Arab gelding refuses to go forward - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 10:15 AM
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[QUOTE=gottatrot;10083505]I'm honestly not just trying to be argumentative.
But you have actually experienced horses that were never able to ride past things that they would lead past easily over and over?

I've not experienced that, even with very fearful horses. If a horse was that confident going past an object on the ground, I've never seen them not able to go past under saddle. I'm not sure how that would translate mentally to the horse, if they were not afraid of the object any longer why would they be afraid of it even if they perceived they were "alone"?
Really, honestly I've never seen horses that led everywhere confidently but were not confident under saddle in those same places.

Are you sure this is not just a theoretical answer?


Sure, I have seen such horses, who will spook over and over again, say in one corner of the arena, while ridden, but will walk by that spot just fine when led
There is also certainly a time to determine why a horse is balking.

If there is a pain issue, then you eliminate that first

If it is a young green hrose, truly afraid, and one you do not have the tools on, to ride past an object successfully, either try not to go there in the first place, or get off, as you are doing, and lead the horse by

If the hrose is balking simply because he has become barn or buddy sour,you better get him through that, or soon you won;t be riding past the end of your drive way


Far as riding through bogs I try to avoid them at all times, but when going on a long mountain ride, you come across them at times, without warning
There is no way around, and if you decide to turn around, versus ride that loop, you might wind up riding hours after dark
You can also tell if a bog has been ridden through, thus while the horse will sink some, that bog is not bottomless. If you get off and try to lead a horse through,guess where he will lunge ahead to stand> Right where you are, an don top of you
Rivers-when they are flowing fast, you are not going to cross them without being swept away, leading your horse

Sure, if I am not sure of some footing, I listen to my horse. That is completely different from a horse trying to dictate where he will go, such as running a person against trees, rather then stepping through a mud hole, or running off to the side of abridge, in danger of going over the bank, as he is refusing to step onto the bridge


Horses are also creatures of habit,and until proven other wise, the OP's horse appears to me, like a horse that has learned to use balking and spooking to his advantage, learned he can say 'no' whenever he feels like it.
Have you never encountered a horse that became spoiled, and balked just because he felt like it? One of the reasons I preferred to ride the hroses I trained and raised, instead of buying perhaps, someone's mistake.
I have yet to find you fix such a horse by getting off and leading him

Last edited by Smilie; 07-17-2017 at 10:24 AM.
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post #42 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobiegal View Post
I have an 8 yr old SE Eygptian Arab gelding that I use for competitive trail riding, whom refuses to go forward outside the ring (the ring, hes responsive and quiet) by himself this year. I was away for the winter so he got started late this year, we did a lot of ground work & basics to start, hit the trails/roads with an experienced trail horse (whom we ride with at competitions but stabled at different barn), hell follow the other horse and take the lead once in awhile, but will eventually put the brakes on and refuse to lead. No amount of leg nor a slap on the rear works, he either rears or backs up.

His history: previous owner had him professionally trained as a 4yr old, didnt ride him as she was nervous of him, I purchased as a 5 year old, found out I was pregnant so he was only lunged. As a 6yr and 7yr old, I rode him on competitive rides with the season horse and as a 7yr old, we rode the trail systems alone and he was quiet and a pleasure to ride. Hes been vet checked, completely sound, tack fit has been checked, hes on 24/7 turnaround with access the barn, has a pony for company.
You stated that you had him vet checked, as that would be my first thing to do for a sudden behavior that has started. Of course, the fact that he rides nicely in the ring would not support a pain diagnosis. Sounds like, for whatever reason, he has decided that he doesn't want to ride on the trail by himself. But, did you check his vision? That would be something that probably would not bother him in the ring but would on the trail.

To those suggesting that you back him up down the trail .... I would NOT do that since you say he will rear. With one that is prone to rearing, you need to keep that forward motion or they will go up in the air.

