"Touch" sensitive but not "pressure" sensitive?
Ronan is a very strange horse, in more ways than one... but one of the very odd things I've found out about him is that he's "touch" sensitive but not "pressure" sensitive. He's very reactive to light touches; i.e. he hates flies (HATES. I had to dump a gallon of fly spray on him and keep a fly sheet on in the summer or he'd be miserable - he didn't have a singly bot egg anywhere... woohoo!), he dislikes me just resting my reins on his neck and twitches to that sensation. His skin is very sensitive - during shedding season, he gets rub marks where my heels touch him.
However, when it comes to leg pressure, he is a dead-sided. Granted he's a very cool horse as is, quite lazy, doesn't spook... but he's dead-sided. I have big spurs ("soft touch" rollers) and carry a whip - but it still takes a LOT of "go!" aids to get him to listen. I'm using the "ask, tell, demand" method but it has little effect.
Has anyone else encountered a horse that is like this? What methods worked to get them more "up" in your "go" aids (seat, leg)?
Surprised nobody has replied to this
Maybe you need to increase the intensity in your demand?
Use that crop...
When I first got Selena, I would lay my leg and it would be like:
"Yeah yeah, Okay..Let me have my people call your people, and we'll have a little coffee session about this whole "move my shoulder" deal. Then, we'll discuss the terms and conditions of this, then..."
Yeah real cute Selena. :rofl:
I ask her with the featheriest feather touch I could. Then I pressed. Then I took my reins (Western, split reins) and clocked her on the shoulder.
That took about one session and now she's feather light again.
My horse is like that but his "sensitivity" applies to whips and crops. So basically I could kick until my leg fell off with him not caring but so much as SHOW him a whip and I'll get a free flying lesson. He was ok with the whip until I actually used it once (as in touched him, not smacked him) and well..... lets just say after the commotion that then ensued, absolutely nobody who was standing there is willing to whap him with a whip and a kid's mother is completely convinced that I have a monster of a horse. She now comes completely unglued and starts screaming if he so much as walks a bit funny.. yeah, literally screaming her head off for our trainer because I put back boots on him so he was marching when I hopped on. She's convinced he's going to kill me and then take out the rest of the world... :lol:
So I've doing the "annoy the crap out of him" method which seems exactly like nagging to me but my trainer swears it's not and it's working, so I suppose she really does know what she's talking about.
So basically ask with gently leg pressure. No result, immediately start kicking (more like a medium pressure tap) repetitively at the same length intervals until he speeds up, moves away from my leg or whatever I was originally requesting. I feel really stupid (quite sure I look really stupid too sitting there going kicky, kicky, kicky, kicky) BUT he's now to the point where if I ask and he ignores, the second my heels go slightly out in preparation to start going kicky, kicky, kicky he literally shots forward with an OMG I AM GOING!!! I AM GOING!! :D
Now the barn's kid pony that takes an act of God to get a decent walk out of.... ask and then SMACK with the whip while booting him one. Helps if you have the trainer chasing with another whip while screaming too! I wouldn't describe him as "sensitive" though, more like riding a rock. Awesome kid pony though!! Zero worry of him ever bolting!
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