Rolling with a rider?
 
 

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Rolling with a rider?

This is a discussion on Rolling with a rider? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • why do horses roll when riding them
  • Stopping a horse from rolling with rider

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  • 2 Post By loosie
  • 1 Post By usandpets
  • 1 Post By Foxhunter
  • 2 Post By loosie
  • 1 Post By Daisy25

 
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    07-28-2012, 12:15 AM
  #1
Started
Rolling with a rider?

So this post is really just because I'm curious -
At the therapy barn I work at we had a horse who would spontaneously drop to the ground and roll, even with a rider on his back! He was sold right about when I started working there, but I saw him do it a couple of times. You could be walking, trotting or cantering he would finally decide he was done - he would stop - drop and roll. It didn't matter if it was a therapy lesson or a recreational lesson. He did it most often when he was stopped while they played a game.
I've never even HEARD of this, I mean I've seen trail horses want to roll in good dust or mud, but not rolling to off a rider like this. Typically you have warning too, they stop and smell the ground and ease themselves done - this horse just stops, drops and rolls.
I guess I'm curious if anyone else had heard of anything like this and what you would do to fix it?
When the instructors schooled him he would do the same thing and they'd get him up as fast as they could and work him again, but rinse and repeat - on the lunge too he'd do the same!! So you couldn't even lunge him.

An college girl bought him to be a trail bum, he never did it on trails.
     
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    07-28-2012, 01:07 AM
  #2
Trained
Sounds to me he had learned this was a good way to get out of doing something he didn't want to. He would have given 'warnings', just that they weren't recognised as such, perhaps subtle & not obvious. I'd be watching for those & telling him in no uncertain terms that was not on, *before* he actually went down.
Palomine and barrelbeginner like this.
     
    07-28-2012, 01:42 AM
  #3
Green Broke
My little Lucy does that on occasion. She doesn't get rode too often. She'll drop without any warning. Sometimes she was still moving and dropped. Leaving the rider in mid air.

All I've done with her is just get her back up as quick as possible. She hasn't done it recently. Just be very energetic about getting them back up, even if it means kicking or smacking them.
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    07-28-2012, 03:05 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
Generally horses (or especially small ponies) will get down and roll because they are hot and sweaty. Warning is given in that they will start to buckle at the knees and they need to be forced forward fast with legs and a good couple of cracks with a whip.
Then there is the animal that has learned to go down to get out of work.
With this horse, I would only have experienced riders on him for a while. When he went down I would have had one person on the ground with a lunge whip and the rider with a whip - and when he went down he would get lashed two or three times from both people. As he went to get up the rider needs to step on as he is rising and ride him forward hard and fast.
Better still is if when he went down the rider stays on top. This means they have to be fast in moving their leg out of the way and sliding so the side as he went down but remaining sitting on his rib cage. Then they need to make this as uncomfortable as possible for him, bouncing up and down on his ribs, kicking him, flicking with the whip, raising his head up with one rein and then letting it drop hard staying on him when he does get up and then working him as before.
If he is sharp enough to learn how to stop a rider staying on him then he would be sharp enough to learn it doesn't work.
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    07-28-2012, 04:31 AM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
- and when he went down he would get lashed two or three times from both people. As he went to get up the rider needs to step on as he is rising and ride him forward hard and fast. .....
If he is sharp enough to learn how to stop a rider staying on him then he would be sharp enough to learn it doesn't work.
Basically agree with you Foxhunter, except that I wouldn't stop with 2-3 'lashes' necessarily, but would continue to do it the whole time he's going down, only quitting as soon as he started thinking about 'up' again. I don't think it's necessary to really get stuck in & make it painful, but it needs to be firm enough to be quite unpleasant for him at least.

As well as ensuring the undesirable behaviour no longer worked for him, I'd also ensure that ceasing this behaviour did 'work' for him, in that he was reinforced for it, rather than 'ride him forward hard & fast'. While we can react to the behaviour we get, I think it's also important to consider the motivation - eg. If he drops to get out of work, it's obviously unpleasant for him to be 'worked', so changing that is important.
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    07-28-2012, 12:47 PM
  #6
Weanling
There was a horse that I worked with last summer who would stop, drop and roll immediately after a ride. After I switched saddles, this stopped....BUT he would continue to stop, drop and roll whenever a particular woman was nearby (coincidentally - the woman who always rode him in a too-narrow saddle).

My theory with that horse was that the narrow saddle was causing back pain....and he rolled to alleviate the pain. He had also learned to associate a particular person with the back pain...and rolled in response to her as well.

Is this horse reacting to something? (pain, fatigue, etc) or is the rolling a "learned response" ? Do you know the history of the rolling? Has it worsened over time? Is it worse under some conditions instead of others?
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    07-28-2012, 02:53 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Basically agree with you Foxhunter, except that I wouldn't stop with 2-3 'lashes' necessarily, but would continue to do it the whole time he's going down, only quitting as soon as he started thinking about 'up' again. I don't think it's necessary to really get stuck in & make it painful, but it needs to be firm enough to be quite unpleasant for him at least.

As well as ensuring the undesirable behaviour no longer worked for him, I'd also ensure that ceasing this behaviour did 'work' for him, in that he was reinforced for it, rather than 'ride him forward hard & fast'. While we can react to the behaviour we get, I think it's also important to consider the motivation - eg. If he drops to get out of work, it's obviously unpleasant for him to be 'worked', so changing that is important.

I agree with you over the hitting him - usually if I wrap the lunge whip around them then three is the maximum they need!

Believe me, some horses are intelligent enough to get out of work in all sorts of way. With this horse I suspect he was bored with therapeutic riders and all arena work. Often they are sweetened up with a good fun charge out on a trail ride.
     

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