How do you break annoying and possibly dangerous habits? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 11-01-2015, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 4horses View Post
Can the spectators carry a whip? I would try this without the rider first and see how he reacts to being shooed away with the whip.

Lesson horses like to stop and be petted by spectators. It is an instant reward.

If you have a small enclosed arena, I would get off if he runs to the spectator. (make sure to use reins you can quickly unsnap) Have mom or whatever spectator there holding the whip, and have her chase him away and chase him all over the arena at a canter. It might help if you get a whip as well and stand on the other side of the arena. Just be careful! He may try and kick and get angry that you didn't just let him stand there and get petted!

Get back on and ask him to walk past the spectator. If he drags you back to see them, repeat the above.
I don't agree with this. The control has to come from the rider. Any 'help' from the audience should be in not participating (walk away, no patting, definitely no food.
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post #12 of 24 Old 11-01-2015, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Oh trust me, I know first hand how dangerous these animals can be! :( I've seen so many accidents but at the same time I can't let my fear of possibly getting hurt(which I have fallen a few times now, not on my horse, but lesson horses) hold me back from the discipline my baby needs. the previous owners admitted to being intimidated by him because of his size and they also admitted that they let him do as he pleases and threw him in a pasture and got a smaller horse. Now that I think about that, he probably got all his bad habits form them.

I know the owners before them had him for most, if not the rest of his life and said he was a great lesson horse and was bombproof. Honestly, I can see that potential in my horse, but think he has had too much his way. I want to emphasize that Cubone is not an aggressive or mean horse in any way and I CAN handle what he throws at me so I do agree with 4horses when they say that he has had his way for too long.

I've thought of using a whip as I like to ride with a whip just for a little bit of extra reinforcement but I was never sure of using one on Cu. I might try that as well.

Edit: Yeah, I am ready for my horse to stop these behaviors so as of the last few rides, I have been way firmer and I can see that in the beginning there will be a battle of who can be the bigger brat. I intend to win. Cubone know's his cues, so I know he just doesn't want to listen to me. I don't personally believe he needs a restart training.

Edit #2: another thing I must say is that my only problems with him are under saddle. Other than that, he is so good with young children(toddlers), all other animals and is pretty sane with scary things. He doesn't like trailers and getting him into the trailer was "fun"(He is ok with the ride, just the initial getting in), but that is something to be addressed a bit later as I'm not moving until next year. He is truly a great horse and is very respectful on the ground of everything. So never can I say he is a bad horse, I've seen crazy, wild/feral, disrespectful horses and even those aren't bad, just not guided. :)

Last edited by Partebuilts; 11-01-2015 at 06:38 PM.
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post #13 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 03:28 AM
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Horses are not stupid which is why, when your instructor gets on him he doesn't do anything untoward, he knows it will not be accepted.

What I do in these circumstances is I clamber onto the horse, sit heavy, act like a total novice, let the horse think I am a novice, I give him enough rope to hang himself, to do the things he does with you but, I am ready and when he does, he gets a good correction. Then I carry on riding like a bumpy giving him the chance to try again.

This way he learns that carting a novice does not mean he is in charge.

I am for someone watch carrying a whip. The correction should come from the rider but if the rider is a novice then this can be a help to getting the rider to take charge.

When he circles at the people you must learn to turn him against the way he wants to circle. This might mean really shortening the opposite rein and hauling him around.

One thing I notice it looks as if you are riding in trainers, this is very unsafe you must ride in shoes/boots with a heel.
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post #14 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 06:11 AM
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Everything you've said about your trainer convinces me that despite his experience, he isn't doing you any good and sometime teaching you wrong things such as running a horse into the canter and other comments you have made. I'd stop using him for anything at all.

After you move to the new barn, find a trainer/instructor that will give you lessons on your horse and work through all of this. Any decent trainer can get on a horse, make him behave wonderfully and then they revert to bad behavior when the owner gets on. You need to learn exactly what the trainer is doing to create that well behaved horse and the only way that happens is to ride the horse under instruction.

You also sound like you may be babying this horse quite a bit in reading your posts. Worrying about warm weather, not being willing to "pull" on his mouth etc. You are going to have to become temporarily much more harsh with this horse so that you don't need to in the future.
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post #15 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partebuilts View Post
This is long, sorry, but I really need to fully explain.

So, I'm pretty new to horses as I have only been riding for a year and I had to have knee surgery halfway through which pretty much reset my training physically. Well, I got my horse about 5ish months ago and the first thing I want to say about him as that he is sweet and I CAN handle anything he throws at me tantrum wise(buck/rear/kick).

Cubone is a 18yr old APHA registered paint gelding. He has amazing ground manners, doesn't kick/buck/bite/rear/etc., and is all around a great first horse. He was marketed as a beginner friendly horse, however I strongly believe he is better suited for an intermediate rider. Simply because he most definitely has a mind of his own. If he wants to do something, their isn't much you can do to stop him. I've worked through most of his initial purchase problems (not walking when being led, being pushy on the ground and while riding, not even wanting to walk under saddle and then later trotting under saddle) except his ALWAYS going to spectators.

