Problem with getting a horse forward - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 02:26 AM
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My guy likes to slow down at the gate when trotting- my trainer told me that the best thing to do is to keep him moving. Do not give him a chance to think about the gate. Keeping him moving seems to work for me so far- he used to slow down to a halt at first and try to stand by the gate. Now he does break into a walk, but only for a second or two before getting him going again with trotting. Patience with him pays off. :)


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post #12 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaifyre View Post
Rollbacks at the gate have always worked very well for me. Most horse loathe rollbacks, it makes them work waaaaay harder than they'd like. On every horse I've ever ridden except one, a good hard 10 or 15 minutes of rollbacks, then resting away from the gate for 5-10 minutes, then repeating 3 or 4 times cured that right up. On the remaining horse, I needed a good 20 minutes or so of rollbacks 3 or 4 times before she would consent to not be belligerent. I was exhausted after, but so was she, and after that first day she never offered to run to the gate again.


-- Kai
ďRollbacksĒ are ďstop and do 180 degrees turnĒ, correct? (Sorry, English is a second language for me).

Are they easy to mess up when teaching? English riding doesnít seem to teach these. I would need to do it on my own so Iím a bit apprehensive of doing it wrong. Any tips? It seems like something which requires a lot of forward momentum to do properly, right? At the moment Iím struggling with that as well...
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post #13 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomrose View Post
My guy likes to slow down at the gate when trotting- my trainer told me that the best thing to do is to keep him moving. Do not give him a chance to think about the gate. Keeping him moving seems to work for me so far- he used to slow down to a halt at first and try to stand by the gate. Now he does break into a walk, but only for a second or two before getting him going again with trotting. Patience with him pays off. :)


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Thatís how I usually ride her through her bouts of gate-sourness. I will chip away at it patiently and fix it but it always comes back after a while. I was hoping to fix it for good.

Sheís really weird. She keeps having periods of perfect behavior alternating with ďrebelliousĒ phases. It doesnít have to be gate-sourness, I had all sorts. Not wanting to stand for mounting, bucking, wanting to bite (well, I fixed that one straight away rather harshly and it hasnít come back), going behind the vertical with no contact...every vice a horse can have, she tries it - I fix it, she behaves perfectly for a few weeks or a few months and than tries her luck again with something.

The last time it was bucking. She was completely out of control. I got a vet out. Well, itís the weirdest thing. He wanted to see her trotted up and than ridden. She was perfect. And she stopped bucking from then on. Just the day before we couldnít go five steps without bucking. I think she has a healthy apprehension of men and since we never have a man in the outdoor she got her brain reset with some of her previous training at the hands of a man - Iím thinking the training involved a lot of painful correction.
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post #14 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I know this is basic but I need some clear instructions if possible. I have two issues at the same time. My horse isnít as forward as I would like and sheís got a touch of gate sourness.
I don't know that you really have two issues. You just simply has a horse that lacks in basic command obedience. The horse is being the boss and deciding what to do (refuse to move forward, refuse to leave the gate, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I canít really fix gate sourness until sheís more responsive.
Sure you can. The gate just happens to be a specific obstacle/place. You can still work on making her more responsive.

Now, just a few things to think about with gate sour horses.
---When you are done riding for the day, NEVER get off your horse at the gate. Pick a random place in the arena and/or roundpen each time to get off your horse, and loosen the cinch. Let your horse stand for a minute, rub them, and THEN lead them out the gate. If you always allow the horse to stop at the gate when you are done riding for the day, that is going to make gate sour worse.
---Sure, you can work the horse harder near the gate, and let them rest away from the gate, but ultimately it just comes down to the horse listening to your cues and doing what you ask -- no matter where you are in the arena/round pen.


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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post

So, Iím trying to fix the forward issues first. The problem is that as soon as I correct her she will surge forward - but with her shoulder towards the gate. I can keep her shoulder aligned with rather firm contact but not without contact (Iím simply not capable of doing that, no use telling me that I have to). So, I either let her surge forward with her shoulder out and eventually sheíll run to the gate or I take up firm contact and ask for forward into a rather strong hand which obviously isnít ideal.

So what do I do? Let her run to the gate and then ask for more forward at the gate? I havenít tried letting her get there as I donít want her to think that she can do whatever she pleases.

