Lets see who can solve these problems
 
 

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Lets see who can solve these problems

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        01-31-2007, 10:56 AM
      #1
    JC
    Foal
    Lets see who can solve these problems

    Hi board: here's some problems for you to try to solve I know I sure can't at this point. I bought a draft/quarter horse (I think) 14.2 hh from a local riding stables who was going out of business. He had never been out on the trail alone only in a long line of horse just walking every day for about 12 years. I did not realize that this was going to cause problems when I bought him, he seemed so gentle and sweet. When I got him home and after about a couple of weeks letting him adjust to my other horse and place I started to ride him. Okay so I am riding him alone out on the trail, I did walk him with other horses on the trail to familiarize him with the trail several times before going out alone. He is very spooky at everything and then he bolted on me and I couldnt stop him. This scared me to death as I have never had a horse do this. I jumped off of him and led him home, a long walk. I ordered Clinton Anderson videos about learning the one rein stop and I have presently ordered every video he has on training on the ground and riding with confidence videos.

    This horse has a very thick neck and I can't get him to flex around to learn the one rein stop. He pulls his head out of my control every time. I have worked him for an hour and a half in the round pen doing all the ground exercises for controlling the feet, basically he will not turn in to me and latch on. Once he did turn in to me but when I approached to rub him and ask him to follow me he runs away every single time consistently. I have never seen a horse do this. He has a bad attitude and just does not want to latch on to me. I don't have any idea how to fix this problem. I have tried to teach him to back up on the ground and he stands there and wont move no matter how much energy I am projecting to get him to move. I wiggle the rope and use a light crop to tap him on the chest to get him to move, he just looks at me. I am worn out from trying to teach him and I don't know what else to do. I have tried working him in my pasture working on serpentine exercises for head flexion and control or simple go, stop cues and he stops and refuses to go, he jerks his head out of my control, I am not strong enough to get his head around he just jerks his head out of my control, he is very strong and built like a tank. The last time I went out on a trail ride with a friend, she was ahead of me and took off trotting and he broke into a dead gallop and I could not get his head around to one rein stop him. Okay so I don't know what to do wtih this horse. Do any of you have any suggestions?
         
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        01-31-2007, 12:46 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    This isn't an answer really, and there isn't a simple solution to this problem, but: Do you have a professional trainer?
    In no way am I trying to be snide, but videos do not substitute for a trainer. I only say this out of concern for your safety.
    I could be way off, but I assume you are a some what beginner or intermediate rider from just recently learning one rein stops (Which is fine!) I personally don't think this is a problem you should tackle on just your own.

    But, just to comment. You did say your horse had done something daily for 12 years. This horse has been stripped of all comfort when riding. Horses adjust to things very poorly and do not do well with change. I believe the majority of your behavioral problems are from stress, MAJOR life change, and little response to you as a leader.
         
        01-31-2007, 01:05 PM
      #3
    JC
    Foal
    I have had him over a year now. I have spent loads of time with him easing his transion. I am aware of the huge change in his life and I thought a year of gradual training and also he has a companion horse that he loves too so he really doesnt seem traumatized at this point. I think he has an attitude that I cannot seem to encourage him to change. As for the one rein stop, well I rode english for years and I didnt do that and plus I have been riding for 30+ years so I am not a novice rider. I have never seen a horse like this in all my years of riding and owning horses. As for trainers they are way too expensive where I live and plus I don't like some of their training methods. This horse is just plain stubborn. I am very compassionate to any changes animals go through. We have rescued animals of all kinds at our farm so I was well aware that he was going to feel upset and I have done my best to make him comfortable and ease him into riding on the trail but he's not emotionally freaked out, in fact he just sighs and blinks at me and walks all over me. He has quite the attitude. He loves my other horse and it seems to me that after all the years of him toting hundreds and hundreds of strangers on his back, maybe he just isnt interested in bonding with a human. I think the Clinton Anderson videos will be helpful, and they were recommended by all the trainers in my area. I don't have $500 to pay a trainer to come help me.
         
