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Hello,
you guys may remember me as posting about my horses violent busking fit that gave me a concussion in the field?
Well happily he hasn't had any bronco fits since, but I haven't done more than walking in the field.
His saddle fits fine, he had a problem with his hooves but it's been long fixed by special shoes and the farrier.
But he crow hops, in response to everything he doesn't like. Some horses bolt, some stop, some rear, mine crow hops!
If I'm out on the trails on in the indoor riding ring, and something spooks him he picks up a canter stride into a crow hop.
If I work him for over an hour he'll occasional give one out,
And especially with my mother who rides him, she's not quite as experienced as me, she gets VERY nervous and tense especially at the canter, tightens up on his mouth, which means she tugs on the bit every stride, and doesn't relax into the saddle, he crow hops for her because of her tenseness.

How do I break him of his random crow hopping? Me and my mom both know she needs to relax on him and he won't do it so much for her, but he does it at various other random times as I stated.
It doesn't scare me as much as annoy me because I can easily sit it.

Last night my mom was having a lot of trouble, she was very tense due to a recent fall at the canter and everytime she asked him to step out to the rail or trot he would pick up a canter stride into a crow hop,
She got off and I got on and trotted him around for a long while. He crow hopped at random out of frustration I feel, about 6 or 7 times with me, closely timed with each other each time I pulled him back and made him continue trotting around at the rail, I never stopped the trot when he crow hopped, or stopped him or dismounted. I continued to trot him until he was out of his crow hopping fit, and I spent a long time trying to get him to pick his head up. He was dragging his face on the ground in protest to me not taking his naughtiness, And I spent the time after he stopped crow hopping getting him to pick his head up.

I then did several walk trot transitions, then trot canter walk canter trot canter trot transitions. His canter was very speedy, he was putting his head down (each time I got his head up he'd throw it back down periodically.) and he seemed very eager to protest me working him, but I wouldn't allow him. After about a half an hour of these transitions and canter work I walked him around, took off his saddle, walked him bareback with a loose rein for a while, then got off.

Now my questions are, was I right to get on and do these things? And what are some things I can do to get ride of this crow hopping habit?
 

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:?You did what I would have done - make him work! You did not reward him for misbehaving. My gelding has pulled that a couple of times - the first time we were trail riding and went down a little hill - he was last and when we went down, he crow hopped, but it ended almost as soon as it started and everything was fine - I chalked that up to excitement. The second time, I was riding with a new group of friends (he had never been around their horses before) and all was going well - we had just begun our ride and my horse pals up with a pregnant mare (she was awesome - no misbehavior whatsoever and beautiful to boot! And, she was very friendly to my guy - not marish at all) - anyhow, her rider told me he was going to canter up a hill - we had been trotting - he and I were the two front riders and there were three other riders behind us - the mare cantered off and my gelding started shaking his head and acting silly so I tried to collect him but I lost his head (or maybe I should say HE lost his head!) and he starts the crow hopping thing. I figured it was a hop and stop but THIS time we went RODEO! There was one hop, then another, then another and he sort of did this spin to the left and I came off the right!
I broke my right hand and also had a tiny hairline fracture on my left hand between my pinky and ring finger - only had to have a cast for my right hand (naturally - I'm RIGHT handed!). I got up, dusted myself off, my horse was standing patiently waiting for me (GAH!!) and I mounted back up and we went on our ride - I didn't say a word about my hand, but it was obvious to me I had hurt it pretty bad. We rode for maybe about 3 hours and my horse was a perfect gentleman! I don't know what got into him - I think his crow hopping fit was due to frustration because I would not let him run off with his new friend, but to me that was NOT a good excuse! The rest of our ride I'd make him separate from the mare and while he didn't really like the idea, he was very cooperative. We have ridden a number of times since and he's never offered to crow hop, not even once!
I wish I had the answer - I've been told I should have pulled his head around (like a one rein stop) but once he started acting up and his head went down, I could not fight his strength.
Another girl told me that I should have lunged him to near exhaustion before I got back on (seemed like a bad idea to me, though).
Someone else said I should have made him work under saddle after I got back on (but I had four other riders with me and the point was to go for a trail ride!).
I did make him leave his mare friend - we would stay behind while her rider cantered off - trotted off - rode off with another rider -- to me, that was
getting my point across to him.
I have been told since that I should concentrate on ground work - Clinton Anderson's methods were suggested. I am doing that and I'll see how it works.
I use barrel reins - always have - I've never been able to deal with long reins - but, that particular time, I might have been better off with longer reins so I could have gotten some leverage - one jerk and you can lose short reins easily.
I am anxious to see what other opinions are offered - it sounds like you have a handle on how to correct your gelding when he starts acting out.
If I expect the behavior in the future I will put my guy to work in an instant - circles, backing, whatever - I don't want another cast! Maybe the ground work is the answer - but, I wish you the best, best of luck and your Mom, too - I hope you can find a solution to the problem - maybe you can help me, too!
 

