Problem on the trail - I Could use a Pep Talk :) - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 06:28 AM
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Folly don't reconsider yet.....I think you are just anxious because you haven't been able to ride her because of the rain. Building that kind of partnership takes time. You are bound to have the odd disagreement or misbehaviour, it won't all go smoothly all the time.....my advice would be when you do get back on, make it a pleasurable experience - go out with another horse, enjoy the ride, don't invite confrontation or resistance. If she gets 'stuck' again, ask for a lead from the other horse, turn in another direction and move off briskly. As long as you are both enjoying the ride there is less chance of both of you getting 'stuck' in that tight little circle of anxiety and resistance.....
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post #12 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 08:10 AM
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I wouldn't give up on that horse, unless you feel so unsafe that you become scared of riding her. She seems like a very good horse. It's normal to meet road blocks with any horse, it's part of ownership.

You are asking the right questions, you have a good trainer: I think you are doing the right things to get passed this. I believe you reacted well to the situation and can trust yourself. Next time, you'll have better tools to manage her quirks. Keep us posted on your progress.
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post #13 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 10:42 AM
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Don't sell her. She does too many things right. Fix your problem or you will just have the same problem with your next horse. You don't really have a 'horse problem', YET. Your horse just has a bit of a 'rider problem'.

Quote:
Cherie, yes what I was describing was a one rein stop... Just didn't think of calling it that in this context since there was no bolting involved. The trainer worked with us on that together, and I practice every time we ride. It was when I applied the inside leg and pulled her head around that she popped up. I obviously wasn't doing it right.
Do it this way:

Take her head away FIRST.
Take it the opposite direction you took it when she argued with you.
Take her head away from her a time or two BEFORE she stalls out. In other words, practice it on the trail and kick her butt around aggressively. She needs a wake up call and not nagging. She needs to take you seriously.

When you take her head away, do NOT let her have it back until you have thoroughly kicked her butt around. Make sure it is YOUR idea when you stop kicking her butt around. Never let her make any decisions!

Then, if she stalls out, keep the reins loose and aggressively ask her to go forward the direction you want her to go.

If she does not go where you want her to, take her head away and kick her butt around - hard! If it is your left rein she is disobeying, take her head to the right and kick her around at least two full revolutions. She will be all set up to resist the left rein and you take charge by going the other way. Most horses resist much worse to one rein and also start to rubber-neck when that rein is used. This is because people use too much rein pressure and too little leg pressure. This same riding problem is also what creates horses that stall out and rear. It completely disarms a horse to change reins and directions.

On the same note, If a horse starts rubber-necking to the left, the rider usually has a weak right leg. The horse also has a 'weaker' response to the rider's right leg. Taking that horse's head to the right and kicking its butt around to the left not only gets rid of the problem, but helps to develop the rider's weak leg and makes the horse more responsive to that leg.

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post #14 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
i gotta say that I have smacked a horse , on the shoulder , before, and it hasn't been any kind of disaster. it's been more like the horse knows I am asking for forward, he's sulling up with any more leg pressure, so I get him to break out of that resistance by a short "smack smack" on each side of his neck with the extra rein (English reins), and I get him MORE willing to let go of his resistance and go forward than if I'd smacked his hind end (where he might decide to buck, instead).

so, for a very rare instance, I actually disagree with Cherie on this small point. admittedly, my experience is very narrow compared to hers, but I don't see a shoulder smack to say, "smarten up and listen!" as a bad thing.
We are talking about two entirely different things here. When you say you 'smack' your horse on the shoulder, it is just another aid you have conditioned your horse to listen to. I would just use a stronger leg or an sharp "Ah!", which all of my horses have also been conditioned to listen to. This is just like the rider going over jumps. Many of them tap a horse on the shoulder for more impulsion. Again, their crop has just become one more aid. As a mostly Western rider, my options are usually a spur (which most western trainers always ride with) or a complete over-haul with the ends of the heavy harness leather reins that I use.

While I find a lot of English riders that carry a crop that is only used as another aid, I find many western riders that are constantly nagging and pecking on a horse with their spurs. They end up with horses that are totally numb to a light leg aid and many of the English rider have horses that are numb to a heal and ride horribly if their rider does not have a crop in their hand. I also finds a lot of people that learn to 'threaten' horses with a crop or the end of the reins. These horses often time rides like pigs if they are not nagged at.

But, hitting a horse hard that is fractious and already 'on the fight' can turn into a real wreck if the rider is not prepared for an even bigger fight. If the horse has not been taught to accept the bat, you can create a lot more problems than you can ride out or fix until the horse has more training.

If a rider already lacks confidence and already has a horse that lacks forward impulsion, most hitting only becomes more ineffective nagging that strengthens the horse's resolve instead of strengthening the rider's confidence. In other words, it back-fires.

