Jumpy horse
 
 

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Jumpy horse

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  • Jumpy trail horse
  • Bridle a jumpy horse

 
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    03-11-2008, 01:37 AM
  #1
Foal
Jumpy horse

My cousin picked up a rescued Arabian, who's supposed to be dressage and Western trained, but hasn't been ridden in at least a year. She's wonderful on the halter, but when I got on her--hackamore and no saddle (saddle doesn't fit her right and she didn't have a bridle at that point) she was very jumpy and kept on prancing in place (to the point where she was doing piaffes!--amazing, but scary because I'm sure she wasn't collected properly) hypersensitive to leg commands, and nervous. After about 30 minutes I had her standing still for small amounts of time. I've never worked with a horse like this, and I'm trying to get her to the point where she's a decent trail western horse, for my cousin to continue learning on.
I want to make this as painless as possible for both of us. Any suggestions?
--she has a bridle now, and I'm going to put it on her this weekend.
     
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    03-11-2008, 06:19 AM
  #2
Trained
Re: Jumpy horse

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunburst
My cousin picked up a rescued Arabian, who's supposed to be dressage and Western trained, but hasn't been ridden in at least a year. She's wonderful on the halter, but when I got on her--hackamore and no saddle (saddle doesn't fit her right and she didn't have a bridle at that point) she was very jumpy and kept on prancing in place (to the point where she was doing piaffes!--amazing, but scary because I'm sure she wasn't collected properly) hypersensitive to leg commands, and nervous. After about 30 minutes I had her standing still for small amounts of time. I've never worked with a horse like this, and I'm trying to get her to the point where she's a decent trail western horse, for my cousin to continue learning on.
I want to make this as painless as possible for both of us. Any suggestions?
--she has a bridle now, and I'm going to put it on her this weekend.

Hmmm an arab who hasnt been ridden for a year...if prancing is all that is happening you are lucky lol a lot of arabs will dance and prance naturally some just worse than others. Sounds like at this stage, and maybe for a while, he isnt exactly the best learner horse. It sounds like he will needs heaps of work before he is suitable for trails and a beginner. Having said that, he may never be good for a beginner. I love arabs and all but some of them just arent meant for beginners.

I would try doing a lot of groundwork with him. Take him back to basics and try and do a lot of bonding and desensitising activities. Frank bell, clinton anderson, pat parelli etc can all help with these techniques.

Good luck with him
     
    03-11-2008, 06:29 AM
  #3
Weanling
I'm no expert but I think just spending time with her and working with her like you've been doing would help a lot.

Also maybe she wasn't used to being ridden bareback and that made her nervous?

It could also be a problem with her back/neck etc. We had a mare that did the same thing except she WOULD NOT stand still at all. She was terrified of stopping with someone on her back. We did get her to kind of pause but when you moved she would panic. It took hours to get off of her and when you did it was more or less having to jump off while she was moving. We figured out that whoever broke her in didn't do a very good job (didn't treat her right) and when we got the chiro out to look at her he found problems with her back, shoulder and neck which would have caused her some pain when people tried to dismount. With several sessions with the chiro she improved and the owner is now spelling her before bringing her in to be broken in properly.


It sounds like your mare isn't as bad as this one but it could be a similar problem.
     
    03-11-2008, 10:08 AM
  #4
Green Broke
I too have a jumpy arabian. Only I have worked with a QH who thought she was an arab. She mentally crazy but I worked her down a tad. What I did was act like nothing was happening. Do everything in moderation. Very slow movements, but keep your mind quick incase the horse spooks or something. Be calm, train yourself to be as calm as you would be sleeping or just taking a nature walk. I tend to be pretty bad at it around now because its winter and the snow makes me ever so mad. But during the summer I am very good at this. It took me a while, but eventually I could keep calm even on this Mare who was crazy even when she was rearing and spooking at every little thing. She fed of what I was feeling and calmed down also.
     
    03-11-2008, 12:00 PM
  #5
Showing
I think you should spend a lot of one on one time with the horse. Lunging might also be a good idea.
     