So, to sum it up: should I use enough firm contact to keep my horse straight when correcting her for ignoring my leg?
If you've have asked your horse to move forward in a certain direction, then that's what you've asked them to do. Period. Do what it takes with your cues to achieve that. Yes, you're kind of giving multiple cues at the same time to both keep them moving forward AND giving them a specific direction but that's okay.

On a horse that knows better, I have no problem giving them a good spur in the side if they keep drifting toward the gate. If they know better not to drift toward that gate, then I expect them to do it.

However, in your case, I don't think that would be the correct approach at this time, because your horse doesn't take you seriously. You've got to show your horse that you are the boss and you decide which direction you go. This means being 100% consistent 100% of the time. Do not ever let her "get by" with ignoring a cue, or else it comes back to bite you in the butt.

On that same token, make sure you leave your horse alone if she is doing something correctly or did respond to you correctly. The release of pressure is a good reward for her.

Horsef, do you have a trainer you can take lessons with? A lot of this stuff is sheer timing, on knowing WHEN precisely to release pressure, and when to keep the pressure on. It can be very helpful having someone in-person help you with this.

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post #15 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 10:41 AM
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Everything she's doing - the begrudging attitude about work and the whole gate magnet thing are forms of what we call 'napping' in the UK. The horse is trying various ways to avoid work and go back to the barn or paddock.
The bucking is another trick, some try rearing and they'll also 'invent' a monster somewhere in the arena to spook at.
Its all done to make you want to give up working and put the horse away.
Quite often its out of boredom and you need to look at ways to make the work more interesting and not just about riding in repetitive circles. When we're stuck with riding in an arena for long periods we use ground poles, jump stands and cones to make agility type courses
With horses that play you up and get idle I do carry a schooling whip and would consider wearing some spurs
bsms, SketchyHorse and Kaifyre like this.

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post #16 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 10:55 AM
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Don't know if this would work, but it's an unusual take. When I took group lessons, at the end of lesson, we'd line up facing the gate. Then, one by one, we had to turn the horse 180, back the horse 50-75 feet to the gate, out the gate, turn 90 degrees, and back the horse another 30-50 feet. Only then could we dismount. The lady said it was good practice for the riders and that it kept the horses from trying to rush thru the gate. I'll say this - none of the lesson horses showed any desire to hang around the gate.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #17 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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@beau159 I knew about gate-sourness before I bought my mare so Iíve never dismounted at the gate since I got her (a year and a half). I do have a trainer but I live in a part of the world where itís considered normal for a horse to be gate-sour. I tried asking her about fixing it but she wasnít particularly worried about the issue so Iím trying to fix it on my own for good. Anyhow, Iím really confused by the fact that Iíll fix something and sheíll be perfect for a few weeks or a few months and then sheíll decide to revert to some or other behavior that I previously fixed. I understand that she should always be minding me but Iím not doing anything differently. So sometimes my riding is good enough and I manage to fix whatever she dreamed up to throw my way and sometimes it isnít and I definitely canít see a major difference. And it isnít a gradual degradation, one day she just decides itís time to rattle my cage and see what falls out.

@jaydee quite correct, she gets bored I think. All of her issues disappear when we are jumping. But obviously I donít want to jump all the time.
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post #18 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Don't know if this would work, but it's an unusual take. When I took group lessons, at the end of lesson, we'd line up facing the gate. Then, one by one, we had to turn the horse 180, back the horse 50-75 feet to the gate, out the gate, turn 90 degrees, and back the horse another 30-50 feet. Only then could we dismount. The lady said it was good practice for the riders and that it kept the horses from trying to rush thru the gate. I'll say this - none of the lesson horses showed any desire to hang around the gate.
That is quite unusual and makes a rather funny picture :)

Iíll have to think about whether itís safe to do in our school. Metal gates, curving concrete incline... maybe if I just get to the gate that way it might do the trick.
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post #19 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 11:14 AM
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BSMS I'll have to bring that cure up to the barn instructor. Sure would keep the kids on their toes too.
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post #20 of 29 Old 12-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
This means being 100% consistent 100% of the time. Do not ever let her "get by" with ignoring a cue, or else it comes back to bite you in the butt.

On that same token, make sure you leave your horse alone if she is doing something correctly or did respond to you correctly. The release of pressure is a good reward for her.
^^^This.

I find a lot of times, when a horse is acting up in a certain spot of the arena, the problem started actually somewhere else and progressed; ignoring other cues at other times. Consistency, timing and release/reward are key.

ďYou spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.Ē Ėquote from my very wizened trainer


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