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My horse just wants to run!

This is a discussion on My horse just wants to run! within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • What's wrong with a horse if it just wants to run
  • Why does my horse want to run when riding him

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    08-30-2012, 01:26 PM
  #11
Yearling
Ill admit I used the "run the horse until it wants to stop" technique and it worked well on my mare, however I did it slightly differently. I let her run until she was listening to me. I tried one rein stops on her and they always did nothing but aggrevate her (she's an ex barrel horse and she thinks small circles means take off running as soon as possible) so once I ran her for around 10 minutes on each side she began thinking of things other than running and THEN we started schooling and she didnt worry so much about tossing her head and pulling through me.
     
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    08-30-2012, 01:36 PM
  #12
Green Broke
First off, it would be great if you could determine why he is taking off. It can only be one of three things: fear, disrespect or a learned behavior that was perhaps enabled by pervious owners.
Many barrel horses I have met that have only been trained to GO GO GO have had issues like this, where the horse actually cannot stop himself because he is running out of fear, not pleasure. The horse does not think in moments like this and forcing him to run faster may only make it worse and confirm his belief that there is something to run from.
That being said, there are times when "matching the horse's energy" can cause him to settle down. It's sort of like if you are upset/freaking out and someone starts freaking out at a higher level, it sort of makes you stop and think what the big issue was in the first place.
Luckily, it's a 50/50 chance, so if keeping calm and bending him isnt working, you can always try making him run faster and visa versa.

I would go back to the basics. DO NOT resort to a bigger bit because this will not fix the issue. If it is infact a fear/confidence issue, you need to get him confident with you as a leader.
Contrary to many beliefs, horses only throw their heads up like you've described when they are in pain or unconfident/afraid. A horse that truly wants to take off on you and is disrespectful will put his head down and drag you off.
     
    08-30-2012, 02:02 PM
  #13
Yearling
Talk to SMROBS! She has a training blog and a pretty good explanation of how to teach "cruise control" and it has worked for me! A very good way to calm down a horse or even just teach it for the first time hopefully she will jump in here! The Road of a Horse Trainer
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    08-31-2012, 05:07 AM
  #14
Foal
First off, thank you to all who replied. I really do appreciate it.

I haven't been able to ride him on a trail yet. He got strangles right after I bought him, and has only recently stopped shedding it. While he was quarantined I only rode him in a round pen. I've only been riding him in the arena for the past couple weeks. I'm hoping to get him on a trail very soon though.

I have a good farrier and a good vet, and neither of them have found anything on their end that would explain the problem. I've even tried different saddles and headstalls in case that was the problem. I've also had more experienced riders get on him and he does the same thing with them.

We tried letting him run and just lightly pulling the reins back each stride until he slowed to the speed we wanted, then release the reins and repeat when he'd try to speed up. We just kept doing this in circles and ran him pretty hard (don't worry, not too hard). It seemed to work, by the end we had him in a pretty nice lope and he wouldn't try to speed up nearly as often. However he was very hard to catch the next time we rode, I'm guessing because he didn't have very much fun. I know it's not going to be an instant change, but the next time we rode he didn't seem any better. In fact he was a lot more stiff. I couldn't even get him to hold still while standing, he had to be constantly moving.

You guys have given me some great ideas and really have helped a lot. I'll keep working with him and let you know how it goes.


- Mac
     
    09-04-2012, 04:59 PM
  #15
Started
I've had good luck with spirals. Start with a big circle, and slowly work into smaller ones. Stay relaxed, and just use the reins to keep the proper bend. As the horse slows, make the circles smaller. Eventually the horse will stop, and when he does, let him stand and relax for a few minutes.
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