    03-11-2008, 12:25 PM
  #6
Foal
Thanks everybody!
Jazzyrider, I know she's not the best choice for a beginner, but she's so wonderful on the ground that I'm hoping she'll calm down and be just as wonderful in the saddle. :)
Crackrider, I didn't even think of that. She had no problems with me getting on or off, didn't show any pain when I had her on the lunge line, but she did freak out with the saddle was put on her--I thought it was just because it didn't fit her right so I'll keep an eye on her for signs of pain and things like that, thanks.
I'm a fairly quiet rider, so it's not a big adjustment for me, but my horse at home is so attuned to my leg commands that I'll give them without even thinking, which is a problem on her right now. :roll: I'll just think even quieter, then.
     
    03-11-2008, 06:14 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Be calm, train yourself to be as calm as you would be sleeping or just taking a nature walk.
I agree. Arabs are incredibly in tune to their rider's moods. If I'm in a bad mood and I ride my Arab he's like "What's wrong? Is there something scary? Aaaah!" He's also very "prancy," but not to the point of rearing or bucking (more like he's showing off).

Quote:
My cousin picked up a rescued Arabian
What do you mean by rescued? Was she abused? Neglected? I have experience with rescued Arabs, and I can tell you it takes them a long, long time to "forget" the wrongs done to them. In fact, they never truly forget. They will be doing just fine, but then something will happen to trigger a bad memory and you have to patiently work through it. If the horse has abuse in her past, I hope you aren't planning on turning her over to your cousin for a long, long while. Don't do too much too fast.

Quote:
she did freak out with the saddle was put on her--I thought it was just because it didn't fit her right so I'll keep an eye on her for signs of pain and things like that,
Could you explain this further? How did she freak out? Was it when you immediately put the saddle on? Usually, the signs of an ill fitting saddle take awhile to surface, and I don't think a horse would freak out immediately upon placing the saddle on her back...
     
    03-12-2008, 03:35 PM
  #8
Foal
I don't know what the rescue situation was; the horse was rescued by her previous owners but they had money difficulties and so had to give her away (you can't sell rescued horses). I do know it's been a good long while since she was rescued and I don't see any signs of an abused animal in her behavior or problems trusting people, so I'm not extremely concerned about that.
I don't know how she freaked out; I wasn't there. I didn't push it because I can't ride with stirrups right now, so bareback is easier. From the description, I would think that it was more of her prancing around and nervous behavior rather than an all-out bucking/rearing fest.
I don't plan on going too fast at all. Right now, we're just working on calmness. :)
     
    03-12-2008, 03:43 PM
  #9
Trained
I disagree that Arabians can't be beginners horses! Everyone catagorizes horses. That's terrible. It all depends on how you raise them. My sisters breeds Arabians and you couldn't ask for a more level headed bunch of horses. You CANNOT make her stallion spook, and he is only 4 yrs old.
     
    03-12-2008, 03:55 PM
  #10
Started
I don't see where anyone said that Arabs can't be beginner horses. I might be missing it, though... Here's all I found:
Quote:
i love arabs and all but some of them just arent meant for beginners.
The poster simply was stating that some Arabs aren't meant for beginners, which is true. Some quarter horses aren't meant for beginners. Some morgans aren't meant for beginners, etc.

I love Arabs, but am one of the first to admit that they can be a special breed, and many of them (note, I did not say "all") do have special requirements that a beginner just might not understand. The ones I have owned have been very sensitive to their handler's mood and were very easily offended. On the other hand, a friend of mine owns an Arab that would rival a steady eddy quarter horse in the "good ol' boy" category and she trusts him with just about any rider.

Now, back to the original poster:
Quote:
From the description, I would think that it was more of her prancing around and nervous behavior rather than an all-out bucking/rearing fest.
This just sounds like a horse that hasn't had a saddle on in awhile. Didn't you say it's been a year since she's been ridden?

Quote:
I don't plan on going too fast at all. Right now, we're just working on calmness.
Sounds like a good plan. While you're working with her, you'll be able to build trust in each other. I don't know what her situation was with her last owner, but if she had a bond with that person it might take awhile for her to see you in the same light. Good luck!
     

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