Will Rosie Ever Be a Trail Horse?
 
 

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Will Rosie Ever Be a Trail Horse?

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  • David lee archer training a horse to wear a hackamore
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    03-08-2011, 06:23 PM
  #1
Yearling
Unhappy Will Rosie Ever Be a Trail Horse?

First off, I don't know if this really belongs here. If it doesn't, I am sorry, I will ask the mods to move it.

Okay, well I am having trouble with my mare. She is just NOT what I expected and while I love her and don't want to sell her, I am just not sure what to do with her. I guess I should give you a little background on her.

Rosie is an 8 year old Arabian/Appyloosa cross mare. She is prancy and elagant like an Arabian, and has a cute varnish roan pattern from her Appy side. But while she has te best from both breeds physicaly, she has the worst training wise! She is hot headed and reactive like her Arab ancestors, and she boy did she get the Appy pig headed and stubborness. Now, I was aware of this when I got her. I had been riding and working with her for about 6 weeks before I took her. She had seemed like a pretty nice ride though, not trained in any specific disiple and wasn't too keen on going away from pressure, but she didn't seem to difficult. I had however seen her freak when I tried to walk her across a rubber mat and had seen her set back and actually flip upside down while tied. But this didn't really come out under saddle so I fugured I could jst work with her. Now, the guy said h had had her for about 1 or 2 years and had only taken her on one trail ride. She was with other horses and so she did fine. She was fine around the barn when I rode her and she wasn't being kept with any other horses so I figured she would do fine. Ha!

Once we got her home she immediatly started taking advantage of me. I did my best but she has just been winning at everything sonce she got home. It started by just not wanting to be caught(I stopped that one though, she can be caught pretty easily not) and then she stated not wanting to go away from the gate while we were in the arena. Once we got over that, I tried taking her out in the pasture(it's like 60 aceres, she is lives there so she is comfortable in it) and she freakes!! Spining, trying to dart away, bucking, crowhopping. Its dangerous!! We finally took an okay ride through the pasture and into another one. I dismounted to get a snack and she wouldn't let me back on. I had to walk her back. I figured she might be better with Paradise out with her so I took him out for the first time on Sunday and my brother followed on Rosie. Paradise did well but It took Rosie 15 minutes just to get away from the barn. My dad had to walk them out to meat up with me. Paradise was pretty calm, doing a nice free walk. Rosie couldn't even flat walk. Her head was up the whole time and she eventually bucked trying to run back to the barn. It's almost like she has had a bad experience out there or something. She just freakes!! I don't know what to do. Is she taking advantage of us? Does she need more training in the arena? Please, any help is greatly apreciated!! I just have no clue what to do :( Paradise is a year old ottb a little over 100 days off the track and he behaves better than she does :(. Help!


Oh, and I don't know if this matters or not but she refuses to be bridles so she is just being ridden in her webbed halter.
     
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    03-08-2011, 07:03 PM
  #2
Green Broke
First off, I would want more control than a halter can provide. Even a hackamore would be better because atleast you would have leverage as well as a chin chain. A good way to get her used to accepting the bit would be to smear mollasses or honey or even apple sauce all over it.

Next, you can do more arena work and especially ground work if you want until you know she'll respond to you but the only way to get her used to trail riding is to go trail riding.
Now, it may be that she just doesnt feel confident so if you can you can bring another horse along for the first few times. Maybe even pony her or have someone else pony her with you on.
If she starts acting up, I just spin them in circles. Pull her head around & don't let go until she comes to a complete stand still on her own. Do this every time & eventually she'll get the idea that messing around means spinning.
This is just one way, but I imagine other's will have pointers as well.
It's difficult without actually knowing or seeing the horse personally.
     
    03-08-2011, 08:05 PM
  #3
Weanling
For some horses, it's hard for them to concentrate when you take them out in their pasture. That's usually where they're free to run around and be with their buddies so it may be hard for her to accept that you want her to go out there and work. I also agree with the above poster. You need to have a bit in her mouth. A halter isn't providing you any control and it sounds like she's taking advantage of that. Once you get a bridle on (thats the big thing to work on first), work with her in the arena on listening. Do a lot of transitions until she really knows your cues and listens when you tell her to stop and stand. That will give you more control when you try the pasture again.
     
