Too Much Energy? Help! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-26-2012, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I see a number of things here. The diet being the first, that's a pretty hot diet and he's going to use that energy you're giving him. The next, he is getting quality feed, but does he have any supplements? I'd look into Magnesium for him: Magnesium- The Mineral Superhero

My next comment: are you using a snaffle bit that's connected to the hackamore? That's a bit much, I know this is a forward horse but those combination bridles are very confusing for horses who aren't completely 'finished'.

Personally I'd take him down to just snaffle (french link full cheek with keepers is Always my first choice) and I'd long-line him, walk+trot, over poles, through obstacles and even on trails if you have the opportunity. It sounds like his previous rider Only used him for speed riding, he may not understand that being ridden doesn't require going fast. Most horses are pleased when they realize that they don't need to Run all the time. After long lining him through an intellectually challenging course for him, things that make him think rather than just get him worked up (like lunging would). Then I'd hop on while he's being quiet and thoughtful. Then it just truly comes down to Practice! Practice using soft cues then slowly building them up to stronger cues. Remember (as I'm sure you do) to use you're entire body to calm him, think happy thoughts remember to BREATHE! Sing you're ABCs whenever you're feeling tense. Your attitude will effect him, if you're tense he will be bubbling up under you to go.

My last thought, you've only had him a week - has he just moved in? He may simply be extra hot because he is overwhelmed by the changes in his life and he may settle into life soon.

Good luck with your pony :)
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-26-2012, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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You can start in the roundpen, maybe it will be easier for you. And then move up to an arena and than the track. Work those transitions everywhere, everytime you ride until he is a champ at it.

How often do you ride him again? You say you race him? Even if you do ride him everyday you can change to a pellet that won't drive his energy up so much. It seems like you are doing a ton of 'warming up' to tire him out, you really shouldn't have to do that. That feed is meant for performance horses that you want to have tons of energy. I ride my horse 3 times a week. I lunge him on both left and right for 5 minutes and then saddle him up and ride for an hour and a half. walk,trot,canter,gallop. He is on Seminole Wellness Perform Safe Pellet. It is a 'performance' pellet and helps build muscle but it keeps his energy level good and keeps his head straight. It is very low starch and is a very good feed. I am very happy with it. There is even a feed called Seminole Wellness Calm N' Cool. It is a sweet feed but is very low starch. I used to use that on a young mare I had with lots of energy. The only issue I had with it is that it made her too calm! LOL she hardly had any extra energy. So I really found the perform safe has the perfect balance. I would recommend it to anybody with a horse with high energy. Look into it.

Also he only gets a small turnout connected to his stall? That could also drive up his energy
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-27-2012, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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When horses are raced or barrel raced they think that is what is expected, "let's do it and get it done with". When you take him to the pen why not keep it low key and rather than encourage him to run in there, work on having him reverse but turning toward you as he does, not presenting his rump. Do this at the walk. He should walk maybe a half circle or less then reverse. After 4 or 5 reversals tell him whoa. If he does, reward him by allowing him to stand or rub his forhead. If he doesn't, continue with the reversals and try again. This work at the walk may not seem like much but his back end is working harder with the turns and he'll look forward to a break from that. When your ride him take him to the pen and repeat the work under saddle. Lots of reverses only this time ride 6-8' off the rail and turn him into the rail with your reversing. Again at the walk. He will stop at first until he realizes you aren't asking him to walk into the rail. Be sure to look at where you will go as it will help him. Same as before, a few reversals then ask for whoa. Don't use the reins for this, just take a deep breath and let it out and relax your body while asking whoa. Do the same in the larger area. He should have learned that his option is to work if he doesn't whoa. BTW whoa means no feet move, not just slow down, or almost stop.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 06:39 AM
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Why not try lunging him in the arena or on the track that he is having issues with ? Your round pen doesn't seem to be the problem. Large open spaces does. Unless I'm completely misunderstanding that case, ignore my advice lol ;) Just because he once did barrels and poles, doesn't necessarily mean he has to be a crazy hot headed horse.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-31-2012, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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He needs his hay increased and his grain decreased if at all possible. It sounds like he doesn't get to graze unless you are there, so he definitely needs an increase in roughage and probably a decrease in the amount of protein he is getting.

I usually see this kind of behavior in horses that aren't hyper, they are just unresponsive to the bit and are evading. I own an OTTB and when he first go off the track any pressure on the bars of his mouth would make him go. I thought he just had a lot of energy, so I lunged him before I got on at my trainer's suggestion. I ended up with a very sour, hot-headed and sore horse.

After getting my horse to a more relaxed setting barn and switching to a new trainer. My fast, nervous horse who only liked to run and me who was riding a half halt every step of the way, got called out by the new trainer. My horse had no mouth, he evaded the bit, wanted me to hang on his mouth because that's what he understood, and both of us were unhappy. My trainer, took off the elevator bit and replaced it with a french-link and took off the standing martingale. He explained that a lot of horses aren't properly trained to accept the bit so they learn habits to either go behind the bit creating a very choppy and uneven stride or they grab the bit and go...faster.

Don't let your horse fool you into thinking he is obedient because he stops when you ask him to in the small arena. So hopefully I can explain this correctly and feel free to ask any questions should you need clarification:
1. Next time you ride, if you feel comfortable doing so, don't lunge. Ride only in the smaller arena
2. Does your horse stand to be mounted? (make sure he does)
3. Ride your horse in a 10-15m circle. At the walk ask your horse for an inside bend by steadying your outside hand, increasing the pressure of your inside leg and opening your inside hand slightly.
4. The second you feel your horse slow down or drop his head, let the reins slide through your hands to encourage him stretch his head down. When you learn what this feels like, you will actually feel your horse get softer and his back will round a bit.
5. Pick your reins back up and repeat until you can get him to stretch his head down to the ground when you let the reins slide
6. This teaches your horse to reach out to your hands and lets him know that you will reward him by letting him stretch out when he responds to your hands and legs in a positive way
7. When you master this at the walk, do the same thing at the jog/trot and when your horse has this down, go to the canter. Remember the importance of riding your horse inside leg to outside hand.
8. Also, ride your horse in a spiral by opening your outside hand and using your inside leg to push him out laterally a step while he is still moving forward. This will make him slow down. So when you finally are ready to ride in the larger spaces, think "spiral" and he will slow down.
9. You can try riding half passes as well to get your horse to respond to your leg and also teach him to listen.

A half halt is not a slowing down aid as much as it is a preparatory and re-balancing aid. And a half halt is not the same for every horse. So if you are simply giving your horse a check in the mouth as a half halt, that's all it is...a check in the mouth. And if there is no reward ever, your horse has no option but to continue evading and going faster because he doesn't understand what you are asking. Your leg is as equally, if not more, important in the half halt as your hand. If you use a half halt correctly your horse will re-balance and prepare himself for what you are going to ask him which will usually cause him to slow down a bit.

Good Luck!

"A quiet horse is not always obedient, but an obedient horse is always quiet."
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