Need help getting horse moving actively and not lazily? *long*
So a bit of background, I've only been riding 3 years and have been riding this horse for more or less 2 years or so. I have a lesson once a week, he's not my horse he's a riding school horse. I pretty much ride him every lesson and only have a different horse once every few months.
When I first started riding him he would have been around 5 years old (I'm not sure exactly how old but that's what I've been told) and was only allowed for a more confident and experienced rider. Fast forward a few years he's around 7-8 now I think, again I can't be certain on his age because he's not my horse, I'm just estimating on what I've been told.
Now he's more sensible he gets used more often by less advanced riders, not beginners but still not 'advanced'.
When I first started riding him I loved it, he had lovely paces and had a bit of spirit and was an enjoyable ride. Now he's lazy.
I enjoy riding him but the difference in him from these 1 1/2 years is incredible. His trot is slow, he needs a kick and hardly goes from a squeeze but don't like kicking him. I never used to have to use a whip and now I probably have to use it a few times a lesson. His canter is still good and as long as you have a nice trot he will go from a squeeze. It's his trot that's the problem. He used to trot of the slightest pressure from my leg now you have to kick. I feel like he's been ruined by the fact that less advanced riders ride him now. Is this bound to happen because he's a riding school horse, he must be bored just going round a school every week.
I rode him this week in an advanced lesson and he was allowed to go, when he's in these lessons he goes nicely, after the first 5 minutes anyway. We got a lovely extended trot towards the end of the lesson and he was moving fab. But when lessons are a bit slower sometimes he just loses his energy.
If you want to shorten all that, my question is how can I get him moving with energy again? I don't want to be kicking him and hitting him with a whip, what can I do to get some life back in him?
Thank you for actually reading all that waffle. I just miss the energetic horse that I used to ride, I still really enjoy riding him and some days he just comes back and acts like that horse I used to ride, I don't think its him being older i just think its because he's a riding school horse now so he's used to just plodding in circles. Thank you for all your help :-)
Here's some pictures of the lovely boy in question, Isn't he gorgeous-*please ignore my terrible riding*-
If he's a 7-8 year old horse, he is not old by any means. And he is qute cute :)
Most riding school horses after a few years do tend to become lazier than non riding school horses. They are ridden by lots of different people of varying degrees of competancy and do become dead to aids.
He looks in good condition, so I doubt he would need feeding more. And as he is not your horse, there is not much to do.
IMO the only thing that you would be able to is ride with a schooling whip. I don't mean go around whacking him every 2 seconds. I wouldn't ride my own horses like that (infact I rarely ride with a whip at all), however when I do, I use it to back up my aids.
I ask for a trot nicely, if there is no response, I ask for it again - making my aids really obvious, if there is still no response, then I use my leg and add a little tap with the whip. My hands don't leave the reins, I litterally just flick my wrist. It is not a nasty tap it is more of a "hey Mr, I asked you to do something. Get moving."
It's a lot nicer than having to sit and boot a horse in the sides to get it to move.
Good luck :)
Maybe it's time for you to move up to a more advanced lesson horse?
It sounds like this horse is "mellowing" with age/use and your skills are getting more advanced. Instead of having to constantly keep after him to "get going", it may be time to try something new.
I'd suggest two possibilities. 1) He hasn't changed, you have. 2) He's bored. How would you feel about riding around that same old track, several hours a day, every day?
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