At my wits end....been through 3 horse trainers :( - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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At my wits end....been through 3 horse trainers :(

I'm so sad. My TB Duke has been with 3 different trainers and nobody can get a handle on him. I don't know what to do. He knows all of the lunging, sending excersizes, backing, changes of direction but as soon as you put a saddle on him or get on his back he freezes up, rears or bucks. Mostly bucks. Just will not go forward. My most recent trainer, who can ride anything got bucked off last week. The chiropractor has seen him and he has had small adjustments. He is not in pain. I don't know what to do. I can't find a trainer that I can afford that can fix this. IF I lunge him first for about 15 minutes, he somewhat calms and will go forward and stops the bucking, but is still nervous. So it has come to this, that I have to lunge first before she can even get on him safely. Has anyone had a horse that MUST be lunged before riding all the time? Sorry if this post was scatterbrained, i'm just beside myself.
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post #2 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:25 AM
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Has he always been like this?

And yes, my horse used to be the same sort of horse until we found ways to work with him on it. Now we don't lunge before we ride.

Has he ever been ground driven?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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He is a OTTB. He was hot when I got him, and bony and thin, I had to save him from his situation. After getting him built up, I knew he was too much for me so he went to a trainer. He liked his speed, and was running him to much. Duke started bucking when you put the saddle on, but not on his back. I took him away from that trainer because I wanted him calmed, not ran. Next trainer did a lot of natural horsmanship groundwork with him for a long while, but then when he started putting the saddle on him and he started bucking like crazy, he didn't want to get on him. This last trainer is a wonderful accomplished horse woman. She got right on him and while he was hot, we went on a few trail rides, but he started after a few rides bolting, then not going forward and bucking...and now we are here.....
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post #4 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BBloves View Post
This last trainer is a wonderful accomplished horse woman. She got right on him and while he was hot, we went on a few trail rides, but he started after a few rides bolting, then not going forward and bucking...and now we are here.....
I feel this part is most important, since it's recent.

I ride a mare (not my horse) that will go full out, or suck back (no going forward) and bucks. Recently she was having saddle fit issues, and I'm having issues riding her forward properly. She's being intolerant of my mistakes or bad timing.

My own personal horse, used to be a bolter, a spooker, an avoider. He never bucked but he ran from all of his "problems"

Now how I deal with the first mare is push her MORE forward when she sucks back and tries to buck. As soon as she quits, she gets a release but we KEEP going forward.

If she goes fast, I channel that energy into large circles or loops, instead of fighting her.

For my own horse, I just kept up with him. If he got silly with spooking, I rode him into small 10m circles spiraling down until he got himself under control.

A lot of trainers just want to proceed in an A B C kind of fashion. Some problem horses, well... MOST, cannot cope with that. They need slightly different approaches.

I feel this last trainer may be one to hang onto and work more with. It'll be an ugly process before you get a nice horse.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:41 AM
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this is the kind of situation where people turn to alternatives and natural horsemanship such as Parelli and Quantum Savvy. you need to get on the ground and establish a good relationship, learn patience. accept this horse is so worried about riders that he cannot accept them right now
work towards helping him accept you on his back. he doesn't need a trainer.. he needs you.

i am fed up with the speed and the greed of the world around me but i have not found nor can i offer a cure
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post #6 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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We thought it was the western saddle he was hating, so we switched to the english and while he doesn't buck any longer when you first put on the saddle, he is still freezing up. She can hardly push him forward either with leg cues or touching him with the crop...it makes him get really dangerous where he will either threaten to rear or buck in tight circles. After this last time when she finally got bucked off (usually she can ride it out) I let her get her bearings and I lunged him for about 10 minutes. She got on, he moved forward perfectly and we went on a trail ride. And although he was hot on the trailride, and mouthy and nervous, the bucking stopped. I just always thought that lunging a TB really never tires them out, just gets them in better shape. Maybe he is just stiff and cold backed and needs the lunging?
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post #7 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Clairgillies, he knows and does all of the natural horsemanship groundwork. And knows it well. He is way too much horse for me to get on his back right now, this is why I hired someone way younger and more experienced.
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post #8 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:55 AM
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I just always thought that lunging a TB really never tires them out, just gets them in better shape. Maybe he is just stiff and cold backed and needs the lunging?
Lunging a horse helps to focus them and also there's a better chance of loosening up their backs since there isn't anyone on them.

If it makes him better, then do it.. just keep sessions short.

Also are you sure that there aren't any physical issues causing the bucking? I know english saddles are more exposed as in the shoulders can move more freely but if they don't fit, they can cause pain.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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I really don't think it's the saddle, we have used a few different saddles on him and he is still the same. He does have really high withers, the saddle we finally settled on fits him great, plenty of room at the shoulders and withers. If it was the saddles, wouldn't the bolting and behavior continue even after the lunging? the lunging really seems to work it out with him. I just wasn't sure if it was proper to have to lunge before riding everytime and if we were just making things worse in the long run doing it. Thanks so much for your input.
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post #10 of 58 Old 10-04-2013, 06:10 AM
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the saddle we finally settled on fits him great, plenty of room at the shoulders and withers. If it was the saddles, wouldn't the bolting and behavior continue even after the lunging? the lunging really seems to work it out with him. I just wasn't sure if it was proper to have to lunge before riding everytime and if we were just making things worse in the long run doing it. Thanks so much for your input.
No but it definitely could be anticipation of pain, kind of like the behavior started as a pain based thing but now it's only behavioral.

My horse used to bolt due to people riding him roughly. When that stopped, he bolted when he was confused or didn't want to do something.. or just because he anticipated something.

Lunging is without a person on his back so he knows that if he bucks, he's only really fighting himself.

I feel when you do ride, always always always end on a very positive note. This will help him to get through his behavioral issues
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