Advice needed!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Advice needed!!

Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and actually stumbled upon it on accident. I have been riding off and on for about 5 years but really got into this past year. My boyfriend has this horse (Dallas) that he was going to sell but I immediately fell in love with her and convinced him to keep her. He told me she had some issues that needed attention but was overall a decent horse. The first day I rode her I had her doing things he had never seen her do before. I rode her about 3 times about an hour each before I cantered her the first time. The first time she cantered it was her doing. We were out in the pasture and about 5 or 6 other horses came running up and she decided to run with them. She took off with me. I finally got her to stop. But that was it. No big deal. So I thought if she didn't throw a fit then, then I ought to be able to canter her and not have a problem. As soon as I broke out into a lope she threw a buck. Just one. But enough to scare me. It was the first time I've ever been bucked with. (BTW I still have yet to hit the ground off a horse) So I need some advice on fixing this problem with her and regaining my confidence.
Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 12:47 AM
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
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How to Fix This

Horses can feel emotion. So if you are worried they feel that and will also get worried. I have had and been working with horses for over 11 years and I have the a feeling that this horse knows that she can push you around. What you should do is get back on and try cantering. If she bucks don't get off. If you get off you asre telling her that she can get away with bucking. You should keep cantering until your horse knows that she can no longer get away with bucking. Also, if she is bucking in the arena or any where other than close to the barn then she most likely wants to go back to the barn. So, if you can leave her in the field or arena for the night so she knows that the arena or field is a safe place. Another problem is that you are not grooming her well enough. Some of the extra dust could be under her saddle pad or girth making her very uncomfortable and itchy. I just read it and you said that you were in a pasture with other horses and she started to run with them. No offense but umm... not the smartest idea. Of course she is going to run with them so don't do that! I hope that helps!

Last edited by Phoenix Rising; 11-09-2013 at 12:51 AM. Reason: forgot something to add
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! When this happened I stayed on her for about another hour but never did canter her again that night. How do I let her know it isn't ok? I read somewhere that I take the end of the reins and smack her with them. Is this right or is there another way?
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 12:57 AM
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Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
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You could do that but if you rode her for another hour without cantering thats not really helping. So what you need to do is if she bucks, keep cantering. If stop cantering but still riding her she stills think that if she bucks she doesn't have to canter and you don't want that so canter her for about 5 more minutes then trot and walk then go back into the canter. If she still bucks canter for 5 more minutes then walk and trot. But if doesn't pet her and tell her good girl because horses like praise and cool her down and put her away
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Any advice on building enough confidence to address it? I mean at this point I am willing to get back on her and canter her but I know if I am scared she will sense it and that could make her act up.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-09-2013, 08:27 AM
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Here's the problem, Dallas knows she's the one in charge.

When she cantered with the other horses, she made that decision, not you. Then when you turned around and asked her to canter, she did what a horse does in a herd when another horse pushed them to move and they don't feel the other horse has that right, she kicked out.

The best advice I can give you is to get on the ground and start doing some groundwork with her. There are some good threads here with advice about groundwork, and some great videos online, but nothing beats actually getting out and doing it.

You'll need either a roundpen, or a small paddock, a lead line that is long, GLOVES (seriously, rope burns = not fun) preferably a rope halter, and a flag that gets her to move, like shredded plastic bags tied to the end of a dressage whip.

Your goal in the groundwork is to decide how and when the horse moves and not allow any movement that you did not sanction.

You should get the horse going around you in a trot. If she tries to stop, you have to get her moving, if she tries to change direction, you make her change it back until she is going the way YOU decide, and you keep her moving until she starts to show you signs that she's thinking "Okay, you're the boss!" She should flick her ear toward you, then lower her head, then start chewing.

Once she gives you good signs that she is indeed admitting you're the boss, you let her stop and rest. If she is indeed starting to see you as the leader, she should turn to face you when she does stop.

Groundwork can be tricky. It does take some guts, and practice. Be sure to mind your space and keep the horse out of it. Don't be afraid to be big and in charge, even if you have to fake it and inside you're screaming.

A couple of tips, if you drop a line, go ahead and let it go. Let the horse step on it if she's still being a brat, just keep her moving. Once she's showing you respect, then you can go back and retrieve it. Stepping on a lead line isn't going to kill her.

Also, remember to point in the direction you want your horse to go, and then use the flag and your body position to "push" the horse forward from behind the horse's shoulder. If you get too far forward, she'll stop and change direction, (which is how you force her to change direction) if you get too far behind, then the horse "runs away with you" and you lose control.

Remember that in horse hierarchy, he who moves her feet loses, so make her move her feet, not the other way around.

Google "groundwork" on youtube and you should find some examples of what to do.

That should help. The next time you get in the saddle, she should listen to you, not carry you around however she wants. But that also means being more assertive in the saddle and not allowing her to make decisions. If you didn't tell her to do it, she has to stop.

I'd also look into how to train, and use the one-rein stop, just in case you need it.

Good luck!
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