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post #15 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
i gotta say that I have smacked a horse , on the shoulder , before, and it hasn't been any kind of disaster. it's been more like the horse knows I am asking for forward, he's sulling up with any more leg pressure, so I get him to break out of that resistance by a short "smack smack" on each side of his neck with the extra rein (English reins), and I get him MORE willing to let go of his resistance and go forward than if I'd smacked his hind end (where he might decide to buck, instead).

so, for a very rare instance, I actually disagree with Cherie on this small point. admittedly, my experience is very narrow compared to hers, but I don't see a shoulder smack to say, "smarten up and listen!" as a bad thing.
I rarely ride with a crop but I have at times found it is very useful as an attention getter more than an instrument for punishment.
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post #16 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 11:46 AM
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I think you need to remember that this is a NEW horse and there will be things coming up that you will need to work on. It can certainly take longer than a couple of months for you and your horse to completely settle in with each other. You have received some good advice but unfortunately none of us are there to see the problem or know you and your horse, so don't be discouraged by the posts. I think the best thing is for you to work with your trainer in finding the best tactic for this particular problem.
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post #17 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Textan49 View Post
I think you need to remember that this is a NEW horse and there will be things coming up that you will need to work on. It can certainly take longer than a couple of months for you and your horse to completely settle in with each other. You have received some good advice but unfortunately none of us are there to see the problem or know you and your horse, so don't be discouraged by the posts. I think the best thing is for you to work with your trainer in finding the best tactic for this particular problem.
Thank you, Textan - yes I'm feeling discouraged.
The never-ending rain does nothing for a mood I'm afraid... and I find myself despairing a bit that I can't consistently work with her! I got her in March having planned to ride at least 3 times a week... and reinforce what the trainer had taught both of us. Then this weather pattern began almost immediately after. I'm lucky to get on her once every week and a half right now. I think my main problem currently is that we ended on a bad note... if my last ride before this most recent 6" of rain had been the one before, I'd be savoring fun memories instead of imagining how the 'sky is falling'.

As everyone seems to understand, she will challenge me. The trainer told me that was what I needed to keep a handle on, but that she's a good solid trail horse. I do believe I've relaxed and not been as aggressive as he taught me.... but she really hasn't needed it lately. I need to step it up (I admit I'm not yet a strong confident rider, though I'm not a total push-over either). The thing that is worrisome is what so many of you posted above... I really need to avoid applying a correction that will escalate her reaction above what I can handle. That's where my biggest insecurity is.

Last edited by Folly; 05-25-2015 at 12:44 PM.
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post #18 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
Take her head away from her a time or two BEFORE she stalls out. In other words, practice it on the trail and kick her butt around aggressively. She needs a wake up call and not nagging. She needs to take you seriously.
....
Yikes - I should be that aggressive even when she's done nothing wrong? Just walking down the trail nicely?
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post #19 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 06:20 PM
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I think Cherie is talking about changing up her paradigm of the world, and doing it first, before she has a chance to start off in her old , ingrained way of thinking about you/her.

I can't say I would have thought of that, either, not for a horse that is baulking.

I have found that smacking on the shoulders often better than using more leg becuase it shakes up the horse a bit, and tends to elicit LESS fight back than a harsh smack on the bum or flanks area, or an 'over and under'. in the few times I've ridden a horse that was seriously balking, and I put a whip on the flank, i got crowhopping, where as the shoulder smacks did not. but, I have a limited experience with difficult horses.
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post #20 of 48 Old 05-25-2015, 06:44 PM
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1. Your first sentence sums up a lot of your issues. If your trainer commented that you over think things, "worrying about what to worry about next" must be a pretty serious issue with you.

I'm sure you do that with the rest of your life so, controlling it on top of a horse, as a new rider, is a serious matter.

I have always been this type of worrier, except when I'm on a horse, then I wear a "no fear" t- shirt

2. One thing you haven't talked about, nor has it been mentioned, is connecting and building confidence from the ground. I'm not talking about disciplined drills in the round pen or arena. I am talking about very informal but well mannered "doing stuff" on the ground with her.

Take her for walks, like you would. Dog. Talk to her, scratch her neck, w
If she starts to walk off too fast, gently but firmly slow her down and say "whoa back a little, mummy can't walk that fast".

The horse sounds to be very well broke but on the dominant side. It is your job to fairly let her know you are the boss when she is in your presence. Let the punishment fit the crime. Sometimes a light tap on the neck or nose is sufficient, other times she might need a little more.

You are sweating the small stuff and it will do you in, if you don't find a way to get control, as your trainer has subtlety tried to tell you.

It's pouring much needed rain in your area right now. If your time is yours, get out there between rain storms in your worst pair of barn boots and "handle" your horse.

I am 68 and have not been able to ride since a bad accident in 2006. I still have my horses. I spend a couple hours every day, just playing with them.

You would be surprised what they know and how well mannered they are. If my back would hold together, I would have no qualms getting on them and riding right out the driveway. They might be a bit spooky at things on the road but they stay broke because I know how to keep them gentled from the ground

Find a way to overcome the overthinking and do some things from the ground with your horse. While horses are NOT dogs, you build a bond with a new dog by doing "stuff" with it, the horse is not that much different in that regard.
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