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My horse will NOT stop!

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  • When flexing my horse he spins

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    03-21-2012, 03:38 PM
  #21
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by themacpack    
So, did you ride him before purchase or not? If so, how was he during that test ride?

-Yes I rode him he was good at a test ride.
     
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    03-21-2012, 03:59 PM
  #22
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmesquivel    
I'm sure you've all seen this post or something similar to it on here. But here it is again. I bought a TWH about 10 days ago. He is 18 years old. He is very calm and gentle on ground. But when you get on him he goes crazy and just tries to keep running and running and running and it's hard to stop him. He is gaited and I can't keep him in his running walk either. He uses a slow twisted snaffle type bit and I ride him english. Any suggestions on how to 1. Stop him and 2. Keep him in his gait. Thanks!
This is what I origanally wrote I wanted to keep it short and sweet but so many of you wanted more info. And it was probably my fualt for not giving it. Ok, I bought this horse he is a TWH he is 17 hands and 18 yrs old he is not a youngster. He was great when I test rode him at his home. I've had him for 10 days. The people I bought him from used a grazing bit and when I rode them they said they just recently changed him to a hackamore. That's what I rode him in. He also was not ridden consitantly for many months due to them having 20 horses. He is gaited he does pace sometimes but usually he has a fantastic rack and running walk. He was ridden western and I know ride him english. I think there may be some ill fitting tack and I'm kind of afraid to switch him to a hackamore and ride him bare back due to ill fitting tack. Because he has a problem stopping. I'm not sure if that would make the issue better or worse because he would be more comfortable. When I ask for a one rein stop he just simply moves his whole body and spins like a maniac 100 mph! It is hard to hold on sometimes. When I give him slack on the reins he takes a mile running freelly and out of control when I take up the slack and ask him to slow down he starts side passing and throwing his head. I did ask a vet and she said he had a few sharp teeth in back so I am not sure how much that has to do with him NOT stopping. He is scheduled for teeth in 2 weeks but I still think he should listen to me. He also when I first bought him stood still to mount but just recently he has started moving away so I assume somekind of discomfort is there. He also chomps on the twisted bit I use I don't know why he does that either. I know he is a good horse he is amazing on the ground just in the saddle I don't know what happens to him. Thanks again to every one who is so nice to try and help.
     
    03-21-2012, 04:24 PM
  #23
Showing
The twisted bit may be causing pain and horses will move in to pain rather than away from it. (kind of a suicidal tendency).
     
    03-21-2012, 04:28 PM
  #24
Yearling
A couple of red flags here. He was ridden and you did your test ride on him in a hackamore and then swapped to a slow twist (assuming a snaffle here)???? I would say the bit is part of the problem..a slow twist may look relatively harmless when in fact it is a pretty string bit. If you could previously control him in a hackamore, a plain snaffle would probably be better. I just looked up a grazing bit and it has a straight bar with a low port. Maybe try a mullen mouth..this bit has the straight bar.

The sidepassing and head tossing when picking up contact is pretty indicative of a mouth problem somewhere so in that line, my thoughts here are probably teeth. The problem may resolve itself once he is floated but as others have said you also need to rule out a sore back and/or pinching and ill fitting saddle. If you don/t feel 100% comfortable riding him like this, take the time to do some groundwprk..lunging and retraining that way then try riding again once his teeth are done. Either that or see if you can borrow a hackamore for a couple of weeks. It could very well be the sellers knew he needed his teeth done and switched him to the hackamore to get him sold rather than picking up the cost of the float.

My boy was doing the same thing, he was moving around like a pogo stick and tossing his head so high he nearly clobbered me in the face a few times. A check by the tooth doc, a good floating and he was fine.
themacpack and PaintedShanty like this.
     
    03-21-2012, 04:36 PM
  #25
Green Broke
If you live close to the old owners I would ask if they would help you and offer to pay them.
     
