Why does she do this? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Why does she do this?

So I was originally planning on "buying a horse that was right for me". I did read through lots of information etc. Basically I wanted as bombproof as possible and just liked to walk ha. So we could have nice calm trail rides. But I ended up caring for 12 year old quarter horse who was left at my friends house. The owner hasn't returned for months. She is being well cared for of course :). I don't have a ton of riding experience in any particular area. I have only ridden western. But I owned a horse as a few years back (she was too hot for me - not a fit. She needed a much more experienced rider. But didn't realize it until after I purchased her) and was a stall cleaner for a couple years. I'd probably be classified as an advanced beginner or so.

I don't have much background info on her other than she has had training, broke to ride etc. Usually ridden english and does okay on trails. She is a bit spooky.

I have ridden her bareback a few times and she seems to be doing okay. We had one very successful ride. Where I actually felt like she listened to me and we connected. She tends to be buddy sour? I usually ride with a friend for safety purposes and she will constantly try to go over to the other horse follow what they are doing. If they are trotting she thinks she needs to trot (and since we are bareback, I have back trouble, and it's been a while its just not happening right now). It's always a fight to get her to stop. She has a twisted snaffle bit which her old owner used to ride her with. Whenever I get on her she constantly dances around side to side and tries to go immediately. If I didn't tell her no I am fairly certain she would run off with me. She is completely fine is some one else holds her still and then leads her around for a few feet.

The last time we rode was a very negative experience. She seemed irritated when I first got on. I did have some one lead her around for a min. Then she spent the entire time just not listening to commands (did not want to stop, walk etc). She ended up trying to canter and wouldn't listen when I asked her to stop and I lost my balance and had to hop off. I got back on a few minutes later (didn't want her to win) and she was fine for a minute. But still did her annoying dancing thing. Then saw the other horse moving and she tried to trot/canter/run off again. So I decided to get off, just because I can't afford a fall. I did some stuff on the ground with her to end the day. Walking over obstacles, in circles, backing up etc. She is very good on the ground. However, I have been able to get her to lunge.

I have been told that when they don't want to stop to bring their nose close to your foot and turn them in a circle. However, I don't know if this is appropriate in the beginning of the ride and if that is the action I should have taken when she tried to run off.

We usually ride in a pasture.

Any advice?
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-14-2012, 08:44 PM
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I had a horse that would jig on the trail A LOT when I first started riding him. A lot of it was due to my lack of confidence and nervousness. When I was nervous that he would start acting up, that's when he would start. Make sure that he understands that you are in charge. When my horse would start to jig I would half halt every few steps using a squeeze of my inner thighs. I had to do this every two or three steps, but by being consistant, he began to get the idea. I would also try doing exercises in an enclosed environment to get him used to listening to you instead of trying to behave like the other horses. If you feel he is going to run away with you, turn him the other way and make him walk in that direction until he calms down.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 08:05 AM
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The turn around method works, you could also use backing or some other exercise to bring her back to you, and away from whatever distracting her. Stay relaxed and firm and ask over and over and over again, increasing the intensity each time until you get what you want. she'll learn that every time I do something she doesn't like, I go backwards, or whatever you choose to "bring her back". It'll soon be easier for her to listen than misbehave. Be consistant, good luck :)
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 08:23 AM
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Pulling her into a circle is a good way to get a horse focused on you it doesn't matter if its in the beginning of the ride or not. I would practice doing this a lot before you get out and she takes off. I think you said you ride bareback and when you pull her into a circle especially if its in the canter you want to have that balance thingie down pat

I'm not a fan of a twisted snaffle, I understand that people use them to enhance their cues but I think that should be with someone who is very experienced at riding. If your hands aren't extrememly quiet you might be hurting her mouth. Maybe you could try borrowing others different bits to see if there is a better fit, to see if she would do better.

