First problems... I'm quite discouraged..
Hi everyone! Unfortunately, I'm having the first problems with my new (and first) horse, a 9 yrs old paint gelding. When I brought him home, 3 weeks ago, he was perfect. I rode him without spurs, he would listen to every slight leg impulse.
Anyway, the owners said that they had been riding him with spurs in the past seven years, so I tried and everything was great, he only responded easily to the spur.
After little time, he started getting lazy, after riding for a while it would be a little harder to get the canter. Then the trot. Then he would only walk.
With spurs, it's better in the beginning, then he starts doing the same, and since I don't feel like hurting him at all, I just go back to the leg only.
I had an experienced rider to ride him (with ball spurs), and the horse has been just fine, perfect, he only said the horse has a hard mouth, but listens well to the leg. He said it's up to me to learn, and that he is a diamond in the rough.
I was having a bad day once, and I couldn't get him to move more than just walk, so I tried to get out for a 2 mins trail in a new place. As soon as we got away from the arena, he started trotting with only leg pressure. We happily trotted up to the end of the road, but when going back to the barn, he just stopped in the grass and started pawing with strenght. I was so scared I got off, walked him on the road (3 steps) and got on again. Then he wouldn't trot, he walked turning his head to one side until we got to the barn.
Then, my friend came over to give me help and everything was fine, (he was standing in the centre and I was cantering in circle around him), until the horse started to slow down and at the end STOPPED.
The horse stops and paws at the ground.
This man then tried to ride the horse, and it was fine, until the horse tried to do that again, then he put spurs on, and after some stopping, backing and bucking "in place" the horse listened and cantered again. After he did, we stopped the work and let him rest and eat grass.
Yesterday, I had a bad fall on him, but I guess it's just my fault and has nothing to do with the problem. I always lunge him before riding, but since the day before yesterday the horse had worked, and usually it takes some effort to get the horse to canter even at the lunge, and since my problem is the lack of impulse, I tought I could try to ride him without lungeing. As soon as I got my foot in the stirrup, he started moving (he never does), so I accidentally sit on his back (not the saddle) and probably (by accident) touched his butt with the spur (english spur). He obviously took off and bucked, and I fell. I got on straight away and he was perfectly calm, as always really laid back. Too laid back, as he didn't want to do anything. Up to the point he starts pawing again.
Another rider tried to ride him after that in the circle pen(no spurs) and what she got was just him bucking.
My heart is torn to pieces, because he is the sweetest horse evern seen on the ground. Fears nothing. Follows me (I never give him food by hand), lets you do anything. He behaves really well, he's so laid back. But under the saddle... when I got him he was perfect.. now he's being awful...
I'm sorry for having written this poem here, but I'm really sad... I'll list here what my doubts are, what the problem could be:
-he has been living outside for 7 years, now he's in stall (I let him out often for work or lungeing or I let him free in the pen)
-Right (and only)after work, his back slightly contracts if you press a certain point on his back. Could it be the Crates barrel saddle we're using? Past owners said that was the saddle the had been using with him. Would a reining saddle be better?
-In the past two years, he was left in a paddock without being ridden. Something related to this?
-I noticed the problem is much worse in the outdoor arena that in the indoor. Maybe he should be turned out 24/7? If kept in stall he feels unhappy and then gets really distracted and unwilling when ridden?
I'm having the vet checking him again tomorrow.. my friend said that that "stopping and pawing" thing can be extremely dangerous... I'm not a great rider, and I don't feel like I can correct a "really dangerous behavioural problem"... he's my first horse.. I'm devasted, I just hope I don't have to sell him...
Last edited by Nya; 05-06-2013 at 05:33 PM.