Need to do a little brainstorming

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Need to do a little brainstorming

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        01-02-2011, 10:39 PM
    Need to do a little brainstorming

    So my mild mannered TB has turned into his usual winter butt head self. Every year it's the same thing. The rest of the year, we canter around happily in the fields like we're in a freakin' post card. Winter hits and that same canter turns into a galloping/bucking/head tossing tumbleweed. I've been trying my usual things to manage it, but could use a new perspective. Obviously he still thinks he has my number a bit or this wouldn't be happening. I've been able to control the Saratoga sprints as I've renamed them by either circling or keeping him in a slight shoulder-fore so he can't get dead straight. If I can catch him the second he decides that trotting is not enough for him, I use the one rein stop. So far I think I'm winning this thing, but we're talking 51/49 at best in my favor. The second side of this is, it's presenting itself in a slightly barn sour manner. If we're traveling away from the barn area, (all this is in open fields out back) I can barely get him above a walk since he freezes up every 5 steps or so pretending there's something out there. Reverse and take those same steps back, and he has no problem moving at 40mph. I'm trying to be patient, but he's starting to tick me off. I'm about ready to just whack him while moving him away, but am concerned about over-correcting and picking a fight with a creature who outweighs me by 1100 lbs. I know this is a training issue and pure BS on his part. I just need some input on what to try next. The goal is to trot around these fields in a consistent tempo in any direction I **** well choose while still keeping him between me and the ground. He's a sweet boy, but he needs a good talking to at this point. Thanks for reading.
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        01-02-2011, 10:51 PM
    Super Moderator
    I guess the usual; lunge him ? Get his ya-yas out . Free lunge?
    Feed him before going out.
    Go out with a friend.
    Let him have a good canter in the arena?
    I can sure tell what you mean. Winter makes for a different animal.
        01-02-2011, 10:59 PM
    I'm not into longing unless I'm actually convinced he's afraid of something and it's safer for me to not be on him. Otherwise, I'm in the school of thought that he should be listening to me...period. He warms up under saddle in the summer. He can do the same in the winter. He is just simply being a butt. He does it whether we're alone or with another horse. Last week, he shot past our trail riding buddy ahead of us and almost knocked the rider off because it was a narrow train and neither of us were expecting him to do it. (Winter horse always shows up suddenly and without warning) I don't want to risk anyone else's safety just because he's feeling a little up. If he's got the energy to be a super butt, he's got the energy to work. I just want to make sure I'm doing it in a way that will produce positive results.
        01-02-2011, 11:11 PM
    Super Moderator
    I am with you on lunging, for the most part. However, sometimes it does take offf the edge, the physical part that's just twitchyness.
    I was going to go out on Mac last week and was about to put his bridle on and he became really spooked and agitated . It was cold, snowy, wind was blowing and I was alone. The little voice in my head said, "not today". As I get older, I LISTEN to the little voice in my head. So, I de-tacked and free lunged him in our little round pen. That was to get him listening and for him to release that fear. He can hold onto a fearful thought for the longest time.

    Took him out today all alone. He was fine from the beginning. No little voice spoke. He did, however, throw in one, totally unexpected and wonderfully fast 180 degree spin on a dime with Absolutlely NO warning whatsoever. IT's his forte.
        01-02-2011, 11:18 PM
    That's what sucks with Puck. I know it's all just total BS. He doesn't spook at all. He's not tense, no snorting, nothing bad at all. It's just when I ask for a nice trot, he acts like a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum and takes off like a bullet. Last time I had no rein contact at all and he was still tossing his head like I had a death grip on him. He's just plain old being a butt!!! It's so frustrating!

    I think I will add a step to our next attempt. I think I will work him first in the ring before heading outside. Maybe as you said, if I take the edge off, he might decide to listen. I tried it in reverse the last few times. If he was a butt outside, we would go inside to do real work. Hasn't worked, so time for something different. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, right?
        01-03-2011, 08:46 AM
    Funny enough my qh changed a bit too when the winter/cold weather came. I wonder if it has something to do with the cold back may be...

    Do you ride in ring or you go to the fields right away? May be doing ring work for 30 mins to take some edge off would fix the issue...
        01-03-2011, 10:34 AM
    My lesson horse, becomes a butt during early winter. He will try a whole wack of tricks and foolishness before giving in and listening. Today, I am going to lunge him(with help of my instructor) hoping to get his sillies out before I get in the saddle. It's worked before, so lets hope it works again! That might also help you with your horse.
        01-03-2011, 11:32 AM
    My horse came out grabbing the bit and jumping around like an idiot the other day, our outdoor goes out into a bigger riding field, so I took him into the indoor and worked him in a more controlled environment first until he quieted down, then took him back out. He was fine outside in the outdoor and field after that. Maybe get some energy out in the ring first then go out in the field and work him.
        01-03-2011, 04:27 PM
    Yeah, I sometimes forget he's a TB with the energy to go with it. He's such a sweet horse, I just take if for granted that he's going to behave. I rode him in the indoor today and he was good as gold. His jumping was a tad animated, but he tries so hard to be good. I think that's why it always takes me completely by surprise when he picks a fight. I'll try the warm up inside thing next time and see how it goes.
        01-04-2011, 12:33 AM
    I second or third working him in the arena before taking him out. Also, I don't know how your "trails" or "fields" are set up, but would it be possible to work him mostly laterally in relation to the barn for a while? I personally wouldn't ever trust a horse that shows signs of being barn sour to do anything more than trot/jog in the direction of the barn, but working laterally could take the edge and unevenness of the ride (refuses to go away from the barn and gallops toward it).

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