My 6yr old QH is now finally ride able! He has about 30 rides on him now and is a real trooper. He has never bucked, shied, reared or done anything except try his little heart out to do what I'm asking of him. Until last night...
I was riding in our indoor arena just working on our transitions and yielding to leg pressure. He was doing very well and was stopping and walking just from my seat. But then he decided he was done for the night. He never bucked, reared or anything bad, he just stopped. And REFUSED to move. I squeezed, kicked, even slapped him on the bum with my hand and he WOULD NOT MOVE. I ended up having to get off him, lunge him for a few circles and get back on and continue. He seemed to do this after trotting the most.He would gradually go into smaller and smaller circles at the trot until he walked and eventually stopped. No amount of kicking, squeezing or anything else would keep him going. When I would try using my inside leg to push him out on the circle he would go into a very slow reining spin. The trainer who put 30 days on him is a reining trainer but I can't imagine she would be teaching him these movements already, especially because she knows I want him as a working cow horse, not a reining horse.
I know he is being stubborn because he is very lazy and wants to decide when he is done work. I ended the lesson when I had him trotting around the outside of the arena nicely and then we went on a little walk around the property because he loves trail riding.
We rarely use the indoor arena so I don't think its arena sour and I try to keep things interesting by changing up our routine. We do ground work daily and he is very respectful in every other aspect of handling.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
My mare used to have a very short attention span. If you rode longer than she was mentally capable, she'd get very frustrated, and resort to trying to force me off her back if I didn't get off on my own. It took quite a while, but now she's able to go for hours. I figured out that she's very high energy, and needs to think ALL the time. Setting up obstacles, doing lots of circles, serpentines, and now jump courses keep her mind very active.
My appaloosa, who is also green broke and on like his 12th ride, does this. I carry a crop and as soon as he tries to plant his feet I use it. I'll squeeze and click first, kick, then follow up with the whip. I rarely have to do it more than once in a session. You may want to think of carrying one, a slap of my hand has never worked as enforcement to a cue (I just can't hit hard enough for him to care.)
"He would gradually go into smaller and smaller circles at the trot until he walked and eventually stopped"
Here is your first problem. He should have never been allowed to change the size of the circles he was trotting unless YOU asked him. You also should not have allowed him to enter a walk. You can use the "squeeze, cluck, spank" method to move him into a trot and if he doesn't trot after a light spank, get after him. HIT him. You aren't going to hurt him but you do have to make him listen to you.
Are you still direct reining or are you trying to neck rein? Use your direct rein to KEEP him in the size circle you want.
If he absolutely refuses to trot after you really get after him, pull his head around and ask him for a small circle and gradually widen that circle until he moves out. Don't let him get away with standing still.
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Spurs and crop are your FRIENDS with a horse like this. You can start out asking gently but if he continues to try to evade the leg, then spur and crop come into play and pretty soon, he'll figure it out.
I will try pulling his head around and hopefully that helps, although when I tried it yesterday he just stood there with his nose to my boot while kicking/smacking him.
Thank you for the advice!
I don't think you are being as harsh as you think you are if he just looks at your boot. You have to have a lot of forward motion, spank with the lead rope and pop him hard on the butt a few times and he will get the picture.
I've had several similar horses but it only takes them once or twice to figure out that when I say GO I mean GO NOW
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You should be able to pull the english spur ends apart to make them wider to fit your western boots! I use the same pair of spurs for all my boots, english and western.
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