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kac7700 07-08-2012 07:44 AM

Wouldn't budge!
 
I have had my 17 year old gelding for three months. We do TONS of stuff together, lessons, trail riding, swimming, going to start team penning. He's always game and super fun.

Yesterday, we did some arena work with a friend, then we were going to ride down the road to some trails like we've done many times before. We got about half way down the road, and he stopped and refused to move forward. I kicked, I spanked his butt, I worked him in circles, but going back down the road was not an option. I got off and waked him forward with no problem, when I remounted it was an absolute no way. He was not nervous, or stressed, or excitable - just defiant. We'd back up, he'd go left or right (when it wasn't private property) and he'd walk nicely towards home, but no matter what when I faced his nose down the road it was 4 feet in concrete.

His entire morning routine (i.e. Hay) was screwed up, the Barn Owners are out of town and their daughter who lives with them is in charge. He had not had his hay before we worked (she was a little later) but I made sure he had some breakfast before we started.

I have no idea what to do in this situation. He's normally very sensitive and soft so demanding he do what I asked should have startled him a little...nope. He was like a mule. I have to wonder if there was something in the woods that he knew about and we didn't.

I took him back to the barn, worked him in the arena for another 10 or 15 minutes until we ended up on a positive note and he was listening to me.

In summary, I have two questions:
1. What should I have done in this situation?
2. What possible things would cause this behavior?

Back2Horseback 07-08-2012 12:34 PM

Excellent question! Sadly all I can do is*bump*you for someone else to answer and sub to read what others say!
Good luck with this!!

usandpets 07-08-2012 01:32 PM

Where does he carry his head normally? Is it usually with his neck level with his back or up high? How was his head when he stopped? If his head was higher than normal, he was being alert and sensed something there. If it was how he normally carries his head, he was just refusing.

When your horse acts up, pay attention to what he's doing with his body. They give many signs to why they are behaving. Tail swishing, ear position, head position, and even their eyes. That will give you insight to what is going on in his brain.
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cakemom 07-08-2012 01:41 PM

My mare does this when the killer chickens are loose on my neighbors property. She's skeered of them chickens. I got off once and led her past, and since thens she's wary when they cackle at her but moves on.
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kac7700 07-08-2012 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usandpets (Post 1586999)
Where does he carry his head normally? Is it usually with his neck level with his back or up high? How was his head when he stopped? If his head was higher than normal, he was being alert and sensed something there. If it was how he normally carries his head, he was just refusing.

When your horse acts up, pay attention to what he's doing with his body. They give many signs to why they are behaving. Tail swishing, ear position, head position, and even their eyes. That will give you insight to what is going on in his brain.
Posted via Mobile Device

When we're trail riding, he's usually got a pretty level head. His head was high when he stopped, ears up and forward, but no tension, stress or alarm. I'm hoping he just knew better than I did that something "dangerous" was up there. When I got off to walk him forward, his eyes were almost like "suit yourself...better you than me" :-) I remounted, head went up and refused to move. Sadly I didn't get a chance to try it again today.

usandpets 07-08-2012 10:31 PM

So he was being alert. He sensed something was there. Just like cakemom did, walking him past it is probably the best thing you could do. Walk past like nothing is wrong.
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palominolover 07-09-2012 04:25 PM

I agree he obviously knew something you didn't ;). You handled it quite well, walking him past was definitely the best thing to do.

Palomine 07-09-2012 08:06 PM

At that point, how far were you from the barn? Is it possible that he heard person who was feeding? Or were they even there then?

And he may have been fooling you too.

I've seen horses go on "high alert!" to get other horses looking too. Usually a younger horse, but in one instance? Boss mare got sick of it, and thrashed the youngster soundly. After that, he left it to the others to be on watch.


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