What do you do when you are frustrated?

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What do you do when you are frustrated?

This is a discussion on What do you do when you are frustrated? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What to do when frustrated with your horse
  • How to not get frustrated with horses

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    07-26-2012, 11:45 PM
What do you do when you are frustrated?

I have been working with my green mare for a while now, and should be much farther along in her training, however, due to school and work and other such things, we haven't gotten to work together as much as I'd like. Some days she is an absoulte star, but most days she is a holy terror. The good days make me want to go ride every day, but the bad days make me want to never ride her again. Recently I have been getting frustrated to the point where I am ready to just get off and go home and leave her standing there with all her tack on all night. That would probably be a bad decision. What do you do when you get this frustrated with your horse? Taking a deep breath is not doing the trick anymore.
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    07-26-2012, 11:50 PM
Not all people are cut out to be horse trainers.

It takes a great deal of patience and understanding.

Have you thought of getting help?
    07-26-2012, 11:58 PM
If I am riding and Whiskey and I are completely butting heads to the point nothing beneficial is happening, and I am getting pissed off - I know that it's time to get off. So, I get off and lunge her.

If she was being disrespectful or testing boundaries (which most green horses do), I lunge the snot out of her until she is sweaty and breathing hard - then get back on and ask for something I know she can do so we end on the good note. Then I usually try the next lesson to make sure:

1. I am asking her clearly and calmly for the action.
2. She is physically and mentally ready to give me what I am asking.
3. I don't make excuses for her or me, if she is really fighting me I usually am the problem by not following steps 1 or 2.

Basically, as soon as you lose your temper and start beating, jerking, spurring, etc - you lose trust and create a fearful horse, which is the root cause of most problems in horses.

Good luck with your mare - try to get her on a consistent program and you will see results much faster...
    07-27-2012, 12:16 AM
As you gain experience, the frustration will disappear. You'll know you always have a trick up your sleeve that'll fix your problem. Maybe tell us what specific issues you're having. Are you just not making progress in general? Feel like you're not communicating? Feel like she's not getting it, or not trying?
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    07-27-2012, 12:21 AM
I have a lesson once a week, and her previous owner also has a lesson with the same person once a week, so we have some instruction. I just feel like we are not making any progress. I think she may be bored with just trotting in circles all day, so I try to ride her in different areas of the property or do do different exercises with poles etc., but I feel like we can only do so many different things without her getting bored since we can't move on to more difficult and challenging things until we are doing well at the trot. We work on the canter a bit, but I don't feel like we should focus on it until her trot is balanced and rythmic. I feel like we are taking steps backward rather than forward everytime I ride. She is getting worse about rushing, and that is what is frustrating me the most.
    07-27-2012, 12:43 AM
Rushing at the trot: When she speeds up, stop and back up. Usually horses that hurry are thinking "go forward" too much. You might spend as much time backing as you do going forward, but it'll pay off and her reverse will improve, her rate will improve, and you'll have "cruise control"

*remember when you ask for a stop, ask very lightly and momentarily slack the reins, if she hasn't responded, get harder with the next pull. She'll soon respond to the first request to avoid the harder one. When she stops, release rein pressure and then ask for a back-up. Don't release pressure until you feel an improvement in softness

Do you have any performance goals for her or does she just need to be a dependable safe riding horse?
    07-27-2012, 01:14 AM
I take my horse back to something basic, something we can both do well. End the ride, untack, put the horse away and go home and have a beer.
    07-27-2012, 01:15 AM
I know a little about what you're talking about so here's a little bit of stuff I've learned.
1. Ride as much as you possibly can. Everyday if possible. I know it's a near impossible thing to have to ask but it really makes a diffrence. Babies need the routine and the constant reminder.
2. Lung before each time you ride. It honestly only has to be 2 minutes each day. Not only does it make them work a bit but can tell you their temperament for the day. Also it's better that they have a temper tantrum at the end of the line then when you are riding.
3. Keep the mind busy. Do lots and lots of turns. Every time they attempt to speed up, turn. Do figure eights and serpentines. Make the focus on you and they will understand to listen to the bit. On good days begin to teach leg yields, and turn on the forehands and work that daily into exercises.
4. Most important is to always stay cool and collected. If your having a bad day your horse will test you and make it worse. So try and rein in the frustration and work on only getting a task done even if it's a step of what you wanted. If your feeling especially cranky avoid the first rule and just drop off a treat at the barn. It's better to miss a day then work when your mind is on other places.

Good luck I hope it gets better!
    07-27-2012, 03:35 AM
Green Broke
I agree with advice from previous posters.

I had the same problem with my horse but he is a 14 yr old broke beginners horse who is an ex kids barrel horse. Well at least that is what he was sold to me as. I had the same rushing problem your describing so I feel your frustration and my horse shouldn't of had this problem. I got some help from a friends who breaks in horses and the problem has almost completely ceased at the trot and we are almost ready to start canter work.

So don't get too upset it will happen eventually I sometimes find just stopping and yelling at the top of my lungs or laughing really hard helps. But I ride alone and have no one to stare at me.
    07-27-2012, 06:17 AM
It sounds like you need a different trainer or a different approach to your method of training

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