Horse behavior seems to have changed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-24-2015, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Horse behavior seems to have changed

I've had my 17 year old gelding for about 4 years now. We used to just hack and hang out when I had time as I was in college and working and didn't have enough time to really work with him. Over the past 3 months or so we started taking some lessons with someone at my barn whose been teaching many many years. Anyways, it seems like my horse isn't as happy as he was. He doesn't come to the pasture gate to greet me anymore, when we walk to the tack area he's slow and seems unamused. Before he'd always come to greet me whether there was a carrot or not and he'd be happy to get out of his pen. I feel bad because he doesn't seem happy and I'm not sure what to do. I ride him now probably 3-4 times a week for about an hour each time. I would think he'd enjoy getting out to exercise as he's been kind of a hot horse.
Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-24-2015, 08:23 PM
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It seems like you're asking your horse to work harder than before, doing things that he probably doesn't enjoy as much. Make sure you mix it up a bit, still go on trails and still go out there sometimes and just catch him, feed him, it doesn't always have to be about riding.

My horse perks right up when I turn onto our trails, away from the arena, but in the arena he is slow and unenthused. Its like with people - going to a gym to use equipment can be really boring if you're not invested in what you're doing. But going on a hike through a beautiful forest is much more exciting.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-24-2015, 08:31 PM
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What Saskia said. I recently took on a mare that was primarily used as a lesson horse, but wasn't ridden regularly, and our first week or so together was tough getting her going! Now just a month later, she's a different horse. I ride 5-6 days a week, but I keep a rotation going between the covered arena, dressage arena, and an open field for 45 minutes to an hour each ride, and she seems to enjoy it now. Whereas our first week together I had to work hard to get her forward, I'm now having to keep slowing her down.

I would suggest that you keep doing things that change up the routine a bit. Try to keep his mind working and engaged and perhaps he will start to enjoy it again.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-24-2015, 08:42 PM
Green Broke
 
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I have been riding my TB for 3 months and he hated the round yard for ages because we would constantly just work in there now hes on a 5 day work rotation 2 days lunging 3 days riding between paddock, trails and arena. He might just need a break between lessons something just for calming down.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-31-2015, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for all the responses. I think he is getting bored as well even if we're doing different stuff in the arena. But he's probably just tired of the arena overall. I do trail ride with him maybe every 2 weeks or so and he does enjoy those. I should try to do other stuff with him too. I appreciate the feedback though! Thanks! :)
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