    03-08-2011, 08:12 PM
  #4
Yearling
Thanks DarkAngel! Do you have any suggestions on how to get the bit in her mouth? I have tried being gentel, being rough and strict with her, and putting honey on it. The thing that siimed to work the best was if I unbuckeled the cheekpeice and tried to crank the bit up into her mouth. That worked but it took forever and I think she finally just gave in cause she was bored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilruffian    
First off, I would want more control than a halter can provide. Even a hackamore would be better because atleast you would have leverage as well as a chin chain. A good way to get her used to accepting the bit would be to smear mollasses or honey or even apple sauce all over it.
I tried putting honey on it but she still fought it. I noticed she has a little bump on both sides of her lower gums right about where the bit lays. I'm not sure if they are still there or not though. And I don't know what they are from or whether or not they have anything to do with her bit aversion. I would like to get her a Rydem Bitless, do you know anything about these? The seem to be what I am looking for in a bridle.

[QUOTE]Now, it may be that she just doesnt feel confident so if you can you can bring another horse along for the first few times. Maybe even pony her or have someone else pony her with you on.[QUOTE]

Thats what I keep thinking it is, that she isn't confident away from the barn. There didn't seem to be a big difference between when she was with another horse and when she was by herself though. But I like your idea of ponying her. Once I get Pari more aclimated to being ridden out there, I will try that


Thank you for your help!!
     
    03-08-2011, 08:16 PM
  #5
Foal
Wow, sounds like you have a lot going on. It appears, through no fault of your own, that your mare has some pretty big holes in her training. I want to encourage you to keep working with her, you can work this out. My appy was unridden at 8 and has been a major challenge as well. They seem to have the ability to think up new evasions as quickly as you fix old ones. Their are two old sayings I like about appys: Why don't Cowboys like appy's? Because they don't like a horse that is smarter than they are. AND Why did the Native Americans use appys for their war horses? Because they were so mad from training them they were ready for a fight.

If you don't have a lot of experience, you should really consider getting a trainer, or at least using a trainer for some of the things I'll offer below. Some of the suggestions I will make require quite a bit of experience or can really mess things up more. Just so it's out there early, remember horses learn from the RELEASE of pressure.

Appys - in my experience, appys often move into pressure when scared. This is different from most other horses, and if you don't expect it can be really dangerous. For example, with the farrier, my mare would leap forward kicking rather than pulling back and away.

1) ground work - lots, and lots, and lots of ground work. Not just lunging her on a circle, but walking on the trail, going for hikes, down the sidewalk, into town, teach her to jump over barrels from the ground. Teach her the 7 Games and to yield the four quadrants (hips, shoulders). Build your respect and trust on the ground.

2) Become an expert at the One Rein Stop. Learn how to grab one rein and spin her around. These are your "Emergency Brakes" when she flips out. You wouldn't drive a race car without decent brakes, so put brakes on her. You need to train her how to ORS and Ruffian referenced it above ("pull her head around and don't let go until she comes to a complete stand still")

3) Consider leg restraint training. I have used hobbles and leg straps with great effectiveness on my mare. Essentially teaching her that she needs me in some situations and can't just fight her way out of everything.

4) I don't like riding in the horse's regular pasture on a green horse. That is "their" space, where they get to act out and be free. Just my opinion.

5) "Won't let me get back on." Not exactly sure how she is evading here. My mare would just put it into reverse whenever she felt you starting to mount in the field. Again, you have to be the rock in the ocean (sorry for the Zen reference). Walk up as though you are going to mount. If horse moves, move horse's feet with energy. Get their mind back on you. Make them hip yield, or shoulder yield (see where that ground work helps) until they are breathing hard, then calm everything and start to mount again. Make the wrong thing hard (moving on mounting makes him move my feet around and get tired) and the right thing easy (if I stand still, he doesn't move me around). I also think it is important in this training to sit on the horse a few minutes without asking anything once mounted. Teach the horse that getting you on their back doesn't instantly mean start moving your feet and working. Teach her to stand with you up there.