    03-21-2012, 04:44 PM
  #26
Showing
The people I bought him from used a grazing bit and when I rode them they said they just recently changed him to a hackamore

Changing the bit on him so drastically from a grazing bit to a hack to a snaffle can play a big part in his responsiveness. Many horses are never ridden in a snaffle once they are moved up to a curb type and they will forget how to respond to one over time if they aren't ridden correctly or refreshed ever so often.

I think there may be some ill fitting tack

This can play a huge part in it as well. Can you have either a saddle fitter or someone much more experienced with recognizing well/ill fitting saddles come out and check your stuff over?

When I ask for a one rein stop he just simply moves his whole body and spins like a maniac 100 mph!

That tells me that he hasn't been ridden properly for much of his life. What I would do is start from the ground and work on some flexion exercises to try to loosen up his neck so that he will be willing to bend instead of just becoming a spinning board. Sometimes the flexion will come quickly and other times it will take a bit of time. I got a 12 year old horse a couple of years ago that sounds a lot like your guy. Very stiff, squishy brakes, no speed control. It didn't really take that long for him to re-learn what he should have already known.

I did ask a vet and she said he had a few sharp teeth in back so I am not sure how much that has to do with him NOT stopping

That can have a lot to do with him not stopping. If he feels pain whenever you pick up on the reins, then bracing and continuing to go may be his way of dealing with it. He could be so focused on the "ouch" of the bit that he can't feel the cues that it's giving.

He also when I first bought him stood still to mount but just recently he has started moving away so I assume some kind of discomfort is there

That could be caused by either a poorly fitting saddle or improper mounting. Do you use a mounting block? Are you balanced and quick when you mount? If the saddle is pinching him whenever you step on or you are unbalanced and really hang off the side and pull the saddle way off center, then that could be what is causing him to want to get away from that.

Another thing to consider is what you are doing immediately after you get on. Do you immediately ask him to move off or does he just start on his own and you let him keep going?

After you've dealt with any possible tack fit issues, then I would start working with him to make sure he stays standing until you decide you want him to move. Immediately after you get on, work on flexing him to each side at a standstill (after he is flexing from the ground, of course). If he walks off before you ask him to, back him up until he's soft and responsive in your hands, then let him stop and stand for a minute. Each time he moves off without your cue, then stop-back-sit again.

He also chomps on the twisted bit I use I don't know why he does that either

That tells me that either his teeth are really bothering him or that he is uncomfortable/unaccustomed to a snaffle or a twisted type bit. Chomping is not uncommon in a horse in his situation just because it feels completely different from what he's used to.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I would do is get his teeth taken care of first, which you already said will be happening in two weeks, so that's good. Perhaps in the meantime, you can have someone to check your tack and make sure that it's fitting well and not pinching him.

Do you have access to a small enclosed space like a roundpen or even a small sized paddock? I would want to work him in there until I felt I had more control over him before trying to take him out in the world. That would also be a good place to try out bareback with a halter for the first time because it would be difficult for him to really take off with you in such a small area. Do you also have someone that could maybe help you try it for the first time? They could put another lead on him and get him stopped if he decided to act silly and try to take you for a spin.

Do you know what the grazing bit that the previous owner rode him in looks like? Perhaps, if you could find a snaffle with a similar looking mouth, he would be more comfortable in it. However, I am wondering if perhaps the previous owner started riding him in the hack due to his issues with the bit. They probably didn't take the time to try to figure out what might be causing the problem so kudos for you trying to improve on something instead of just ignoring and avoiding it .

Personally, I would want to get him out of the twisted bit as quickly as possible, but you simply might not be able to for right now. After you've got him stopping well, I would advise you put him into a smooth bit of some sort. After the switch, you may have to re-school a bit more because it wouldn't have the same bite as the twisted, but the second re-schooling will go much easier if the first is done correctly.

Anyway, after you've ruled out pain issues, you'll need to start working on his training to get him responsive to the level you want. That is another place where a smaller pen would come in handy as most horses are less inclined to run if they realize there is nowhere to run to.

