Can't get horse to trot! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 08:05 AM
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Here are some random thoughts.

1. Using the whip to thwap him every now and then won't desensitize him to your leg. If anything, it could make him more responsive, if he understands that that will be what happens if he fails to listen to your leg. I believe, and better riders can correct me, that you only desensitive horses to similar aids. In other words, using the whip to thwap him all the time would desensitize him to tap-tap-tapping with the whip, and using lots of leg pressure all the time will desensitize him to gentler leg pressure.

2. Having said that, I don't like the idea of you (a young, beginning rider) trying to thwap this horse and then see what happens. A lot of horses buck when you do this, and as an ex-racehorse he might just take off on you. If you must do it, make sure you're wearing a helmet and on soft ground, but a small enough area where he can't run away with you.

3. Do you have an instructor available? If not, could you have one of your brothers watch you ride him, then watch the other brother ride him, and see if you're doing anything different?

4. When you say he's a stallion, do you mean an actual stallion, or is his a gelding? If a stallion, try to get him gelded ASAP. People do ride stallions, but generally beginners do not.

5. Do you have access to an experienced female rider? She could ride him and see if it's a gender thing. If he's only ever been raced, maybe he's never been ridden by a female before and maybe, especially if he is a stallion, he doesn't think he needs to listen to a female. If another female rides him and he behaves for her, then you know it's definitely you.
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post #12 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 08:32 AM
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What do your brothers do to get him to trot?
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post #13 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Only if you do it every time for a long period of time. Right now, you are doing it anyway by teaching him he can ignore your cues.

I have a young horse who was like this at first. He hadn't had a lot of schooling. I really had to get at him with legs, body and crop to get him to trot initially, and he would only trot a little bit, then go back to a walk. I had to go at him hard every time he did that until he figured out that he's supposed to stay at the trot until I tell him he can walk. It wasn't pretty at first (picture legs flailing, crop whacking his butt, voice urging him on), but now, just a little squeeze is enough to get him trotting and he actually seems happy to trot. He has more energy and impulsion too, and I don't have to keep squeezing all the time or keep asking. So he hasn't become desensitized to my leg, quite the opposite. He now understands that if he doesn't respond to a firm squeeze, I will go at him hard, so he gives it to me immediately now.

Don't get me wrong, I don't go at him hard enough to scare him, just hard enough that he knows I mean it. It's difficult to describe. Just remember, this is a 1000 lb animal. Tapping him like you'd swat a fly isn't enough.

Just the other day, an adult beginner came to ride so we put her on this guy because he's so safe. Sure enough, they stood there forever while she gently tried to "ask" him to move forward. It was hard not to laugh. She would tap her heels on him, flick the crop like she was afraid to hurt him... he didn't care at all. Forget trotting. My daughter had to walk in front of him the whole time to get him to move. After about half an hour of watching this painful "lesson", I decided to hop on him myself just to make sure he wasn't learning a bad habit of ignoring his rider. The minute I got on him, he walked on, and we trotted in both directions easily. I didn't even use the crop. Completely different horse.

This often happens with beginners. Once you get him to move forward, you'll figure out just how much energy you need to use. Keep at it!

Thank you so much. Hearing about your horse reassures me, I'll keep your advice in mind. Cheers!
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post #14 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Here are some random thoughts.

1. Using the whip to thwap him every now and then won't desensitize him to your leg. If anything, it could make him more responsive, if he understands that that will be what happens if he fails to listen to your leg. I believe, and better riders can correct me, that you only desensitive horses to similar aids. In other words, using the whip to thwap him all the time would desensitize him to tap-tap-tapping with the whip, and using lots of leg pressure all the time will desensitize him to gentler leg pressure.

2. Having said that, I don't like the idea of you (a young, beginning rider) trying to thwap this horse and then see what happens. A lot of horses buck when you do this, and as an ex-racehorse he might just take off on you. If you must do it, make sure you're wearing a helmet and on soft ground, but a small enough area where he can't run away with you.

3. Do you have an instructor available? If not, could you have one of your brothers watch you ride him, then watch the other brother ride him, and see if you're doing anything different?

4. When you say he's a stallion, do you mean an actual stallion, or is his a gelding? If a stallion, try to get him gelded ASAP. People do ride stallions, but generally beginners do not.

5. Do you have access to an experienced female rider? She could ride him and see if it's a gender thing. If he's only ever been raced, maybe he's never been ridden by a female before and maybe, especially if he is a stallion, he doesn't think he needs to listen to a female. If another female rides him and he behaves for her, then you know it's definitely you.
I've tried thwapping him with the whip when nothing else worked, and it usually gets me what I want, but it's very short-lived.

My brothers do the exact same thing I do that's why I'm so confused.

He isn't gelded and that isn't an issue at all because he's very calm.

At the momment, I don't but as soon as I do I'll try it out. I've never heard of sexist horses though, and if it is a gender thing, god forbid, how would we correct that.

A Flourishing Equestrian
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgirl View Post
What do your brothers do to get him to trot?
Same thing I do. I've only gotten him to trot once before and he was amazing, I've tried recreating that but it hasn't worked. He just ignores me.

A Flourishing Equestrian
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post #16 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 09:40 AM
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Then I would go back to basics and do ground work to make sure he is focused on you and what you are asking.
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post #17 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 10:26 AM
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Perhaps your brothers have better follow through. They are stronger and more insistent about not tolerating anything other than what they asked for. I'm not meaning being in your face and ugly about it either. It is likely a mix of confidence, strength and attitude. I'd say that perhaps they tell and expect while you ask and then ask are you ok with this?
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post #18 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 10:58 AM
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Horses very much notice gender. Ive usually seen it the other way around- horses which are scared of men. By the same logic, they could disregard women. I think you would fix that by good ground work and solid riding. It might be much easier and safer to get a female trainer out to ride him a couple of times. But I get a feeling he will go just fine for a forward-thinking experienced rider, regardless of gender.

Do you know how to lunge? What happens?
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post #19 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 11:05 AM
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Btw, weve all been there - I got stuck on a horse which WOULD NOT BUDGE right in front of a whole bunch of teenagers which were barbecuing and rather high on marijuana in the woods. They thought it was hilarious. My horse fell asleep. It was mortifying.
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post #20 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Perhaps your brothers have better follow through. They are stronger and more insistent about not tolerating anything other than what they asked for. I'm not meaning being in your face and ugly about it either. It is likely a mix of confidence, strength and attitude. I'd say that perhaps they tell and expect while you ask and then ask are you ok with this?
Both my brothers are younger than I am so I don't think it has anything to do with strength. It might be about attitude as you said, I tend to be a bit lenient. Thanks!

A Flourishing Equestrian
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