Need advice, bad habit not stopping.
 
 

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Need advice, bad habit not stopping.

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  • Hoe train ik een reining horse
  • Horse bad habits

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    02-15-2013, 03:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Need advice, bad habit not stopping.

First a little background. For the past six months I have been riding a friends horse fairly regularly, about once a week. The horse is a 12 year old Arabian gelding. I have been riding western since I was young, 6 or 7.

The most glaring problem that is immediately noticeable is when the horse picks up speed, a gallop or run, it is almost impossible to stop. It's a nightmare like trying to stop a train with two strips of leather. I am used to neck reining and the horse responds to it very well at a walk or trot. The thing I am noticing is when the horse is running and I try to stop it does one of two things. First it turns it's head to the left or right, though it's 80% of the time to the left. When this happens I have to choice but to let slack in the reins. Trying to pull the head back straight, so it's facing forward, does nothing. I originally thought I didn't have the reins even so when I try to stop the horse, the left side was shorter so the horse naturally turned it's head. Lately I have been taking great care to not do this but I am starting to doubt if this is the only problem with my riding. For one if I let some slack on the left side the horse keeps it's head turned until the right side has slack too. (I've tried pulling only the right rein but this does nothing, the horse simply fights it.) I really think this is a problem with my riding because I am noticing that to stop the horse at a run I have to grab each rein and stop as if I were direct reining (pulling the reins down towards my knees.) Also I don't expect the horse to from a full run to a sudden stop but it doesn't even slow down.

This leads me to my second problem with stopping, even when I direct rein to stop it is still a lot of work. This is especially true when there are other horses ahead. As it goes right now I don't run the horse and at a gallop I am always having to keep it in check even if I have to stop the horse and walk it.

That is another problem. If other horses are running or galloping, especially if they pass, the horse will burst into a run to keep up or to close the distance if we are behind. I CANNOT STAND THIS, I have to struggle to keep the horse from blindly running after the other horses leading to the whole stopping problem.

I could really use some help with this. I am not used to having to overpower the horse just to stop. I'm used to a slight pull on the reins and the horse slows down. I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong or if it's the horse or both. Like I said before this isn't my horse though I have been using it almost exclusively for the past six months. Before that a lot of other people have ridden the horse and a lot of them shouldn't even be around horses to begin with. I have made progress in other areas of bad habits and the horse is not a bad horse. The owner doesn't mind if work with the horse by myself and train good habits into but I am simply at a loss on what to do with the stopping problem.
     
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    02-15-2013, 03:24 PM
  #2
Trained
He doesn't respect is trust you, IMO.

When he's turning his head to the side, its to evade the bit so he can ignore you. Maybe he simply needs more work to burn more energy, maybe his feed needs changed, maybe he's just a snot. Retrain and solidify the whoa. Teach him a one rein stop. You might need to go so far as circling him tightly to make the head turning unpleasant.

Its instinctive that when horses run its because something is going on. They tend to run from danger. When that horse sees the other horses running he's using it as an excuse to run too. He thinks they're running from something and so should he. In the wild, the horses in the back are the ones in danger. He doesn't trust that you will keep him safe. He doesn't look to you for answers. You may never be able to fully control his reaction - if the best you can do is get him to jig his fool head off in place well then maybe that's as good as it gets.

IMO, more groundwork with lots of respect and control exercises.
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    02-15-2013, 03:28 PM
  #3
Showing
Firstly, riding in a field with loose horses is EXTREMELY dangerous. The horse you're riding is less likely to pay attention to you and more likely to pay attention to the other horses.

Second, when you ask for the stop or the slow down, what exactly are you doing? Are you simply pulling back on the reins? To stop at any speed, you need to sit deep into the saddle and apply slight pressure to the reins. If the horse is trained on voice commands, say "whoa" or "ho" as you sit deep. If you're still leaning even slightly forward when you ask for the stop, your confusing the horse. Your body is saying "go," but your hands are saying "stop." So naturally the horse is going to respond to your weight/body, not your hands.

I would suggest going back to basics with this horse. Get him alone in an arena or field with no other horses and no distractions. Work on a lot of transitions between walk, trot, and halt. Once you're absolutely solid there, work on cantering/loping. Not galloping, as obviously this horse isn't ready for that yet. Work on getting a solid stop or downward transition at the canter. I wouldn't be asking this horse to gallop for a good long while yet.

