her out for the first time ever on the trail at horse camp. She was fine! We ran up hills, through brush, across logs....We ran into some trouble at the water but we ended up having to back her in and once she was in she loved it! Never had a problem again on the ride.

Once we got back, I decided to take her out the next day. So I did. And let me say, Oh. My. God.

We didn't make it halfway down the trail before it was a bucking, crowhopping, rearing, spinning around, jumping sideways, just being a real bitch. I then took her back to camp and worked her little butt off next to the other horses, thinking she was just sour....She displayed the same behavior there. I ended up getting twenty feet from camp and quit, tired of fighting with her.

When we got back from camp we went back to the arena. I took her on small walks on the trail and she offered the same behavior on the ground....Only this time she was striking out at me.

Now, at that point I did so much groundwork that I thought there was no way she could continue this disrespectful and dangerous habit. She was still an ANGEL in the arena (Any arena, not just the home one), and she gets worked hard there which makes me doubt she is soured to the trail as a place of work.

Once I got her going on the ground and she was walking nicely with me again, I went on ahead and tried to ride her again. She was fine for about ten minutes, then suddenly, we ran into the same dangerous problems as before! I got off her and worked her hard on the ground because I was scared of being on her back. At the end I got on, walked around and did a lot of counter-arc circles down the trail then got off, loosened her cinch, and walked back and worked her back at the barn again (Just to help rule out barn sourness)

We did that every day for about two/three months with barely any improvement.

I then got busy with the heavy show season and stopped. Today was her first day back in rythym and I took her on a hand walk. She was jumping sideways, trying to run me over, strike out at me, squealing and kicking. I was so mad at her, I couldn't believe it. I made her work and got after her every time and went back to our groundwork. Eventually, once we walked a minute or two without incident I stopped and let her graze. We then walked down the side of the road because I didn't want to walk her down the single-track trail we had come up. I made her trot next to me and did a lot of stopping an backing up groundwork, paused at a gentle spot of the ditch and did the "sending" excersize (Clinton Anderson) across it. Found some obstacles to go over. Doesn't even care.

What I have noticed is that it gets very bad when we try and just plod along. She doesn't misbehave when we are moving around.

Do you think she's just bored? Do you think I'll ever get her to be able to go out on trails calmly? I just haven't really noticed a huge amount of differance....I don't want to take her out alone anymore because I dpn't want to get hurt, but I feel awful when I have to bring someone with me and end up ruining the ride, even though I do tell them to purpose... At this point I might have to just bite the bullet and do it....Just kinda frustrated with it.

Alright and I'd just like to clarify I am 100% certain she is not in pain and she is not scared or spooking. She is being disrespectful but nothing I am doing is making a differance.
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    05-16-2012, 10:31 PM
Any chance you could call the previous owners and ask why? Maybe you could get some insight as to how the problem began...
    05-16-2012, 10:39 PM
Since the first ride, have you taken her out there and worked her rather than walked along on the trail? She might just need something to do. I can sympathize; Molly is one of those horses that NEEDS something to do 24/7 and gets panicky when she doesn't have a job.
Wallaby and Skyseternalangel like this.
    05-17-2012, 12:00 AM
I might try that. Make her move....Maybe she really is just being bored.
    05-17-2012, 12:16 AM
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I know with Lacey, she adores the trail. BUT she wants to be going somewhere, doing something while she's there. It's rare indeed that she'll actually be fine just taking a leisurely walk down the trail. She wants to explore somewhere she's never seen (she behaves the best on brand new trails) and she wants to do it at a trot or canter. For her, trail rides are really long trot/canter sets with a little walking stuck in as a break. No leisurely this or that, all focused "we're going HERE!" stuff.
I used to try to make her walk an entire ride and that was basically asking for her to throw a major fit. The more I'd force her to walk, the worse she'd get (rearing, spinning, planting her feet, all the "worst" stuff). Eventually, I just started pushing her and pretending like we're prepping for an endurance ride which is, apparently, just what she wanted.

I've also found that Lacey HATES loop trails. She gets really rushy with them and is generally a jerk. She much prefers trails where there's a "ok, this is where we turn back" spot. That could be another thing to consider.

Anyway, that was basically my roundabout way of agreeing with equiniphile...
equiniphile likes this.
    05-17-2012, 12:26 AM
Maybe the next time we go out I will get an experience horse in front of and behind me and we'll just start running up some hills...
    05-17-2012, 12:28 PM
Horses are like people.they're good at some things,and not worth a darn at other's.if it's a constant battle,then that'a a job she is never going to like.
HagonNag and GreySorrel like this.
    05-17-2012, 01:01 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Maybe the next time we go out I will get an experience horse in front of and behind me and we'll just start running up some hills...
That is her problem. She's never been allowed to relax. She doesn't know how.
rob likes this.
    05-17-2012, 01:12 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by rob    
horses are like people.they're good at some things,and not worth a darn at other's.if it's a constant battle,then that'a a job she is never going to like.
I totally agree... Some horses won't ever be good a job we want them to do. Take her for what she is, an amazing arena horse. You have tried, rather hard and consistently, to make into a good trail horse too but its just not her cup of tea apparently. If you want to trail ride is there an option for you getting another horse or maybe leasing a second?
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rob likes this.
    05-17-2012, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Maybe the next time we go out I will get an experience horse in front of and behind me and we'll just start running up some hills...
Running up hills doesn't sound enjoyable or easy. That would sour me quickly
rob likes this.

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