Stubborn Horse Won't Move!

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Stubborn Horse Won't Move!

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    07-13-2011, 12:27 AM
Red face Stubborn Horse Won't Move!

I have a new horse that just will not move sometimes - other days he's great. 9yo, healthy 16hh draft x gelding, greenbroke, very well mannered and sweet. He has not been ridden in 5-7 years but I rode him bareback the other day and he did great. I board him about 1/2 hour from my home in the city and have been out there about every second day since I got him a couple weeks ago. Oh and this is my first horse!

I spent about 30 minutes today trying to just lead him out of pasture, but some days he just refuses. He stands there, falling asleep while I push and pull and cluck. As soon as I take the halter off, he walks/trots happily back to his herd or food - so my question is, on days like today when Clyde doesn't feel like working, how do I get such a big horse to move??

I am currently using a webbed halter - would a rope halter help at all? Any and all advice is welcome!
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    07-13-2011, 01:12 AM
Subbing to this, I have the same problem, lazy ponies ;)
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    07-13-2011, 01:17 AM
I remember your other post about how you stumbled into owning Clyde. You are really working hard at making it work, what with driving a half hour each way so frequently and I firstly wanted to let you know how much I admire your efforts.

If only you could borrow an experienced horse person for a few days to help you with some of these little glitches. Well, since you asked for internet advice, I'll give it a go, but sure wish I could just come over and give it a go there.

Clyde is just more interested in the herd and food and you aren't compelling enough to make him change his mind. So, he knows that if he just hangs tight for a bit you'll give up and go away.
Since he is much stronger than you , you will have to use other means than just trying to move him forward.

I do think a rope halter may make a difference.

If you are leading him from the front and he just digs and refurses to move, one thing is to pull from the side and see if you can't encourage him to take a step to the side. It's kind of like unbalancing him so that he HAS to take a step. Once you have broken him out of his brace, you then try to get him moving forward. Or sideways a bit, what ever direction will get movement, even backing him up can work to break him out of the brace.

Once you get him moving, you may be able to make him continue forward.

OR, you can drive him out of the brace. If you have a long line , you can stand back a ways and ask him to move away from you using a whip or stick or by swiging the long end of the lead rope. You make him move his feet by "pushing" him rather than pulling him. Once he starts moving, you can then lead by either using a pull on the lead line, or continue to drive him, almost like a dog might drive a sheep or a cowhorse move a cow.

Experiement a bit with getting him to move his feet in these ways. Just you moving him around in the pasture, where and how you want to will make him realize that you are a compelling presence .
    07-13-2011, 05:26 AM
If you have a 12+ foot leadrope then when he plants stand beside him, give a steady pull on the lead and if he won't move off of it then give him a pop on the rump with the tail of the leadrope.
    07-13-2011, 09:45 AM
I would lead him out with a long lead rope. The minute he plants his feet, pull his head around and swing the end of the lead in a fast circle motion at his rump. If he ignores it, let it tap him on the rump as you swing it. Keep his head turned towards you, but make him go in a circle around you. Once he completes a couple of circles, don't stop his movement, but lead him off in the direction that you want him to go. If he plants again, make him move again. Only this time, make him move faster and longer.

It has been said many times, but I am going to repeat it. Make the right thing easy, the wrong thing hard. If he stops and does not do what you want, make him work.

Pushing and pulling will do nothing. He is stronger and will win that battle. You must turn him to disengage the hind end and then you need to make that hind end move and keep moving. He will soon learn that you are boss and if he leads nicely he gets to walk out. If he misbehaves, he is going to have to work.
    07-13-2011, 07:21 PM
Thumbs down

I will try to find a rope halter and riding crop soon hopefully that helps out~!

I have been trying to get him to turn left and right, but he only moves his head. I also pushed against his rib area with all my might to get him to move over, but he just leans! Not even a step if he doesn't want to move.

    07-13-2011, 09:56 PM
Sometimes steady pressure is easier for the horse to tune out than short , sharp pressure. If you want him to step over, take a whip out there. Start by tapping on his side, if he doesnt move over, tap good and hard.

Basically, it doesn't matter what you do to get a reaction, just do what it takes to get one.

You could stomp the ground, swish a rope at him, kick some sand, hit your boot with the whip to make a big sound. Anything. But first, ask with the cue that you will eventually want him to follow, and since he needs more, give him more! And if that doesn't work, then you aren't doing enough. With real intention and some energy to your movement, you can get him to move.
    07-13-2011, 10:12 PM
Green Broke
I agree! Give him a good pop in the rump with a whip or tail of the lead line. When you say move he should MOVE! Right now! Not in five minute or in 30 seconds, because now means now!
    07-14-2011, 11:31 PM

Well I went out during my lunch hour at work today, bought a $9 rope halter, was going to buy a training stick but they were $50 for sticks less than 2' long so I said forget that - but the $9 rope halter was the best thing I could have done!

I went out to see Clyde at the boarding facility right after work, put the new halter on him, and he did the same thing at first - didn't want to move a muscle. SoI just stood there, keeping the pressure on his head and not easing up, then after a moment he took a step - I released, and patted his face, and told him how good he was. Tried again, after another moment, another step. After 10 minutes that big old horse was following me no problems at all and I worked with him for an hour without another single stubborn moment!!!! He even walked over gravel without any fuss, and he hates the gravel!! (recovering from over grown hooves w/barefoot trim, little sore maybe)

I am so glad you guys recommended it- best nine bucks I ever spent!! He was just awesome to work with, very responsive. I never would have believed it unless I saw it.

The strangest thing was, after all that, I released him into the pasture like usual, and rather than immediately going back to his herd, he came over to the fence to see me! He has never ever done that, never showed any sign of wanting to be around me, or anyone - I'm earning that boy, one step at a time!!!
    07-15-2011, 11:07 PM
Glad that it all worked out!

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