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mollymay 03-24-2013 10:06 PM

Horse problems after a year in training.
Hey all, so my boy Trigger is the first horse I have had a hand in training. He was ZERO broke last spring- had no clue what a bit was, like nothing! He was a pasture ornament for the first five years of his life. Anyhow, he was given to my instructor who knew I was interested in buying a new horse(this would not be my first horse, it's the first horse I've trained). This wild boy came to the barn hot headed and full of spirit. I loved him from the start. His training for the first 3 months was so intense! I had never been nearly tossed so many times in my life. Fast forward almost a year, he walks, trots, lopes on command. Backs up without hardly any pressure. Neck reins beautifully and I can ground time him forever anywhere anytime. This is only a bit of hoambush we have worked him. He has come HUGE leaps and bounds! Now the first real issue we found once undersaddle is that this boy loves to back up, of course, refuses to move FORWARD. We did some pony work to break him of that. And bang hasn't been an issue in 8 months, now in the past three weeks all he wants to do is back up! Will NOT go forward at all. When I nudge him, steer him, anything we go back to a huge problem, kicking, small rearing and crow kicking. He pins his ears, and just becomes so unpleasant! Now I want to point out, he only does this if I've ridden him more then twice in a week and most famously if I'm working in the arena without any other horses- I ride once a week in an advanced group class. Im considering having the vet come and check his teeth, but aside from that I feel like I'm back to the basics, we moved him back into a snaffle to try and help, and it did for a while, but now he just fights the bit. I'm running out of ideas. I do not want to give in to his bad behavior, but I want to be able to ride this guy without a trainer or million horses in the arena. Sorry about the book. Ok so now for questions: what would you do? Have you seen horses fall back in their training? Any suggestions are ideal. I will try and post a video of me riding him on Wednesday since I know people will be at the barn that can record for me. At that point I greatly appreciate any tips or tricks you have found helpful. Thank you again for all of your guys help! I've totally come to love this forum.
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amberly 03-24-2013 10:11 PM

I would also like to see some answers.
My boy Brisco is 22 - and has PLENTY of training. But all of a sudden he has no idea what a saddle is or how to circle in one direction.
This just started today, but I have no idea what happened - is it possible it's horse amnesia? lol, I have no idea.

Phly 03-24-2013 10:25 PM

Honestly to me it sounds like he's buddy/herd bound.
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mollymay 03-24-2013 11:25 PM


Originally Posted by Phly (Post 2016297)
Honestly to me it sounds like he's buddy/herd bound.
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He is very herd bound! Hates being separated from other horses, and is always getting bit or kicked because he just likes to be close to them out in the pasture. But, during group lessons he does everything I ask without nearly a second thought. He picks up his lope or walks forward for me with simple cluck and thigh pressure- since i wear spurs and try to only use them in the absolute right situation.
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boots 03-24-2013 11:29 PM

Ladies, you may not like my comments, but I can think of no other way to say this:

mollymay -- I do believe the horse you are working with and riding is quite spoiled. I recommend you get input from someone who successfully gets a horse rideable within 6 weeks.

amberly -- depending on how long you have owned and been the sole rider of this horse, he may either have a health problem or "have your number" and be figuring out what he can get away with. Please get your horse checked out and if he is found to be healthy, please make him do what you want. Find out if your cues are clear, then ask first and tell next.

tinyliny 03-24-2013 11:31 PM

Amberly, your question seems different enough to warrant its' own thread.

OP, I am suspicious of the saddle fit. if he acts up after two rides, then perhaps the soreness is starting to build up after 2 rides..

mollymay 03-24-2013 11:55 PM

Boots: I try not to spoil him, not to say when I ride him I have become less firm perhaps in how I ask for things. Last summer he totally had my number and knew exactly what to do to upset me. The thing is where I board, my trainer owns the place, but one he has never ridden trigger ever- I've always been the one in the saddle, but despite that Trigger always behaves like an almost perfect angel when he is around. Probably because he feeds him. These issues only arise when I'm seriously in the arena alone! Like trainer not around and nobody else there. I thought maybe I was just tense or something and he could tell, but today when I got on I was completely calm and just enjoying my ride until he started being the old him. Tinyliny: I have considered the saddle, but I only just bought this one last week and he has been doing this for about three weeks. I know this saddle is a tad big on him so I have been suggested to go buy a thicker blanket/pad to cushion him better until I buy a nice one in the near future- this was more a simple hand over I got for less then nothing.
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mollymay 03-24-2013 11:56 PM

Thank you all so far for your input I do appreciate it! FYI :)
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LynnF 03-25-2013 12:23 AM

I wonder if maybe he is just bored and testing his boundaries. If the saddle fits and you rule out pain this could be the cause. He could just be getting tired of being in the arena all the time. When his buddies are there it is ok because he has something else to focus on and keep him entertained but when he is alone he gets bored. Try switching it up and adding some new things to his routine. Maybe try riding out of the arena (if that is an option for you) introduce ground poles, different exercises to make things interesting for him again. I can always tell when my horses are getting bored because they begin to test things and try to pull stuff. Get his head working and his mind off of thinking of ways to act up.

mollymay 03-25-2013 12:45 AM

Lynnf: maybe I will add poles! I usually do cones, but he doesnt like them. If I had barrels I would use those as some obsticals. I used ground poles last summer and before Christmas but totally forgot about them. Thanks I will set some out next time! As for testing me, I think that's most of it. He gets annoyed so why not try and push my buttons!
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