6) Barn sour - a frustrating habit for sure. There are lots of ways to train for this, but I really like what David did in this video.
7) IMHO, training her more in the arena and round pen will not help with making her a better trail horse (except that it will help put the foundation there). As Ruffian indicated, only trail rides will help, but you need a better handle on this horse before you go out like that.

8) I saw that you had another thread on which bit to use with her. Not sure what you ended up with, but you should probably be in a snaffle with her based upon how green she is. I use a Myler Full Cheek Jointed Snaffle (MB02 I believe) and my mare loves it. I'm now training her to take a curb (also a Myler). Her evasion for the curb was to rear over backwards onto me.

9) IMHO, you cannot control a bucker with a halter, and particularly with a webbing halter. Look at the video of PP at Road to the Horse, even he couldn't ride that horse in just a halter (not that I'm pro- or anti-PP, he just has way more experience on horseback than most). You need to get her to accept the bit. Ruffian had a few suggestions on how to do this, but none of this worked with my mare. She hates anything going in her mouth (worming paste, bits, etc.) so she wouldn't even taste the "nummy" she would just react away from the attempt. When my mare began refusing the bit, this is what I did. A) you need time and patience; b) put a rope halter on; c) stand where you would to bridle, slip your far hand around her jaw and hook your thumb under the rope halter. In this way you move when she moves, up, down, anywhere. D) bring the bridle up and ultimately hook your fingers through the off-side of the bit (so now my right hand is hooked by the thumb to the halter and the index and middle finger are in the off-side rings of the snaffle). Follow the horse as she evades. Be calm and patient. You wait until she stands and relaxes. You are like a piece of ribbon on her halter, you follow her where ever she goes. E) push my thumb into her mouth between the incisors and premolars (in the diastema) and wiggle it on her tongue until she opens her mouth. F) slide in bit. G) complete bridling. Repeat over and over until she doesn't react.

My final word of advice is you have quite a few things to work on, and you can't do them all at once. Get a plan as to how you will address each issue and take them sequentially. I've tried, based on your OP, to put this in the order I would address the issues (but I'd work on the Bit/bridle issue earlier). You can't effectively ORS with a halter. Good luck!
     
    03-08-2011, 08:19 PM
  #6
Foal
Just read the other two posts that came in while I was typing the book above. I would train with a traditional bit (snaffle) and then - later - when she has the foundation of good training in place, consider if you want to go bitless. This horse knows what a rider is and is evading the process. You need to get a good handle on her before moving to "softer" bits.

Again, just MHO.
     
    03-08-2011, 08:38 PM
  #7
Weanling
Don't spend much money on special bitless bridles, a simple rope halter gives the same results, will last longer and is more versatile.

Cypress Lodge :: Promoting Humane Training and Treatment of Horses

Rope Halters~Side Pull Halters~Halter Making Kits
     
    03-08-2011, 09:09 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by trIplEcrOwngIrl    
I had been riding and working with her for about 6 weeks before I took her. She had seemed like a pretty nice ride though, not trained in any specific disiple and wasn't too keen on going away from pressure, but she didn't seem to difficult. I had however seen her freak when I tried to walk her across a rubber mat and had seen her set back and actually flip upside down while tied.
More ground work.
Make her unafraid of rubber mats. Have her walk through puddles, over large sticks, over blue tarps. I have even painted a piece of wood black and white like a checkerboard, and had my horse walk over it every which way because I saw it as an obstacle in a trail class once. Teach her that plastic bags aren't scary. Also teach her to give in to pressure.


