Tips on Getting Him to Move Forward?
Ok, so my TB gelding did perfect the first day I rode him at my farm - which was two days after I'd brought him home. He obeyed my commands and did everything I asked him. But now, a few days after that, he will not move forward. he'll walk, but when I try to get him to trot or canter, he freezes. Every time I kick him, he just freezes. I'm scared to 'show him who's boss' because I'm afraid he'll rear or throw me off. But I don't know what else to do. Any tips?
Has anything changed from that day?
Have you changed any of his tack/bit/etc?
Are you riding him in the same place?
You said he is OTT, is he freshly off the track?
He could be hurting somewhere, and it is his only way of letting you know. Something could be pinching him, or making him uncomfortable also. I would check him over for any soreness in places or swelling anywhere.
If that isn't the case in any way, then perhaps I would do a couple lunge line lessons with him. Walk/trot/canter on the lunge, and get him listening to your voice and obedient to the commands. Do a lot of transitions on the lunge. Once you feel he is confident performing them on the lunge, do it under saddle. Use your voice and those commands for the gaits, so that way he can learn to associate them, if that is the problem.
Thanks LiveToJump :) And yes, the only thing that changed since that day were his shoes. He hasn't had shoes on his back feet since he retired from the track 3-4 years ago. Plus, they're a little too big. But, I'm getting him re-shod this Saturday by someone else. So, hopefully that will help. And ok :) I'll try some lunge lessons after he gets new shoes on Saturday.
I would get a crop. But if your nervous about that have someone watch you ride incase something happens.
Steady pressure. no kicks. try that.
If you're worried then get someone to watch you whilst you ride. I have just started riding a huge 16.3hh cob - and if he could have it his way, he would be plodding around. I don't like to kick him alot cause I'm riding him for a friend. I use a schooling whip, and by just simply giving him a light tap on the bum, he'll go into trot with me and be faster and move forward more. It might help, but it might not. Hope it helps :) x
I had a problem much like your own, actually.
His name was Jasper, he's a 16.1 perch and has the funniest personality you'll find in a horse. There was a time when we didn't think of me riding Allegra and all of the school horses weren't advanced enough for me. So I rode Jasper. We were doing amazingly. So his owner was going out of town for two weeks and pretty much handed him to me and told me to have fun.
I rode him the night before she left. He was fine. The next day? Oh man.
Anyways, I had the same problem you did. He just wouldn't move, and it drove me crazy. He gave me the slight fear I have now of rearing and bucking, as I once was bucked off of him and totally screwed up my shoulder. Eventually I got off of him and just did tons and tons and tons of basic ground work. Just simple walk and halt stuff so he'd listen to me. I'd carry a Dressage whip and walk backwards in the arena, telling him to walk and then halt. Over and over again.
Long story short, after doing that and just getting him to understand that I was the boss really helped. It might also help to put him on a super loose rein, have someone else around just incase, and just kick until he trots. When he does really express what a good boy he is, but don't touch the reins. Get him to really understand that's what you want - that also helped me out a bit.
Thanks everyone! :)
I'm going to try all of your suggestions and see if any of them help me out any. I'll keep you guys updated on how he does in the next few days, possibly weeks :)
Hate to say it, but he might already have your number. I swear TB's can read your mind. You're afraid to use force, he probably is completely aware of it. Maybe try just upping the anty a little bit, just enough to get you a little out of your comfort zone, but enough to get even a small response from him. Just pick a little battle you know you can win. Get the response you want and REWARD. TBs are wicked smart. It's either going to end up being you or him in charge, so make it you.
Great news, guys! :D
I rode him bareback for around four or five days. He did really well, and he seemed very responsive and comfortable. I had read that riding bareback can help build the bond between you and your horse, so that's what I did. I spent those four or five days riding in my humongous front yard, walking down the slight hill, and then turning around by the fence that separates my yard from the road to go back up the hill. I also figured out that Artic isn't spooked by cars or anything (probably because he's a former racer, and had such thorough training to get ready for the track).
After those four or five days had passed, I decided to put the saddle back on him, as he'd done very well with me on him bareback. I walked him down the hill, and then walked back up the hill about three times around. When I was going down again, I decided to try and trot him. When I got to the bottom of the hill, I clicked to him and nudged him a little bit. He willingly began a trot, and I trotted him up the hill. When I got to the top of the hill, I let him walk again, and kept walking until I was at the bottom of the hill again, and asked him to trot again, which he responded to very well. I went around trotting most of the way around the yard three or four times around.
I let him walk a couple times around again to relax a little before I asked him to trot at the bottom of the hill again. As we were turning to go up the hill, he out of the blue starts into a canter, and keeps cantering until we're at the top, then I asked him to walk, then stopped him. I'm telling you that I gave that horse the biggest hug I've ever given anyone or anything. haha. I was extremely proud of Artic.
So, does anyone know why he may have started responding as well as he did the first day?
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