Stubborn Mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Stubborn Mare

My trainer has a beautiful Palomino horse named Roxy. Gorgeous girl, awesome gaits.

Only problem?

You need to whack her- HARD- behind your leg with the crop to get her to canter. Twice. Then, she proceeds to canter for a few strides- often on the wrong lead- and break down to a trot as soon as she sees another horse.

This is the horse I may take to a major show this summer. HELP!

LA told me, you'll be a popstar- all you have to change is everything you are ♥
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 02:48 PM
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Is she light and willing to move forward at walk and trot? Or is there a sense that she is a bicycle, so to speak, and you have to keep pedaling her along?


In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 04:50 PM
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There could be many problems that could cause this:

Have you had your saddle checked to see if it fits properly? It could be pinched her back muscles.

Have you had a chiropractor look at her? Maybe something is out and she is in pain when she moves.

Is she fit and balanced? If she isn't balanced that could be whats causing her to pick up the wrong lead.

Is she old? Maybe it is time to be retired because it is too much work at such an age.

Are you making sure you aren't pulling on the reins? This could make her think you want her to stop.

Are you sitting forward enough? Again if you sit back she might think you want her to slow down.

Some horse don't like whips and don't respect them. Try not using the whip.

One thing you can do with her is get on her in the round pen with no reins or bridle and have a friend in the middle to chase her if she doesn't listen to your legs. Remember to sit good and forward or in your 2-point(jumping) position. I am assuming that you ride english.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koomy56 View Post
Is she light and willing to move forward at walk and trot? Or is there a sense that she is a bicycle, so to speak, and you have to keep pedaling her along?
More like a bicycle. She's semi responsive to your leg at walk and trot, but when you ask her for canter, she's alllll over

LA told me, you'll be a popstar- all you have to change is everything you are ♥
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
There could be many problems that could cause this:

Have you had your saddle checked to see if it fits properly? It could be pinched her back muscles.
Yes, it fits fine.

Have you had a chiropractor look at her? Maybe something is out and she is in pain when she moves.
Well, I'd have to ask my trainer about it. I doubt that's it, though- usually she's just a jerk.

Is she fit and balanced? If she isn't balanced that could be whats causing her to pick up the wrong lead.
She is very out of shape- and unbalanced. She had a long time on stall rest and as a result became unfit.

Is she old? Maybe it is time to be retired because it is too much work at such an age.
No, she's 10-ish. She did have a foal, but that was about 8-10 months ago.

Are you making sure you aren't pulling on the reins? This could make her think you want her to stop.
Yes. I'm giving her a VERY loose rein.

Are you sitting forward enough? Again if you sit back she might think you want her to slow down.
My trainer has never pointed out me sitting back, but that could be possible.
Some horse don't like whips and don't respect them. Try not using the whip.
I do. And it sucks. XD

One thing you can do with her is get on her in the round pen with no reins or bridle and have a friend in the middle to chase her if she doesn't listen to your legs. Remember to sit good and forward or in your 2-point(jumping) position. I am assuming that you ride english.
^^ I'm not trying to be like "NONE OF THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE SO SHUT UP" just trying to tell you guys everything ^^

LA told me, you'll be a popstar- all you have to change is everything you are ♥
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-07-2010, 01:17 AM
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Being very unfit and out of shape could be a big factor in this. Get your instructor to give her a few lunge sessions each week with no one on her and get her cantering on the lunge to find her balance, get confident and build up the strength to canter easily.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-07-2010, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paramore
Well, I'd have to ask my trainer about it. I doubt that's it, though- usually she's just a jerk.
I wouldn't take what the horse is doing personal. Your mare isn't saying to herself, "I'm going to make my rider mad by not cantering. Oh, goodie."


I'm not saying you are taking this personal....but from your tone it sounds like you're frustrated with your mare. And I understand that feeling well. I've got difficult horses, too. But, I think that for the mare's well being and health.....you should rule out any possibility of pain for her. Saddle fit, back problems, foot problems, etc. Then, I would do like Kayty suggested and get her physically fit at the walk and trot every day and lunging at the canter...before you ride her at the canter. It might just solve your problem. Good luck!

A good horse is worth more than riches. ~ Spanish Proverb
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-07-2010, 11:37 AM
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You know how when you're riding a bicycle and if you stop pedaling, the bike slows down? Unless you're going downhill, the bike no longer carries you along unless you're pedaling. That is what I meant about your horse acting like a bicycle. You should be able to put her in walk, and stop pedaling and she continues on without slowing down. Pedaling on horseback is nudging her to keep going with your legs/seat, whatever. You want to ge the feeling that you put her in walk, and you sit still and she carries you along without you having to keep telling her to go. This should be done at slow walk, forward walk.
A way to train this into them is simple. Grab a whip for reinforcement and ask her to walk and then be still. Don't shove with your seat, don't squeeze her with your legs, don't do anything. If she stops or slows down try tapping her shoulder with the whip instead of her haunches so that you do something different(she already has a learned response to the whip on her haunches, so do something else). The moment she gets her feet moving again, be still. Repeat this until you quietly ask her for walk, and she walks without you having to "pedal" her along. Do this at trot. Try not to nag at her at any time, just repetition and timing will give you the most success.
The old rule of thumb in riding is that if you don't have it at the walk, you won't have it at the trot. So you definitely don't have it at canter, so don't go there, otherwise you will only be practicing what you don't want.
Once you work on this for a few days and she's feeling lighter and more responsive you'll try the canter. Do not be too picky on the lead, just worry about whether or not she's moving forward. Once she canters don't bicycle her along. If she breaks to trot, re-balance and ask for another transition. Don't nag at her to keep the canter. The more times she picks up canter, trots, and then canters again she will start to hold the canter for longer because its easier to keep moving instead of a million canter trot transitions.
The goal in mind here is not about getting her to canter, you can improve the canter later. For now, focus on getting her lighter and more responsive to smaller aids.

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-08-2010, 02:25 AM
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Great post, koomy56!! Some good advice there.

I see your in Montrose, CO. I lived right near there for two years awhile back. Small world!

A good horse is worth more than riches. ~ Spanish Proverb
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-08-2010, 10:03 AM
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Really? That's wild! Did you like it? :)

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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