Quote:
Once we got over that, I tried taking her out in the pasture(it's like 60 aceres, she is lives there so she is comfortable in it) and she freakes!! Spining, trying to dart away, bucking, crowhopping. Its dangerous!! We finally took an okay ride through the pasture and into another one. I dismounted to get a snack and she wouldn't let me back on. I had to walk her back. I figured she might be better with Paradise out with her so I took him out for the first time on Sunday and my brother followed on Rosie. Paradise did well but It took Rosie 15 minutes just to get away from the barn. My dad had to walk them out to meat up with me. Paradise was pretty calm, doing a nice free walk. Rosie couldn't even flat walk. Her head was up the whole time and she eventually bucked trying to run back to the barn. It's almost like she has had a bad experience out there or something. She just freakes!! I don't know what to do. Is she taking advantage of us? Does she need more training in the arena?


Oh, and I don't know if this matters or not but she refuses to be bridles so she is just being ridden in her webbed halter.
Naughty green horse + halter as a bridle + wide open pasture = trouble

Please start using a bridle with a snaffle bit, just a plain loose-ring snaffle should be fine.
She refuses to be bridled... so she's head shy? Doesn't like her ears touched? A trick I've done is get a headstall with clips on the cheekpieces. Put the headstall on without the bit, and then clip the bit on one cheekpiece, use your thumb and finger to open her mouth, put the bit in her mouth, and clip it to the other side.

Once she's ride-able with a bit, you can always teach her to go bitless, but right now I think it'd be a lot safer with a bit in her mouth.

If I were you, I'd work her in the arena, and once she's awesome in the arena start to slowly take her out alone.
The field is 60 acres? Take her out until you're about an acre away from the gate, and walk her back. Do it until she's perfect, and then add a few more acres. If she tries to bolt off to the barn/gate, turn her around, and make her back up. She starts to buck or crowhop, make her do circles.
     
    03-08-2011, 10:28 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanyonCowboy    
Wow, sounds like you have a lot going on. It appears, through no fault of your own, that your mare has some pretty big holes in her training. I want to encourage you to keep working with her, you can work this out. My appy was unridden at 8 and has been a major challenge as well. They seem to have the ability to think up new evasions as quickly as you fix old ones. Their are two old sayings I like about appys: Why don't Cowboys like appy's? Because they don't like a horse that is smarter than they are. AND Why did the Native Americans use appys for their war horses? Because they were so mad from training them they were ready for a fight.
Thank you, I really would like to be able to work our problems out :)

Quote:
If you don't have a lot of experience, you should really consider getting a trainer, or at least using a trainer for some of the things I'll offer below. Some of the suggestions I will make require quite a bit of experience or can really mess things up more. Just so it's out there early, remember horses learn from the RELEASE of pressure.
Unfortuanatly, I am not able to get a trainer for her. I would like to, but that just isn't possible right now.

Quote:
Appys - in my experience, appys often move into pressure when scared. This is different from most other horses, and if you don't expect it can be really dangerous. For example, with the farrier, my mare would leap forward kicking rather than pulling back and away.
THIS! This totally describes her! That is one of the two reasons her owner was selling her(the other was his kids couldn't handle her by themselves), because she went into pressure rather that go away from it so she wasn't turning out as a reining horse.

Quote:
1) ground work - lots, and lots, and lots of ground work. Not just lunging her on a circle, but walking on the trail, going for hikes, down the sidewalk, into town, teach her to jump over barrels from the ground. Teach her the 7 Games and to yield the four quadrants (hips, shoulders). Build your respect and trust on the ground.

2) Become an expert at the One Rein Stop. Learn how to grab one rein and spin her around. These are your "Emergency Brakes" when she flips out. You wouldn't drive a race car without decent brakes, so put brakes on her. You need to train her how to ORS and Ruffian referenced it above ("pull her head around and don't let go until she comes to a complete stand still")
Okay, I will make ground work my number one step. Is there a website that goes over the seven games? Or do I have to buy the dvd's?

Quote:
3) Consider leg restraint training. I have used hobbles and leg straps with great effectiveness on my mare. Essentially teaching her that she needs me in some situations and can't just fight her way out of everything.

