Would you work with this horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 06:23 PM
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I think she has been over-bitted and over-ridden. I used to get in Arabians all of the time that were 'flunk-outs' from Park horse trainers and other show barns. They tried to cram a half-broke hot blood into a frame, get a head-set and and push them into being something they were not ready for. What you are describing is not a crazy or 'bi-polar' horse but a 'blown up' show horse prospect.

I got what was left over to either make a western horse or competetive trail horse out of them or an Arabian race horse.

They are not 'trying' someone and they do not need to be ridden 'roughly' with more pressure. They need to be ridden out and need to cover about 20 miles of trails or pastures with their rider staying out of their face. If you ride one 'loose' (not tense or trying to fame one up) and ride with one rein at a time -- seldom pulling on both reins at the same time, these horses usually learn to relax and trust a rider's hands and intent.

Then, most of them can be gradually gathered up and ridden into the bit. Some always have a 'come-apart' when they are pressured, but most gradually let you collect them and push them more.

A couple of the best AERC endurance horses I trained and rode were 'blown-up' wanna-be Arabian Park horses.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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She is going to need countless hours of work. And Cherie, you're very, very correct, that's how her owner trains, and a lot of the time, it works, but it is in times like these that it's really showing it's true colors. There is no way that I can just let her run either... there is no room for it, and the owner is not interested in that type of thing.

The owner has no intention of selling her, and i have permission to show her if I wish, so I also don't expect anything bad to happen in that way.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 07:17 PM
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"They are not 'trying' someone and they do not need to be ridden 'roughly' with more pressure. They need to be ridden out and need to cover about 20 miles of trails or pastures with their rider staying out of their face. If you ride one 'loose' (not tense or trying to fame one up) and ride with one rein at a time -- seldom pulling on both reins at the same time, these horses usually learn to relax and trust a rider's hands and intent."


If you are getting paid to train the horse, then maybe, it's worth it. Otherwise, your going to spend a huge amount of time. It does sound like your asking for too much too soon. Horses like this usually learn a lot better when they are tired. The trick is to tire them out. I've seen these rascals go at a medium canter for 60 plus miles and never tire. You don't want to ride them wide open, that makes them worse. A lot of fast water riding helps to tire them. Steep, steep hills, etc. If she is bred for endurance, it may take more than you can give her to tire her out. 60 miles and 15 mph, is 4 hours riding, then it MIGHT be training time.

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post #14 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 08:33 PM
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Is she on ANY alfalfa or feed with molasses? My arab dose that unless she is only on Bermuda. Sounds like your working with a cracked out ADHD horse.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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She's not on any molasses, and she is given grass hay at the moment. I don't think she's ADHD, just unpredictable.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 09:16 PM
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Lol I call all arabs ADHD. My mare and I seem to both have 'Oh shiny" moments on the same things wile riding XD.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-19-2013, 10:47 PM
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You do not let them run. You do a lot of trotting and walking in circles and serpentines using one rein or the other. Miles of trails would be best. Big pastures would be next on my list. You just ignore her form, head-set, collection and all other things that put pressure on her body and her brain.

A 'blown up' horse that has been over-trained and over-pushed just flakes out with pressure or with being reminded of pressure. It takes a lot of pressure to make a finished show horse. Some prospects take pressure better than others. Some don't take much at all. You see it with everything from WP horses to barrel horses to cutting horses to Arabian Park horses.