I can handle him rearing(he's only done it once), and even bucking if he ever does this and I can totally handle his many tantrums under saddle, but I can't break his habit of seeing spectators and trotting (even cantering) to them. I can't turn him away once he starts and now I have to pull really hard on the reins just to stop him (which kills me inside because I hate pulling his mouth. ). I've tried pushing him past but he just stops and doesn't listen to any of my cues and starts throwing his head and turning sharply in circles. At one point I was sure he was going to fall over. He has now started trotting with his head practically turned to me but he is horribly off balance and now I'm afraid he is going to fall and hurt himself or me because of his habit.

The only way I can prevent him from going to spectators (AKA my mom and co.) is not letting him see them at all. I have to keep him completely turned away from them and that is now hindering my training.

Second annoying habit:

This might be a habit or this might just be a super annoying vice. I'm not totally sure. Cubone HATES arenas. When I first got him, just getting him to move was hard enough, but finally I was able to ride him well (with tantrums) but slowly he has been losing more and more interest in riding. He absolutely hates entering an arena and now no longer stays in the dirt paths of the arena and ONLY listens in the grass area. From his previous owner, I know that he did lessons for 10 and up children, did parades(which I have picture proof) and was good in any environment (which I also believe), and may have done ranch work at some point in his life but she isn't sure. She never mentioned he worked in an arena explicitly. I haven't tried riding him in the pasture simply because I want to keep that as his chill area and there are no trails I can go to test my theory that he just doesn't work well in arenas.

Any advice with keeping him on the rail? He hates to be there and when I do make him, he starts spooking at random things because he is frustrated and he also doesn't listen to my cues. Should I just try riding him around the property to see if it is just the arena he is having problems in?


Third vice:

This one truly is a vice. He hates to canter. Once again, all his problems seem to be in an arena as when I went to try him out before purchase, I cantered him in his paddock. I have to state that right now, he is overweight and where I live it is very warm and humid so I'm not cantering at all right now. I'm trying to get him fit before I even attempt again. But when I do, I need some tips to get him into it. I know how to get a horse into a canter. My trainer told me to run him into the canter but he simply does a super fast trot and ignores my cues. However, a friend of mine who has way more experience came and she got him to canter from a stand still, English style. Should I try that? That's how I learned to canter from my lessons and I was simply trying to run Cubone into the canter like my trainer told me to.

Any tips? :)

Thank you for reading that! Thank you in advance to those who reply! I do love my boy and even if he never shakes these habits, I do plan to keep him and continue working with him till the day he is retired(Which I should add he is in great shape and doesn't act his age in the slightest.). He is my handsome butt-face! <3

also, I am thinking a harsher bit might be needed but I'm not sure what I should get. I know the bit is meant for neck reining, but he has had no problems until now with stopping and steering. (He doesn't neck rein but I'm teaching him that now.)

from today's ride:


First thing is this saddle does not fit him, way too narrow. Second thing is the bit looks to be too high in his mouth, not to mention I do not see a curb strap on it, this is a leverage bit and should have that, but due to not being adjusted right to begin with, you need someone who knows what they are doing to fix it. If your "trainer" hasn't addressed either of these issues...then they are not a trainer in any sense of the word.

And can't figure out how in your post you go from horse has no bad habits, to having all these bad habits either.

As for him cantering? Look again at that saddle and tell me if you would feel like cantering the way it is pinching? And can't tell for sure, but also looks like you have it way too far forwards.

What you are experiencing is mostly you do not know what you are doing, your tack is not fitted correctly, and horse is sore, and aggravated with you.

Did the "trainer" sell you this horse? Or did you find it elsewhere?

So many things wrong here with this tack it isn't funny.

And the head tossing and all that, could be from he is hurting from saddle, to your hands aren't good.

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post #16 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partebuilts View Post
Oh trust me, I know first hand how dangerous these animals can be! :( I've seen so many accidents but at the same time I can't let my fear of possibly getting hurt(which I have fallen a few times now, not on my horse, but lesson horses) hold me back from the discipline my baby needs. the previous owners admitted to being intimidated by him because of his size and they also admitted that they let him do as he pleases and threw him in a pasture and got a smaller horse. Now that I think about that, he probably got all his bad habits form them.

I know the owners before them had him for most, if not the rest of his life and said he was a great lesson horse and was bombproof. Honestly, I can see that potential in my horse, but think he has had too much his way. I want to emphasize that Cubone is not an aggressive or mean horse in any way and I CAN handle what he throws at me so I do agree with 4horses when they say that he has had his way for too long.

I've thought of using a whip as I like to ride with a whip just for a little bit of extra reinforcement but I was never sure of using one on Cu. I might try that as well.

Edit: Yeah, I am ready for my horse to stop these behaviors so as of the last few rides, I have been way firmer and I can see that in the beginning there will be a battle of who can be the bigger brat. I intend to win. Cubone know's his cues, so I know he just doesn't want to listen to me. I don't personally believe he needs a restart training.

