Hi there! :-)
The horse I ride, Radar, has done team penning before. He goes into the herd just fine for my coach/trainer (his owner) and was even bred specifically to be cowy. But every time I try to take him in he turns away and balks. Every time. I think it's just because he knows he can get away with it with me. I've tried to spur him (not harshly, but he definitely knows what I think) and crops, but no such luck. I love team penning, and I've done it successfully on a different horse.
Does anyone have any tips please? Maybe your horse or a horse you knew did something similar?
Is he in pain? Teeth been checked? Arena sour? Work sour? Cow Sour?
It could be any number of things. Does he do this with other riders or just you?
sounds like he has you bluffed , so he does not have to go work..
If everything pain related has been checked out and he doesn't do it with other riders it may just be you. I'm not saying you are a bad rider, maybe he has created that habit from any emotion conveying from you to him when you're ready to go in the arena..it can be from you being anxious, nervous, excited, unsure..all of those emotions can tense up your body and that can transfer to Radar, especially now that it has become a habit. You are expecting it, so is he, and when it happens you both get frustrated which just makes it worse...I suggest setting up or going to an arena and just walking in and out of it like you would at a show. Take him to a show and don't actually compete. Just get there and let him be in that setting, walk around, go into the arena, but let yourself and him just chill out in that setting without putting stress on you both.. This can happen very easily with barrel horses also and the longer the habit is allowed the harder it is going to be to retrain him and change that mindset..
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I would suggest if it is possible for you to do, stop the herd work all together and get you one cow to mess with. Work on just tracking the cow, turning the cow and just mainly play with the cow. This is just as much for you as it is for the horse. You need to get your confidence in yourself doing this kind of stuff up as you do I believe you will see an improvement in him also. If it is something to do with him being cow-sour it will also show doing this and can generally make it fun for him again if it is made a game again like it was when he first learned to move and track cows.
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lindze,if you are a confident rider on this horse,then get a little more aggressive.spread your hands so you can guide his nose to the cows,and rake on that outer ribcage and line him straight to the cattle.if this doesn't work,then i would suggest you do what itcowboy says and work one on one for awhile.
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