new horse cribs and seems lazy
I rode trail horses as a kid but never had the opportunity to own my own horse until 3 months ago. "Angel" is an 8yr old Mare. Ex racer, then brood mare, then trained by owners son to ride western style. The owner said she was safe for a beginner and I seem to agree but, as soon as we got her home she began cribbing. The owner never mentioned it but I think he knew. She has had trouble joining the group of 4 horses she lives with. I see her and care for her every day and ride her every weekend. She does not want to do ANYTHING unless following my riding partners horse. She won't walk abreast, she won't lead. If you force her, the ears go back and trouble brews... If we split up on the trail I have nothing but trouble with her. I stand firm and make her walk but I'm not enjoying it and neither is she.
Do I need to start over from square one? There are so many books, videos, methods, I have pat Pirrelli tapes and he makes the horse do everything but fix lunch but I'm still stuck with a fairly sweet, stubborn, half trained horse. I need a place to start.
I also ride a Thoroughbred.
She was extremely buddie bound also. I like to go road riding with friends and I got her onto the road and she just suddenly stopped. I cued her to walk on, she didn't. I cued again showing the whip in my hand. Nothing. I spun her around real quick, popped her twice with the crop and asked her to walk. She did it. Stopped 3 more times and repeated and she finally gave up on the idea of stopping.
I also ride my Thoroughbred western. You may not like the idea but ever considered getting a pair of bumper or dotted spurs? I would recommend either of those. I started using them with Sassy for western pleasure, ya a Thoroughbred as a western pleasure horse(?) a few weeks ago and she works like a dream.
Don't jab them with them, lightly use them. But I would recommend trying them in the arena. Not all horses like them.
I'm not saying spurs are the way to go for sure. I would start with ground work. Making her walk next to you, etc... In the saddle work on moving her hip and shoulder, teach her how to sidepass. If you still don't see a major improvement I would put either or spur on.
Buy Clinton Andersons book on ground work. then follow it, step by step. I suspect most of your issues will be solved by the end of the book.
As far as cribbing, buy a miracle collar. they work awesome :)
Are there any underlying health issues?
Wilson, a trainer whose philosophies I like very much is Carlos Tabernaberri; you can check out his website and also see some videos of his methods on YouTube; you will see that he believes in ground work before anything else; good luck! :-P
After ruling out any health issues, I would go back to ground work.
Regarding the cribbing, the seller should have told you beforehand. (And if you had a PPE the vet should have been able to tell from the front teeth, as well) Odds are, however, that her cribbing will calm down a bit once the stress of moving to a new place is gone.
My horse cribbed constantly when I brought him home, but after a few weeks it lessened and now he cribs mostly around feeding time.
You might talk to the vet about checking for ulcers, which are VERY common in OTTB's.
If you do decide to get a collar, I'd recommend the Dare Cribbing Collar. I've tried this one as well as the Miracle Collar. They both worked to stop my horse from cribbing, but the Miracle Collar left terrible rubs, even with the fleece covers. Eventually the Dare collar left rubs, too, but not quite as bad. I no longer use any collar for my horse as he's not cribbing enough to do too much damage to his teeth.
Hi Wilson - welcome to the forum.
Re cribbing - I suspect (as others have suggested) it might be a stress thing. Once she settles in with the herd (that in itself can take awhile) you should see improvement.
Re buddy sourness - It is a correctible problem but (I shall be somewhat forthright here) if you are only riding on the weekends then you have to be prepared to wait awhile before you see success. In the perfect world you would take her back to square one, working her every day, with ground work and arena work before hitting the trail but since we don't live in a perfect world we make do with what we can. I'm wondering if she has much trail riding experience on her own? It kind of sounds like she may not - perhaps it was just arena riding she had before you got her? Anyways, in your situation, I think if you could spare a few minutes each day during the week to at least take her for a hand walk down the road on her own it will be a help. Also, when you're out on your trail rides, try working a few circles in here and there - you are doing this to encourage her to stay focused on you, to actually follow instructions and to get the idea that her world doesn't fall apart if she's not nosed up behind another horse.
Re "theory" work - I don't think it's ever a bad idea to read/listen/watch as much as you can to help you get better with horses. You'll find each trainer has a different take on things but you read enough of them you start to see a pattern that fits you and can work for you. As the other posters have mentioned, Clinton Anderson and Carlos Tabernaberri are good places to start.
The more miles you two put behind you, the better your partnership will become - best of luck to you.
There have been some really interesting research studies about cribbing being an inherited behavior that can become more pronounced under stress. Have you tried giving her something to play with or do when you are not around, there are some great horse toys that hang in the stall to help to fight boredom if this is part of the problem? Most horses will stop cribbing if they wear the collar but, like verona mentioned they will eventually rub. Can the horse be outside rather than stabled where she can graze and be engaged in what is going on around her rather than stressed in a confined space? Just a thought!
And yes, start from square one and move forward, don't assume she has been trained correctly the first time around!
Just reading your title, I'm thinking ulcers.
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