I think I found my heart horse.... but.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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I think I found my heart horse.... but....

Okay so I’ve been riding since I was 5 and I’ve ridden many horses but this mare, Elsa is gorgeous and so sweet. I love her so much and the problem is that my parents don’t think I’m ready to lease a horse yet because they want me to show more responsibility before they consider it. I have ridden Elsa for about 5 years now, and I think she has stolen my heart. eventually I want to lease her, but the problem is that she has some bad habits that are tough to break. Such as cutting into the middle of the arena, spooking at the barn cats, and nipping when we but her but in. How should I break these habits? Please help!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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I meant nipping when we put her bit in
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 12:51 PM
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My daughter's horse, Moonshine, was a terrible duck-er in-er, so I have some experience here. The instructor we liked best first assessed whether Moonshine understood what was being asked, whether she was scared for some reason, and whether she was physically able to stay on the rail. Once she determined that Moonshine was, she tried a couple of different tactics. Generally, you want the horse to be able to leg yield well, so you work on that. Then, if she tries to duck in, you apply leg pressure to stop it. Moonshine could not have cared less about leg pressure at that time. So the instructor took a somewhat harsher approach: every time Moonshine ducked out, my daughter was to yank the outside rein, hard, to the outside, to make her stay out. But otherwise, daughter was not to use leg or rein pressure. This instructor was like, "Moonshine understands what we want from her and is capable of doing it, so we're going to make it HER job to stay in the rail herself. If she doesn't, she gets a quick reminder." This worked really well.

I would also add that school horses tend to do this a lot, for many reasons that I don't think I need to go into. If you are a good rider and you become this horse's only rider, you should be able to change it. If you're not a good rider, you could make it worse.

I'm confused what you mean about her nipping when you put in the bit. Can you describe exactly what you do and what she does? FWIW my Pony went through a phase of not wanting to be bridled, but I got him over that in two sessions by rewarding him with alfalfa pellets for letting me put it in. Now, he gets so excited when he sees the bridle that he starts dancing around waiting for me to ask him to put it in. I just hold the bridle up, and he picks up the bit himself and puts it where it needs to go in his mouth. However, depending on what exactly you mean by your horse nipping, I'm not sure giving treats would be an ideal situation here.

Hmm... I guess I need to add... if your parents don't think you're responsible enough, then fixing these issues is currently irrelevant. You need to convince them that you are responsible before entertaining thoughts of leasing this horse.
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Last edited by ACinATX; 07-15-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, for example the first time I ever put her but in, she tried to nip my arm. When my instructor does it she never nips, so I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I know how to bridle a horse, so that is not the problem. My parent said that when I learn to drive they will consider it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseyGirl129 View Post
Well, for example the first time I ever put her but in, she tried to nip my arm. When my instructor does it she never nips, so I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I know how to bridle a horse, so that is not the problem. My parent said that when I learn to drive they will consider it.
She probably knows very well who she can pull those little stunts with and who won’t let her get away with it.

Since she is not your horse you need to ask your instructor what she recommends as a reprimand.
Something quick and immediate, that lets her know you what to do and aren’t allowing that habit.

The things our pony pulls with everyone new would fill a book. I can’t correct these issues for them because he doesn’t try anything funny with me.
All I can do is let them know the best way to be the boss.

Once he decides you know what you’re doing he’s great.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-15-2020, 06:13 PM
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About the being responsible part, I wanted a horse desperately when I was young and my parents always said, "No." They got annoyed if I talked about it too much, so I didn't remind them too often --maybe twice a year,

But I plotted out how I would make it happen. I got rabbits at age 9, and determined that I would take full care of them. At times, when I was sick or busy, I insisted that I had to take care of them, reminding my parents that I wanted to prove that I was responsible. I bred them and sold them and had a booming rabbit business.

I had a lot of chores because we lived in the country, and I did them without fussing, telling myself that it would cause me to get my horse.

I started babysitting at an early age, and I did a really good job and was in demand. At times I would remind my parents that I wanted to prove to them that I was responsible. I saved the money I earned, always planning on that horse.

I came home on time--or tried to--and didn't run around with wild friends. I was not a very good student and had a bit of a hard time in school because I daydreamed way too much. At age 9, again, I determined that if I was going to get a horse, I was going to have to study really hard, always get my homework done, and get decent grades.

When I was hot and tired and cranky . . . or cold and wet and cranky, I would say to myself, "Do you want this horse or not? Then you just have to guts it through." Everything was centered around getting a horse. Everything.

When I was 12, I got my horse . . . took really good care of her . . . and never looked back. It was all good.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-16-2020, 08:23 AM
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When I was much the same age as you, I was riding at a riding school and all us regular riders that spent every waking moment at the stables had out 'heart' horses.

We all thought they were the best in the world and then,as we outgrew them our favourites changed. I still remember those ponies with great fondness even though it was well over 60'years ago.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-16-2020, 07:23 PM
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I hope you can convince your parents to lease her! A heart horse is truly a special thing. I accidentally let mine slip through my fingers. As for the mare wanting to come to the center of the arena, next time she tries it let her do a big circle into the center but make her move up a gait for it. She will learn that it's less work to stay on the rail, since the circle dumps her back out there, anyways.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-17-2020, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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That’s a good idea!
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