Help! Horse is big, stubborn and unresponsive to me!
My daughter and I are riding a horse has had about 90 days of riding several years ago. He is a very sweet horse, but lazy! My daughter has a half brother to this horse which is her show horse and he is very lazy also. When my daughter gets on him to ride him, he will not go when asked. She uses her legs (as he was taught) but will not respond. We have used spurs, different bits, etc and nothing works. He is fine when lunging, and very manerly when we are on the ground but very stubborn when ridden. When she kicks and kicks, he will get mad a throw his head and jump a little but still will not move. We need any advise on how to get this horse to go!
Why not ride the other horse along side? This horse may be thinking you have plans to make it leave the barn/buddy, whatever. The two of you could go for a trail ride. I'd bet money this horse will listen to your legs on the way home, maybe too well.
I would give him a good smack with a crop. Or you could try riding on the lunge to get him used to riding again.
That is a great idea but her horse is at the trainers right now! I do have my older horse that I showed for years but he has not been ridden in years (leg problems.) I wonder if I led my old horse next to the other horse while my daughter is riding him, if that would work?
Ok, this is a dumb question, but should I smack him on his hind end? Or just wherever?
It doesn't sound as if the horse has had much training in the past so does he even understand what the leg cues/aids are?
Horses don't come with any magic buttons that you press and it makes them react - they have to be taught what they are.
You say he lunges well but does that mean he just runs round and round on the lunge when you drive him with a whip or does he obey verbal cues like walk, trot, whoa?
We use the ASK, TELL, DEMAND process for nearly everything. It sounds as if it is warranted here. We start with squeezing and bumping with your legs. That is the ASK. The next step is (while squeezing and bumping) we start to cluck. That is the TELL. The final step if those get no attention is to spank on the hindquarters. I will use the end of my split reins or a dressage whip. That is the TELL. If you don't start with the first two then eventually the only thing that will get him to move forward is the spank. He needs to realize that if he doesn't listen to the first two then things will get amped up. We had an issue with my daughter's colt where he wouldn't move forward and instead either stood still or backed up. We started the ASK,TELL,DEMAND in the roundpen and got him moving off of the lightest pressure possible. We then moved to the lunge line, pointing first, then clucking and then spanking with a stick and string if necessary. Once he moved easily and willingly there then we repeated the process under saddle.
A couple of things to be aware of...first if you have to give them a good hard spank they may kick out or jump forward from that. Be ready for that and either hold onto the horn or postion yourself to be able to ride a jump forward. All you are looking for is a step (or two or three). As soon as he comes to a stop, repeat the process until he learns that if he doesn't move off of a squeeze and bump or a kiss then he is going to get spanked. When I did this with my horse, I only spanked him one time and he has remembered it for a LONG time. All I have to do is THINK about spank if he doesn't respond to squeeze and kiss. With my daughter's horse, we repeat the process regularly as he wants to make sure we are still serious about him moving off. Once they learn it though, it really works well.
Good luck and be careful.
Smacking on the butt is a punishment not a correction. You want to correct this behavior..
First off....90 days of training is a drop in the bucket....it really means nothing because a horse is just learning basics. It takes a year + to get a horse going consistently. This is a training issue pure and simple....you have to start ALL over again. Just kicking and kicking is not going to do anything as this horse has obviously tuned you out. Carry a dressage whip at your leg, and ask, ask, then use the whip at your leg. Using a crop on the butt does nothing. You want this horse to respect your leg.....whacking the horse on the butt it NOT a learning tool, it's a reprimand. A dressage whip used at the leg is a TOOL when a horse is not responded to your leg.
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