I REALLY need opinions on this, please -Longish-
My 5yr old QH is an extremely nervous horse it seems like. Whenever he is away from the other horses, or they walk away from him. He freaks, starts rearing, pacing, sweating. Will NOT stand still. If i am next to him touching him he is alright (for the most part, still paces) he calms down a bit. Once i walk away, its all bad. He starts screaming and rearing, etc etc. Even if i walk a few feet away from him to grab tack. We recently moved him to a boarding facility while we fix up our barn. As far as riding, he has never rode with another horse that he doesnt know. A gal at the facility was getting a lesson. Soon i started to mount him, he reared and flipped over. Eventually i got on him, as soon as i sat down on the saddle he took off towards the horse. You can imagine the fight that we had over this. I pulled his head to my foot to stop him, yet he continued to sidepass towards the other horse. Eventually i got him to go forward, then he would spin around and take off again. The gal riding went to the outside arena. Because ofcourse we were getting in the way of her lesson with my horse relentlessly trying to get to her horse. So we are riding in the arena alone.. every single time we pass the gate, no matter how much i pop him with the crop or use my spurs on him he stops and screams. I tried doing exercises around the gate, that led to repetitive rearing and screaming. Then i decided to work in the middle of the arena and working on lead changes. Which went better then the rest of the time. Today i rode him again, this time alone. But the same old thing, trying to rear when mounting, taking off towards the gate, stoping at the gate, constant screaming, pacing. I know its a phase and he is a baby and still learning, but honestly im lost with what i can do to try to calm him? He relies on me or the other horses as a comfort, he is not independent. I know separation is the best thing, but right now thats not an option, because of the boarding facility once i get the horses moved home you better believe he will be by himself. I dont want to use a calming agent, because im really not accomplishing anything. I work him in a full cheek snaffle, and i lunge him for 20min before i ride all the time. What are your takes on this? Im desperate for any other ideas. :?
A horse has no conception of time. If you can get your horse to believe that when he is alone or when he is with you, sometime later another horse will eventually show up or he will be reunited with another horse you can fix this problem. Now to convince him of this he has to go through the experience of alone-horse appears, alone-horse appears, alone-horse appears, etc. What you want is for him to get worked up a bit, a horse appears, he calms down, horse leaves, he gets worked up, horse appears, he calms down, etc. The time he is alone before he figures all the horses have left should increase. Eventually he will figure he has no need to get worked up as another horse will show up if he just hangs around. I don't know if your situation is conducive to this but it's an idea.
Thank you, i will try that. From my experiences people have told me to "work threw it and he will get over it eventually" But i feel asif he is being a danger to me, himself, and other people around him with this behavior.
You will never go wrong listening to you gut.
Your horse is heard bound. Tie your horse in the stall until he stands quiet. Once he does turn him out for his "reward". Ignore it for awhile because it's going to get worse before it gets better. Unless he's tearing the walls down I wouldn't worry too much.
I wouldn't ride him with another horse until he's ready. And if you absolutely have to I would just work him on the ground before you get on his back. Unless your a 100% confident rider I wouldn't do that. With no offense intended from what you've posted it doesn't sound like you are.
If you lunge everytime you ride and it isn't for respect all you're doing is getting him stronger and stronger, making it easier for him to fight you...
"no matter how much i pop him with the crop or use my spurs on him he stops and screams" This statement scares me, and I would get a professional trainer. It actually makes me want to vomit.. Do i even have to explain why?
From what I've read, it's you. Not your horse, why the HELL would you ride a horse that is rearing with spurs AND a crop?.. I mean what are you thinking? Your horse is probably telling you that all your doing his hurting him. And I bet money that when your horse is starting to spook you grip your legs on his sides, with spurs..
I need to breathe and not go off.. I expected more from you.
He's herd/buddy sour.
Bascially you are going to have to ignore what he is doing and keep working him if you want to accomplish anything.
I work in the arena with other horses, without other horses, start alone, end alone, etc. I will sometimes get a horse who decides they have to drop the shoulder or try and watch the other horse being worked or scream and try to head towards the gate or door when the other horse leaves. I simply change what I am working on. If I have to work on something specifc, the session can end up being two hours long.
Horses are herd animals. You have changed his routine and he is looking for a leader/alpha. Be that alpha.
So let me get this correct, You are taking an already flighty, herd bound horse, that "rears", "freaks", "paces", and "sweats" (all your words) and using spurs and a crop to try and get his attention? The only reason why horses get "dull sided" is because people don't learn how to correctly give and take away pressure. If you're always putting the pressure on and never releasing it the horse will get numb to your leg cues. Using spurs on a horse that obviously doesn't listen to you in the first place is a huge no,no. All you're doing is making the experience worse. It's not like what you're describing is an old 20y/o lesson horse that is lazy and needs a crop or spurs every now and again..
When your horse walks passed that gate, you don't kick him with your spurs and smack him with the crop to try and regain is attention, that screams poor riding skills; A disaster waiting to happen. You have always ridden him with spurs? might I ask why you feel you need them on a horse like what you're describing? have you ever ridden him without spurs or is it just something you think makes your outfit look better? In the beginning if all you do is keep putting pressure on, esp with spurs all you're doing is making the horse numb, so later on in his riding life you will need to have more and more of the pressure.
A five year old horse shouldn't have to be ridden with spurs AND a crop already.. something is wrong here.
I use the crop for the sole reason to keep him from stoping at the gate, nothing more nothing less. I dont understand why that is such a bad thing? Im not abusing the aid in any way.
He's only stopping at the gate because you're letting him! So why should he have to be punished with a tap from a crop when it's your fault? Someone should be tapping you on your as!
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