Not Making Any Progress...
I think I'm going to go insane if I don't make any progress with Diesel soon.
Except for this last week or so I have been riding him about 4-5 days a week. We were working on getting him nice and soft and trying to get him to move sideways. I had him going over some groundpoles and doing other exercises (We had been playing with a trail course that was set up.) For awhile, he was moving forward but now I feel like I have a completely untrained 3 year old on my hands. He refuses to give to the bit, won't listen to any of my aides, and just has been having bad manners. He has gotten really cinchy and no longer comes running to the gait.
I tried mixing things up for him. We have done a bit of everything, english stuff, trail riding, cows, you name it. I figured maybe he was getting bored? Well none of this worked...So I gave him about a week off just because maybe he was getting a bit fried. I rode him the past two days and he is exactly the same.
I have ruled out any pain issues. His feet are up to date, teeth are fine, Chiro says back is fine.
What could be his problem?
About 6 months ago I had let a few little girls ride him in exchange for letting me stay on their land. He picked up a lot of bad manners from that, but I would think that he should be back in shape now since we are no longer with him and I am the only one that rides him. He was rough for awhile after we moved him, then he got better, now he is worse than ever.
He is a 10 year old gelding, UTD on everything. I mostly used him for barrel racing and trail stuff before, but have been working on being able to show him in other things (Horsemanship mostly). He used to be really responsive, stop on a dime, turn on a dime, move off your legs, etc. Now he won't do squat.
I am getting really frustrated so my BO is going to ride him a few times because I feel like I'm not really doing him any good right now. We are just butting heads.
Any advice? I have tried everything I can think of and I feel like I have a completely different horse. If I didn't think he would end up a sandwich I feel like I would sell him out of desperation at this point.
I love him dearly I just don't know how to help him progress....
*Pulls Hair Out*
I think you are doing the right thing. You are probably too close to the problem and letting someone else ride him is a good thing. Amazing how fast horses can pick up bad habits!
Hmm...I don't really know, but like iridehorses said, I'm sure you're close to coming up with an answer. How long have you been riding him for 4-5 times/week? Like you said, he could just be not wanting to do anything. I know this has happened with some young horses my trainer has been working with, or ones that aren't used to so much work. When they start acting up like the (the young ones, anyway), he will give them almost a month off just to let them collect thier heads and get then put them back into work. It seems to work for him, but then again, these are young horses who simply aren't accustomed to work and riding. Other than, I don't know. Sorry...I hope he becomes himself again soon!
Are you working with a trainer? If not that would be my suggestion.
I am working with a trainer. My BO that is. She trains awesome show horses. I have been taking a lesson with her about once a week.I have been riding him for or five times a week for about a year. Before then I was riding maybe two or three times a week. He really is acting like a young horse which is what is frustrating he's a 10 year old that SHOULD be well trained. I have done Long Distance with him, barrels, penning, etc. He shouldn't be acting this way I don't think. I don't see what is bothering him.. But like I said, she is going to ride him a few times and then tell me what she thinks. Right now I can't really afford professional training or anything or else I would be all over that...
what about doing things with cones and groundpoles. Not just weaving through them, but like making patterns and such. It could be that he's just getting so bored that he's fighting back.
How's the bit that you are using? Could something about the bit be bothering him?
You say you are riding him alot...what about giving him some days off to be a horse? Sonny gets extremely cranky if I'm up there all the time to ride him. He tends to fight more with things.
They have trail pattern practices at my barn on wednesdays which I took him to just for fun. He did okay with that, but really mediocre compared to how he normally is.
I have given him the past week maybe a bit more off and when I rode him the other day he was the same if not worse.
We have been working on finding a bit for him. He reacts really well to my barrel racing bit but its harsher than I would like to use for every day riding even without any contact. I tried an O ring Snaffle which he completely ignored and we have this dogbone snaffle (dont know the exact name of it) which he does okay to but still isnt his usual self...
have you tried him bridleless?
I'd fool around with bits and see if he might be acting up because of that.
But that's my only idea
The thing is though I have ridden him with a bit for the past 5 years. This is a new thing.
When my horse get's bored and pully I do some work out of the arena, trails, or some bareback or just plodding around playing with my horse.
When i go back into the arena I go straight back to basics. establish the walk, then ask for halt. fix up those transitions then do some circles. then go into trot and do some walk trot transitions etc. Make things fun and really simple
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