I also agree with DancingArabian that you need to do A LOT of groundwork to get this horse's respect. Look into Clinton Anderson's methods for gaining respect on the ground.
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    02-15-2013, 03:31 PM
  #4
Trained
Oh oops I didn't notice the OP was riding with loose horses. That's just asking for trouble.
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    02-15-2013, 03:34 PM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Oh oops I didn't notice the OP was riding with loose horses. That's just asking for trouble.
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I'm assuming the OP is riding with loose horses since she referenced horses passing her when she's riding (don't get the feeling that this is a formal arena or schooling type scenario).

She said "If other horses are running or galloping, especially if they pass us..." which leads me to believe there are loose horses in where the OP is riding.
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    02-15-2013, 03:35 PM
  #6
Showing
What are you using for a bit? Horses will run to pain. It sounds like he has holes in his training. If he won't slow down at the canter in an arena then give him a loose line and ride it out until he wants to slow down. But, now you change the rules and make him keep going until he is lugging under you. He will feel like he's dragging an anchor. Sit quietly in the saddle, let out a deep breath so your back relaxes and tell him whoa. Don't use the reins. Be prepared in case he hits the brakes to stop because he really wants a rest. Be sure to keep him walking even if slowly so lactic acid doesn't build up in his muscles. He may not learn from this once so be prepared to do it again. He will learn that when you exhale and relax your back that he gets to walk. It may even take a third time and the real stupid ones need a fourth, but they learn. And it keeps you off the bridle.
     
    02-15-2013, 03:38 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
I'm assuming the OP is riding with loose horses since she referenced horses passing her when she's riding (don't get the feeling that this is a formal arena or schooling type scenario).

She said "If other horses are running or galloping, especially if they pass us..." which leads me to believe there are loose horses in where the OP is riding.
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My own mental image took over:)

Sometimes I ride near a pasture containing horses and they will run around and sometimes pass me. It never crossed my mind that she might be in there with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
What are you using for a bit? Horses will run to pain. It sounds like he has holes in his training. If he won't slow down at the canter in an arena then give him a loose line and ride it out until he wants to slow down. But, now you change the rules and make him keep going until he is lugging under you. He will feel like he's dragging an anchor. Sit quietly in the saddle, let out a deep breath so your back relaxes and tell him whoa. Don't use the reins. Be prepared in case he hits the brakes to stop because he really wants a rest. Be sure to keep him walking even if slowly so lactic acid doesn't build up in his muscles. He may not learn from this once so be prepared to do it again. He will learn that when you exhale and relax your back that he gets to walk. It may even take a third time and the real stupid ones need a fourth, but they learn. And it keeps you off the bridle.
The horse is an Arab. She might be in for a looooooonnggg ride if she tries to wait him out.
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    02-15-2013, 03:43 PM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
My own mental image took over:)

Sometimes I ride near a pasture containing horses and they will run around and sometimes pass me. It never crossed my mind that she might be in there with them.
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Idk. I could be wrong, but that's just the vibe I got. The whole running/galloping the horse just doesn't seem like an arena activity, unless the OP is running barrels, which wasn't mentioned (or implied).
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    02-15-2013, 04:18 PM
  #9
Green Broke
The horse needs more training (at slower speeds). If your horse is not stopping at a gallop it is because he is not stopping well at a trot or a lope. Go back to basics and learn how to slow a horse.. about collection and extension.. and how to balance a horse. Stopping is not pulling on the reins. Stopping requesting collection and then requesting a stop with the horse balanced. It is a lot of work to train this.

If you are riding in a pasture with loose horses you need to not do that.
     
    02-15-2013, 04:44 PM
  #10
Foal
The horses are not loose in that they are running free without riders. Thus far I have been riding with a group, min 3, for day long rides. Sunday is the first day I have to work with the horse completely alone, which I know it desperately needs. So far as I know everyone who rides this horse has the same problem with stopping. I can maintain enough control at a gallop to get the horse to stop, if the other horses are not within sight. It's when the horse runs that it becomes well... dangerous.

Point taken though, when I want the horse to stop it needs to stop, not simply slow down for a second and resume pace.
     

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