I would start at the walk, let him walk a few steps, then ask for the stop-first with your body (sit deep, perhaps put your feet just a bit forward at first), then with the bit. If he refuses to stop, then slowly increase the pressure on the bit until he does. The instant that his feet stop moving, release all pressure on his mouth and give him a good scratch on the neck. If he walks off before you are ready, do just like you would do when he walked off mounting and back him up a few steps until he's soft and repeat until he waits patiently for you to ask for "forward". Then, ask for the walk again and let him go a few steps before asking for the stop. Repeat this over and over and over.

It will take time and lots of repetition, but he will eventually be stopping whenever you shift your seat. Once he is consistently doing that, then you can move up to the next faster gait (on a stock horse I would say move up to the trot, but I'm unsure what the gaited equivalent is LOL). Once he is consistent and responsive at the faster gait, then you can move up to another faster gait.

Don't be afraid to do this on the trail either. I will often work my young horses in this fashion while going along a trail or on the way home. It helps to teach them cruise control and will reinforce the stop cue no matter which direction they are headed or what is going on around them.

After getting the stop down solid, then you can start working on his other issues under saddle like having to ride on a tight rein all the time.
     
    03-21-2012, 05:59 PM
  #27
Weanling
I was going to reply, but I think that smrobs just about covered everything!! It is so important when having problems with a horse to rule out pain first, sure they should listen and respect you, but that is going to be a very difficult thing to do for most horses if they are in pain. There are some though who do put up with it, it is sad. Good for you for trying to get to the bottom of the problem you are having. I think that if you take care of all the things that may be pain related and then go back to basics, re-school him and just take your time with him things should work out for you. And never be afraid to ask for help! Good luck with him.
     
    03-21-2012, 06:56 PM
  #28
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
The people I bought him from used a grazing bit and when I rode them they said they just recently changed him to a hackamore

Changing the bit on him so drastically from a grazing bit to a hack to a snaffle can play a big part in his responsiveness. Many horses are never ridden in a snaffle once they are moved up to a curb type and they will forget how to respond to one over time if they aren't ridden correctly or refreshed ever so often.

I think there may be some ill fitting tack

This can play a huge part in it as well. Can you have either a saddle fitter or someone much more experienced with recognizing well/ill fitting saddles come out and check your stuff over?

When I ask for a one rein stop he just simply moves his whole body and spins like a maniac 100 mph!

That tells me that he hasn't been ridden properly for much of his life. What I would do is start from the ground and work on some flexion exercises to try to loosen up his neck so that he will be willing to bend instead of just becoming a spinning board. Sometimes the flexion will come quickly and other times it will take a bit of time. I got a 12 year old horse a couple of years ago that sounds a lot like your guy. Very stiff, squishy brakes, no speed control. It didn't really take that long for him to re-learn what he should have already known.

I did ask a vet and she said he had a few sharp teeth in back so I am not sure how much that has to do with him NOT stopping

That can have a lot to do with him not stopping. If he feels pain whenever you pick up on the reins, then bracing and continuing to go may be his way of dealing with it. He could be so focused on the "ouch" of the bit that he can't feel the cues that it's giving.

He also when I first bought him stood still to mount but just recently he has started moving away so I assume some kind of discomfort is there

That could be caused by either a poorly fitting saddle or improper mounting. Do you use a mounting block? Are you balanced and quick when you mount? If the saddle is pinching him whenever you step on or you are unbalanced and really hang off the side and pull the saddle way off center, then that could be what is causing him to want to get away from that.

Another thing to consider is what you are doing immediately after you get on. Do you immediately ask him to move off or does he just start on his own and you let him keep going?

After you've dealt with any possible tack fit issues, then I would start working with him to make sure he stays standing until you decide you want him to move. Immediately after you get on, work on flexing him to each side at a standstill (after he is flexing from the ground, of course). If he walks off before you ask him to, back him up until he's soft and responsive in your hands, then let him stop and stand for a minute. Each time he moves off without your cue, then stop-back-sit again.

