Need help slowing down my horse
 
 

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Need help slowing down my horse

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    • 1 Post By Elana

     
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        09-21-2012, 04:34 AM
      #1
    Weanling
    Need help slowing down my horse

    So some back story on my mare who I have owned since last May or so.

    She is a rescue. I have no idea what she KNEW but was told when I got her she was NOT broke. I beg to differ not only becasue she was way too accepting of a bit and weight on her back but she blown out, or "puffed" ligament above her fetlock/stifle area. SHe is not lame though!

    But anyway, I ride in a dressage saddle and for the last month I have been working on just walking and getting her to stretch all the way down versus her head up, back hollowed out, and not paying attention. Well, acually, it's not so much that she is not paying attention but she is just very anxious I think because in all of her gaits she seems to be running. We just started trotting but I feel I need to go back to the walk - I'm just not sure - We start out slow, for example, at the trot, but after a few strides it's like she goes in autopilot and powers around on full throttle, so to speak. I try doing half halts and slowing my posting and addling a little bit of pressure on the outside rein but none of it seems to help - like she is really numb to EVERYTHING yet she is so sensitive. IT'S SO CONFUSING TO WORK WITH.

    SHe is the same way at the walk too. She completely ignores my que to halt/whoa as well, however, when I am lounging her our recent break through is that she finally understands whoa on the ground but for some reason it is not translating when I am on her back.

    I am running out of ideas,here, and before anyone says/asks "get a trainer" I am finally able to afford one again and I plan on taking lessons when I figure out my work schedule but I want to hear what other people have done with the same problem.
         
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        09-21-2012, 06:07 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    I personally would go back to asking her on the ground and get that perfect, there is obviously a gap in her training somewhere. I also agree with the point you made about going back to walk, there is no point rushing ahead to trot if she isn't going to be able to do it at walk.

    I have two questions for you:
    1. How do you ask her to halt/slow down when doing ground work? How does she respond to this?
    2. How do you ask her to do the same in the saddle and how does she respond to this aswell?

    As you said yourself, she is very anxious. YOU need to take the leadership role and not give her the opportunity tobget stressed out or worried. Take it slow with her, but also don't sook her. I recently started working with a mare, who is decently educated. But she is also very jumpy and likes to ride around like a giraffe. I found that her owner had a case of sooking her, 'Oh, sweetheart. There's the jump you've walked past twenty times, its not going to hurt you' type thing. When I got on her, I told her that I basically did not care - told her that there was nothing to be scared of. So that when I rode her past that jump, I was aware but did not baby her. If she did spook, I would settle her and go on like it didn't happen.

    However, before you look into a training issue with this horse - I would strongly suggest looking into a pain issue. Spacially as she is a rescue and that you are having this issue mostly in the saddle. How are her teeth? Does her saddle fit? Is her bit comfortable? How are her legs, back, etc?
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        09-21-2012, 12:30 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChingazMyBoy    
    I personally would go back to asking her on the ground and get that perfect, there is obviously a gap in her training somewhere. I also agree with the point you made about going back to walk, there is no point rushing ahead to trot if she isn't going to be able to do it at walk.

    I have two questions for you:
    1. How do you ask her to halt/slow down when doing ground work? How does she respond to this?

    2. How do you ask her to do the same in the saddle and how does she respond to this aswell?

    As you said yourself, she is very anxious. YOU need to take the leadership role and not give her the opportunity tobget stressed out or worried. Take it slow with her, but also don't sook her. I recently started working with a mare, who is decently educated. But she is also very jumpy and likes to ride around like a giraffe. I found that her owner had a case of sooking her, 'Oh, sweetheart. There's the jump you've walked past twenty times, its not going to hurt you' type thing. When I got on her, I told her that I basically did not care - told her that there was nothing to be scared of. So that when I rode her past that jump, I was aware but did not baby her. If she did spook, I would settle her and go on like it didn't happen.