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Vida occasionally does this when we are heading home from a long ride and she wants to gallop back to her hay bale :lol:. When I ask her to slow down she will do the crow hop thing. Rather than just yanking back on the bit when she speeds up, I do one rein stops and try to stay out of her mouth as much as I can.
I'm not sure if yours is the same situation. She does it when I ask her to slow down. Sounds like yours is doing it on the speed up?
 

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Do you ride western or English? We have a gelding who can't tolerate a western saddle for some reason. We've tried many different kinds and haven't had any success yet...... We can ride him English, no problem but put a western saddle on him and within about 15 minutes, he starts shaking his head, cow kicking and it evolves into crow hopping and bucking. We figure it must be a saddle fit issue but we can't figure it out. If you don't ride English, you might just borrow one from someone and experiment.

Also, maybe you need to lunge your mom without reins so she isn't pulling on him, until she can relax? Goodluck!
 

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We can ride him English, no problem but put a western saddle on him and within about 15 minutes, he starts shaking his head, cow kicking and it evolves into crow hopping and bucking. We figure it must be a saddle fit issue but we can't figure it out. !
western saddles are usually not a good fit. They are like sticking a chair on the horse. They touch in the 4 corners and bridge the center section. Unless you stip a western saddle down to the bare tree, fill in center section and custom fit to the horse you are not going to get a good fit.
They count on the saddle blankets to make up for the poor fit.
It digs into thier back but usually they buck at first since it hurts and after your 15 minutes the back should be numb.
While I ride western each and every saddle is custom fit to a horse.
 

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western saddles are usually not a good fit. They are like sticking a chair on the horse. They touch in the 4 corners and bridge the center section. Unless you stip a western saddle down to the bare tree, fill in center section and custom fit to the horse you are not going to get a good fit.
They count on the saddle blankets to make up for the poor fit.
It digs into thier back but usually they buck at first since it hurts and after your 15 minutes the back should be numb.
While I ride western each and every saddle is custom fit to a horse.
I take a great exception to this statement. If you are suggesting that many Western riders don't know how to purchase a properly fitting saddle then I may agree but to make a blanket statement that Western saddles do no fit in general, that is absurd.

Western saddles can bridge if they are fitted improperly but, as any saddle, if you have one that fits your horse properly then there is no bridging and the bars of the saddle fit flush on all points. An improper fitting saddle is just that - improper no matter English, Western, Australian, or whatever.

I would go further and suggest that a properly fitted Western saddle is more comfortable for a horse because of all the surface area in contact with your horse and the way it spreads it's own weight and that of the rider & gear.

To suggest that most riders are making their horse's back numb is preposterous.
 

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I take a great exception to this statement. If you are suggesting that many Western riders don't know how to purchase a properly fitting saddle then I may agree but to make a blanket statement that Western saddles do no fit in general, that is absurd.

Western saddles can bridge if they are fitted improperly but, as any saddle, if you have one that fits your horse properly then there is no bridging and the bars of the saddle fit flush on all points. An improper fitting saddle is just that - improper no matter English, Western, Australian, or whatever.

I would go further and suggest that a properly fitted Western saddle is more comfortable for a horse because of all the surface area in contact with your horse and the way it spreads it's own weight and that of the rider & gear.

To suggest that most riders are making their horse's back numb is preposterous.
Honestly now?? Have you ever taken a western saddle apart?? Strip it right down to the bare tree?? Yes I leave the seat on since it is very difficult to remove a replace but the entire sides and underside is bare.
Have you ever taken this bare tree and tested it on any horse?? Do you know how the stirrup leathers are fed into a western saddle??
I have stripped and custom build many saddle and every horse of mine over the last 25 years have gotten saddle trees , bare trees fitting to the horse and yes they bridge , meaning no load in the center section, yes they touch only on the corners putting the pressure on these points very high.
You can not NOT see this with the lining on the saddle, you can not see the big gaps in the fit with a covered tree. Unless you strip the saddle you can not rightly say if the fit is good or not??

I ride western, I rode a custom trooper for 20 years, I have ridden aussie, and for English I had a Brown's ortho flex with it's panels.
I teach engineering and worry about PSI or pounds per square inch on a horses back.. The trees on a western saddle are 20 square inches IF IF it touched all over which it doesn't. The browns ortho flex was over 300 square inches with it's flex panels.
So at 210 pounds and 60 possible square inches I am riding at over 3 psi.
1 is acceptable??
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I ride english, dressage mostly so I use a dressage saddle.
Please no debating english v western saddles in my topic D:

I rode him again today and I tried to maybe a catch a crow hop on the video but the only time he did it was because he spooked by the gate (it was hailing slightly) and he shook his head an did a mini one, right after my mom put the camera down. Oh well, He wasnt doing it much today at all just that once he spooked at the weather.
 

