I have met my match!
So, as some may know, I have barely ridden in a year. Between looking for a new horse, house and working 3 jobs, I just haven't been bothered asking around for rides.
A friend of mine asked me recently if I'd like to come up and ride her QH mare (my friend is pregnant so no riding for her), she's nothing amazing but it's something to ride for the time being.
So off i toddled today, fat flabby un muscled legs and all (I've been getting back into running again in the last week... can't stand my reflection anymore!).
This mare is about 15.1hh, bay QH with a blue eye (immediately classed as evil :twisted:), about 13 years old and has had an extremely cruisey life.
Hopped on and wow. lazy.
I've ridden a hell of a lot of lazy horses so have a good number of tricks up my sleeve. I didn't want to jump straight in with a whip so just worked on going halt-walk-halt. Increadibly un-responsive. So brought mr dressage whip into play. Started back with halt-walk. If she didn't move with a small leg aid, I'd flick her. Absolutely no reaction what so ever. She is a thick skinned as an elephant. So brought out the big guns and pulled my cowboy stunt on her. Reins in one hand up her neck, sit deep and whack her a good one on the backside. Well. She reacted. Slightly. Grunted. Pinned her ears. Bucked. Stopped. Then took a step forwards. WHACK! grunt. buck. 2 steps forward. WHACK!!!! grunt. BUCK. Jump forward into trot. Good horse.
4 strides of trot (so slow that if she was going any slower she'd be going backwards... dead horse?). Stop. WHACK! grunt. buck. 2 steps forward.
Something's gotta give.
I've got no idea how to get this mare moving, let alone getting any engagement!! I have never ridden a green horse that I haven't been able to improve even slightly in a ride. but with this mare, I felt like there was no progress what so ever.
I am at my wits end here. I don't want to give up on her, the owner has had me ride a horse of hers before and get it going well, and seen me on others so thinks that I'll be able to get this **** little mare going at least to a respectable prelim standard if anything. But at this rate it's just not going to happen. I spoke to my coach who knows the mare tonight and all she said was 'good luck... she is the most revolting horse to ride.'.
yeah great help coach, ta!
So any idea's on forwardness would be much appreciated. I'm thinking I might throw her on the lunge in the roundyard and crack a whip up her bum. See if she'll go forward from the lunging. However I know when the girl first got her I came round to give her a bit of work on the lunge and she was dead on the lunge also. Crack the whip and she turns into you, Chase her out and she doesn't move.
I am frustrated!! Swear I have never had a horse frustrate me so much but I really do not want to give in with this mare, I'm yet to have a failed attempt with a horse and I absolutley do not want a 15h QH to be the first!
Oh, ho ho ho. Good luck. I have no advice besides what you've already tried. About a year ago a friend asked me to ride her little draft pony for her. I thought, sure, what the heck. This was before I had Zeus and was willing to give it a go. Couldn't be more than 15hh, just like this QH mare. Same story. I'm more partial to quick horses, but have also ridden my fair share of lazy ones, but could NOT for the life of me, keep him trotting for more then a few steps.
I only got to ride him a few times before my friend had to move barns to one that was too far for me to come out, and i experienced mixed emotions of relief and frustration that I couldn't even tryt to sort this out any more. I have no advice, as I never got to work with the horse again. But I feel your pain.
A couple of things worth trying:
1.) Always ask nicely once then VERY HARD the second time.
2.) Make certain reins have NO contact before asking for forward - Once you get her forward you can introduce "forward with contact" later.
3.) Praise her the minute she steps (walk/trot/other) forward - neck pat and good girl - perhaps even a favorite treat. Repeat. Once she gives you 1 step forward at a light request then wait til she gives you a second step before treating her. You can slowly work that over time into a whole hour before a treat.
4.) Have a ground person run forward yelling like a banshee same time you're using a whip. :twisted: Holding a lunge whip with a plastic bag on the end (noisy) helps too. Key is forward is OK no matter what - bucking, running :shock: or whatever her response only gets punished if she doesn't go forward. You must NOT hit her mouth to correct forward - just hold on and allow her forward.
Hope 1 or more of these works for you.
If this were my horse I would tack her up. Put the reins so they would not get stepped on ( I would use side reins or have the reins over the saddle and under the stirrups for security.
I would then enlist a second person with a lunge whip to stand at one end of the riding area and I would stand at the opposite end and between the two of us would MAKE sure that horse moved forward. This should be in an area that isn't too big (not allowing to horse to find security areas). The horse can do whatever it wished, buck,rear, crowhop but it WILL go forward.
From your posts it seems the mare has simply gotten away with too much and gotten fat and lazy. It needs to get in shape, trim and obedient. This way will do all of that with minimal risk.
Valentina, I have tried all of that :S I spent the ride yesterday sitting back cowboy style, reins at the buckle and halfway up her neck with whip in the other hand. The little cow would NOT budge other than go up. I would have hit her at least 10 times in a row and she bucked to it and wouldn't take an inch forward every time. I'd put my leg on lightly, not response WHACK. I swear this horse has elephant hide!
The odd time that she did buck then step forward i would praise her for the forward, and then she'd stop again and repeat the process without the forward. I've never met a horse that the reins in one hand, whip in the other over the shoulder trick doesn't work on. They all leap forward from the whip, I let them take off and carry on but keep my leg there and wait for them to quit the tantrum, then ask again with the leg. If they don't go, I threaten with the whip and they move forward pretty **** quickly!
But this mare, my god!!
Spyder, thankyou very much. I've got a mate across the road who should be home today, I'll give her a buzz and see if she'll come done and give me a hand. They've got a very good round yard, do you think it would be worth sticking her in there and giving chase that way if it's just me? Or would an arena be the best way to go?
As for the mare getting fat and lazy. Spot on! She has barely been ridden in the last few months, just once on saturday's as a lesson horse because she
s quite happy to follow other horses, but on her own she will not budge!
Ok thanks again Spyder, I'll give my mate a buzz later this arvo and we'll have a play. I was going to see if I could get someone behind her with a lunge whip while i rode anyway, but wanted to lunge her first to get her knowing what a lunge whip means! So will certainly give free lunging a good go.
Oh boy that has to suck!! Every time I try a QH, I get similar results. I don't gel well with that breed at all. They sure are thick when they don't want to work. I have no suggestions other that to say find a friend with a nice forward TB!
aww that sucks! I used to ride a little Haflinger mare that was the same way. Everyone hated to ride her because she was so darn lazy (which I hear is a breed trait). And then I started jumping her... took her NINE minutes to get around a pre-beginner cross country course!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN! haha
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