        01-31-2007, 08:38 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    Quote:
    This horse has a very thick neck and I can't get him to flex around to learn the one rein stop. He pulls his head out of my control every time. I have worked him for an hour and a half in the round pen doing all the ground exercises for controlling the feet, basically he will not turn in to me and latch on. Once he did turn in to me but when I approached to rub him and ask him to follow me he runs away every single time consistently. I have never seen a horse do this. He has a bad attitude and just does not want to latch on to me. I don't have any idea how to fix this problem. I have tried to teach him to back up on the ground and he stands there and wont move no matter how much energy I am projecting to get him to move. I wiggle the rope and use a light crop to tap him on the chest to get him to move, he just looks at me. I am worn out from trying to teach him and I don't know what else to do. I have tried working him in my pasture working on serpentine exercises for head flexion and control or simple go, stop cues and he stops and refuses to go, he jerks his head out of my control, I am not strong enough to get his head around he just jerks his head out of my control, he is very strong and built like a tank. The last time I went out on a trail ride with a friend, she was ahead of me and took off trotting and he broke into a dead gallop and I could not get his head around to one rein stop him. Okay so I don't know what to do wtih this horse. Do any of you have any suggestions?
    Wow! Sounded like in the second post you were giving up...DON'T EVER GIVE UP!!! That's advice Number 1.

    As for the 1 rein stop I don't think you need to "train" him to do this, as long as he turns his head when you pull, and when he is off at a full gallop, PULL HARD! As for latching on you may be taking the wrong approach, you should let the horse come to you, don't go up to your horse....wait for him to have his head down and licking his lips then back up to the end of the round pen and see if he stops...if he turns to you that's good...wait a couple minutes and then send him off again....A horse always has a way that can work for him...sometimes its just not a certain trainer...Maybe it would be a good idea to try some other trainers....as for backing up don't ever be afraid that you are hitting to hard...If your hitting to hard the horse would run obviously show he is in pain...Also you said he walked on the trails for 12 years...Sometimes they don't understand anything besides walking.....
         
        01-31-2007, 09:13 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Re: Lets see who can solve these problems

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JC
    I have worked him for an hour and a half in the round pen doing all the ground exercises for controlling the feet, basically he will not turn in to me and latch on. Once he did turn in to me but when I approached to rub him and ask him to follow me he runs away every single time consistently. I have never seen a horse do this.
    no expert here, by any means, and i'm having my own problems, but....

    I saw my friend go up to her horse one day. The horse turned away from her and ran. So she started running at the horse waving her arms at her. After a couple times of this, the horse came up to her willingly, and allowed her to put the halter/lead on.

    I thought she was crazy!!!!

    Then I tried it one day with my horse when she did the same thing. It seems to really work. I don't know what they call this, or if there is even a name for it. But, by golly it works. Now, anytime tj goes away from me, I just wave her away and she comes right back.

    Worth a try..........
         
        01-31-2007, 09:53 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    It is called join up which is alot like latching on...
         
