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My mare is being stubborn!

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  • Stubborn slow horse
  • Stubborn mare season

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    02-02-2012, 02:45 PM
  #11
Weanling
If you have eliminated pain of any kind as an issue, then I think what Sky is saying is worth a shot. If it is a balance issue you guys will fall into a rhythm eventually (if she's going too fast circle her a lot and even do serpentines up the wall, this will slow her down) and if you just keep on trotting her until she goes the pace you want and then once she slows to the speed you would like and holds it for a respactable length of time, praise her and end the session. Horses are by nature minimalists, so if you show her that there is a reward for not running through your hands and listening to you she will get it fairly quickly and eventually it will become habit to listen. If my mare doesn't want to stand still, or if she is running through my hands, I push her and work her harder then when mentally and physically. Then when I feel she is responding I ask her to go stand still again, or slow down to the speed I want and if she does I maintain and praise her with my hands and legs being off her. If she doesn't I immediately work her harder again until she gets the message.

That being said make sure that you legs are not tense, if any part of you is tense she is likely sensitive and taking your tension as a sign for go faster. 9 times out of 10 the rider is telling the horse to do what they are doing and we don't even know it. :)
     
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    02-02-2012, 02:50 PM
  #12
Showing
Honestly, OP.. I would start posting on her until she slows down, and then sit down and move with her. And make sure you ask for the trot when she's relaxed and forward moving, not lazy and zoning out (there's a big difference.)

What's her history.. only bareback riding? Have you (or someone) checked her back? My horse used to trot 90mph (an exaggeration but it was very fast) and he didn't feel safe with someone on his back so we posted for a loooong time.. over 5 months. Then slowly I started to sit a little as he began to relax.

Now I ride English, but the basics are the same. Your horse needs to know that she's allowed to relax and needs to know that trotting comes at different paces. There's slow, moderate, and working. Could you get some kind of a video of the trotting?

Does your horse know relaxing cues? Like stroking the neck, scratching the wither, a word? I've taught my horse those cues and "it's okay!" as a cue that all is well and he can relax.

Does your horse know how to lower her head on the ground for bridling, clipping, just because ?

When you say she puts her head up first can you describe it?

Or is it like this:

1: http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._1126182_n.jpg

2: http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._1834821_n.jpg

3: http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...08147018_n.jpg
     
    02-02-2012, 02:52 PM
  #13
Foal
Once you rule out any soundness and tack issues, start looking at work ethic. Her rushing the trot could be a just hurry this up and get it over with. Her refusing to move, again, eliminating soundness, sounds like 'tude.

If she'll move off your leg at all, try bending her at the trot. Use the forward momentum to your advantage..it's harder for them to have to bend than just forward, plus, she'll have to use her brain. Another indicator of where or what's going on in her mind. Just don't over do it, and make sure to work both sides. One side will be stiffer than the other.

I agree with making her trot some more when you feel her slowing down after all that rushing around. Again, moderation.

I also like whoever said to post..it'll keep you from having too much of a driving forward seat. Sitting too deep in the saddle could be encouraging her forward. As for pulling back on both reins, that's not something I'd advise. Try a half halt, use one rein..google it for a better explanation that I can give. Mix it all up, so she doesn't know what you're going to do to re-engage her mind.

As for the stopping and refusing to move forward..arrgg, I hate that! Again, you can use the sidepass, anything lateral..just don't over use it..Oh!! How about the bit?? Proper fit? Is she fighting it or liking it? You may need to resort to some blunt english style spurs and a short crop for the forward, to get her to move. It can also be a good aid in teaching sideways. I'm NO instructor...just suggestions...
     
    02-02-2012, 09:59 PM
  #14
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Well, this is going to sound counter productive but keep trotting her. Trot trot trot, and don't walk until she starts to relax. If you keep pulling her into a walk, she may keep trotting like that.

Put down a few poles to trot over (spaced out really far) and do lots of figures that don't have a pattern whatso ever. I mean circle, then do a figure eight, then a serpentine pattern, then switch directions, then figure eight, then do 4 circles in the corners, then a half circle to reverse, then more serpentines, etc. Keep her guessing, just make sure you are using your body to ride and turn, not your hands.

If you post, (which I recommend) work on putting more weight down and slowing your posting speed, that will help her out. If you're sitting it, it's easier to get left behind, give mixed signals, or whatnot when the horse is just kind of going instead of listening.

Which style do you ride? What is she doing when you trot her? Is her head up, is it down, is she leaning on you, is she plowing around like a tractor? Is she light on her feet and breathing in short shallow breaths?


I second this. She's probably unbalanced and these exercises will help that. When she is defiant don't give in, it sounds like she doesnt respect you undersaddle and has anxiety (the anxiety should go away with time and when she knows she can trust you). Talk to her when she's nervous and praise her when she's good. When she gets more balanced and respects you, and learns to relax, it should be a lot better. Practice and stay consistant, it takes time!
     
    02-03-2012, 08:26 AM
  #15
Foal
Hey,
I have heard a lot of good ideas and ways to fix, but it is fairly hard to read a problem without actually seeing the horse. Maybe post a video on youtube or get someone to take some pics. That's just an idea...
But if it was me, assessing the situation, first I would check that she isnt sore anywhere, like in the back etc. as that may be a reason. If not then I would next go with myself. How am I riding? What am I doing at the time?

The first thing is to make sure you are riding perfectly balanced and not interfeering with the horse. So maybe go rising trot and give a bit of rein just to test if he speeds up or maintains same pace.
If your not doing anything wrong and its still a problem, then look at the horses actions. You mention she drops her head in the trot and is relaxed, so it sounds like it is more a habbit than anything. As you mention she wasnt professionally trained or anything. So it could be what she's used to... maybe ask the previous owners. They might have a solution.
But I would say you need to get the aid to slow down and to stop trained better.
You can stop by either doing a circle to disengage the hind quarters and stop. Or you can do the pulling on the rein. I have found the circle works better for horses who don't understand how to slow down.
So just start at the walk. Practice turning a circle to disengage the hind quarters and make her stop. Then when she understands to stop when doing that, you can take it to the trot. The key here is to let her have the option to go faster, but you need to just explain to her that you want her to travel slower... So let her trot, you rise the pace you want to go... if she speeds up do the circle and just have her stop and let her think. Bring her to a stop the first few times so she starts understanding the circle to slow down and stop. Then eventually your goal is to just trot on say a 20m - 30m circle freely long rein and have her balanced, but if she decides to race off again then all you need to do is make the circle smaller until it clicks in her head to slow down, and once she's back to the pace you want, you or even just a bit slower, you let her float back out onto the big circle freely.

But yer the key to teaching a horse to go slow is through giving them the option to go faster... so yer maybe have a play with that. Just get her understanding stop first. Then get her understanding it in the trot. Then all you need to do is half that. And keep doing it everytime she speeds up...
This principle works also for the pulling to stop. However it is not as clear to the horse as disengaging the hind quarters... haha
Sorry for the long reply.. haha. But I hope that makes sense and helps!! Lol
     
    02-03-2012, 09:50 AM
  #16
Weanling
You know, it could also be that she isn't desensitized to the leg. Do a lot of leg work with her, bends, push her into the bit, back her up with your legs, if she isn't listening to her leg give her a bit of a kick.

I wasn't using a lot of leg on my mare when I was breaking her and when I would, or when my trainer would get on and put leg on her she would sort of run away from it, scoot forward, or just go faster in general.

Work her off the leg a lot and see if that helps.
     

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aids, refuse, slow, stubborn, trot

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