Edit #2: another thing I must say is that my only problems with him are under saddle. Other than that, he is so good with young children(toddlers), all other animals and is pretty sane with scary things. He doesn't like trailers and getting him into the trailer was "fun"(He is ok with the ride, just the initial getting in), but that is something to be addressed a bit later as I'm not moving until next year. He is truly a great horse and is very respectful on the ground of everything. So never can I say he is a bad horse, I've seen crazy, wild/feral, disrespectful horses and even those aren't bad, just not guided. :)

You asked for help and guidance, which you badly need, but tell us now that you don't personally believe he needs a restart training?

And you are basing that on what? Your years of experience breaking, training, riding and working with horses?

And trust me, you haven't seen anything like what is out there in the equine world, if you just think they aren't guided.

Like it or not, the things you have described are a bad horse. He is, for whatever reason, to point he is going to hurt you if you don't get some real help from someone that really knows what they are doing.

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post #17 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 05:01 PM
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Has he been trained for a curb bit?
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post #18 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 05:30 PM
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Beautiful horse and great job on seeking help! I have been down that road myself so I can relate! Personally I would be questioning the trainer if they say go to a bigger bit. I have a great trainer and she will tell you that that option would simply be covering up the problem and only mask the symptoms temporarily if at all. And possibly even create new ones if you are having to get in his mouth since he's not listening as you mentioned.

I would be doing some ground work with him to establish respect with you. But again, you will need a trainer guiding you to be sure the exercises are appropriate for his fitness level, footing is appropriate, and that you are releasing the pressure at the appropriate time as horses learn from the release of the pressure, rather than the pressure itself. When your trainer feels you have his respect on the ground, then move to exercises under saddle. Its understandable his weaknesses given a lesson horse and it sounds like he knows your not as experienced and is taking advantage of it. (Though its always important to rule out any physical issues with your vet as I have found that to be the case in the past too, and then you feel terrible that you corrected the horse when he's trying to tell you something.)

In this case it sounds like he needs to be worked near the audience instead of rewarded by rest. That may be easier said than done under saddle in which case the ground work will help. Once he's paying attention to you then go rest him away from the audience getting farther and farther away each time. But -- again -- timing and release of pressure is everything. And you can't expect too much right at the beginning...I was bad about that. You have to reward the slightest try or they get frustrated and stop trying. That's again where a good trainer can help as they can spot things we don't realize we are even doing. I went down a long road with my green mare and my trainer was great in helping us to work through our issues with me as a beginner. We weren't a great match from the start but worked through a lot. We did great until until her medical issues and now she's a pasture buddy. Now I have a gelding and we do great together as I've learned much more how to be the leader he needs, and my and his limitations we need to work on. He and I are a much better fit. Having said that though, any good horse can go south if the rider isn't educated and not trying to get educated. Hats off to you for seeking help and I wish you all the best!
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post #19 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 05:39 PM
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Your assessment of the situation is very good, considering your age, so I commend you.
Here is my suggestion.
Your trainer needs to train you to ride and control him by being on the ground in the arena with you and carrying a whip. Each session needs to start on the ground, to make sure that he listens calmly and OBEDIENTLY to on the ground cues, verbal cues and the whip, just to be sure that your horse won't overreact to the whip, or plow you into the wall when a whip is used. He should start with obedience when every coue is asked for, and it should be immediate. YOU need to carry a whip and plan to use it. You may have to really whack him if he tries to run your leg into the wall. This happens more often than you may guess.
Planning is VERY important here.
The first training session with you aboard needs to be "go and WHOA." Horses with his age and experience become disrespectful by NOT moving their feet for you, or NOT stopping or slowing down. Your trainer can get in front of him with a whip in the arena if he starts to run away with you. THIS is why arena work is very important, because your horse cannot really go anywhere. Get your mom or dad to be at every session and to act as "spectators" when they are asked. Have your trainer tell you what to ask for. Your trainer may hand them an extra crop to flip up in the air and say, "No!" if he charges towards them, as you have described.
When he misbehaves your trainer needs to IMMEDIATELY punish him, such as, in a later session, you ask for the canter and he doesn't take your cue, your trainer needs to cue or chase to make sure that he does.
I firmly believe that horses can and do learn verbal cues very quickly. As I have trained my geldings, I use the "and...trot", "and...canter," "and...halt," and I back the verbal cues up with my leg, rein and weight aids. The US Cavalry gave their verbal commands like this. My horses learned them--we were Civil War Reenactors for 26 years--and they would perform the commands, even if a novice was riding them doing close order drill.
I never really learned to do this, but when I taught my lessons I owned the lesson horses and I was always in the middle of the arena and my horses KNEW that I would get after them if they didn't listen to my students, so they knew that the "horse police" was always watching them. This made them safe, babysitter horses.
Your trainer needs to be the horse police and to watch you to give you the tools and the confidence to handle this horse.
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post #20 of 24 Old 11-02-2015, 07:48 PM
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Thank you for the constructive advice. Cubone is a good horse with some bad habits. We dont have the luxury of hiring another trainer until we move barns so we will continue to do what we can. He is getting a custom made saddle in a couple of months and in the mean time, we have a full quarter horse bars saddle. He has improved tremendously since we've had him.
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