My 14hh kai mare is a lovely pony and has the most amazing jump but her problem is that she just wont go forward , she has a very nice canter very flowing and a nice trot but the amount of encouraging you have to do to get it is ridiculous, and you have to have a whip or spurs to get her going if you don't she goes no-where at all . . .
I do mainly showjumping and I have the whole of winter to get her going , because I won't showjump her untill she has a nice strong canter with lots of impulsion but at the moment it is very weak and when I jump her she doesnt have the impulsion to clear the jump and gets very deep once she gets going after a riduculous amount of encouraging she has lovely jump and a very nice show hunter style but its getting their and getting quicker off the leg. .
Does anyone else have similar problem and if so what have you done to get your horse more forward and going without silly amounts of encouraging ??
Any help appreciated
You said she wasn't responsive to whips, so I'm not sure if this will work, but it does for every horse I've ever ridden. What you do it get one rein (Or your lead rope if not riding with splits) and swing it side to side, hitting her right behind your foot everytime. If isn't suppose to hurt, it mostly scares them fowards. Beware of bolting.
Once you get her moving forward, make sure you ask her to stop before she stops herself. That way, she learns that you dictate the pit stops and will go longer and longer spans between asking or braking. The trick is to push her to the limit of her forward motion without her braking before you stop. If she will only move 5 strides, stop her after 4, take a few strides to regroup, and try for one stride more.
As to getting her going, my mantra (as quoted from Clinton Anderson) is "squeeze, cluck, spank." Squeeze with the amount of pressure you eventually want your mare to work off of. If she doesnt respond, continue squeezing with the same amount of pressure, cuing her vocally in whatever way works best, whether a cluck, "walk on", or whatever. If she still doesn't respond, spank as Brighteyes described, increasing the pressure with each spank until your mare moves off. She will begin to understand that after each cue, her life will be a little harder until she moves off. Over time, you will only need to gently squeeze. See CA's training material and others for more complete instructions. I think there's a good bit on Youtube.
I'm training a couple of 3 year olds at the moment. One of them was very difficult to move forward. I did the Clinton Anderson "squeeze cluck spank" thing with her as well. It works really well, just remember to remove the pressure the instant she moves forward.
Also be sure you aren't in her mouth. Its easy to be to heavy into her mouth so that you are giving a mixed signal. Your saying stop with the reins and go with your legs and seat. Be sure you are asking with a loose rein.
Good luck, My girl is now going forward well with no more than some leg and an occasional tap on my leg or her butt with my hand.
You could try s dressage whip to back up your leg. To those horses who are unresponsive to a crop are better with this. And it is more effective as it is also used right behind your leg and reinforces what your leg asks. It is quicker than a crop as well since you don't need to take your hand off the rein to reach back. I hope this helps! Good luck!
Ok so I've trained many horses with this laziness problem and I know is can really drive you bonkers.
First ask them to go into whatever stride you want, walk, trot,canter. Just squeeze with your legs, no kicking or whipping.
Second if they don't go on that first command which by the sounds of it your pony isnt, then give them one really big kick, im talking massive. This teaches the horse to go off that soft impulsion first. No horse really likes to be kicked.
Then what I do is make them do a whole circle in that gait, you may really need to push but it will be worth it. Then slow them down to a walk or a trot, then ask them again with just a leg squeeze, again if they don't go give them a really big kick. Its only taken my horses a couple of times to work it out lol
Once your in the desired gait, and they break into a walk from a trot or a trot from a canter try to avoid forcing them straight back into the gait. Slow them back down into a walk or a trot and make them do it properly, not rushed. This will teach your pony that everything has be done how you want and at the pace that you want, this will also eventually stop them braking gait all the time.
I hope this all helps if you got any questions don't hesitate to ask
Thanks for all the help will try a couple of theese suggestions,
Was at a bit of wits end because I've always had extremly forward horses that I can relax and calm , and the slow lazy horse I've had have nevr been as bad as her she drives me crazy!
She was alot bettr today , but still abit slow, she has a very sof mouth so until I can her forward im satying off it as much as I can and only touching it lightly,
I have found today that a dressage whip is a bit more responsive thn a normal whip but not very much, I do have to wear spurs with her other wise you have no hope at all, no amounts of kicking, booting, massive kicks, clucking or hitting with a whip will move her if I don't have spurs , (half an hour to get a trot!) , am hoping to be able to get her responsive enough to get her off my leg without thm,
Have had suggested to me , (as she is very good on the ground and responsive, ) to start again, and tech her that when I ask to walk on or trot on or watevr that she knows what I mean by having another person on the ground and when I ask the other person leads her on maing her walk, if you understand what I mean , do you think this would work,
Out on treks she goes realli forward and jigs sideways ready to go chomping at her bit , but I don't want to hold her back or have to constantly nag her for a quiet walk whens she's so eager and ready to go , is their anyway I can have her at walk without constantly nagging or holding her to a walk, she's happy to when she starts jigging to trot for a couple of strides then come back to walk but she will then only walk for a couple of strides before jigging again, but this only evr happens on treks is their anyway I can convert all this energyinto schooling?
If that is the case, she's only being a snot in the school because she doesn't want to work. I find a lot of horses like that, they can dance and jig for four miles and yet ask them to work nicely in a ring, and they go "Meh, this is boring, you work."
In this case, I'd say the "ask, tell, demand" method would be to your benefit. I know you ride English, but consider taking some Western reins with big loud poppers on the ends. Ride as you normally do, but when asking for the trot, escalate your cues. Ask her properly, tell her more forcefully, and then demand it with a few good smacks with your reins, as suggested above on either side of your leg.
It will probably mean you have to leave out traditional schooling for a few days, just work on making her understand that either way, she IS trotting/cantering, so she can do it the easy way or the hard way. Most horses pick it up pretty fast IMO.
Or, another method I've used, is get someone to lunge her with you riding. That way, when you ask for your gaits and she doesn't want to listen, you have someone on the ground to back up your cue with a lunge whip getting popped under her tail, and you can still concentrate on getting her to move out properly.
You need to do lots of transitions halt, walk, trot, canter in any order even if you just do a few strides out of each you need to be continually moving forward, continually asking for a change of pace this should wake your horse up and get him listening to you. Don't forget to include variety in your work - hacking, schooling, jumping if you want to.