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ppickett21 08-31-2009 12:21 PM

My Gelding Crow Hopping, Help!!!
I have a gelding that is around 14 and I have had him since Feb. this year. He is really a good horse and I love him to death, but everytime we get into a full run he starts crow hopping and I am almost 50 years old so it is pretty hard to hang on and stop him at the same time. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do with him?

smrobs 08-31-2009 12:30 PM

My only suggestion is that you kinda suck some of the air out of him/get him tired doing circles at a trot or easy lope before you try running. Is he cowhorse bred by chance? My brother had a Mr. San Peppy mare that he got when she was 7 or 8 and until the day we stopped riding her, she would crow hop at the oddest times and none of us could ever get her broke from it, it was just her personality. I hope my suggestion helps some, good luck!!

And welcome to the forum by the way. :D

ppickett21 08-31-2009 01:35 PM

Thank you for your suggestion. He is a full blooded appaloosa, so I don't think he would have cowhorse bred in him, but I don't know.

iridehorses 08-31-2009 02:06 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum!

It isn't unusual for horses to start crow-hopping when moving them into a canter. The last few horses I've owned have all done that until they were warmed up - that is usually refereed to as being "cold backed".

My current gelding is a 7 year old grade horse and a perfect gentleman on the trail but needs to be ridden for a solid 15 min to 1/2 hour for him to get the freshness out before asking for a canter. As smrobs suggested, a lot of cow bred horses do that and your horse, even as a full blooded Appy may still have some of that wonderful breeding.

I'm well past your age and hate crow-hopping but as long as Boomer is "loose" then moving up in his gates isn't a problem.

The only other thing I might suggest is to be sure it isn't coming from pain. It could be an ill fitting saddle, the onset of arthritis, or your position, just to name a few things.

Colesonfire 08-31-2009 04:11 PM

Are you sure he isn't hurting? Sometimes that will cause a horse to buck, crow hop, etc. as iridehorses sugests.

Calamity Jane 08-31-2009 09:41 PM

ppickett21, what are your cues to ask him to run?

When you ask him to run (run or lope?), do you keep the reins loose or not? What kind of bit do you use? If you use a shank bit and tend to ride with a tight or otherwise not loose rein and ask the horse to go faster than a trot at either a lope or a run.....then you may be causing the crow hopping. Especially if you grip with your legs.

How balanced a rider are you? Do you tend to lean forward or back? Do you bounce in the saddle? Or do you move with the horse? have had him since February....have you ridden him steadily since then? When you first got him, did the sellers ride him at all speeds? Did they have any trouble?

kevinshorses 08-31-2009 11:02 PM

Don't stop him when he starts crow hopping. Whack him on the ass and make him move faster. He just isn't busy enough if he has time to crow hop. Slowing him down is offering relief and that is the last thing you want to do.

mom2pride 09-01-2009 01:07 AM

I have to agree with Kevinshorses on this one.

If you have, or if you do rule out pain, or saddle issues, push him foward, rather than try to slow, or stop him; get him to canter some circles, and keep him moving foward. It could be that he just feels good, and crowhopping is his way of sharing that exhilaration, so rather than try to stop him, and possibly give the crowhopping a chance to turn into a habit because he learns that it gets him out of work, push him foward.

xxBarry Godden 09-01-2009 09:30 AM

Please tell we Brits what "crow hopping" is.
Is it contagious and can it be caught over the internet?

We've got crows over here, and they do hop about. Their nest is up in a tree in the pasture in which my mare grazes. Will she catch it?

Barry G

If so what's the treatment?

kevinshorses 09-01-2009 01:06 PM

Crow-Hopping is basically a horse running with its head down. It feels like an anemic buck. It can be contagious if the horse next to you starts to do it.

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