The reason you train horses that get 'on the fight' or are 'blown up' by riding them with one rein at a time is that horses cannot fight 'one rein riding'. As soon as you 'lock into' a horse with both reins, you give them something to fight. It goes back to the old saying that "It takes two to fight!." The whole object is to keep a horse in a 'responsive mode' and not let them get into a 'reactive mode'. They only learn in a responsive mode and turn out all learning, discomfort and pain in a reactive mode. Some Arabians will literally 'fight you until they die' if you give them something to fight. That is the beauty of 'one rein riding'.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-20-2013, 12:11 AM
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I was training a horse with almost identical issues. Definitely started early and rushed because she was so balanced and willing. By the time I started working with her, she wouldn't go forward, was stiff even at the walk, would always have her head in a headset, but wouldn't make contact with the bit. She would kick and stomp her feet, but she wouldn't buck. She did start rearing though. She was one you had to just ignore those episodes. If you made a deal out of it, she'd completely shut down. Owner wanted her pushed, and had the constant excuse of "she must be in heat". Her daughter started the horse, but she passed away, so it was a tricky situation. Owner finally gave her away to someone who was able to completely start her over, and she's doing a lot better. Its hard to get the owner to take a step back sometimes and let you do whats right for the horse. I would definitely go back to basics and go slow. Pictures would be awesome, we love pictures! Good luck.
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-20-2013, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Moocabear View Post
So here is a brief background of what has been happening. Recently I sold my horse, the horse I was originally training was taken to another barn so she could be half leased, and that left me horseless. After taking some time away from the barn, I came back to an offer to work with a green broke, 8 year old arabian mare that had more than enough potential to make it all the way to the top. I accepted and began my work.

We started on the basics, ground work (Which she was already up to par with, with an incredible start to more advanced ground work), and she already had a lot of the basics of riding down. So she had the know how of moving away from pressure at the walk and trot, was working on collecting and engaging her hindquarters, and was overall a dream to work with, right? Wrong. I could almost call this horse bi-polar. We had the usual quirks, but she is the ultimate unpredictable horse.

We're working on holding still while mounting, which is going great. Sometimes she'll hold perfectly still and is a dream. Until you ask her to move. She has a tenancy to do either one of two things a) Dig her feet into the ground, and after some prodding to move, whether it's with some force, or gently, she will explode, generally rearing, flinging her head, and "jumping" forward or b) Rushing forward as soon as you mount, flinging herself around, refusing to walk/trot straight, and the only way to get a safe walk out of her is an emergency stop. She is a horse that you must work with daily, because if you take a single day off, she turns into a beast the next time you ride, which is difficult for me because sometimes I am just unable to be out there.

She also has a tendency to buck when aggravated. For example, today she was doing perfectly well, until halfway through our ride, when asked for a jog, she pinned her ears, refused, and let out a nice, big buck. This happened several other times when asked to do anything but walk around the arena. We worked through it, and just when I thought she was behaving, she started up again.

She is deemed healthy by the vet, the farrier comes out regularly and she doesn't have any health problems. The tack fits fine, it has been checked. I've had a trainer work with me, and the only advice I've gotten from anyone is to toughen up. The problem with this mare, is the more you ask and push, the more she becomes upset, annoyed, and reckless. Sometimes you're forced to work through it though.

Luckily, she doesn't grab the bit, and responds well to lowering her head and relaxing. I feel as though I'm progressing with her, and at the same time, I am not. Would you work with a horse like that? I want others opinions on the matter. I plan on continuing to work with her only because I see the progression I want. I don't let her get away with any of it, and she is corrected, but is doesn't seem to do any good at certain times. She's great on the ground, and isn't all that bad in the saddle. She knows what she is suppose to do, and when she behaves, it is a fantastic ride.
I definitely would work with a horse like that. The best ones usually have matching tempers What I would suggest is to find a trainer who has the experience to work with a horse like that.

I think what you'll need is to find the right trainer to work with you and her in finding a workout that allows her to excel in what she does best, all while not pushing her passed she is able to take on in a single working session. I bet you she can be a phenomenal mare, it's about finding that delicate balance and putting some training on her with someone who is used to handling a sensitive horse.

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post #20 of 26 Old 08-20-2013, 06:14 AM
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Would I work with a horse like that? Yup. That sounds a lot like my wife's Arab cross at times. He definitely will test experienced riders but be an angel for beginners.

IMO, Arabs are too smart for their own good. I do mean that in a good way. They can learn quickly but you need to keep them stimulated. They can get bored easily. Working in an arena is boring unless you constantly change things. Walking down a road is boring. Going through rough terrain keeps their mind thinking. My wife's horse absolutely hates arenas and plodding down a road. He will comply but you can tell it irritates him. Take him out to hills with trees and he is great. He does anything you ask of him.
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