Very Stubborn Horse!!

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Very Stubborn Horse!!

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    04-05-2012, 01:48 PM
Exclamation Very Stubborn Horse!!

I ride a very large quarter horse who has no interest in listening to me. He was previously trained as a roping horse but now I just need him for pleasure riding. He only turns right even when I give him a good kick and a bit of neck reing he only goes right. Also I like to ride him bareback to get my message across better. He also is not very responsive to my body language when im lunging him. I use natural techniques like staying close behind him to make him keep going or coming to his front to make him stop. What should I do? I already drill him in circles to the left during practice and if he rtries to turn right I make him turn left but it is VERY hard do make him do what I want him to. Well, thanks for reading!
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    04-05-2012, 02:01 PM
I would try one week of lunging on a line only to the left. Praise and put away (stall or turnout.)
I always feel more secure "clarifying" cues on my horses with a sturdy saddle. IMO, you should spend as much time as possible on the ground retraining. Say "no" quietly when he doesn't listen. Halt him and Praise quickly when he does it right. Do no more than 7 reps in any one session. It sounds like this horse knows A job and will be reluctant, for awhile to change jobs. ALSO, the only turning right thing, which could be a symptom of a chiropractic problem, is probably the reason he was sold.
    04-05-2012, 02:31 PM
Green Broke
Riding him bareback or not will not make him more responsive or get your message across better. And a bit of neck reining will do nothing either, you have to get your cues across stronger, and also, if this is a well trained horse, he may see no sense in the lunging, nor need it.

Is this your first horse? How much real experience do you have with horses, by this I mean, do you know what you are doing or trying to do?

The lunging craze can go too far, especially if horse is already well trained, or not inclined to act like the village idiot anyway. Most horses I feel, come to really dislike it, as I have seen people lunge an hour or more, when the horse was not fresh, not misbehaving, and not a nutcase. They could have gotten on and ridden quite easily, just felt like they had to lunge each time.

Have you done any chiro on this horse? Massage? Stretching exercises? Run your hands along his neck, shoulders and back to see if you feel any "hard" areas? Those areas will feel tougher, not as pliable. Think about how your neck and shoulders feel when you have strained it. That is the feeling you are looking for under your fingers. If you do feel that, and I expect you will, then massage those areas well, or rub your hands together to make them hot, and lay over area, cool packs (ice in baggies inside towel, or cold water only) laid over area will help, as will massage. Stretch him by giving him carrot to reach for, make him stand still, with you by girth area, and have him reach his head around to get carrot or treat, both sides, stand in front and have him reach way out to get it, and then place carrot low and do the same.

Also, if this is a former roping horse? Neck reining and subtle cues are not their forte. They come out hard and fast, know their jobs well and do those expecting the cowboy to know how to do his. These horses are basically trained to think as a team with their roper. A good roping horse will set the roper up, with the roper never having to tell him what to do.

To expect a horse that has worked like that to automatically know how to be ridden an entirely different way is wrong. Same thing as if I told you you had to speak Mandarin Chinese NOW, and got aggravated when you couldn't.

You need to work on teaching him what you want, being consistent with your cues. To teach a horse to neck rein is 3 parts braided, if you will, into one. The off/near hand, leg, and rein all move together.

Say you are riding, and want to go left. I would begin a very light tensing of right calf muscles as I roll leg slightly in by turning right toe out, at the same instant I would bring right rein against right side of horse's neck, followed a micro second later by my left pinkie reaching into left rein and barely tweaking it. And the left pinkie would only be used to get horse to move left if he didn't do it off of calf and rein cues to right side.

And when I say lightly for all of these cues? I mean exactly that, as lightly as you would pick up a baby chick. Soft cues, followed by slightly less soft cues, increasing in pressure if needed. By keeping your cues as light as a feather? You will soon have a horse that responds to the barest whisper of a cue, and to onlookers? It will be as if you and horse are mentally linked.

