Im working with a 4 year old QH right now and he is so hyper. I lunge him for twenty minutes a day and when I get on him he still wants to go. I can't work him into the groung cause its super cold out. He's the worst when I get him to trot. He just keeps speeding up. Any suggestions on how to get him to relax more? Ive tried sacking him out with many things but hes not really spooky unless im riding him, sometimes he randomly bolts then stops suddenly. He only runs like two steps so its hardly a bolt but I dont know what else to call it.
A hyper horse might also be an unfocused horse, and based on that little information tidbit, i'd recommend the following:
Before you pull him out to ride, go out into the arena and scatter cones, jumping standards, bending poles, and random ground poles all over the place. Then as you get into the arena on his back work bending him around and over these obstacles. Have a good mix of upright obstacles (jump standards, cones, speed event bending poles) and ground objects (poles) and constantly keep him interested and in tune to you by twisting, turning, and going over the objects. Not only will this help him focus, but you will also have a more supple horse because of all the bending and steering.. this is how we taught Skippy to neck rein.. the arena was full of jumps and jump standards, so we just turned and circled all around them and within a week we had a supple well bent neck reining 4 year old! =)
Also, the obstacles -might- help keep him from bolting, since there will be no clean "path" to run in without hitting an object. Of course, not all horses think when they bolt.. so thats why i made sure to put emphasis on the "might help" :p
When he speeds up with trotting keep bumping him back lightly with the bit. If you ride with spurs or a crop i would definately recommend not doing so for this particular horse at this point in time. Make sure -you- are the one in control and -you- are the one setting the pace. He just needs to listen and respond =)
And as for the two step aspect of the bolting, my best recommendation is to ignore it. Don't rake his face, stop him, or punish him. Almost pretend like it didn't happen and keep pushing him through and maintain the nice working trot.
And the fact that he is more spooky with you in the saddle shows me that he is insecure of being alone on the ground. Our horses tend to get a "security blanket" feel for us, and when we arent next to them when we are teaching them something new, they don't like it because they feel if something bad happens they will have to react themselves since we wont be right next to them to help... if that makes sense.
Im sure i forgot something... but thats the gist of my advice i can give ya on what I know of the situation. Ah, the fun of riding a 4 year old!! =) I hope this helps ya!
Thanks ill try it tommorow. Hopefully it works I only have three weeks left with him and Id like to do something besides trot circles lol.
If he's not calm on the ground he will not be calm when you're riding. This all starts with groundwork. If you don't have time to do a lot of groundwork and get him relaxed I wouldn't be riding him. Set yourself and the horse up for success. Instead of just lunging set puzzles up for him....like have him do figure 8s around two cones, have him weave through cones, etc. and keep him on the pattern until he is calm and relaxed.
When you do get on take things slow and at any moment he gets tense stop, retreat from that threshold and let him settle. If he gets faster use one rein to softly bend him back down. Do a lot of riding on a loose rein. This will help him become more emotionally fit and in control of his emotions.
What i'v been doing with my horse is every time he speeds up I stop and back up and after a while instead of speeding up he is thinking about when im going to ask him to back that way he is going slow and im not fighting with him
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