Please help! My horse just stops... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-29-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Please help! My horse just stops...

Hey! I'm very new to this forum. I created my account just so I could get some help with this. I started leasing a new horse on August 23rd. he is a little grey 8 year old Arab gelding. I've been leasing him for over 2 months now. I rode English for about 11 years, but now I'm riding Western. I ride him about 4 times a week, sometimes 5 on average. I'm the only one riding him. I've been training him to barrel race, & he's done amazingly so far. I recently purchased the Silver Royal Dallas Barrel Saddle for him about 2-3 weeks ago, & it's still breaking in. Lately, he's been very weird.

For the past week or so, he has been very weird on the ground. He's being very pushy & moves away from me brushing him. He had mud fever on his hind legs about a month ago & me fussing with it made him not want me to touch his hind legs, but he still hates it even now when I'm nowhere near where the mud fever was. He also has been getting girthy, & is spooked at fly spray again which we worked very hard on & he was completely fine with. He recently has just decided that he doesn't want to move. He won't walk to the tackroom from his field. He just stops. It takes a lot of moving to get him to go.. I have to move him in a zig zag pattern just to get him over there. Then, he won't walk to the arena. Once again, he just stops. No matter how much I cluck or kick, he won't move. Twice I've had to get off of him & lead him to the arena. Then, he's usually been ok while riding... until 10-15 minutes in, when at some point we go by the gate, he just decides hes done, & stops. He won't move no matter how much I kick or scold him. He also won't be tricked by me pulling his head to a side. He used to love barrels, but now he keeps cross cantering around the barrel closest to the gate, & breaking to a trot. Once he decides he's done, there's no trotting him.

I'm getting his hooves trimmed on sunday so that may be part of it. But I don't know what else it could be... my money is very tight right now so getting him checked for soreness & back problems isn't really an option. I used a different saddle the other day on a 1 & 1/2 hour trail ride, & at first he wouldn't go with the group of 10 other horses... he just stopped. which makes me think it's not the saddle. He also is not lame. I'm just thinking it's a respect issue. It's making me very frustrated & I really do not know what to do. This isn't like him & I feel like I'm the reason why it's happening. If anyone could help me out that would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-29-2013, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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As far as I know, most vets let you have a payment plan to pay back money owed on bills.

To me it sounds like it could be a saddle fit issue, or maybe something like ulcers. Something pain related.

And to me, that should always be remedied as soon as possible.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 PM
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Have you tried anything other than kicking?? JUst asking..

Make sure he doens't have an sores, his teeth are good, and make sure you do lots of groundwokr with him first. That should be the first thing you do after brushing.
You want him to listen to you on ground first, because if he doens't listne on ground, there is no way he will listen to you wiht you on his back.

My mind is blank and this is all I can think of right now - but when I think of mroe tips I will share them with you. My brain is fried today for some reason... cnat even type right...

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amberly is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 10-29-2013, 09:54 PM
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to me, that screams saddle fit issues. CAn you post some photos of the saddle on him, no pad underneath, squared up on level ground and from mulitiple angles.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-29-2013, 11:16 PM
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Just because you used a different saddle one time it doesn't mean that the previous saddle didn't already do a lot of back damage, and it takes more than just a couple days rest to get over that kind of soreness, so yes, it still could most definitely be a saddle issue. Sure sounds like it.

Keep a coffee jar and just start saving up any extra cash because it would be the best thing for him to be able to see a vet or chiro. As Sky mentioned, they're usually very good with payment plans.

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-30-2013, 12:06 AM
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Sounds like saddle fit.

FWIW, I also have an Arab gelding and if he doesn't like the saddle, he will not move.

Was the saddle checked by a professional saddle fitter to be sure that it and the pad work as they are?

Has this horse ever been ridden western? What kind of skirt is on the saddle? If it's a square skirt, it might be too long for him if he's short-backed and could be making it uncomfortable for him to move.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-30-2013, 12:23 AM
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I agree, saddle fit! or something else making him uncomfortable or sore. I have a silly girth on my aussie saddle with an extra long strap which tucks in to loops on the girth, but sometimes it works itself loose and ends up dangling between my horse's front legs. He HATES it when that happens and either stops dead or starts acting up. So it could be as simple as a piece of tack he is not used to, or your new saddle could be rubbing him somewhere and causing saddle sores, which he will still feel even in a different saddle.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-30-2013, 08:01 AM
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Saddle fit 'could' be part of the problem. If it is, it is not the only problem. You have a major respect problem that keeps escalating because you have done nothing to nip it in the bud. Saddle fit would have nothing to do with leading or grooming or making him pushy. Because these things are also getting worse, I think you have a smart horse that is playing you like a fiddle.

I also do not see 'more ground work' as being much help except for manners on the ground. I do not see more ground work helping you a lot when you are on him back.

You have allowed him to 'stall out' and 'drift' toward the gate without consequence. Kicking a horse to make it go when it has stalled out is what I call 'pecking' and 'nagging'. Instead of making a horse have more respect for what you want, it only makes a horse more spoiled and have more resolve to do as he pleases.

If you have ridden quite a bit before this new horse was leased, I would guess that any other horses were not as smart as this one. Arabians are so much smarter than other horses and are usually so 'forward', that they get silly instead of stalling out. This one has decided to just stall out with you.

Can you contact a previous owner or rider and get them to ride him once or twice and see how that goes? You may need more help teaching you how to spank his butt good once or twice instead of constantly nagging when he starts hesitating and threatening to stop. If you do not fix this, it will escalate into backing up and rearing and you will be in a much worse situation.

Once you get him going forward, you need to learn how to teach him 'leg yielding' exercises so he can be more obedient to your leg. That will fix the 'drifting' and crossfiring. You need to be able to MAKE him follow his nose and go forward when you ask.

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post #9 of 16 Old 10-30-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! I did a ton of round pen work with him when I first started leasing him. He would follow me around like a puppy dog after that & listen to me. But it seems like all the round pen work has been pushed to the side.

I rode some very interesting horses before him, some off the track TBs, & multiple Arabians. I'm used to horses acting up in some way or another. But not like this.

I've tried leg yielding him but he wasn't trained in lateral work at all so it's a very foreign concept to him. He was trained in the basics until I started riding him.

The skirt on the saddle is a round skirt, & the entire saddle is VERY cut out. I also have a barrel saddle pad that is rounded. The saddle looks like this:,0&iccEmbed=0&

I've tried things other than kicking, Squeezing, clucking, moving his head to another side, circles, leading him. Nothing works. Even if I don't let him go near the gate, he stops if we even pass it anywhere in the arena. It's quite frustrating.

Thanks everyone for your help so far!
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-30-2013, 12:28 PM
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It could be so many things. Could be something as simple as not being used to the back cinch, to having ribs out and getting cranky and dinghy because hes uncomfortable. As with any issues I recommend getting a horse checked for soreness first, and move from there. It could be he has "out smarter" you and is slowly getting more disrespectful. Have you tried taking a rein to his bum when he decides he's done? Just a light "hey you we are going here and we are going now!"
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balking , horse acting weird , horse stopping , horse won't move

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