You say you give him a "slap" on the rear. What happens when you give him a serious whoop on the **** (not just a slap)? In my opinion, if he rides fine in the ring and he rode fine on the trail last year, that means he knows better and he's being a brat. Of course, really pay attention to your hand contact on the bit and make sure you do not "block" him or give him any reason to go up into a rear when you are, in a sense, forcing him to move forward.

At best, if he won't go forward, can you spin him? Or circle him? Really, anything you can do go keep forward motion and keep his feet moving. But, he should jump forward when you give him a whip on the butt. Hit him hard enough to make him go forward. Ask him once nicely with your legs - give him one second to respond. Ask him harder with her legs - give him one second to respond. Then smack him and be prepared for him to lunge forward (which is okay). Rinse and repeat until he's moving forward nicely when you ask him nicely the first time.

Arabians do tend to be very smart and he's probably figured out he can get out of work by refusing to move forward. (Provided he doesn't have a vision problem that may be scaring him.)

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post #43 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 12:03 PM
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I tried the Get a Bigger Whip approach with my Arabian mare years ago. Took an 8' length of heavy leather rein, folded it over and had a 4' long, heavy leather double whip. When she balked, I whipped her. Hard, then harder and harder, as hard as I could.

And we FLEW backwards. The harder I hit, the faster we went - backwards. When we were about to back over a 10' drop, it occurred to me I might want to turn her before we both died. I turned her, she saw, we stopped. Turned her back, and then she looked around at me as if to say, "What in the HECK just happened?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
perhaps, this article on balking , from Julie Goodnight will help.
Paragraph from the article:

'When your horse wont step where you want him to, it tells me that hes in charge, says top trainer/clinician Julie Goodnight. Youve allowed him to get away with small-but-frequent behavior infractions that make him feel like hes won the right to choose.

https://trailridermag.com/articles/3...king-fix-28334

[Also this comment: "That makes a huge difference for many horses and some you can lead forever past stuff and NEVER get them to the point that they will ride past stuff"]
The last point first: That is not my experience. I've had to lead a horse past the same thing more than once. With Bandit, just leading him past isn't as important as letting him investigate it, with me in front...but he may still need multiple tries before he accepts it is safe. He is, after all, the horse who will let the other horses eat his food while he stands watch for 30, 60 or 90 minutes in the corral!

But I've never had a horse who never learned. Of course, I haven't owned 200 horses. I'm discussing the handful I've owned. But with that handful, what I'm writing is 100% true.
Quote:
'When your horse wont step where you want him to, it tells me that hes in charge, says top trainer/clinician Julie Goodnight.
You know what it tells me? It tells me the horse is confused, uncertain, nervous, scared, etc. I've never owned a lazy horse, so I cannot speak about them. But I want a thinking horse. I want a horse who talks to me, and even value a horse who will tell me no.

If I want to control where the ATV puts its tires, I'll buy an ATV. My farrier told me that if I wanted a horse who would go anywhere I pointed without question, I bought the wrong horse! "Part Arabian. Part Mustang. Smart AND stubborn." Even Baucher said, "Let him think that he is our master, then he is our slave."

Youve allowed him to get away with small-but-frequent behavior infractions that make him feel like hes won the right to choose." - Julie Goodnight

YGBSM! Heaven help anyone with a horse who thinks he can use his mind! How DARE a horse offer advice, make decisions, or talk back!

I've posted this before, but I will again. It comes from my favorite writer on horse training, Tom Roberts, who started in the British Cavalry and ended up helping to start a dressage club in Australia:



FWIW, when Bandit gets reluctant to continue down a trail, it means his feet are getting tender. Turn him to the side, go into the desert where the ground had not been compacted by ATVs, and he becomes 'unstuck'. Metal shoes helped, but I'm going to try him soon in boots. Where I live, every arena is softer than the desert!

All FWIW. I gave a one word reply earlier because it was the only thing I could think of in response to the OP. But the thread has drifted, and I like something George Morris wrote - if the front door is locked, look for the back door.