You can reinforce this mental link in everything you do with a horse. Moving horse over in stall, haltering, leading, backing up. Light cues, including voice cues, strengthened if need to, as needed to. Eventually your horses will move off of voice, pressure, or even you signaling with your hands.

I would lose the lunging, and ride, unless horse is cold backed, and then only lunge to get that off, and shouldn't take more than couple of minutes then.

You, as a horseperson, have to be able to figure out if the horse is saying no because;
A. Horse doesn't have a clue as to what you want.
B. You don't have a clue as to what you want.
C. Horse knows what to do, but your cues are wrong or confusing it.
D. You don't know the right cues.

This is so true of everything by the way.

This horse just needs to be worked slowly, to see if he does have any clues as to what to you are wanting to do, and if not, then teaching him, and that is best from his back to do.

And also, lose the kicking hard. That shows a horse that you can't figure out what to do, so are resorting to that, and it is very easily ignored if horse has a mind to.

Welcome by the way.
    04-05-2012, 02:34 PM
I do know the horse has a bad sholder on the right but he doesnt seem to be in pain if I stretch his muscles and do a good warm-up. Thanks for the advice I think i'll tyr that
    04-05-2012, 02:46 PM
Say you are riding, and want to go left. I would begin a very light tensing of right calf muscles as I roll leg slightly in by turning right toe out, at the same instant I would bring right rein against right side of horse's neck, followed a micro second later by my left pinkie reaching into left rein and barely tweaking it. And the left pinkie would only be used to get horse to move left if he didn't do it off of calf and rein cues to right side.

I do know what im doing because I do exactly that. and about the lunging I only lunge him because he has a bad shoulder and simply wont move if he is not warmed-up. Thanks for the advice though
    04-05-2012, 05:55 PM
Its very hard to know not seeing it but what the the owner of the horse say? Does it do it for all the riders? Has your trainer looked at it?
    04-05-2012, 06:04 PM
I would imagine a roping horse, if shown and used a lot, would know his business inside and out and work off neck reining. Have you spoken to his former owner to ask what they thought?

It is good your into natural training, however, could it be it isn't working with this particular horse? Not all horses are the same, each are individuals and while some will do good with it, others may not so who is to say that the horse you have just does not like how your working with him?

Have you tried giving the horse a gram of bute then working him about 45 minutes later? Horses are very stoic animals, sometimes what we may take as not being in pain, they are just not showing it to the point we human's pick up on it. Have you had a vet out to look at his shoulder and gotten their ideas?
ernie5567 likes this.
    04-05-2012, 11:18 PM
GraySorrel, he was dumped at my riding place so I don't know his owner. The vet says his shoulder is just sore and a little tight but no real problem. He takes firmer more defined movement with the legs to get him to move. I just had a lesson on him and he did pretty well because I was bareback and he could feel my movements better. He HATES bits and throws his head down if you put even the slightest pressure on softest bit out there, a snaffle bit with a link in the middle, so i've been trying to soften my hands and ride with a bitless bridle sometimes.
    04-05-2012, 11:26 PM
Glad to hear he did well for you. Have you tried working him in a hackamore? Thank you for the updates, hope he continues to improve...
    04-05-2012, 11:26 PM
My reply is best answered by a true story: I was asked to help a gentleman with a horse issue unrelated to what you are describing- but his horse was a roping horse and was being actively used as one. I called this gentleman up and said "your horse doesn't take his right lead." His response: "Good horse." And I said, is there something wrong with his right side? And he said "Leslie, I don't want him to even KNOW that he has a right lead!" Never having been to a roping, I didn't understand it. Following weekend I went to work the same horse at the roping in-between runs and when I saw the horses break out of the box and go to the LEFT- I got it! Every roping horse I've ridden since them either doesn't want to go the right or they are underdeveloped to the right (which will feel like to you that they are stiff as a board and their nose will point to the left) and act like they are going to fall down to the right..... Some roping horses are very single-minded in how they behave under saddle, some are superbly trained and very sensitive under saddle... just depends.

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