Planting feet and refusing to move. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Planting feet and refusing to move.

This weekend I ran into a little bit of a problem with my horse. I decided to ride my horse all the way up to my trainers house, which is like a 10 min walk from the barn my horse is at because she has a jump course with a newly put up indoor, so she can still do her lessons with the snow. Yes, I did ask her if I could use it. :]

She was at her barn doing a lesson while I was training my horse to get used to the indoor. I have another thread in the 'horse talk' section about my horse being freaked about the indoor. He was sweating, pawing, pacing but, it wasn't any worse than that which, was a plus because I know it could have gotten way worse and that was outside of the indoor.

I walked him in and he was pacing more so I worked him a little bit whilst, I was talking to him and trying to keep him calm but, than he just stopped and planted his feet there and didn't move but, at all. I had my trainer tap him on his ass, I moved to the side of him because, I was infront of him and I figured it was because of that and that didn't work, I tried making him go in a circle and he moved forward like 2 steps and than stopped and didn't move again. Nothing I did seemed to work while on the ground so, my trainer suggested getting on him and try doing it that way, and that worked to some extent but, in some areas he would do sort of like a sidepass/crowhop/back-up thing and he even backed up into my trainers horse.

Now, I'm debating if the show is even worth it to go to. If he pulls, what he pulled the other day than I'm going to look like an idiot in the ring and it'll look like I don't know what I am doing. I even tried to kick him forward and he wasn't listening. I didn't try the crop but, maybe I should have. I am probably going to end up not doing the show depending on what his attitude is Tuesday & Wednesday in the indoor. I have to also, do his feet before the show and, I have to do them in the freezing cold!

How can I get him through this? Should I cancel going to the show? Do you think it's something he'll get over?

I'm going to keep working him in the indoor, no matter what so he'll get over his little fear. How can I get him to move his feet when he does plant his feet? And, how can I be prepared for it the next time?

Any help is appreciated! :]
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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No one has any advice for me? I got 13 views really, need some advice here :]
Bump anyone?
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 05:11 AM
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probably a good idea to get a whip on him.... I'm not much help.
Buzz used to do it going in to the float just plant his feet... in the end my dad went behind him and literally pushed him up, that worked and now he walks straight on.. most times.. not much help again
I would probably cancel going to this show, I mean there is probably going to be heaps more coming up once you have gotten over his little problem, but see how he is on wednesday/thursday he may of just had off days
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 05:28 AM
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Possibly being a bit nappy?
Our Thoroughbred used to do that (as RedTree has said), hers was out of laziness and she thought she could get away with it.

I'd say keep working with him as much as possible in the school and don't give up. If he isn't responding to you then give him a little tap or have someone in the school with you to help get him going.

It would probably be better to work out this problem before going to any shows, as it'll help your confidence and his. :)
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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He might have been tired or just lazy but, he wasn't worked the whole week really, or the week before that so, he shouldn't have a reason to be lazy.

He hasn't been nipping or showing any signs of pain. Checked for heat and ran my fingers down his back and he didn't flinch or anything like that so, it definitely can't be that.

Although, I am in a backyard barn so I can't really have anyone school him for me and my trainer offered but, I don't want her students riding him and trying to train him out of it and than, they go and ruin him on me. He's done this before so, I could probably get through it but, he also seems to be freaked about the indoor.

He just had his teeth floated so, it's definitely not the bit. As for the show, I am going to cancel because I'm not going to risk all that embarrasement especially because it's in an indoor! And, if he's doing this at home while being schooled, he'll most definitely do it there. It's more his confidence, rather than mine.

I don't have much time to spend with him though because I live like an hour away and, I work full time so, I really don't get to see him often :( So, when I do get the chance to work with him I do the best I can.

Like I said, any advice to help him and me get through this would be great. :]
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 01:40 PM
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To get a planted horse to move, all you have to do is get him to follow his nose, aka the drunken sailor walk. Use no leg pressure at all. Sit square, let one rein go slack while you use the other as an opening rein to bring his nose off to one side. The mere action of bringing his nose over should make him step that way. Next step, switch reins and do it the other way. He'll take another step in that direction. Before he realizes it, he's unlocked and moving forward, albeit in a zig zaggy way. It ain't pretty, but it does work.

The other thing, no talking, praising, not a sound. Your job is to sit there confidently like you have all day. He's gets no reward for moving a foot, since he shouldn't have been a jerk in the first place. He's just trying a new evasive technique. As soon as he finds out there's no drama reward in it, he'll move onto something else. Good luck.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 01:43 PM
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By the way, don't feel like you're going to look like an idiot at the show. Winter shows are the most fun to watch since most of the horses there are bouncing around the indoor arenas like pin balls! If your horse does act up, he won't be the only one.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 02:26 PM
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You say he was sweating and pacing. To me, that indicates a high level of fear. We cannot really understand how big fear is to horses. It totally takes over their brain, and it's not about being willful or lazy. To that horse, he may actually fear for his life.
I wonder if it might be fruitful to spend some time desensitziing him to the indoor arena. Would he go inside and eat something tasty, like a nice bunch of alfalfa or grain and just hang out there and watch the goings on?
Would he be happier if he entered the arena side by side to a friend horse and just walked around the edge while you guys had a nice talk, then go on home?
I think it might be worthwhile doing some nonstressful work in the indoor to see if that won't change his attitude. If he isn't willful or lazy elsewhere, then I doubt there is that much thought on his part in trying to avoid work.
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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MyBoyPuck,thank you for the advice. I will most definitely try that, the next time I am out by him. Like I said though, I work full time and he's an hour away so, it's tough to get out there to work him. :/

Yeah, I guess it would be fun to see the other guys act like pin balls. Also, I felt like talking to him would just help him relax but, I can see that's not a good thing. So no talking to him or praising, just no sound at all :]

Thanks!
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-10-2011, 02:34 PM
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Beau, hope it works. I work full time and am 40 minutes away, so I feel ya there. Maybe your horse will see the other pin balls and stand there with his leg cocked and wonder why they are all making a fuss!

Tiny, that exercise of weaving the horse between the reins, for some reason, has a calming affect on the horse. I think the movement back and forth might actually get them to switch back and forth between thinking and reactive brains. I use it when my horse sees a deer or something and becomes a rigid snorting monster. It's my technique for working him past his fear. Usually after a few steps, he calms down and decides he can deal with it.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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