At a loss of how to 'bond' with him
I have a 14.2 10 year old new forest gelding called rascal,I have had him for just over a year now and we still haven't 'clicked'. At the moment we are being trained in dressage by a very experienced trainer who has herself trained many horses from foal through to advanced level. However whilst the riding side of things are going great the ground work side of things aren't, he doesn't respect me or my personal space he nudges with his nose to push you away he sometimes turns his back end on me and threatens to kick and is generally difficult for me to handle on my own as I'm only 15. I am now scared to take him out of the field on my own as the last time I did we got thorugh the gate and as I turned around to pull the gate closed he span shoved me out the way and ran back to the field I was so terrified he would hurt himself and just felt completely lost as to what to do. I know this sounds like the typhical green horse green handler and yes, you'd probably be right I will admit freely to not really knowing what I'm doing on the ground, but I want to try I am willing to try almost anything to get him to trust me and for us to have a bond. Now at our old yard he was perfect, he came to me in the field to be caught he whinnied when I'd come through the gate he would stand nicely to be mounted he was so relaxed he even stopped spooking whilst riding, he was the perfect pony. I don't know what changed except the place and the fact that now he is in a field with 5 other horses instead of on his own with a companion next to him. He gets ery stressed if completely alone I think this is due to the fact that he had the same home and same companions from when he was 4 months old to when I got him early august last year. I don't have a lot of money but christmas and birthday are coming up so I could probably afford a few books etc I now he was broken in using monty roberts' techniques. Any ideas of how to get him to trust me? As now he actually has started running away from me as soon as he sees a headcollar or leadrope. please any suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance. :)
Have you asked your trainer about this? It's easier to explain or show in person than over the web. Maybe ask her how to ground work your horse. We can tell you what you need to do but it's hard to explain how you should do it.
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I have tried to ask her about it but shes always too busy she only really has enhough time to give me a lesson once a week, I think she expects me to just sort it out because when she sees me trying and failing to work him on the ground she just sorts of sighs and shakes her head but she doesn't really explain what it is I should be doing to fix it. There have been a couple of times when she has taken over from me when hes trying to barge me and she sorts him out but she doesn't tell me how to do it, I try to watch but I'm not sure what I should be looking for. She said that I have to be in charge and at the moment I'm not and thats why he pushes me around but she didn't tell me how to actually make him see me as the leader. I would be very grateful if you could give me some advice :)
Do you have a round pen to work him in? What do you know how to do as in ground work? Lunging, disengaging or yielding his rear or front end, or even backing him away from you?
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I don't have a round pen unfortunatly but I do have an indoor and outdoor school. I have lunged him a few times with little sucess he just runs around on the forehand not really listening to me although I noticed that if I rode him for about 15 minutes and then lunged him he was almost perfectly behaved any idea as to why? He backs up well on the lead rope if you ask him but in a situation where he doesn't want to do something like when hes being hosed or sponged down and you try to back him up he doesn't listen and just barges straight through this is why I'm having so much difficulty. We haven't done any yielding or disengaging he's very unbalanced would it still be ok to do this? I'm also not very sure how to go about getting him to do this either. Writing this I feel like such an idiot and I'm sure your thinking the same haha but I guess we've all got to start somewhere and I managed to throw myself in at the deep end I guess xD
What do you use when you lunge him? lunge line or long or short lead rope, cue/carrot stick or whip? Does he know how to do what you want or are you training him as you learn?
Not having a round pen isn't that big of a deal but it makes it easier. When you say "school", do you mean an arena?
When you say he listens better after riding, I would guess that is because he is still focusing on you from riding.
My mare started to run away from me when I'd go to get her.
Do you ride him a lot, in the same area?
Change up your routine, take him out and brush him, then take him to an open space and just walk around, tell him to stop, walk on. Change direction with him on the inside. Talk to him an stuff. This makes my horse eager to see me.
With the pushey stuff. I know how annoying that it. My friends horse practically knocks me over every time I pull her out of the field.
WHen she does it, I push her head back, or spin her in tight circle. That seems to work. But every horse is different
and sometimes it just takes time. It took my mare 2 years before I could come up to her while she way laying down
Oh and also, it sounds like he's a little nervous, and he's probably looking to your for comfort. This happened with my friends horse, he'd be pushy and just nervous, it took a while for him to calm down. She just had to take it easy with him, and had to REALLY read his body and try to see the way he was thinking.
Is the new place you're at permanent?
A/ Sounds like it's time for a new trainer. Any trainer that blew off my 15 y.o. daughter when she was having trouble with her horse would not remain her trainer. Training is MORE than just saddlework, she needs to be helping you with your total sportmanship.
B/ Can you put him in a paddock by himself so that he has to look to you for companionship? If you get him out of his herd, he will have to bond with you.
C/ KICK HIS DISRESPECTFUL LITTLE A$$ when he blows by you, turns his butt to you and generally just tells you to get lost.
D/ Sell the horse and find a nicer one.
Dreamcatcher I couldn't have said it better myself!
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