Pasture as outdoor arena for working + other problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-02-2014, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Pasture as outdoor arena for working + other problems

Hello!

I have an interesting problem with my horse, so I'll start with some background info. I am not new to horses, but this is the first one I have kept. I do not own her, she is "mine" in terms of me keeping her fed, having a stable and taken care of otherwisely. So the owner told me she is well-behaved riding horse, and that she has been trained to obey riders' sitting rather than reins or calve pressure (sorry for wrong words, I'm not native english speaker).

She is quite well behaved when grooming etc.. But, when you mount her, she starts sidestepping. When trying to get her to move forward, she will flip her head, start spinning around, even rearing lightly, and backing up. We have checked her teeth, they are okay. Her back and legs are also okay. Though, I noticed first thing that her saddle isn't fitting, so I started to use one lended from my friend that fits. Despite that, she keeps on acting oddly, and I really can't place anything wrong in her - rather than it is in fact a learned bad habit.

She will walk and even trot a little, when a person walks/jogs with her. I have been wondering, if she just wants another horse to go with our riding. When a person escorting us stops, she will stop too and won't move. She lives in a stable on 17 other horses, pastured with 3 other mares, so she is not lonely.

So, should I have different outdoor arena to work with her than this really large pasture I've been trying to work on? She has been pastured in this field before, just not now, so I thought maybe she thinks she is on "free time" rather than work-time? I have been trying to work with her without saddle, without reins, with delicate hand and with a little tougher one, I have tried with calve-pressure (again, wrong word I know) and sitting, and seems like none of them really work. I am getting frustrated and I even began to think that maybe she isn't that trained at all.

She will pull a wagon nicely, though won't run. I am trying to get some edge off of her energy with going on strolls on wagons, hoping it is only excess energy that's talking, but yet I haven't seen any progress.

I would appreciate a LOT if given any advice. (And yes, I've been asking from many friends that are familiar with riding and horses, and we've tried plenty of things. I have also been reading almost all of the horse knowledge books that are in my local library.)

About me, I've been riding on lessons for about 3 years, and many years "just riding" my friends horses with them. I have been going to stables and working there with horses from when I was 7. Now I am 21 :)
WolfAndRaven is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 10-02-2014, 06:01 PM
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Welcome!

I do think maybe changing her scenery for 'work' will help, but then don't stop there. If you only work her in one spot she may grow sour off that as well. I work my horse anywhere and everywhere even if it frustrates her, until she works that drama out herself. I want her listening to me everywhere we go - including her grazing pastures! She will try to stop and snack mid-lunge and I won't stand for that! I started doing this when she got burnt out just going into the round pen all the time.

So whose horse is this? I'm curious why you do all this for a horse that isn't yours - is it just a boarding situation? No matter either way just wondering :)

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.
...
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-02-2014, 06:05 PM
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I make a guess. Just a possibility here.

An ill-fitting saddle can make a horse do those things. Occasionally, if the horse's manners weren't fantastic to start with, or if the horse's personality is such that s/he would rather get out of work, they continue with the bad behavior knowing that the riding will stop.

So, assuming that the saddle you are using now fits. Assuming that the ill-fitting saddle did not put anything out of place anywhere on the horse's spine (ears to tail) or limbs. And assuming that teeth, etc are all good...

The short answer to you question is: Yes. A pasture should be fine for schooling this horse.

She could simply be buddy sour. She could be bad mannered. She could be merely 'lazy.'

The bigger question, for me, is "Who will get her past this?"
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-06-2014, 08:05 AM
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Hi & welcome! Agree with Boots. And in that order. I know you've had people look at her, but I'd want more info on possible pain issues first.

But assuming it's not due to a body/saddle issue, and assuming this has been a well trained horse in the past or for others(you don't tell anything about that)...( and if she's not, I would NOT hitch her up to a cart until you're sure of her training!), and assuming you're a good rider, not inadvertently confusing or upsetting her, perhaps because of your reaction to a pain response once, this behaviour has worked for her, so she's repeating it & getting better at it.

Basically, you need to ensure then that this behaviour no longer ever works for her, and that alternate 'good' behaviours do, to get her what she wants. But without more info, can't tell you what you may be doing wrong or how to deal with it.

Horses also 'feed' off our worries too, and people also get 'better' with practice, at associations - such as getting tense when you get on because you're expecting this, so it's best to do whatever is necessary to 'practice' stuff that works & feels good, and minimise likelihood of practicing 'bad stuff'. That may mean that whether or not the horse needs more groundwork & very basic training(you haven't told), it would be a good move for YOU to go in 'baby steps' from ground up, to get confident & relaxed about all the little stages along the way, so that when you get as far as actually throwing a leg over, it's a non-event for both of you.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-16-2014, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hello everyone and a big thank you for your answers!

She is not my own, that's correct. My parents studied, so our family could work as a foster family, and this one girl joined our family quite the time ago. She is a good friend of mine and owner of the horse. Now though, I feel little sour for her.

She decided to send the horse to a trainer, who will figure out mares problem, try and fix it and then find a new, good owner to her. I am a little bit sorry about this whole situation, but I cannot decide since she is not my horse. Maybe it is for the good of the horse, I do hope so. I just really hate being forced to give up, since the horse actually is sweet and has an interesting personality.

Either way, thank you very much everyone. I will hopefully be getting my own horse in a while, so I might be back here with different, positive kind of news after some time :)
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