Need a dangerous trail situation dealt with. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 62 Old 06-29-2012, 10:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Drunken sailor walk! You definitely need to get "backwards" out of that horse's mind. As soon as you feel him start to get sticky, take your legs off, (not off his sides, just no pressure) and begin to alternate reins to get him to literally follow his nose to the left, then the right, etc. When using one rein, make sure there is no pressure on the other one. The idea is not to command the horse to go forward, but rather trick him into it. The mere act of following his nose gets him moving forward albeit in a zig-zag fashion. As soon as he "unsticks" go back to a regular forward walk and praise. Something about the left/right motion also seems to engage their brain inward instead of looking for all the monsters out there. Love the drunken sailor walk!!
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post #12 of 62 Old 06-29-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Grand Lake, Oklahoma
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Sailor walk doesn't work I tried it. He just backs up on whatever direction the lead says to go. He's a pro at this.

He's a fantastic halter horse. It really doesn't take much to teach him manners there.. should I try walking him away from home via lead?

I'll attempt that trick and see where it takes me. He hates the circling so maybe it'll work. I'll keep everyone posted. If it persists or gets worse I am going to get a professional. I don't feel like getting seriously injured.
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post #13 of 62 Old 06-29-2012, 11:47 PM
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Definitely don't get injured!

My horse was a rent-a-horse group ride failure because they could never let customers ride him due to spooking, but he spent two years only going out in groups. That is a long time for habits to form. I started him off by taking him for walks or jogs, as if he were a giant dog. My guy was willing enough for that. But while we were doing that, he learned some of the trails, he learned to follow my instruction, and he learned that he could go out without other horses. I would back him a little while we were out if he was behaving well. Once all that was habit, going out in the saddle was simple because he was already in the mindset that he was going out and I was in charge and everything was fine. Worth a shot, anyway.
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post #14 of 62 Old 06-29-2012, 11:55 PM
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Had a mare that would back up for no reason when I was a kid. Didn't matter where she was and you couldn't make her quit. She backed into a culvert on the side of the road and cut her fetlock pretty bad. Even that didn't matter to her. Finally had an old trainer tell me to take the idea away from her and make it mine. If she wanted to go backwards, then go backwards hard and fast. Ask for forward again, and if she went back, then hard & fast again. Actually this is the only thing that changed her behavior. Never had the backwards problem on the road or trail again.
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post #15 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:01 AM
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Surprised nobody has suggested this. Have you tried backing him up a couple twenty yards? Ground or mounted, when he pulls this trick, make him back up FAST and go until YOU say to stop. Make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy! This is probably best done from the ground in case he decides to plum fall over backwards or ignore directional cues and back you quickly off a cliff or what have you.

If he is resisting your cue to back, take a rope, whip, etc and start flicking the ground in front of his feet. If this doesn't do the trick, flick his feet a few times (do all of this with purpose and the "I ain't playin!" game face). If this doesn't work, I have found that a thumb or the handle of your whip/crop in his chest with the other "back!" cues does the trick. Keep on him until he doesn't want to back any more, then back him another few feet for good measure.

Snotty horses need to be shown that although you love them to bits and pieces, they are not the alpha dog.

If this trick hasn't worked, I am not sure where to go next considering the other things that have failed to work.

I would suggest with your "follow the nose" thing to do it with meaning. Crank his nose to your boot, and push his butt around his nose until he's got the "I'm sorry!" look on his face. Don't break his jaw, just make sure he knows that butt is off limits until you allow him to use it like that.

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post #16 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:05 AM
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Ditto to the person above :).
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post #17 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:10 AM
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• Horses: 2 you own a horse trailer? If he is barn/buddy sour, you need to get him away from the barn. Trailer him to a location nearby and then ride him around there. You could even ride him home and get the trailer later. He's got to learn to trust you. My horse was buddy sour for a while and would always try to turn around. I just took him out regularly and now he knows that he can trust me to take care of him. This horse is new. You are new to him and vice versa. If you can trailer him somewhere, he can't back up to the barn, now can he? Although he might try to back to the trailer...

Also, I agree with whomever suggested backing him up twenty yards. It will hopefully get him bored enough to stop.

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post #18 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Grand Lake, Oklahoma
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He doesn't do the backing up at all on the ground, only when I'm mounted. And while I haven't backed him a whole 20 yards, I have pulled him back fast and hard and he just did a little rear and fought back. Ill test the other tricks and then try fast and hard again.
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post #19 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:18 AM
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If he doesn't back from the ground, I wouldn't ride him (personally). He needs to b able to go, stop, turn left and right, and back from the ground (in long lines) before he should be ridden. If he has forgotten, there's no better time to re-teach him! If you aren't sure how to teach him to long rein (which can be done anywhere except your dining room), just ask. It will help him figure out how to lunge when you teach him that, too.

A backing horse is one of the most frustrating things to deal with, I think. Remember he's a horse, and horses don't spend their time figuring ways to make us mad. We are people who are prone to give in to impatience. Think of the positive outcome, and you will notice yourself become more patient.


EDIT: I read your post wrong. If he doesn't do it on the ground, then back him from the saddle. Either way, you need control over his butt. From the ground will get the basic point across, so if he does it mounted, a few feet backing vigorously should remind him how tired he got the last time you made him work.

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Last edited by RunSlideStop; 06-30-2012 at 12:20 AM.
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post #20 of 62 Old 06-30-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Grand Lake, Oklahoma
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I'd be riding all day if I went to my home! Lol. I'd like to at least ride him to the lake but its so hot that getting there might do it's own damage. But, as I said, I'll try out y'alls methods.

He's just a butthead with a hardheaded. Like my cat who keeps getting smacked for chewing cords lol.

I love my boy. Also we're not new to each other. I worked him up to being an awesome trail horse for any intermediate rider. Then he was sold despite a deal made verbally, the new owner found out about the ordeal and made an offer I couldn't refuse.
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