I think he's lazy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-16-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I think he's lazy

I have a green broke 5 year old. He understands to pick up the pace to a trot but as soon as I stop pushing him forward he slows to a walk. How can I keep him from changing gates without me telling him to, is it something that will come with time or do I need to do something different.
I also haven't been able to get him to canter at all no matter what. He can do it he loves to run and play in the field, but he will not with me on his back. He's very lazy, which is probably a good thing he wont run away with me.
Thanks for any advise.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-16-2009, 09:25 AM
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Do you have a crop? (not for hitting, of course). My OTTB would go through these phases and I would tap his rear with a crop to get him to go.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-16-2009, 09:38 AM
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He probably won't canter with you because he feels unbalanced. I agree with the crop to back up your leg. Ask him twice, and then a little tap right behind your leg to reinforce what you are asking. Once he does it give him tons of praise and then bring him back and do it again, the same way. Do TONS of transitions with him to help this.

From your post it seems to me that he is the kins of horse that you can't take your leg off for a second...but this is just from what I read. He will learn to carry himself a littel bit more as he gets more mileage, but you ALWAYS need to use your leg. =) Hope this helps! Good luck!
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-18-2009, 12:21 PM
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Does he lunge? Will he canter on the lunge line? If he does, you can try having someone lunging you and helping him to canter. He might just not know what you are asking. Plus, the lunge line leaves you to concentrate souly on him and not on steering everything.

The trotting thing is trickier. how do you ask him to trot? how was he trained? i know horses that are trained to slow down if you squeeze and go forward if you "kick." Lunging could help with that as well because it's someone else helping him understand what your asking. it's associating your leg with the lunge whip.

or you can voice train. i've been forced too with some abused animals. start in a roundpen or lunging choose commands for everything. i do one cluck for walk, two clucks for trot (another cluck at the trot means go forward), kiss for canter, easy means slow down in that pace, a second easy means go down one pace, whoa means stop no matter what.

i've also taught words, it's up to you. but again, i only do that with my severely abused cases.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-18-2009, 03:05 PM
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All horses have a lazy streak, it's just a matter of finding it, lol.

I would try doing some "cruising." Ask for forward motion with a gentle squeeze. If that doesn't work, cluck, then spank with a crop, string, etc. until he moves at the gait and speed you want. Once he is going, completely remove the cue. Trust him to move forward at the gait you have asked for without micromanagment from the saddle. Don't steer, just let him truck around the arena or pasture wherever he feels like. When he breaks gait downward, let him take a couple of strides at the new gait, then use the same ask/suggest/encourage progression to put him back into the intended gait. If he speeds up, bend him to stop and soften his face, then ask for a trot again. This exercise makes him responsible for his feet, and shows him that walking when you had asked him to trot is wrong, and not to walk until you ask. Make sure that, when you do cue him to slow down, you don't just let him slow himself. Make the downshift your idea. You can lunge or roundpen him and apply a similar technique to make him responsible without a rider.

With the canter, I would lunge or roundpen him at the canter, then add a saddle and let him learn to balance that weight, then add a rider. It does sound like a balance issue to me. If you aren't extremely stable at the canter, I would enlist the help of a horsey friend who's balance issues won't interfere with the learning horse.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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Sounds like you need to build cruise control. First off, I wouldn't keep pushing him because it gets tiring always having to do that and then when you stop so does he. What you need to do is ask him to trot and then keep your legs off of him. Just think trot. Whenever he walks immediately go through the levels of asking (ask with your body, cluck, then spank) to get him back up to the trot. Eventually he will realize that you want him to stay trotting.

It is best to work on this in an arena or large area. Let him choose where to go, but he MUST go the speed you want. And if he goes too fast an easy way to break that is to one rein stop him and then go off in the gait you wanted to go. He'll learn that he can't go faster than you want because then he has to do more that way.

Does that make sense? If you have any questions feel free to ask

"Maieutic Manege"
The art of horsemanship through sharing new ideas with one another
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