New Gelding thinks everything is out to get him - Page 3

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New Gelding thinks everything is out to get him

This is a discussion on New Gelding thinks everything is out to get him within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    10-15-2013, 12:43 PM
Green Broke
I want to make a suggestion to change your approach slightly when he reacts. Instead of making him work around the object of his spook, try making him face it and walk towards it. Every time he turns in a different direction then make him work tight circles and release him in the direction of the object. Ask him to move forward towards it again and keep this up until you can walk up to it to the point he is touching it with his legs. Even have him step over it if possible until he is completely relaxed while doing it. I will add that you must be absolutely calm during this, because if there is an ounce of nervousness in your hands or body, it will transfer to him immediately. Don't have the mindset of "what is he going to spook at today", instead have your mind made up that it is going to be a good ride and if something comes up then we will work on it UNTIL IT IS CORRECTED. If you start and do not finish then they learn the boundary they have to reach to outlast you.

Do that exercise with several different things he spooks at and see if it will calm him, but remember this will only work if you stay calm, confident and in control. I had to do this with a couple of mine that spooked at simple things like a high chair someone had out by the road to be picked up. Another time was square bales of hay at the end of the road where the county worked on the drainage.

Pointed him at the high chair and asked him to walk towards it and as soon as he wanted to turn away from it we did about 6 tight circles then came to rest facing the high chair again. We did this until he walked forward and had the high chair actually rub his side as we went past it. Then walked back and forth past it until he didn't even look at it.

Same thing with the hay bale until he was stepping over it. I do not usually work this way as I try to spend enough time on ground work to get them to trust my directions so they are focused on me instead of their surroundings. I hadn't had him long and this was our second ride outside of the yard so I decided to use that technique since I was there and didn't want him to win at not going forward. We would have been there all night before I allowed that to happen.
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    10-15-2013, 03:24 PM
Thanks Roadyy for the suggestion...I have done that approach as well ...
    10-15-2013, 04:27 PM
Green Broke
I hope you figure it out for the both of you. Good luck.
lbw0912 likes this.
    10-16-2013, 10:11 AM
I had a spooky horse that I rode two hours a day for two years. She was still spooky. I traded her for a different horse that I was much happier with. The new owner rode her several hours a day for another year and she finally calmed down. If you want a nice, gentle horse to ride on trails, you might be wise to trade horses. This horse can most likely eventually be fixed, but he is not going to be very fun to ride meanwhile. There is also the very real possibility that you could be injured. He is a nice horse, and somebody will enjoy him. I would try to find a different horse.
    10-16-2013, 03:38 PM
Green Broke
IBW0912 - I think you would be much better suited with a older or just more experienced trail horse. Biscuit has always been a calm boy - I think he was born calm for the most part but when I first got him he would toss his head up and toss it around if asked to do something he didn't want to do. He'd walk all over me at first. He actually knew better but had been allowed to do what he wanted - he was never ever mean or pissy - he just was careless. After a while of just me handling him he turned into just a doll - no more head tossing, nor more walking all over me. As he put on weight and got used to me, he finally developed his personality too! What a doll!

I hope you find the right horse for you - one that you will enjoy and not have to worry about spooking. I want to have a good time on the trails - not worry that my horse is going to shy/spook at every single thing that can go on in the woods!!!
    10-16-2013, 07:30 PM
Thank you all.... I have officially listed Jet for sale or trade for a well seasoned trail horse...and have a few horses lined up to I am hopeful Jet will find a rider better suited for him..and I will fine a horse better suited for me...and in listing Jet I have been very up front with potential buyers about his issues...unlike the seller I got him from...I need for him to go to the right home..with someone who understands fully what they are getting into and that is qualified to help him overcome the issues...or improve them at least.
QOS, MN Tigerstripes and Celeste like this.
    10-16-2013, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Good for you! Can't wait to see your new buddy. Take your time. I actually rode Biscuit on two trail rides before I brought him home. I kept him for a week before I actually paid for him. I could have kept him longer but I decided I wanted him. I did tell myself NOT to get attached to him so that if he didn't work out I wouldn't have any qualms about selling him.

LOL There isn't enough money to buy him from me know. I love his NON craziness and his non spookiness. Not that he is perfect because he isn't - but he is pretty perfect for me.
lbw0912 likes this.
    10-16-2013, 10:36 PM
That is awesome..I am so glad you found a perfect for you horse...definitely what I want for myself...this time around taking my time...and will try the horse out more than once.
QOS likes this.
    10-16-2013, 10:55 PM
Lets try something else. When he begins to turn his head, turn it in the opposite direction as he may see the continuation of the direction as a reward. But lets back up and do some groundwork. When you stand in front of him, about 6 or 8' away and facing away from the barn/herd. When he turns his head make him bring it back to focus on you. If he refuses to stand still then send him around you for a few circles then allow him to stand, again keeping his attention on you. Do this until he figures out that he can either get his head yanked or work or stand still and focus on you. This is teaching him obedience, something seldom talked about. When you ride, the moment he turns his head in one direction, bring it back. If he turns as tho to spook, put him to work in the opposite direction. Carrying thro with the directions may be seen by him as getting his own way. Keep in mind that horses need three or four sessions to figure out how things work. No connection the first time, a little the second, by the third will either connect or is figuring it out and by the forth usually has it sorted out, cause and effect.
    10-17-2013, 12:41 AM
Green Broke
My cousin knew Biscuit well. She is who encouraged me to try him and buy him. Her husband had rode Biscuit before as had loads of other people. He was his former owner's loaner horse to everyone and their dog and that is why Biscuit was just a nose to tail trail horse and didn't really want to listen to who was riding him. He'd ignore just about anything and just follow Cutter. He was always looking to the left in particular - I didn't know what his problem was as I am not a trainer. My barn manager who is a trainer said he was avoiding instruction by "getting off the rein". She taught me to make him get on the rein . He never was bad - just didn't listen real well. Now, he is a good boy and not the nose to tail guy and when other people see him that haven't in a long time can't believe the change in him. He was underfed when I got him and several other riders had said "he was ugly and lazy". Poor fellow - he was just under nourished. Now those same people think he is beautiful and can't believe all of his get up and go. Here is a picture of my boy when I got him

Biscuit was a PacMan.jpg

And what he looks like now. This picture was actually a year ago...

Chad warmup (2).jpg

He is still a work in progress but I enjoy him so much. He has a long way to go but I trust him not to hurt me by being crazy!

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