Moody, Stubborn horse - when does the exercise become unproductive - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thesilverspear View Post
If your MIL is horsey and gave you the horse, why isn't she helping you?
She does and for the most part she is very, very helpful. We really only disagree on one issue, and that is that she treats the horses like chinaware. For example, she will not leave them out in the rain - period - doesn't matter if it's a light rain, it's going to rain for ten minutes, etc..... they are always stalled overnight. Never, ever left outside for the night. They are commonly only out in the pasture from 7a-6p so that we stay on "schedule"...

She is overly cautious with the horses and worries (basically if there is any sweat present or if the horse chooses to run in circles) that I am overworking the horse. Mind you these horses are probably the most pampered horses in the county, and though I do handle my horse daily, I only "work" her (to a sweat) maybe twice a week but more commonly once for a maximum of 45 minutes usually. However, after hearing the input of you and others, I do see that I am souring my horse. She's got it. I've been working on desensitizing to tarps, circling barrels and other obstacles and just taking her on walks through the yard as of late. Do you have any other suggestions for trust building fun exercises?

Last edited by AmateurOwner; 07-02-2013 at 11:07 AM. Reason: misspelling
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post #22 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AmateurOwner View Post
She does and for the most part she is very, very helpful. We really only disagree on one issue, and that is that she treats the horses like chinaware. For example, she will not leave them out in the rain - period - doesn't matter if it's a light rain, it's going to rain for ten minutes, etc..... they are always stalled overnight. Never, ever left outside for the night. They are commonly only out in the pasture from 7a-6p so that we stay on "schedule"...

She is overly cautious with the horses and worries (basically if there is any sweat present or if the horse chooses to run in circles) that I am overworking the horse. Mind you these horses are probably the most pampered horses in the county, and though I do handle my horse daily, I only "work" her (to a sweat) maybe twice a week but more commonly once for a maximum of 45 minutes usually. However, after hearing the input of you and others, I do see that I am souring my horse. She's got it. I've been working on desensitizing to tarps, circling barrels and other obstacles and just taking her on walks through the yard as of late. Do you have any other suggestions for trust building fun exercises?
My horse isn't out overnight, ever, as she has a view on such treatment. I don't think that's such a big deal. I don't think there is any issue with working them hard enough to sweat, and in warm weather, that's not very hard at all.

Hard to suggest more groundwork, not knowing how schooled the horse is. For that matter, I work on the ground stuff with a view to riding a sane, well-mannered horse and once the horse is reasonably educated under saddle, don't mess about with with the groundwork at all, other than the odd correction here or there if the horse has a brain fart and doesn't pay attention. So it's hard for me to think of exercises to do just for the sake of doing them.

That all said, these are the sort of things I work on or questions I ask of a horse. Does this horse long-line? Does the horse match whatever speed you're going when you're leading her? Does she stop when you stop? Does she trot with you when you run? Does she do turn on forehand or haunches easily and lightly when you ask? Does she have a light and willing back up? Will she lead over various configurations of ground poles? Does she ground tie? Does she tie sensibly? Will she stand quietly next to any object you fancy using as a mounting block?
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post #23 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thesilverspear View Post
Hard to suggest more groundwork, not knowing how schooled the horse is. For that matter, I work on the ground stuff with a view to riding a sane, well-mannered horse and once the horse is reasonably educated under saddle, don't mess about with with the groundwork at all, other than the odd correction here or there if the horse has a brain fart and doesn't pay attention. So it's hard for me to think of exercises to do just for the sake of doing them.

That all said, these are the sort of things I work on or questions I ask of a horse. Does this horse long-line? Does the horse match whatever speed you're going when you're leading her? Does she stop when you stop? Does she trot with you when you run? Does she do turn on forehand or haunches easily and lightly when you ask? Does she have a light and willing back up? Will she lead over various configurations of ground poles? Does she ground tie? Does she tie sensibly? Will she stand quietly next to any object you fancy using as a mounting block?
Honestly the ground work is more for me and truly is my attempt to bond and gain trust. My horse is way more advanced than I am. She has had quite a bit of training. I am only waiting to ride her until I have more training. I have not ridden much and she is a Paso Fino with lots of brio. Here are a few videos of my SIL riding her:




My MIL only rode her a couple of times while contemplating buying her and swears she may have been drugged though I tend to think it was more of an environment change (my horse is more sensitive than others in that area in my opinion). My MIL does say though that my horse used to move really fast under saddle and rarely walked until I started working with her - so, I think I am accomplishing something...

She has a few issues - head shy and jumpy (at times, not all of the time); however, if I am at ease, she is at ease even when something jumps out at her. When she jumps, she simply jumps. She does not run off - so that's good right? I'm still desensitizing myself, but I'm confident we will get it :) My fear is that if I ride her before I am ready, I will spook - she will spook - and it will set us back. Keep in mind I've never ridden a horse that moves as quick as she does.

