Lord give me patience, and give it to me NOW!
Today's ride was just terrible. I could handle about a half hour and then had to get off.
Some background: I am working with a Connemara / Paint mare, 8 yrs old. She's been sitting in the barn for several months, not being ridden but being lunged daily. I came in last month and started riding her. After a couple weeks, we were doing AWESOME, she was finally starting to relax and get a nice low head in the walk and trot (we have yet to canter.) I had to take about 5 days off due to Thanksgiving, finals, etc, and coming back today... I feel like we are right back where we started!
Our main problem is this... she will not keep a nice, slow walk or trot... when we are walking, it's like halfway to a trot, and when we trot, it's like halfway to a canter.... very fast and difficult to post. She does not hault and stand very long, and sometime getting her to hault results in her head being thrown up.
She is lunged daily before and before I ride and has turnout time... not sure if this is an energy thing or manners. She does PERFECT on the lunge line, but once I get in the saddle she throws attitude. I am a college student, I am by no means a professional horse trainer... I am just a gal looking to grow in my knowledge of riding and this mare is definetely doing exactly that! Most days, I LOVE the challenge... but today, i couldn't help but feel a little impatient and somewhat discouraged.
Any words of wisdom? :?
Thank you :wave:
I was working with my moms friends horse as he was herd bound and not broke. it was even worse as every time he was away from the other horses he would rear and freak out.
I got him rideable and he would listen while being away from the horses. I took a break with him as I got my own horse and when I went back with working with him, we were back at square one. Sometimes it happens. This horse may now be sold so I cannot work with him any longer.
You said em yourself. Your gettin discouraged. Are you the one who lounges? Are you working on the ground together? I don't ask to be mean but would just like to know the situation
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It's good that you are working with her. But Alota the training Is her. Do you spend time with her? Not working.
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do you do ground work with her?
I would do some sending exercises with her while she is saddled, send her back/forth between you and the fence, yeild her hindquarters, back her, lunge her and have her change directions alot so she has to keep her mind on you....get her paying attention to you. When you do ride her I would walk and one rein stop her as soon as she goes faster than you want, then flex her and walk off again.....I would keep doing that until she stays at the speed you want. Then I would work on the trot and as soon as she goes faster, shut her down and flex her, then trot off and keep doing it until she trots the speed you want. Or every time she goes faster have her do small circles and then trot off again. Sounds like she has ants up her butt like my mare used to LOL she was always in a hurry to go nowhere! It took time but now she walks/trots the speed I want her to, not what she wants to.....
It sure wouldn't hurt to spend time being her buddy. But always the boss. Our horses will actually get sad/ depressed if their "person" isnt there.
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It sounds like you have a green horse that is also high energy.
Depending on bloodlines, some Paint horses have a high percentage of Thoroughbred, and some Connemaras are high energy jumper types.
It sounds like she has been kept in fairly good shape but without being ridden. So she has little recent experience to go on while being ridden, but plenty of energy.
First, consider that her walk and trot may always be more forward than a stock horse type. But also understand that for some horses going slow requires more balance and muscle than going fast.
Since she has been laid off for awhile from riding, begin again with the basics. Walk and trot in small circles working on bending through her body, stopping and backing frequently, and doing frequent changes in direction and frequent transitions.
Think about riding her forward into stops rather than just pulling back on her mouth. Think about how your hands are and if you are giving her release. Make sure you are not tense, because some higher energy horses will register tenseness as a signal to go forward.
Make sure you reward her for staying in a pace you want and let her relax there. Don't fidget with her when she is doing what you want, then stop and take a break right after so she knows that was what you were asking for.
I'm kind of going through this with my gelding right now. He is 12, ex-eventer, great manners on the ground, but once I'm on his back, it's like he has forgotten what is expected of him. He doesn't buck or rear, but he's so distant when we are working. He looks every direction, sniffs here, glares over there. It's easy to fix most of the time, I just have to give him a little squeak or ease him down and his ears are back on me. The problem is, when he gets distracted, he goes off pace, or breaks our straight line, or goes faster, or slower, or whatever he pleases.
We are having halting problems too. I have tried loose rein, pulling back, disengaging my legs, leaning back in the saddle... All with little effect. He is an OTTB, so he has gas pedal issues. And walk off issues. Just a slew of issues. My plan is to go back to the round pen. I don't plan on being aggressive or unfair, but I need to push him on the ground and make him understand that he needs to listen to me. Not the sound of his herd munching on hay, or the tractor across the field, ME. He has had it pretty easy for the last 5 months and it shows.
Patience, time, and consistency. That's all it takes. Hang in there!
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