horse stand still
So I took my horse out to my pony club for the first time ever, hed never been so it was a great experience and he loves it, even if everything went very wrong with the adults out there (not getting into that as I will start raging again about the un-fairness)
So anyway I was tacking him up at one strage as my instructor told me to (though I found out an hour later I wasnt allowed to ride anyway) and this big truck started backing into the property. My boy is only 6 and this was one of those massive water trucks and it came in beeping and the same time as I went to put the saddle onto my horse. So of coure he started moving, trying to see what the hell that noise was and not letting me put his saddle on. I did get up him and eventually get the saddle on him and everything but my instructor told me that i need to work on my ground work before I even think about riding him.
So I can understand where shes coming from but I think under the circumstances she wasnt exactly fair on him. 1. This was his first outting, he was excited, alert. 2. There was a big loud truck doing something weird 10 metres away while I was trying to do the girth up. 3. Only a month ago he had been in a paddock without being ridden at all so he doesnt like to be tied up for long and the longest I'd ever had him tied up for was half an hour and today he had been tied up for 2 and a half hours without a break before then trying to saddle him up. 4. I am working on his ground manners but it takes time and hes my first horse, I would have loved my instructor to give me some tips or advice on how to make him stand up and all but all she said was work on your ground manners before you try to ride a horse. Not to mention everyone is furious that I bought this horse just because of his height(hes 16.1hh at the max). My poor boys got a heart of gold and he did so perfect eexcept for that but noones giving him a chance because of his height :/
So i bought him home and suppose I better start work on his ground manners now, but how do I get him to stand up? Ive taught him when i apply pressure on his hip I want him to move over and he does that well now so can someone give me some advice. also what other ground methods other then hindquarter over should i try?
I feel so unwlecome there and like Im doing everything wrong towards my horse now :/
Does he stand still nicely the rest of the time, when he's not being spooked by a truck?
Sometimes. Hes still getting used to standing there for long periods of time and sometimes he will paw at the ground or starting chewing on things or if you try and put something on him, like a saddle or rug he will go to move and so I get up him and hes getting better, been standing more often though it would be great if he would stand still more when i do try and put his saddle on
I agree with your instructor, this horse needs more ground work before being ridden.
I'm going to start with his acting up when you try to put something on him. This should never be tolerated. You can do one of three things: 1. Treat him when acts up (which I don't recommend in this case). It sounds like positive reinforcement for bad behavior but many professionals recommend it. 2. Make him move his feet or 3. Slap him and tell him to quit. I use the third method a lot because a majority of the time horses are being brats and I don't put up with temper tantrums like that. If the horse is scared, though, you may just need to desensitize him and be patient. It really depends.
For general behavior, lunge, lunge, lunge. Disengaging the hindquarters is a great exercise, but it's also good to teach them to do it with their front feet and side pass on the ground too. When he acted up when he saw the truck, did you still try saddling him? I would have let him calm down first and walk him around before I would even think of saddling him. And if this is first outing - like off the property, you have no business riding him IMHO. A horse needs to get used to going different places and getting used to it without riding. It'd be better to take him there a few times and just lead him around to check out the place. You won't have to do it every time you take him somewhere, but since you're still working with him, I would.
Hes not doing it out of fear, hes doing it because he thinks if he keeps moving i wont saddle him up. I have been using smacks and my voice but its not working very well, when i do, he puts his head up in the air high, stares at me like hes shocked and he once wouldnt let me near his face even though it wasnt a big smack.
He is making progress now I think, but he still paws at the ground constantly and moves when you put the saddle pad on and go and get the saddle. I defiently dont want to treat him when he act up, it will defiently work against me with him.
The thing with the pony club is very difficult to explain and I'm thinking I may take him somewhere else, also I didnt take him out and ride him that day, I took him out the day before and he really quickly settled in. If he hadnt I would never have rode him out there. His old owner also said he was okay to ride, she saw him and shes an experienced horse lady. He will need to get used to being ridden when he gos places as next year hes going to a different pony club where the horse is floated out in the morning and ridden straight away to do whatever they are doing out there as they dont have facilities such as paddocks, its just an oval kind of paddock. So thats why we took him out there, so he could be around lots of horses and lots of people but far enough away that they didnt stress him out or get to overbearing.
When you wish to saddle him, remove the girth and stirrups as you'll be holding the saddle for a while. Put him on a 12' lead or lunge line at about the 12' distance and when he starts moving, set the saddle down and put him to work doing a few circles (no more than 4) with lots of change of direction. The change of direction makes him work harder than mindless circles. Approach again with the saddle. Repeat the exercise if he moves. If he's smart he'll be starting to figure this out. It may take a third time but it's a rare one that won't stand still after the third session. This also works for the horse that gets stupid when getting his feet trimmed or picked out.
ok I will try this saddlebag, also instead of a lunge could i just push him in circles with just hid lead rope? i dont have a lunge rope yet..
He lacks patience. Making him move around is not the best way to address a problem of not standing still.
I would tie him up in a safe place and let him stand tied (Without any interaction from his handler) until he relaxes. This will do more for his learning patience than anything else you can do.
Then, I would take a blanket, a flag, a swinging rope, a plastic sack (and about anything else you can handle with one hand) and sack him out until he stands perfectly still. Approach him from the front and let him back up if he wants. When he stops, you stop and back up a step. Then do it again, and again and again. Within a few minutes just about any horse will stand perfectly still while you do anything you want all around him. You DO NOT let him go forward or run around when you do this. If he wants to move away, you make sure it ONLY to back up. It is just more work to back up than allow you to do anything you want to do with him standing still.
This will do more for his manners in less time than anything you can do. In less than 30 minutes, I can get a wild, barely halter-broke horse to stand perfectly still for saddling with a completely loose lead-rope. I have done this many times just to show people how well this method works. The key is that you are not trying to 'make' a horse stand still. You make them 'want' to stand still. Standing still becomes the 'easy' thing to do.
If he was just having trouble standing still at the show, it can be expected since it was new and there was lots going on and he was probably overwhelmed... but since he has trouble doing it at home too, I would seriously address this.
What have you tried to address this problem?
I know when I lead my horse and he tries to get in front, I spin the rope in front of his face and he either slows down, or if I ask he stops. Also works when I'm fiddling with his saddle. If he tries to move, I spin that rope and get him backing up until I have his full attention.
I think you definitely do need to do a LOT more groundwork with him.. because if you have a strong sense of respect from your horse, he would endure the craziness of shows without falling apart or jigging, despite being scared.
Good job getting him where he is, but you still have a long way to go :) Two words: ground work. You can never have enough of it
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