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post #44 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 12:54 PM
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Training problem if the horse goes backwards when you use an aid on the backend, then the horse needs to be trained in the proper response to the aid. Here again, this requires timing, because allowing the horse to keep doing the improper response is training it to be unresponsive.
E.g., if you are working on training a horse to canter, and it can trot really fast, and you go around the arena 3 times trying to get the horse to canter, what have you taught it? To trot fast, and ignore whatever you were doing to attempt to canter.

The signals have got to escalate (and quickly enough to make sense to the horse) until the response is reached, then the learning release has to occur, then the whole thing has to be repeated and fine tuned.

With my stallion who is distrustful of water puddles, WHOA was the key. Before he stopped on his own, I would say whoa. (His head would come up...my signal that he was thinking about stopping....and why I say you have to learn to pay attention to these signals). After a moment of relaxation, I would ask for one step, then whoa. So on, and he would walk through the water. But we could do CA /PP circles until we were both falling down, and not go in the water.

Every horse is a little different.
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post #45 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 01:01 PM
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I like that, @greentree . I think by you offering him something a little unexpected, you kept his mind on YOU, instead of the water.

I just happened to watch a Linda Parelli video. Now, normally I find my gag reflex gets in the way of me watching any video with her voice in it, but, this one caught my interest. She was talking about motivating a lazy horse , and they were in a round pen. Said horse was going around on automatic, tuned out . when asked to speed up his lazy trot, the horse pinned ears and got ugly faced and snitty.

So, her point was to confront him not with more pressure, since he is expecting that and is ready to resist. But rather to do something unexpected, such as ask him to stop, immediately. Then ask him to go, then immediately ask him to stop, then go, then stop. pretty soon the horse was really LOOKING at the handler for direction, and was ready to go when asked. I think the point was that the handler got ahead of the horse, mentally, and did enough to make the horse stop thinking ahead of her and anticipating, and preparing for that. Once horse was mentally and more open minded, she was able to get real engagement and movement happening.
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post #46 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 01:36 PM
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BSMS:

'
But I've never had a horse who never learned. Of course, I haven't owned 200 horses. I'm discussing the handful I've owned. But with that handful, what I'm writing is 100% true.
Quote:
'When your horse won’t step where you want him to, it tells me that he’s in charge,” says top trainer/clinician Julie Goodnight.
You know what it tells me? It tells me the horse is confused, uncertain, nervous, scared, etc. I've never owned a lazy horse, so I cannot speak about them. But I want a thinking horse. I want a horse who talks to me, and even value a horse who will tell me no.

If I want to control where the ATV puts its tires, I'll buy an ATV. My farrier told me that if I wanted a horse who would go anywhere I pointed without question, I bought the wrong horse! "Part Arabian. Part Mustang. Smart AND stubborn." Even Baucher said, "Let him think that he is our master, then he is our slave."

“You’ve allowed him to get away with small-but-frequent behavior infractions that make him feel like he’s won the right to choose." - Julie Goodnight

YGBSM! Heaven help anyone with a horse who thinks he can use his mind! How DARE a horse offer advice, make decisions, or talk back!'