He also chomps on the twisted bit I use I don't know why he does that either

That tells me that either his teeth are really bothering him or that he is uncomfortable/unaccustomed to a snaffle or a twisted type bit. Chomping is not uncommon in a horse in his situation just because it feels completely different from what he's used to.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What I would do is get his teeth taken care of first, which you already said will be happening in two weeks, so that's good. Perhaps in the meantime, you can have someone to check your tack and make sure that it's fitting well and not pinching him.

Do you have access to a small enclosed space like a roundpen or even a small sized paddock? I would want to work him in there until I felt I had more control over him before trying to take him out in the world. That would also be a good place to try out bareback with a halter for the first time because it would be difficult for him to really take off with you in such a small area. Do you also have someone that could maybe help you try it for the first time? They could put another lead on him and get him stopped if he decided to act silly and try to take you for a spin.

Do you know what the grazing bit that the previous owner rode him in looks like? Perhaps, if you could find a snaffle with a similar looking mouth, he would be more comfortable in it. However, I am wondering if perhaps the previous owner started riding him in the hack due to his issues with the bit. They probably didn't take the time to try to figure out what might be causing the problem so kudos for you trying to improve on something instead of just ignoring and avoiding it .

Personally, I would want to get him out of the twisted bit as quickly as possible, but you simply might not be able to for right now. After you've got him stopping well, I would advise you put him into a smooth bit of some sort. After the switch, you may have to re-school a bit more because it wouldn't have the same bite as the twisted, but the second re-schooling will go much easier if the first is done correctly.

Anyway, after you've ruled out pain issues, you'll need to start working on his training to get him responsive to the level you want. That is another place where a smaller pen would come in handy as most horses are less inclined to run if they realize there is nowhere to run to.

I would start at the walk, let him walk a few steps, then ask for the stop-first with your body (sit deep, perhaps put your feet just a bit forward at first), then with the bit. If he refuses to stop, then slowly increase the pressure on the bit until he does. The instant that his feet stop moving, release all pressure on his mouth and give him a good scratch on the neck. If he walks off before you are ready, do just like you would do when he walked off mounting and back him up a few steps until he's soft and repeat until he waits patiently for you to ask for "forward". Then, ask for the walk again and let him go a few steps before asking for the stop. Repeat this over and over and over.

It will take time and lots of repetition, but he will eventually be stopping whenever you shift your seat. Once he is consistently doing that, then you can move up to the next faster gait (on a stock horse I would say move up to the trot, but I'm unsure what the gaited equivalent is LOL). Once he is consistent and responsive at the faster gait, then you can move up to another faster gait.

Don't be afraid to do this on the trail either. I will often work my young horses in this fashion while going along a trail or on the way home. It helps to teach them cruise control and will reinforce the stop cue no matter which direction they are headed or what is going on around them.

After getting the stop down solid, then you can start working on his other issues under saddle like having to ride on a tight rein all the time.

-thankyou so much for your help! I think you gave me some really insite to what is going on I can't tell you enough how much I appriciate it! I will try bareback with my hack tonight and see if anything changes I'll try in a round pen of course haha and yes I think now that I've talked to every one that the previous owners did know he needed that's why he was just "recently" changed to a hack. That is probably why they were willing to cut me a deal on him because they knew he needed this done. But anyways he willlhave teeth in 2 wks and if that is not working then I need to rethink what is wrong. Thanks again really super appriciate it!
     
    03-21-2012, 11:43 PM
  #29
Trained
I don't think there's anything more to say than has already been said now, except that after everyone has suggested starting on the ground & with the basics, you're still intending to just get on him, bareback in a hack & 'see how he goes'... your prerogative, but given info provided, I would again suggest you get things working properly on the ground before getting on board & testing it out.

Wanted to comment on the '1 rein stop' idea though.

