Lazy Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Lazy Horse

I have a question about my mare, as she has been very very lazy the last few times I have ridden her, she does just the bare minimum work when asked. My legs are sore after riding her for fifteen minutes because I constantly have to bump her sides hard to keep her moving. I am thinking about using a pair of spurs but I am also an older timid rider, who is afraid of how this horse may react to spurs. I have arthritis in my knees and ankles so all this leg work is getting quite painful for me. I have never seen this horse buck or rear or take off with a rider, myself included, so there is no basis for me to worry too much about her over reacting to the spurs except my little inner fear monster. (had a crash a few years ago that ended badly for me, I don't bounce anymore!) I am also worried that I may deaden her sides if I continue to constantly bump her to keep her moving. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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When on the ground, give her a light smack, a little more than a tap, just behind where your leg would be. If that makes her move, carry the crop when you ride. Some horses behave better just knowing you have it. Rather than wear your legs out, turn your toes out a little, squeeze with your calf muscle, if she doesn't respond, give her a tap behind your leg. With consistent work she will figure out that by responding to your leg the tap won't happen. A horse can feel a fly so usually a tap is all it takes. She will see you move your hand and begin to know what it means and will pay better mind. Just don't tap her if you get the response you wanted.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 11:27 AM
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Location: Northern Illinois
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Saddlebags gave very sound advice. I would also like to add that when she moves, stop tapping. I have seen some riders (and I used to do this myself) who don't let off after the horse is in the correct pace. It's tempting to keep them going by constant kicking, but it only deadens them. What she needs is to not be able to win. Keep tapping/kicking until she goes but then immediately let up and relax. If she stops again repeat. Pressure and release is key here.

If you are going to use spurs or a crop, it is important to follow the above advice. Even those things a horse can ignore if they are used improperly, or overused. There is a horse at my barn that some riders can't even get to trot, and some of them literally beat him with a crop just to get him to walk. I however, have earned his respect by the above method and he canters off a slight click from me and a gentle squeeze from my calf. It is definitely possible to get a slow horse moving.

Good luck!!

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-01-2011, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Is this something new for your mare? It sounds like she normally was an average or more forward mare and now she is slow. It could mean she needs a break from work. She might like trail riding.

It could also mean she's hurting somewhere. She might have a sore back which is why she is not wanting to move forward. It could be one of her legs or she could be hormonal. Hope this helps.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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Thanks for the advice, will give the crop a try first, (from the ground). She has always been a lazy horse, but never this bad, on trail rides she hates being in the back and will walk fast until she is in front and then slow way down. Once I get her moving at the pace I want her to I do stop bumping her sides, (gives my poor legs a break too) but it doesn't take long and she is slowing down again.

She pretty much had a good month off as I was too busy helping my daughter plan and prepare for her wedding, and now that I have time again and am back to riding she is like, "are you crazy? I want the rest of the summer off too!" I do want to take her on a trail ride, waiting for the neighbor to have time, as I am alone and am not ready to take her out of the arena by myself. (that little scared monster again) I have been working on my confidence and getting her to keep her attention on me rather then everything around us.

When I first got her, I was very very timid, which she picked up on, and she pretty much spooked at everything. I now realize its because I wasn't paying attention to her but to everything around us and thinking to myself, oh crap, hold on she might spook at that, and of course she did. She never bolted or anything, she just stops and locks up with her head very high, tensed up ready to bolt, and then I would say, ok getting off before I am thrown off. I now realize it was my fault and have been riding more as an active rider rather then reactive. If she stops paying attention to me and looks at something else in the distance, I do in place things, like disengaging her haunches, flexation exercises, and rollbacks to name a few. When she is paying attention to me again, then we move on. This is giving me more confidence in riding her as I can prove to myself that I can get her to listen to me and do what I ask. Thanks for the advice, and keep it coming!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Desert Hill's , AZ
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One of my mare's tends to be on the lazy side, she's a AQHA, anyway....nothing really mattered, sure she would respond to a crop, spurs..but in the long run, she needed Chiro work done and now she is much better and we are both happier and I'm not pooped from riding her ;) Maybe you have a shot at a Chiro ?...

Rowdy Girl is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 09-02-2011, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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I never associated her laziness with needing a chrio, but... her shoulder does click when she is walking, so maybe something is out. I am not sure there is one in my area, but I will check and see what I can do. Its worth a shot.
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