Lacey is making me mad. *long*

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Lacey is making me mad. *long*

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    08-22-2009, 09:59 PM
Super Moderator
Lacey is making me mad. *long*

Yesterday I went on a ride down the road with Lacey, just the two of us and she was perfect. A little too "lets go!" for my taste but perfect.

Today I went on a ride with her down that same road only this time I was taking my brother on a ride too so there was another horse. And guess how Lacey behaved? Like a total wack job.

She would not go straight, jigging all over the road, and she kept stopping and starting to back up. I started telling her to back up and she actually reared a few times (after we backed 10 or so full steps which was probably more than I've had her back up in a long time, I admit), not like little mini rears but like big ones. She hasn't reared in over 3 months!!! So I started making her bring her head back to my leg and she started nuzzling my leg like "oh get me out of here please!" I ended up having my brother walk his horse away in the direction we were going and then making Lacey stay still until I told her to go. And she was fine until we got in front again. Then she started stopping again. I ended up just having her back one step on my command then having my bro go in front and then we followed him for about 10 steps then turned around and went home. Guess what? She was fine leading going home. Grrrrrrr.

I do not know what is up with my pony this time. She was fine leading (neck reining no less) for hours at the hemophilia camp we helped at, on old logging roads, paved roads and gravel roads covered in coyote poo, cougar poo and the poo of other various scary carnivorous animals. She even led crossing bridges that the other horses refused to cross until she did. She also didn't hardly spook at all when a huge flock of quail came shooting out of the bushes right in front of us. I know she's not afraid of leading. And I mean seriously, yesterday when I rode her on the road, alone no less, she seriously wanted to walk up to a freaking coyote and say hello.
I just want to slap her upside the head and give her the what for about how ponies that have started behaving well need to continue to behave well under all circumstances if they want to be loved (I'll always love her, no worries.)

I know I need to take her out on the road more to maybe desensitize her to it (if she's scared) because I know that her previous owners had some pretty nasty encounters with her on the road and I'm thinking I may just start taking her for walks in hand because I'll have more control that way.

But what causes her to be fine on actually scary trails where she's all *insert manly vice here* "I can handle this, did you think I could not? Show me some actually tough trails, if you do not, I, Lacey the Wonder Pony will create one for you" but to fall apart when she's asked to go on the road by home with other horses?

I'm not even sure if she's actually scared, I don't want to assume that she's just doing this to get to me because horses don't think that way but still. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing anything different except for direct reining because on the road she wants to GO so I have to hold her back while at camp she was happy to plod along.

Any ideas? She was in heat beginning of last week and the end of the week before so I'm pretty sure it wasn't just one of "those" days. And anyway, she just gets spooky when she's in heat, not recalcitrant.
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    08-23-2009, 12:32 AM
Maybe do some longing before you take off? That way you can see how she might behave, and thus can thwart it by working through it until she's focused on you; you will also not be in danger of being hurt should she decide to go up (and possibly over).

It does sound like she just didn't want to "go" away from home though, by the way you describe what she was doing. Lead, stop, act up, other horse gets ahead, then she goes foward okay (until she gets ahead, to which the pattern repeated itself). The fact that she lead fine going towards home, proves that she just didn't want to go away from there.

On the roads you ride on is there any space at all to put her to work? If so, then do so; try to avoid the backing, as rearing is not a good option, for either of you. If you have to, keep a halter and lead on her, get off quickly and put her to work immediately, and work her hard...going forward has to be easier than the work you will make her do if she doesn't; make sure the other horse actually stays where you want him on the ride (behind, or infront of her), but have them stop.

Allowing the other horse to get ahead, will only give her a reason to catch up, but won't guarentee that she will go forward once she does. You have to get her thinking that she has to go forward whether she is in front or behind, and if she doesn't do so undersaddle, you will make her move from the ground, but either way, she isn't being 'rewarded' by standing around, or trying to get away from you. Soon enough, she will figure out that going foward willingly is a much better option than getting worked hard.
    08-23-2009, 01:25 AM
Super Moderator
Yeah I always without fail lunge her before I ride, she's the kind of horse that needs lunging to stay sane. She was worse than usual today (basically listening to me but not responding wholeheartedly) when I lunged her, maybe I should have just taken that and changed my plans. >.<

There really isn't room enough to work her on the road without being in the way if a car comes and she is not an easy stopper if I were to get off and do some lunging exercises. >.< There is a hay field near where she always has an issue, maybe I can get permission to lunge her in that field or something then walk her/ride her down the road so she gets more used to the surroundings if that is the issue.