Quote:
Don't use a one rein stop as it will put your horse off balance
&
Quote:
Originally Posted by candandy49    
As best as I can I'll try to describe the one-rein stop. As soon as the horse takes off at the canter/gallop take up the slack of your right rein and lay than hand/rein on the horse's mane/neck then with the left rein/hand pull your rein/hand to your chest. What will happen is that the horse has no option but to slow down and come to a halt. If your bit is a curb bit with jointed mouth you can pull her head to your knee and your horse will have no option but to circle and come to a stop.
Agree very much with the first quote above, if talking about the sort of practice advised in the second. But to me this is VERY NOT what it is about at all. It's not about forcing the horse or pulling him around. Candandy, perhaps you don't mean it that way, but what you describe is not even one rein - you describe holding the right rein short & bracing it before pulling on the left(to your chest??). Starting out learning/'teaching' it at a canter/gallop is a kamikaze attitude IMO. Having seen many examples of attempting to force stops in a variety of ways, depending on the horse, there is very much an 'option' for the horse to keep going, especially when they're reacting without thinking & bracing against pain. While I think bracing the right rein would make bending the horse's head to the right rather difficult anyway, attempting to pull the head of a galloping horse around is far from safe & likely where the attitude of the quote above yours comes from.

IMO a '1 rein stop' is a *conditioned* response that with repetition should become automatic to the horse *well before* you attempt to put it into practice in a trot, let alone a canter or gallop. It should require no force, only a gentle signal.
     
    03-22-2012, 12:43 AM
  #30
Foal
I will never understand why people would be terrified of being in a car with no breaks, but will still get on a horse that won't stop. ??? What's the point of owning a Ferrari if your going to crash and probably die if you drive it? (Perspective is an incredible thing!)

Please go back to the ground and teach this horse to flex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmesquivel    
-Here is the problem with flexing when I flex him he moves his whole body and starts spinning even on the ground when I try. I don't know how to get this out of him. I think maybe he was a reining horse or something he spins like a thousand miles an hour and I ride english sometimes its hard to hold on. Even on the one rein stop.
I just want to add this is a very natural reaction in the beginning. Horses make mistakes when they are learning (just like ppl) it is our job to stick with it until they find the correct answer. We can certainly make it easier if we prepare them and set them up for success.

Start on the ground with just a halter (rope halter if you have one) and lead.

Goal:You should be able to get the horse to flex to both sides by picking up on the lead with two fingers. The horse's nose should be able to touch his belly where the girth would normally be.

Teaching: 1 Lay the lead over the horses back so you don't get tangled in it.
2 Stan even with the horse's flank, with your belly facing the horse. The further back and closer to the horse you are the safer you are, when you tip his nose toward you his hindquarters will move away. If/ when he spins he is more likely to step on you with a front foot.
3 Hold both hands together on the lead, then separate your arms, sliding the hand closest to the horses head down to about one ft from the snap.
4 (same hand) Pick up on the lead rope and pull it up to the horses withers. Glue your hand where the horse's withers meet the back. He will pull and try to walk in a circle or back up. Just stay with him where ever he goes.
5 Wait for the horses feet to stop and for him to soften his head and neck toward his belly. Creating a little slack in the lead.
Must do both! 1 stop moving his feet 2 put slack in the lead

Initially look for even a tiny bit of give, and then gradually build on it. Release that rope like its burning you. The timing of your release is the important part. Create slack in the rope.

6 Let him rest 5 or 6 seconds before asking again.

7 Repeat the steps above asking the horse to give a little more each time. Eventually, you want him to touch his belly where the girth would be. If he is really stiff though he may not be able to touch his belly the first day. That's okay. Remember to find a starting point and build on it.

8 What you do on one side you must do on the other. Just because he got it on his right side doesn't mean he with understand what you want on the left. Lefty hasn't learned this yet. So go back to the beginning and find a starting point.

I would spend a few days just working on this before I moved on. You want him to be soft and to fully understand. Practice it every time you halter your horse. Right after you first put it on and right before you let him go. The next step after this would be with the bridle. Still on the ground.
Check out the thread turning and stopping questions I put a video of flexing with the bridle and under saddle on there. She had pretty much the same problem.

I hope this helps. I know you are getting a lot of different information thrown at you. Whatever you decided to do be safe and prepare the horse the best you can on the ground first. It makes it so much easier for them to understand and way less scary and frustrating for you.

Good Luck! Please keep us updated on your progress.
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