Come on, we are having a lack of communication again, as once more, you are trying to make a blanket ABC statement, of a problem that can have several causes, and that you address accordingly.
If you read my other posts, I have already deviled into it.
No one, including me, wants blind obedience, where a hrose will walk off a cliff, if asked to
What one does want, on any well trained horse, is for that horse to respect and trust your judgement, when you ask him to go somewhere, and not do his own thing, just because he learned he can
If I am riding along, on a trail I don't know, and my horse indicates that the trail might not be safe, I listen to him.
Julie is talking more about the examples I already posted. You know, a bridge that is perfectly safe, but your horse, instead of walking over it, decides to try and evade doing so,, even to the point of falling over the edge of that approach, as he 'argues' with you.
You ask your horse to walk through the middle of a mud puddle, lined on both sides with thick trees and steep narrow banks, You know that trail, have ridden it numerous times on other hroses, thus know that mud hole has a solid bottom, and is not even that deep.
Instead of going through the middle of that mud hole as asked, the horse instead goes sideways,, tries to walk on that narrow bank, slipping and sliding,in danger of falling, while running your leg into the trees on that side.
I agree that the vision should be checked on this horse and since he has been vet checked, lets dispense with the pain issue, as that of course needs a different approach-whether shoes, rest, ect etc. No argument there
This is also not a green horse, never ridden out before, so lets get rid of true fright through lack of exposure, where getting off has application at times, depending on the hrose, training level and your confidence
That leaves a horse who has learned to say no, who has learned balking and spooking gets him out of going where asked
Once You are SURE that is the problem, then either ride the horse through stuff, get that respect, send him to a trainer, or sell him and get one more broke, with more solid experience riding out alone-one you can feel confident on. It is a very well known fact, that a tense rider, waiting for a horse to react, won't be disappointed, esp on a sensitive horse!
The best thing of course, is to have taken the advise of an oz of prevention being worth a pound of cure. Horses that have been ridden with consistent expectations, seldom if ever balk, even when first ridden out alone. They become confirmed balkers, because little things have been left slip
Horses can and do learn to take that proverbial mile, if they have been allowed repeated inches.
It is also why I suggested that a confident and experienced rider should ride this horse out, and see if results are different. At the very least, that rider can determine if the horse truly lacks confidence, or has learned he can refuse, or perhaps a combo is at work (pain and vision problems eliminated as possibilities)

Last edited by Smilie; 07-17-2017 at 01:47 PM.
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post #47 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 01:56 PM
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I agree that mindless circles are useless, as you are not addressing the true problem, which is the refusal to keep foreward, and to stay between your reins and your legs
You should at times, un track that horse who is balking, as those horses can often escalate that balk when pressure is added, by either going up or bucking, or, if they have learned to do so-run backwards. If you have even been on the latter, it can be extremely dangerous, as that horse will run back blindly, and your reins are of not much use. Best you can hope for, his to control direction with legs.
What you do use, is some body control exercises, as demonstrated in those Larry Trocha videos, posted many times, to get the mind of the hrose back on you, untrack his feet. Also, a horse soft in his entire body is going to be way easier/safer to get that forward on, then a stiff horse, dead to leg aids, and who has learned to stiffen his neck, clench his jaws and stick nose out
All horses are different-true , but a confirmed balker is man made.
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post #48 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
...It is also why I suggested that a confident and experienced rider should ride this horse out, and see if results are different. At the very least, that rider can determine if the horse truly lacks confidence, or has learned he can refuse, or perhaps a combo is at work (pain and vision problems eliminated as possibilities)

...If you have even been on the latter, it can be extremely dangerous...
That makes a lot of sense in terms of troubleshooting.

As for the latter part - been there, done that, and it includes some of my scariest moments on a horse.

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post #49 of 56 Old 07-17-2017, 06:27 PM
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Cheri, who use to post here a lot before the devastating tornado tore through her place, always advocated the over under approach, versus using the reins or crop on the hindend. I have found after trying her advice on a pony that would buck or even back up into a crop, the over under woke him up with making him think he needed to buck.

Worth a try.
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post #50 of 56 Old 07-18-2017, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
That makes a lot of sense in terms of troubleshooting.

As for the latter part - been there, done that, and it includes some of my scariest moments on a horse.
Agree, as I also bought the tee shirt on that one!
I had a reining trainer ride one of our stallions,when I was pregnant, to put the 'finishing touches on him, as I had him going well, but did not having a great reining stop, not having the ground.
I learned after the fact, that this trainer is very abusive, and did wind up taking him in front of the college board, where he taught-but that is another story!
Anyway, he got that horse running backwards, as he corrected him harshly by backing him,for what ever infraction the horse did.
The horse once ran backwards with me, into a ditch, and went down, falling on my leg-another insult, that no doubt helped lead to eventual knee replacement!
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