Horse will not Whoa
I recently started a lease with an 18 year old tennesse walking horse. She will not Whoa when asked. If I mount by the barn she will stand still and whoa of course. But as soon as I get her to the paddock or away from the barn she wants to go back to the barn. I have started doing ground work on the Whoa for the last couple weeks and she gets the Whoa when i walk with her. She will also Whoa in a group (because she is forced to if she is in the middle). Can anyone give me advice on anything else i should be trying? I plan to keep working on ground work to get her familiar with me but not sure where to take it once i'm mounted. I have tried making her Whoa by relaxing in the seat and not using much reins but that still doesn't even seem to affect her. Thanks
I would suggest that you keep on doing lots of groundwork with her. Teach her to flex on the ground (from both sides). Once she's comfortable flexing from the ground, you can then teach her to do it in the saddle.
From there, you can teach her the One Rein Stop.
She also sounds like she is barn sour. There are several good threads on here that address that topic, as well as the one rein stop.
It seems to me like she is testing you. You need to let her know you are calling the shots....not her.
Turn her in little circles whilst riding. If she tries to go back to the barn, turn her the other way in little circles until she shows signs of submission. She will soon learn that listening to you and going out for a ride is much more interesting that walking in circles lol
Thanks for the help. 100% you are correct in her testing me. I am going to keep working on what you guys have suggested and see what happens. I believe she is barn sour and that could be part of the issue with the Whoa because she just wants to get back to the barn all the time. Lots of work ahead!
What cues are you using to ask for a stop? What cues did the owner tell you she responds to for a stop?
Turn her into the fence. And make sure you are firm in your cues, as if you are asking? She is ignoring that.
Quit asking and tell her.
Make sure your reins are not too long, as that is common mistake too, shorten up if they are, and riding lessons might be good idea for you.
You just need to spend time working on her whoa. It's best to start in a pen or on the lungeline. Move her forward with pressure then say whoa and stop her. Do that every day for a week in a controlled environment on the ground.
From there, mount her and begin the same transition work. Move her forward with leg pressure then ask her to whoa just like you did from the ground. When she does whoa (because if you put in the effort to this point with enough repetition, she will) you need to give her a minute to stand quietly.
She has to be shown that work is not the only answer. Once she respects you, she will be more content with sitting quietly beneath you. As she learns, it may be hard for her to stand for extensive periods of time. If she does shuffle forward (or backward), circle her forward, back to where she was standing and ask again for your whoa.
All of your work should be done quietly. Easy cues, light pressure. Be sure to ask before you make her do. And expect it to take time. Baby steps. If you expect too much from her too soon, you'll just teach her that rushing IS the answer.
The owner can not get her to fully whoa either. She told me to take her in circles. She bought her years ago from a 4-h-er and she is mainly used for trail rides. No one has worked with her for years so i believe she just knows she can get away with everything. I thought it would be a good challenge to take on. I am going to talk with another instructor and get her suggestions on what i should work on since she knows my riding. I am trying not to use much reins to whoa because she just fights and shakes her head. Trying to say whoa and apply light pressure and light in the seat and relaxed. Sounds like it will just take lots of time and patience to get her back to where she needs to be.
My mare used to be just like that. All she wanted to do was run and if I tried to control her she would jig in place. It took two years of consistent work to get her to stop when I asked her to. Try thinking of the reins as sponges and gently squeeze the water out of them when you ask her to whoa. If I pulled steadily on the reins my horse would simply brace against them and keep going. Also keep her mind busy. If you are trotting around the ring do tons of transitions and changes of directions. Maybe think of doing something different at every fourth fence post. My horse tends to get bored going around in circles and she would start to act up. But as soon as I made her think she would pay better attention to me. Good luck and let us know if you have any success.
From your description I am not seeing this as a whoe problem but rather a barn sour problem.. I would suggest (if safe) work the heck out of her near the barn and ride easy in the other areas......Its nice to relax away from the barn
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