Does this horse long-line? Forgive me if I sound like an idiot, but what does long-line mean?
Does the horse match whatever speed you're going when you're leading her? I've honestly never tried anything other than walking her on a lead rope. I'll try trotting tonight :)
Does she stop when you stop? Yes
Does she do turn on forehand or haunches easily and lightly when you ask? Yes
Does she have a light and willing back up? Yes
Will she lead over various configurations of ground poles? I haven't tried that. I will do that also :)
Does she ground tie? I do not know how to do that.. (this is something I've never seen my MIL do) help?
Does she tie sensibly? Crossties? Yes.
Will she stand quietly next to any object you fancy using as a mounting block?My MIL does not use mounting blocks, which I think is silly cause it sure would be easier! How do I practice that (besides the obvious, are there certain steps that lead up to it)?
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post #24 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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She is a lovely Paso mare. Gaited horses feel very forward, especially if you have been riding the stock type horse. Try to get some lessons on gaited horses as the movement is very different. Can you ride her a bit in that arena? It looks to be a nice size for a few minutes of warm-up, etc.
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post #25 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Cacowgirl - Yes, I can use the arena anytime. My MIL, SIL and MIL's trainer are all convinced I cannot ride this horse until I have lots more practice and I agree with them. Initially I doubted I would be able to ride this horse inside of a year; however, we are quickly becoming best friends and I think it can be done before the end of the summer. I have owned her since mid March. She is very, very smart and very forgiving, but also a bit of a fraidy cat. She called me out as a newbie right away. Lol.
I have been training on other Pasos. My MIL's trainer lives 2 hours away - I have traveled to her about 4 times now to ride a Paso lesson horse. She is 12, super slow and super forgiving. I've also been riding my MIL's horse - he is a 20+ Gelding with a lot more go than the lesson horse. The problem is I don't have access to an in between horse... but I do have a local trainer that I observed at a clinic coming out to the farm for 4 hours in a couple of weeks. I am SO excited! And I do plan to ride my horse while he is here.
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post #26 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 05:09 PM
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Paso looks to be well behaved in the videos and does not seem to have an attitude.
Looks as though this horse could be a great ride.
I read through the thread looking for the horses age, just curious.
Previous owner used this horse for???
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post #27 of 33 Old 07-02-2013, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Rider View Post
Paso looks to be well behaved in the videos and does not seem to have an attitude.
Looks as though this horse could be a great ride.
I read through the thread looking for the horses age, just curious.
Previous owner used this horse for???
Ha! Yes, no attitude on any of these days... I do have a video clip of that too though. Lol!
I am really looking forward to riding her She is 8 years old (01/06/05).
Previous owner planned to show her, but decided she was too much maintenance with the spooking issue (to my knowledge) and they did not have the time (or need, she is a breeder and had lots of horses to choose from) to work out the kinks. Since she was considered for showing she has had a fair amount of training << good news for me
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post #28 of 33 Old 07-11-2013, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I made the mistake of trying to free lunge again during her cycle. Guess what? Same result. :/ My reason for lunging at this point is because she is overweight and she needs the exercise. She is a super easy keeper, I am only giving 1/2 # grain/day and she's in a small grass paddock during the day. She's about 75# overweight... I have now ordered Mare Magic - she is terrible bitchy when she cycles - and I will absolutely never free lunge again during the cycle. We also believe she has a lameness issue, so I need some good exercise suggestions which don't force her to strain too much. The head shy issue is bad always, but 5 x exaggerated during her cycle. Thank God I have a very talented trainer coming over for a 4 hour appointment on Tuesday! I'm rambling now with multiple problems/questions......

Video of 7/08/13 SIL riding her while she is in heat:
M2U00248 - YouTube
Can you see any lameness? (The person talking most is my MIL)
Video of 7/08/13 removing the bridle and headstall:
M2U00252 - YouTube
Bad. Really, really bad. That is my SIL again. I suspect under normal circumstance (no heat) she would behave way better for me because she's very one human like. But I could be wrong.... Hurry up Tuesday..
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post #29 of 33 Old 07-11-2013, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, and we're going to make an appointment with a lameness specialist but probably not for a couple weeks. My MIL and SIL are away for a Paso Fino show in Kentucky.
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post #30 of 33 Old 07-12-2013, 08:19 AM
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It surprises me (and it shouldn't, knowing horse people) that your MIL gave you, a novice, a hot horse with a known spooking issue that previous owner had got rid of for that reason.

If the horse is lame, I wouldn't do more than handwalk it until it can be seen by a vet. She looked a wee bit off in that video but it's hard for me to tell. If you're not used to gaited horses, that running walk looks weird.

Watching the second video, I would say that horse has some kind of pain and/or tension in her poll and that's why she doesn't want to be touched there and pulls back when you reach behind her ears to remove the bridle. I think the approach your SIL is using, her assumption that the horse just has a bad attitude, is pretty much useless. As you can see, her jerking the horse and chasing her around the stable is having absolutely no effect on her behaviour. The horse looks increasingly scared. You can also see that, as your SIL approaches the problem area, the mare's ears go into 'worried' position, she holds her head high and stiffly -- her whole expression is anxious. Poor thing. If it were my horse, I would get a chiropractor/bodyworker/massage person out sharpish.
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Last edited by thesilverspear; 07-12-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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horse sweating , mare in heat , moody , stubborn , working too hard

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