I don't want to but do you think a crop would help? I don't think I'd even have to hit her with it, probably just waving it by her rump would do the trick... *just thought of this* I rode a pony once that would do kinda a similar thing (he would stop and spin in circles) and carrying a crop mostly straightened him right out.

I don't like having the other horse go in front either, I feel kinda like that's letting her win since she doesn't want to be in front anymore or whatever but I didn't feel comfortable pushing it at that point. I did try circling but all that earned me was a circling horse that kept suddenly plant it's feet and kept just turning it's head.

She has my number I think. Haha
    08-23-2009, 02:09 AM
She soulds a little barn sour. Don't worry about using a crop. No horse has ever been killed with a riding crop. Your arm would wear out and the crop would break before serious injury was done to your horse. If your horse stops wack her on the arse and get her feet moving. When she stops don't be coy with the crop and pick at her like she might break but get after her like she's an animal that weighs 1000lbs and won't be injured by a crop. If she tries to rear keep her head bent to the side a little and it won't be possible for her to rear. Also, don't hang on her head to get her to slow down then get mad when she stops. If she wants to move at a trot let her for a while to get the fire out of her a little.
    08-23-2009, 02:26 AM
Super Moderator
Good point about letting her trot, I guess as long as she's trotting away from home it's no biggie.

Don't worry, I'm not reluctant to use a crop for fear of hurting her. She was just pushed around a lot in 23 of her 24 years by cowboying types and so in the last year I've had to work really hard at making everything as non confrontational as possible because case in point with the rearing, she starts fighting instead of giving in. I'm just fearful of going backwards in her training. I'll try riding with one in the arena to see her reaction. I know she's not too big on dressage whips when I lunge her (and yes, I can stroke her everywhere with one, even when she's loose and she's fine with that) she just gets way too pepped up by the sight of one when I lunge her.
    08-23-2009, 02:35 AM
Don't pin bad horsemanship on "cowboy" types. I know men that are as cowboy as they come and have horses that seem to read thier minds. You can't see a signal they are so subtle but the horses are always in the right place in the right frame and doing it easily. If she had been handled by a real cowboy she would go where she's pointed and be happy to go there. These are "cowboy" horses. There are far far more horse ruined by town living gunsels that have never wore out a cheap pair of boots let alone a saddle. Everyone seems to want to blame all bad traits on being too "cowboy" but I don't think we want to take credit for them.
    08-23-2009, 11:34 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Don't pin bad horsemanship on "cowboy" types. I know men that are as cowboy as they come and have horses that seem to read thier minds. You can't see a signal they are so subtle but the horses are always in the right place in the right frame and doing it easily. If she had been handled by a real cowboy she would go where she's pointed and be happy to go there. These are "cowboy" horses. There are far far more horse ruined by town living gunsels that have never wore out a cheap pair of boots let alone a saddle. Everyone seems to want to blame all bad traits on being too "cowboy" but I don't think we want to take credit for them.
I'm sorry, it was late, I should have explained that better. She was owned by people who thought they were cowboys and that seemed to think that cowboys got what they wanted from their horses, no compromising. I know that real cowboys care for their horses like for instance, a member on this forum, smrobs, I consider her a real life cowgirl and she loves her horses very much and treats them well.
For instance the one nasty road incident I know about, one of these guys decided he wanted to take a 2 mile journey down the road, in the rain (Lacey HATES the rain, even in the pasture she'll do anything to get out of the rain) with Lacey. About half a mile down the road Lacey didn't want to go anymore so she started doing this backing up/freaking out thing. The guy just started pretty much beating her even after she had taken a few steps forward. Eventually Lacey ended up falling over (not sure about exactly what happened to get her there) and the guy got off and went home. If he had been like "ok, you don't want to go anymore, will you take 4 more steps forward? Then we can go home" it would have been fine, but since he was trying to be a "cowboy" he couldn't do that.

I wish she had been the horse of a real cowboy! But then if she had I probably wouldn't have her right now because she would have probably been one of those do anything well horses that people don't part with.

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