Excitable horse - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-24-2011, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
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Excitable horse

Hi Everyone I don't post on here very often!
But i'm looking for some advice,
I have a 5 year old pony, whome I've had since birth, I've done everything with him since birth, he is well behaved in every aspect.. just riding..

He doesn't buck nor rear he just gets excitable, when he learned what "cantering" is he started trying to rush and thought i was asking him to do it all the time, it took some time but i taught him you canter when I ask not when you want to.. and that we have to go into canter from a steady trot not rush into a fast trot then into canter.. It was all good till he learned jumping.
Since he's learned what jumping is he's gone back into being excitable again, I manage to get him focusing on me and learn not to rush.. as I didn't jump often anyway.. im not very good at it!

I have recently got a part loaner, who does jumping and she has started doing that with him. I'm not sure how he rides with her at the mo. But I watched her ride a few times before agreeing to part loan/share. I however am concentrating on his flat work more.. he is normally very responsive and listens to voice commands.. but he seems to be getting worse.. the other day it took me 10 minutes to get him listening to me, every time i turned him inwards towards centre of the school he would go into canter, or if i turned him to go into a circle he'd rush and not bend as if he was trotting sideways. I tried transitions, pulling and releasing, checking him, even turning tight circles to stop him going into canter. When he's being good he is really soft in the mouth and really well behaved. But i'm not liking this excitable horse, it makes him hard to ride, and almost unenjoyable.. I understand he may be "confused"
But does anyone have any tips of any flatwork I could do with him to get him more responsive and not so aprehensive of what im going to ask him next...
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-26-2011, 03:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Hi there!

I've been through you exact problem, also with a youngster i started myself. To calm my hyper little boy down, i did a lot of things in a random order.

I'd ask him to trot, then walk, then trot again, then do a circle, change rein, circle smaller, centre line, walk, circle, halt, rein change etc. i'd just keep him very busy so he had to listen because he had no idea what was coming next.

As he got more attentive, i'd ask for a canter and do one circle, then go back to a trot and work again as above. once he was settled, i'd ask for the canter on the other rein, and then go back to working his brain.

he learned to settle and focus incredibly fast, and also became more attentive and responsive. Also: don't forget to give him some 'space out' time. My youngster got lots of walking breaks on a long rein between exercises.

i also made it a point to take him out on a hack before he got frustrated at being cooped up in the arena all the time. but even on hacks, i'd ask for lots of transitions and square halts and generally just keep him thinking.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-29-2011, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2011
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Thank you for the reply,
I'm going to try this with him, he was really good the other day i just walked and trotted him...
I can calm him down easily..
I think my part loaner has a harder job as she jumps with him which makes him more excitable!
I'm sure we'll get there eventually with hard workk!
hehe
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-01-2011, 08:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I think that two riders with a young, untrained horse are just going to confuse him. You'll be working on one thing and she'll be working on another and you'll each have different methods, you can't really expect it to work out.

One thing that I find makes excitable horses worse, especially in the long run is too much contact. Usually when a horse gets excited and starts prancing, or rushing or moving of without being asked the first thing riders do is grab the reins and pull him up. Then horse then often leans on the contact and after time it just becomes a battle. In my experience, when a horse starts rushing at a canter and leaning on the hands, if you just give up the contact they sort of stop rushing. Or a prancing horse, a very strong contact never helps but circles can be quite beneficial.

I would do lots of transitions and lots of circles.
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