This is getting ridiculous.
Sunny has started to get really, really "balky", and it's just getting ridiculous. It's ONLY when people are in the arena, though, and have been by him. Then, randomly he'll be cantering along nicely, and just STOP and won't go. And it'll be random, too. Then, he'll start backing up. I'll reposition his legs, make a lot of noise - but I can't really use the whip or he'll blow up and buck like crazy (trust me! I've tried!). He'll back up a lot in the center of the arena.
I'm wondering if it's a physical problem. However, he just got fixed (a month ago) by the chryo and who knows - maybe he hurt something... again.
I think (hope!) I'm riding this right. Is there anything that I should take into consideration, or tips?
When I ride, I'm thinking this:
- NO (whatsoever) treats in the middle (note that whenever he's good, he gets a treat and that stays. And if you have a problem with that - see how top riders give their horses treats when good...also, my trainer uses treats, espically when you mount).
- Mount by the track.
- Really get after him (kick, make NOISE..that helps a lot).
Hopefully this'll just be a little thing. I just want to stop this before it leads to rearing.
I had a horse that used to do this too. Not sure if its right or not, but I would circle her in a spiral, small circle to large circle and out in the direction I wanted to go. Kinda like when my horse now doesnt want to go forward on a lead. Rather than stand there and play tug of war with her I just turn her to the side and she has to move or fall over :lol: Sounds like he is just testing you.
If your horse is too reactive to a whip, there's another little trick I know that will deter his attention from the pattern he's making onto something else. If he is broke enough, ride with a halter under your bridle, (or if you have a mecate that's even better) and loop the lead rope through the belt loop in your pants. The rope should go through on the right side through the nearest loop or whatever is most comfortable.
Then, at the walk, just desensitize him a bit but picking up the tail end of the rope and tossing it from one shoulder to the next, gently. If he responds by moving forward, away from it, praise him by letting the rope go or by keeping it still. If you feel he's okay with it, go up into your other gaits and the second you start to feel any balking or hesitation, throw the rope from right to left. If he ignores it, you can let the end lightly thwap him in the shoulder. The rhythm of the rope should not be fast and erratic unless he starts to stop, then you quicken the tempo of tossing the rope. The second he thinks about forward, praise him and start over.
What this simply does it breaks the pattern you guys seem to have gotten stuck in. It's a gentle, non-confrontational way of saying "No, you keep on going." Without your aids having to scream it which usually makes it worse.
While you are swinging the rope you can make some noise, but perhaps time the cluck when the rope goes to the left then to the right.
Pretty soon after you catch him before it happens he'll start to think more of just keeping on going than always planning his next brake check. :D
Good luck, be safe, and let me know if you have any questions!!
My mare's done this a few times. I make her bend around and touch her nose to my knee of her side then make her turn in a really tight circle a few times when she refuses to go forwards... However, for my girl, having to corcle is a punishment, and she knows it, that's why it works for her. I'm not sure what else to tell ya.
like most suggested, when he stops, immediate do a circle. Keep circling until he'll walk forward.
It sounds like he's just testing you
koomy56 - I'm confused about your concept. However, I don't ride with a rope, but it seems like everything else, I'm doing what you are telling me to do.
Britt - No, circles aren't bad for him. He's really stubborn.
SonnyWimps - I really don't think he's testing me. If he did, he would have done it before. I could be wrong, that's just what I'm thinking.
By the way, I practiced it by standing in the middle for five minutes with people there, and walking away. About three tries after, he got the hang that he WILL go forward.
He's actually a really hard pony to ride, although it doesn't seem like it.[/quote]
Have you consider lunging him in center of the ring with other people and horses around? Get as many people as you can to enter the ring walk around make noise and see if he can work throw it. If he bucks no big deal your not on him, once he is moving forward and is comfortable you can get on and ride. On a side note it can take up to 3 month before all the hormone leave a horse after they have been fixed. :)
Sorry, I have a bad habit of making something simple way too confusing. Basically, the rope is not a punishment it is simply a tool to redirect your horse's attention on something different. Circling him will only cause him to be more "stuck" which in this case is what your horse is. The only way out from being "stuck" is to encourage him forward. Kicking, using a whip, anything else you've already tried is already engrained in the pattern. By introducing the rope as something else he can think about and respond to is breaking the nasty pattern he's gotten into. Its a simple, non confusing way to say, "Forward." If something doesnt work in your training, try something else. It's all about breaking loose of patterns so you can move on to the next thing.
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