Halter Broke LAZY horse-- advice?
I just started working with a three year old. She is halter broke, but nothing besides that--never had a bit in her mouth or a saddle on her back or anything.
The owner has had her since March and before that the horse didn’t have much human interaction. The owner definitely loves on this mare.
I put her in a round pen-- nothing. She has no interest in going forward. She also has no fear of the whip. I cracked it next to her- nothing. Lightly hit her butt- nothing besides a few steps at the trot. She didn’t seem upset or anything-- just very unresponsive. I don’t want to work the whip harder because I want to encourage positive forward motion.
Like I said, she’s very calm to objects, people etc. I’m thinking about saddling her up next time just to give her some type of ‘annoyance’ that will encourage her to just run around and buck a bit.
Any advice on this? I’ve never encountered a 3-year old like this that has essentially zero training, but also seems bombproof and doesn’t want to run around AT ALL.
Are you just using a lounge whip? Maybe changing the whip to something like a flag or a stick style whip with a string would encourage her forward?
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I worked with a horse very similar to yours, except the one I worked with was just plain lazy.
She had no fear of that whip, and if she stopped good luck at getting her moving again in the round pen. This horse was bombproof so any type of whip didn't bug her. I had to use my body more. I wasn't just smacking the whip on the ground I was walking towards her like I was a big scary monster, I made myself big, I made myself assertive. This horse would NEVER lope in the round pen. Many people tried and they never succeded, trot yes. But sometimes she liked to play the "Nah, I'm just going to stand here, I don't want to work" game. It was pretty much trying to make a rock move. You had to make yourself look like a monster and then she might walk.
You could also do some ground work. Have a long rope like a lunge line and move her hindquarters really fast, move her shoulder over. That helped a lot with teaching forward motion with the whip. A lot of people desensitive with the whip but they forget to teach that the whip's purpose is encouraging forward motion.
If an aid does not work at the normal level and get a response, immediately increase the pressure until you DO get a response.
Respect issues do not always come out as outright aggression.
If the whip cracking does not have an impact, snapping her with it probably will. I do not mean beat the horse. I mean show her that she needs to move. Don't nag her. Make it really mean something.
Beware of one thing. She is not respectful and she may turn her passive non response into an aggressive response.
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