My mare loves to trot its a very slow trot and if you learn to post it or learn to sit it well it doesn't hurt your back. When I first tried it hurt all of me from the top to the bottom but I kept after it and now it doesn't hurt at all, although I do like a good bra on when I ride lol

I definately think that you need to make her work if she trots without being asked or canters. My gelding does that whole prancy, takes off in a canter thing with me but he doesn't do it with more experienced riders, I think my nervousness gets him nervous and it turns into a cycle I don't ride him anymore lol he gets the experienced riders now
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 09:28 AM
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I think you should stop riding bareback to start. The horse sounds like it may have holes in training or simply need more miles. With your back trouble and your ability level, it's a bad mix. You're going to eventually end up moving incorrectly due to the back pain, fear of it, and because you're still developing yor seat.

Consider changing her bit to something milder like a regular snaffle (not a twisted snaffle fan).

When your horse wants to blindly follow the other horse, it's displaying a lack in confidence in you and in being alone. Because of the reasons I mentioned before, you're going to have trouble correcting the hiloree effectively without a saddle. Make the horse move at the speed you want. When it tries to speed up, try tight circles and then ask for what you want again. She sounds like for whatever reason - probably past training- is making her want to rush. To combat this you should work against that urge. Do lots of walking, turning, stopping. Walk walk walk until she has it down. Add in trotting a little at a time then work on that. Then when she has walk and trot, add the canter.

Good luck and stay safe!
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 04:23 PM
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I like circles and figure 8's for a prancing horse, I don't really like the back up idea simply because it could cause a rear. A horse that is fighting the bit, dancing around and you put pressure on both reins and trying to back it up, sometimes will go straight in the air. Not always and not all horses, but it has happened to me and when a horse is dancing around keeping its feet going forward is a good idea, even if it is forward in circles..

My Vet and Farrier are currently splitting my childeren's inheritance.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 04:38 PM
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Most others have covered anything else so I'll keep it short. Have you had a vet out to check on her teeth? Some horses can get really cranky if they have bad teeth and it could be something to look out for. I would also try to get her out of a twisted snaffle, just pick up a regular one and see if that helps. If it is for sure not a problem with her mouth then move onto other methods. Also, get a saddle! Investing in a nice comfortable saddle that fits you and your horse is definitely worth it. Good luck to you, it was very brave of you to take on a horse with little background information! Now hopefully your mission turns out positively and you get rewarded for taking on an abandoned horse. (:
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 04:47 PM
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I have been working with my nervous mare with people walking ahead and her standing still on trail. People are still within eyesight and not far, but she nearly looses it and shuts down. Circles and figure 8 doesn't work when she is shut down. I started doing neck flexing, taking one rein and nose to the knee, relax and release, opposite rein nose to knee, relax and release. This was just enough to bring her little worried mind back to me without a lot of fussing and fighting and getting dangerous. If she could stand still after the flexing, we would stand for a second and then walk off on my terms. If she starting moving, back to flexing.

This is what I have found best for her, may not work for your horse. But it got her attention without any drama and that's what I liked about it.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-15-2012, 05:13 PM
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It sounds like you just need to start from the beginning with her... Lunge her and get her respect. If you only want to walk, you shouldn't get on her fresh. Stop using the twisted snaffle, that can be a harsh bit and if she's not giving to that then she has some training holes. Put a normal snaffle in and teach her to bend her head all the way to each side with it and also put her head down when you apply pressure with both hands. She needs to be more sensitive to the bit in order to listen to it and stop. Basically treat her like she isn't broke at all! Do a LOT of ground work and re-introduce her to the bit. My mom's mare isn't quite that severe but I am working on the same issues like wanting to go too fast and not stopping well.

I actually have to say that if you're a beginner you should continue your search for a broke horse. People have to teach horses before horses can teach people. You can't leard together.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-16-2012, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank You all so much for the advice. :)

I will pick up a regular snaffle and start riding with a saddle to
See if that makes any difference.

The vet is due out soon, so she will have her teeth checked.

I will be getting some one to give lessons/ help me train. So I'd like to give her a try. However, in the end my safety is most important of course. So I do respect the opinion of getting a different horse. I am rather fond of her though. So we shall see. :)
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