4) I don't like riding in the horse's regular pasture on a green horse. That is "their" space, where they get to act out and be free. Just my opinion.
I am not against hobbles at all, but I don't think I am experienced enough to deal with training a horse with them. I understad your point on #4 and I have though about that myself actually, but if I want to take them out of the arena, then I have to go through their pasture to get to the meadows where there are some 'trails'. I wish there was a way to avoid this as I would like to, but we have to ride through it atleast :(

Quote:
5) "Won't let me get back on." Not exactly sure how she is evading here. My mare would just put it into reverse whenever she felt you starting to mount in the field. Again, you have to be the rock in the ocean (sorry for the Zen reference). Walk up as though you are going to mount. If horse moves, move horse's feet with energy. Get their mind back on you. Make them hip yield, or shoulder yield (see where that ground work helps) until they are breathing hard, then calm everything and start to mount again. Make the wrong thing hard (moving on mounting makes him move my feet around and get tired) and the right thing easy (if I stand still, he doesn't move me around). I also think it is important in this training to sit on the horse a few minutes without asking anything once mounted. Teach the horse that getting you on their back doesn't instantly mean start moving your feet and working. Teach her to stand with you up there.
She wouldn't stand still and though I was able to jump up, when I did she reared and crowhopped. I didn't want to risk falling off since I was in a back pasture and I'm not sure my brother and dad knew exactly where I had gone. I will work on mounting and waiting for my signal to move after ground work :)

Quote:
6) Barn sour - a frustrating habit for sure. There are lots of ways to train for this, but I really like what David did in this video. YouTube - Barn sour horse,David Lee Archer
I haven't gotten to watch this vid yet, but I def will tonight :)

Quote:
7) IMHO, training her more in the arena and round pen will not help with making her a better trail horse (except that it will help put the foundation there). As Ruffian indicated, only trail rides will help, but you need a better handle on this horse before you go out like that.
I will work on my ground work in the arena before I hit the trail again and when I do, I will problably use Ruffian's idea of ponying her.

Quote:
8) I saw that you had another thread on which bit to use with her. Not sure what you ended up with, but you should probably be in a snaffle with her based upon how green she is. I use a Myler Full Cheek Jointed Snaffle (MB02 I believe) and my mare loves it. I'm now training her to take a curb (also a Myler). Her evasion for the curb was to rear over backwards onto me.

9) IMHO, you cannot control a bucker with a halter, and particularly with a webbing halter. Look at the video of PP at Road to the Horse, even he couldn't ride that horse in just a halter (not that I'm pro- or anti-PP, he just has way more experience on horseback than most). You need to get her to accept the bit. Ruffian had a few suggestions on how to do this, but none of this worked with my mare. She hates anything going in her mouth (worming paste, bits, etc.) so she wouldn't even taste the "nummy" she would just react away from the attempt. When my mare began refusing the bit, this is what I did. A) you need time and patience; b) put a rope halter on; c) stand where you would to bridle, slip your far hand around her jaw and hook your thumb under the rope halter. In this way you move when she moves, up, down, anywhere. D) bring the bridle up and ultimately hook your fingers through the off-side of the bit (so now my right hand is hooked by the thumb to the halter and the index and middle finger are in the off-side rings of the snaffle). Follow the horse as she evades. Be calm and patient. You wait until she stands and relaxes. You are like a piece of ribbon on her halter, you follow her where ever she goes. E) push my thumb into her mouth between the incisors and premolars (in the diastema) and wiggle it on her tongue until she opens her mouth. F) slide in bit. G) complete bridling. Repeat over and over until she doesn't react.
I just went to a halter but the only snaffle I have is a single jointed, sweet iron, loose ring snaffle. I am anxious to try your techniche, but have a couple of questions. C, do you put your off hand around or under your horses jaw? E, which thumb do you put in her mouth?

Quote:
My final word of advice is you have quite a few things to work on, and you can't do them all at once. Get a plan as to how you will address each issue and take them sequentially. I've tried, based on your OP, to put this in the order I would address the issues (but I'd work on the Bit/bridle issue earlier). You can't effectively ORS with a halter. Good luck!
Thank you for all your help and taking the time to write all this up!! I really apreciate it!
     

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