    However, before you look into a training issue with this horse - I would strongly suggest looking into a pain issue. Spacially as she is a rescue and that you are having this issue mostly in the saddle. How are her teeth? Does her saddle fit? Is her bit comfortable? How are her legs, back, etc?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    1. How do you ask her to halt/slow down when doing ground work? How does she respond to this? On the ground I can say 'whoa' and she stops. She is smart that way. When I lounge, I say 'whoa' and she stops.

    2. How do you ask her to do the same in the saddle and how does she respond to this aswell?
    When I ask for the halt I sort of stop the motion in my seat and make it seem like there is more weight in the saddle - sort of like "sitting deep" but with out changing my position too much which is hard on her. When she ignores that I squeeze my outside rein a couple of times (I try to have as little contact with her mouth as possible especially because I rider with a kimbewick because the woman who I will be training with recommended it for my mare ((And I still don't know how I feel about this bit, she is less fussy with it but I feel like I should try something else with less leverage)) but anyway she kind of listens then, somtimes, but mainly she is rushes more, and forbid if I try to ride on a [big] circle she really speeds up then hollows out. She has been getting better about stretching down though at the trot but even this I feel is counter productive at this point.

    Her mouth does not bother her - I had her teeth done, the dentist said there some mild issues but nothing to serious. My mare actually stopped resisting a lot to pressure afterwards.

    But when the two above things fail to ask for a halt (and saying 'whoa' doesn't do anything) I have to collect more rein and ask which she does respod but only with tossing her head up but I keep some pressure to get her down and when she does I release and pat her. She is getting better at the walk with this at least.

    My trainer, er-almost trainer, does not think she is in pain. Every time I ride I check her back and nothing twitches. It used to but not anymore. I do that thing sometimes where you put pressure on their haunches or w/e and have them lift their lower back and she can do that on the fist try with out moving around.

    But I will say this when she does stop, most of the time she stops like a drunken sailor lol, she just doesn't know where to put her feet.

    Additionally, after reading this, what do you think of the woman I may train with? I have mixed feelings about what she has told me.
         
        09-21-2012, 12:34 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    Sorry for the poorly worded response - I'm writing this before my dentist appointment that I just let myself be late for again

    Lol priorities
         
        09-21-2012, 02:11 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Have you ever trained a horse from scratch before this?

    If not, you need to get off her back and do ground work first. Put the equipment on her and drive her in long lines. Teach her to turn, stop and so forth. Walk MILES behind her. Use your voice. Teach her Whoa. Be consistent.

    Horses rush and refuse to stop for three reasons. Pain. Fear. Lack of training.

    It is quite possible your horse was NOT ridden. Some never object to riding... However, the rushing and not slowing is a sure sign of a horse that is untrained and does not know how to balance herself to transition down.

    I say it over and over and over (not to you.. but in general).. you need to train transitions IN a gait and BETWEEN gaits. When you can get a horse to transition DOWN in speed smoothly, the horse is starting to gain a real foundation.

    Sooo.. get off her back and get out the long lines and drive her. Do serpentines, circles, spirals, turns and so forth.. halts, starts and change of speed. You will be in GREAT shape from all the walking and your horse will be much better prepared to be ridden.

    BTW that leg injury can come from a bad step on mud in a pasture. Just sayin'
    smguidotti likes this.
         
        09-21-2012, 02:12 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Stopping like a drunken sailor not knowing where her feet are is a horse who has no idea how to carry weight. She is really untrained.
         
        09-21-2012, 05:13 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    It just boggles my mind at how accepting she is I guess

    I have driven before to see if she had done it before, to me I thought she had but I will try that again for a while.

    Thanks
         
        09-21-2012, 08:29 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Make up your mind you are going to drive her for at least 4-6 weeks. Then back her again.. and only walk. Take YOUR time.. the horse will take hers then.

    There is no race to see how fast you can lay a foundation.

    Trust me on this.. if you put all the blocks in that foundation on solid footings it will serve this horse (and you) for years. Leave some out and you will always and forever be "fixing" some crap that a well laid foundation would prevent and avoid.

    Anyone who loves horses would want to take the time to lay a foundation. It is time.. and time spent with the horse.

    Anytime spent with a horse is good times!
         

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