Won’t Carry a Heavier Rider - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mac & Moose View Post
but nowhere near big enough to hurt the new horse.
First & foremost, I'd want to make sure of that. Moose may be built like a... moose, but that doesn't mean she is necessarily fit for carrying a 'heavier' rider. She may be very unfit &/or have body or hoof issues that hurt her 'under load', the bit may be hurting her or her teeth are bad, making her 'antsy'. She may have a saddle that hurts her... etc. Of course, it may be purely 'behavioural', that she's only ever been ridden by a featherweight, but rule out physical possibilities first. And if you still think it's 'just' lack of training, then as you're 'newer' to horses, find an experienced trainer/rider to teach her it's OK.

Moose tends to throw her head up and down, will not stand still, and tries to go her own direction. She even does it with me who weighs a little over 90 lbs,
Which sounds to me that it *might* be HOW your mother - and you to a lesser extent - is riding. Perhaps you're riding with too short/tight reins, not giving relief, not rewarding her for doing the Right Thing... And of course, 'tries to go her own direction' - of course it's worth a try. Almost all horses will test you out, see what they can/can't do with their new rider.

She rides in a simple dee ring single jointed snaffle or a halter, with a tie down.
Ditch the tie down - it's possible, depending how it's set, how you're riding... her previous associations with it - that tying her head down is the main problem. It is very likely at least contributing to it.

So... after ruling out physical discomfort/pain, after having an experienced rider/trainer establish that she is OK ridden by a heavier rider, then I'd suggest you find yourselves an instructor, or at least an experienced rider, willing to help you learn to ride as well as possible, to ensure you're not the cause. (Meant respectfully - none of us know everything & we all have to start somewhere)

(PS I only got like 4 hours of sleep so this is probably riddled with spelling errors, apologies lol)
Didn't notice a single one - you're doing better than I do on little sleep!
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For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 07:12 AM
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Is there a heavier rider around you with experience? How about just starting from scratch? Remove everything from her except for the bridle and ride around on her bareback. Loose rein and just give her forward and directional cues in a smaller enclosure in case she decides to act up. See if the head tossing stops with no saddle and no tie down. If she does much better then my guess would be a pinching saddle that bothers her with the heavier weight.

I'm not really sure how almost too calm and needing teeth floated correlates. But needing teeth done could be an issue as well.
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post #13 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 09:20 AM
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Since both you and your mom are new to the horse world, it might be beneficial for Moose to be evaluated by someone who has a lot of experience with horses. A horse trainer would possible be best if one is in the area, otherwise someone who gives riding lessons might be a good choice. Or anyone else that has a reputation of being good with horses.

There just seems to be too many things going on for a resolution to be reached on a forum discussion. Horses are deeply complex animals in many ways..

That said, when/if a resolution is reached, the resolution would be valuable information for the forum members.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-17-2019, 10:18 AM
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Iím with @horselovinguy about not changing the tie down. I got hit right in the forehead when I was a kid, and it was not a gentle thing or because I was sitting forward or even pulling on her head. I know people who have had their teeth knocked out for the same reason. Some horses can really fling that head back farther than youíd think.

Another reason to not pull the tie down off is that a horse gets used to leaning into it when they run. If you take it off and the horse runs away with you, you will have a harder time stopping it.

Yes, I know there are lots of horses that only use a tie down when team roping or barrel racing, and those horses are fine without. However, when you are sold a horse who wears a tie down, and you donít really know him well, I believe you should not just take it off.

As far as everything else going on, I am with @Hondo . I donít really understand without being able to see what is happening, so Iím not sure my advice would be of any use or even regarding the actual situation. :) I do however think checking the saddle fit is a good idea.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Iím sure youíll come out the other side.
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post #15 of 17 Old 04-18-2019, 03:19 AM
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Your horse's reaction seems more pain motivated (tossing head, trying to move away, fidgeting) than belligerent. As many other people have said - check your tack. If you're new to the horse world, it may be worth having someone come out who can advise you on your saddle's fit. After all, just because a saddle fits US, does NOT mean the saddle fits our horse (I know, I just had to part with my beloved Orthoflex because my new horse is too wide for it).

That being said, if the horse isn't used to that weight, it may be that they're rebelling against the extra work load...if this is the case, it may just take a while for them to realize that this is the new norm and they have to get used to it.

I suspect there's a little of both going on with your new horse, though. Best of luck.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-18-2019, 05:07 PM
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Sorry, I vehemently disagree about trail riding with tie downs. Vehemently.

My opinion: Never, ever, trail ride in a tie down (nor insist on riding a horse collected on trails). I'm not talking about nicely maintained horse parks though. I'm talking about brush popping on cow trails and more rugged terrain trail riding, where you're going to encounter wildlife, downed trees, mud, slippery terrain, hidden holes in the ground, tree roots, stair-steps, creeks and water of varying depth, possibly quick sand too.

I've heard of one horse spooking, bucking the rider, bolting, crashing into a pond, panicking, and drowning because he couldn't get his head up. That was from the rodeo livestock contractor we're friends with. It wasn't his horse, but he was the rider. He spends every day in the saddle, all day... and this horse surprised him. He said he was powerless to save it because it would have killed him accidentally if he'd dove in after it. It haunts him to this day. If he hadn't have had a tie down on that horse? It would have still bucked him off, but it wouldn't have died horribly by drowning in a pond.

They also need to be able to throw their head a little on the trail as part of balancing. Obviously not the same as throwing it in pain or irritation - but just like you, on a hike, if you were to feel like you were about to trip or a foot slide the wrong way, you'd throw out your arms... horses do the same and need a free head to be able to do it.

A tie down is absolutely not a fix-it for rearing and/or head tossing. They can and do rear and even go over backwards in tie downs all the time. It may slow down a fast walker, but again - if you get in a situation where they need to climb or drop into a creek bed, they need to be able to get that head moving. I have no objections to someone just riding roadsides on well maintained, level ground in one, nor do I have objections to ropers and barrel racers, etc, using them. But true trail riding in one is a no-go. CAVEAT: Even on a level surface, even a sure footed horse can stumble, just from a lack of paying attention/sleeping at the wheel because they're bored. It's a lot harder for a horse to recover from a stumble with it's head tied down. And that's another reason to not trail ride in one. LOTS of stuff to trip on out there in the woods and grasslands, and you don't want to be the cause of your horse going to his knees or face planting because he couldn't throw his head up to save himself - and you - from going down.

Don't want your head smacked by a horse throwing it's head? Keep your head out of its way. And if it's throwing its head that hard, you need to go back to basics on training for you and the horse AND make sure it isn't pain related.

Make sure your saddle fits properly. Make sure you have a good pad under it. Make sure their teeth aren't causing them pain with a bit in their mouths.

And then if the horse turns out to be just be a rank, rude heifer (We've had one that would rear on trails to intentionally go over with you - she was promptly sold), then you need to get that one going on down the road before you or your mom gets hurt.

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Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 04-18-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-18-2019, 05:16 PM
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Agreed. Tie-downs are dangerous for trail riding.

Also, make sure your mom's saddle fits HER as well as the horse. If she's trying to use a too-small saddle, her weight is concentrated over the front of the tree, forcing it down over the withers. If, for instance, someone who needs an 18" western saddle tries to fit into a 15", that saddle will be much more likely to make the horse sore than if a smaller rider rode the exact same saddle and tack.
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