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DoubleS 01-20-2013 01:30 AM

Very 'dependent' horse! Advice?
..I've always kind of thought this about my horse I just never knew how to put it into words, but he's extremely dependent on me for everything when in the saddle. Like, the opposite of a push button pony.
Obviously there are the things that he's just going to know and do, such as knowing leads in the arena, but some of the other things I feel like he's completely dependent on me to almost do for him!
I'm sure I'm sounding like jibberish right now, but I'll try to clarify.
If I am not sitting perfectly in the saddle, he's heavy on the forehand. If I'm distracted for a split second, he gets off task (like swerves, etc). When we do figure eights in the arena and I don't put the right amount of pressure on his side and the rein, he doesn't switch leads. I feel like by now he should be able to do all this simple stuff without me having to 'baby sit' him. Not necessarily a push button pony, but closer to that than what he is right now.
Maybe I'm expecting too much, but I'm slightly frustrated right now. :?
Any advice/comments are appreciated!

amberly 01-21-2013 11:41 AM

The best thing i can recommend for you, is to do everything on the ground first.
So for figure 8's: Do them on the ground with him, and a walk and trot. The first few times do it with holding the lead rope - sort of guiding him, but have as much slack as possible. Then after he gets good at those, try doing it with just him following you - not holding onto the lead rope. Sometimes I find that if I have an extra rope, I will drape it over my elbow - to make it look like I'm holding him, and will still follow.

mls 01-21-2013 11:45 AM

Sounds more like he is trying to keep you on task. When you 'quit' riding, he stops working. Actually, that would be an honest horse, not a dependent one.

jaydee 01-21-2013 11:56 AM

I'm not sure if you can change this that much, its nice to have a balance but some horses are definitely more reliant on a rider than others and cant seem to think for themselves. Our warmblood mare would go through something (or over it) if you didnt ask her to go around it
I actually prefer that to the ones that become robotic and take things into their own hands like my pinto does - if you repeat a schooling pattern just a few times she'll do it on her own - which is really a pain when you want her to do something else.

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