        02-01-2007, 09:30 AM
      #7
    Foal
    I'll Tell you about my own first horse, she was a lot like this. I was new to owning horses, didn't have the money for the trainers around here, was desperate to get her to come around....put a full year into her.
    She was a litle pinto mare I had named Autumn. She was in a terrible home, well fed, but not much care after that was given to her. I honestly thought I'd be doing her a favor getting her out of there. She did ride, but her manners needed work. So I bought her, more out of heart. My first attempt at riding her nearly got me thrown....she reared. Next attempt, she rode out, went towards the field, then threw me off and also fell over. I started lunging her with a saddle on for short periods. I finally was able to ride her, but she wouldn't go far from home. If I got her too far into the field, she'd stop moving completely....just put her feet down and not budge. A kick, crop, spank on the rear, would just make her buck you off. She had a terrible temper and very stubborn. She wanted to stay in her paddock and the only good thing a human was for was to bring hay, grain, and apples. After a year of working with her, lunging, riding, walking her everywhere, there was little difference in her....she grew more and more convinced that she didn't like work. I was never hard on her, never yelled at her, only spanked her behind when I had to really get her moving, never forced her into a bad situation that made her feel threatened. I rewarded her for good behavior when she had it. Then there would be a day or two when she'd ride out nicely, then I thought we had gotten somewhere.....only for her to suddenly decide to turn on me and run back home out of control, no matter how hard I made her stop. I also practiced the one rein stop, she hated bending her neck like that....but in one scary run, I forced a stop on her using it, and it worked. She was so out of control, we were both going to get hurt if I didn't do something quick....or jump off.
    So, in my case, after a year of a broken heart because my very first horse was sooooo bad, I sold her to someone who wanted a pasture mate....because ultimately, that was the life that Autumn wanted. I kissed her goodbye, gave her no ill feelings and set her free to a new home. (that is not what everyone wants to do, or can do, I am in no way urging you to do that....but there is also nothing wrong in knowing you have a bad match you're dealing with too). I have not regretted it since. I now have Ella who is the perfect match for me. I have no more problems. Ella is a different story, but I wanted to tell you this so that you know there are similar stories out there. They can all have a happy ending, whether it's what you are picturing now, or not. Just be truthful with yourself. Is this horse changing? Do you see this horse coming around at all? Do you see a future that you want with this horse happening? If yes, keep going, keep working....if not, you may need to try something else, whether it's save your money and get that trainer....or let this horse live in your pasture, or find it someone else. None of these choices are bad, you just need to find what will work for you the best.
    I wish you a ton of luck. I know a horse like this is difficult, it's frustrating, and heart breaking....and no one else knows what you are going through emotionally. You need to make the decision yourself on what you're going to do next. You have lots of options. I hope this encourages you, and lets you know you're not alone.
         
        02-01-2007, 09:59 AM
      #8
    Yearling
    Way to go!!!
         
        02-01-2007, 05:36 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    Just thought id say my problem as it is similar to your, I have a highland pony and he's always leans on his left side and when I trot him along the road he seems to drift gradually from left to right no matter how your hold your reins (not that I changed them anyway)... and when he goes in his outline its more like head between your front legs and tank off with you is there anything I can do with him to make him to stop leaning and from putting his head between his knees and going!?
         
        02-04-2007, 05:43 AM
      #10
    Foal
    Response to JC

    Hi JC: I know you probably love to trail ride, but this is not a horse I would take out on the trail until you fix a few problems in an enclosed space.
    The horse's age and breeding gives him the stiff, power-neck. He's stiff because he hasn't been working, so it's like trying to bend a 2x4. Take it in baby steps. Little by little each day. You can teach him to bend his neck from the ground or the saddle. Anderson has some great techniques for this, and Parelli teaches people to ask the horse to "sniff his tail". Treats are a good incentive too. This is tough work for a 12 year old draft-type. He's not as pliable as younger and more streamline horses, so be patient. Work on getting him more supple on both sides.
    Once he is sufficiently able to bend, teach him the one-rein stop. Be consistent about teaching this at the walk, trot and canter. It's very easy to pull a horse over with this technique, if you haven't worked on it to the point that your horse bends with the slightest suggestion of pressure.
    Curt Pate has introduced the "cavalry stop" in the 2007, Jan. Edition of Western Horseman magazine. It's a good alternative for people to use when the one-rein stop may be too unsafe. I have been learning it myself on a group of polo horses. It's okay for slowing them down; but not quite stop-worthy. I like to have a big bag of tricks to work from, and lots of safe alternatives to choose from.
    My other suggestion is that you view some dvd's and attend some ground school clinics. I feel like I'm pitching for this company, but I think it's a great service: YourHorseMatters.com has a dvd rental service and they carry all the series from the big clinicians. The price is right compared to buying.
    Your big guy is scared. Be slow, be patient, and spend 2/3 of your time petting, and only 1/3 of your time asking him to do stuff (I call this "slow and dumb" time). Rub and love on him as if you were going to touch his heart. He needs to feel secure right now. Once he gets his security need met by you, he will offer his obedience. I really don't recommend going after this guy with a training stick or whip - it's only going to make him more frightened. Clinton Anderson is great, but his techniques are really designed for younger horses. When clinicians do demos with other people's horses, they generally have around a 10 yo age limit. By the time a horse is 10-13, he's pretty set in his ways, so re-training becomes a much, much slower process.
    You sound like you're a good match for this guy. Best wishes to you and your horse.
         

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