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Look closely at this tree.. I did 2 of these saddles about 2 months ago. Each is filled and ground until it fits the horses back with NO gaps, no pressure points and the wither area is modified so it fits all the way, not just a point.
Notice the center section, the place the stirrup leathers pass under the tree. This area is completely cut away so the leathers are free to slide in and out for replacement.
If you place this tree on a horses back it touches at the withers, a big gap where the stirrups leathers are fed over and under the tree and then tappering towards the back end it continues to have a gap that you can slide your fingers between the tree and the horse.
If you have the sheep skin, borg or whatever covering the tree you can not see this. You need to strip the tree. Since I am going to spend a good part of my life in this saddle on hopefully my new guy he gets 2 custom fit saddles, one as working saddle and one as a spare if the working one breaks.
I have been modifying saddle for fit since 1986
 

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:?You did what I would have done - make him work! You did not reward him for misbehaving. My gelding has pulled that a couple of times - the first time we were trail riding and went down a little hill - he was last and when we went down, he crow hopped, but it ended almost as soon as it started and everything was fine - I chalked that up to excitement. The second time, I was riding with a new group of friends (he had never been around their horses before) and all was going well - we had just begun our ride and my horse pals up with a pregnant mare (she was awesome - no misbehavior whatsoever and beautiful to boot! And, she was very friendly to my guy - not marish at all) - anyhow, her rider told me he was going to canter up a hill - we had been trotting - he and I were the two front riders and there were three other riders behind us - the mare cantered off and my gelding started shaking his head and acting silly so I tried to collect him but I lost his head (or maybe I should say HE lost his head!) and he starts the crow hopping thing. I figured it was a hop and stop but THIS time we went RODEO! There was one hop, then another, then another and he sort of did this spin to the left and I came off the right!
I broke my right hand and also had a tiny hairline fracture on my left hand between my pinky and ring finger - only had to have a cast for my right hand (naturally - I'm RIGHT handed!). I got up, dusted myself off, my horse was standing patiently waiting for me (GAH!!) and I mounted back up and we went on our ride - I didn't say a word about my hand, but it was obvious to me I had hurt it pretty bad. We rode for maybe about 3 hours and my horse was a perfect gentleman! I don't know what got into him - I think his crow hopping fit was due to frustration because I would not let him run off with his new friend, but to me that was NOT a good excuse! The rest of our ride I'd make him separate from the mare and while he didn't really like the idea, he was very cooperative. We have ridden a number of times since and he's never offered to crow hop, not even once!
I wish I had the answer - I've been told I should have pulled his head around (like a one rein stop) but once he started acting up and his head went down, I could not fight his strength.
Another girl told me that I should have lunged him to near exhaustion before I got back on (seemed like a bad idea to me, though).
Someone else said I should have made him work under saddle after I got back on (but I had four other riders with me and the point was to go for a trail ride!).
I did make him leave his mare friend - we would stay behind while her rider cantered off - trotted off - rode off with another rider -- to me, that was
getting my point across to him.
I have been told since that I should concentrate on ground work - Clinton Anderson's methods were suggested. I am doing that and I'll see how it works.
I use barrel reins - always have - I've never been able to deal with long reins - but, that particular time, I might have been better off with longer reins so I could have gotten some leverage - one jerk and you can lose short reins easily.
I am anxious to see what other opinions are offered - it sounds like you have a handle on how to correct your gelding when he starts acting out.
If I expect the behavior in the future I will put my guy to work in an instant - circles, backing, whatever - I don't want another cast! Maybe the ground work is the answer - but, I wish you the best, best of luck and your Mom, too - I hope you can find a solution to the problem - maybe you can help me, too!
Ah, I rode my gelding in a hunter pace and the first time he crow hopped ever was when his pony friend trotted away from him! I pulled him back and walked him back to the barn (we were right at the finish line and my mom wanted to trot this pony through the line)
I took him out to that field a week later and that's when he went rodeo and his hops turned into bucks I got thrown into the air and landed on my head resulting in severe memory loss and a painful concussion.
Crow hopping down a hill sounds terrible, and there's a really steep hill on our trails that I refuse to ride him down because any antics on that hill could be a disaster.
I don't know what a one rein stop is, is it a western trick? I ride enlish. I just half halted him till he came back with was quick.
 

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I ride english, dressage mostly so I use a dressage saddle.
Please no debating english v western saddles in my topic D:

I rode him again today and I tried to maybe a catch a crow hop on the video but the only time he did it was because he spooked by the gate (it was hailing slightly) and he shook his head an did a mini one, right after my mom put the camera down. Oh well, He wasnt doing it much today at all just that once he spooked at the weather.
I think english saddles fit better then western since they have alot of stuffing rather then the rigid tree with a token covering but BUT the psi on an english saddle is too small for a heavy rider and at 200 I am heavy. Years ago I went with the Browns ortho flex dessage saddle at $3000 just for the increased surface area.

I can't see the english saddle digging into his back.
 

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Ah, I rode my gelding in a hunter pace and the first time he crow hopped ever was when his pony friend trotted away from him! I pulled him back and walked him back to the barn .
That part bothers me. He bucked, you pulled him to a walk and took him right to the barn?? Maybe he learns really quickly and figured out to buck is to be taken home??? Just a thought
 

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If this was my horse and he ever tried pulling this crap on me what I would do is haul him down fast and hard. The first buck he made I would be on his mouth hard, pulling him into the ground with his hind end and bang him with my spurs while yelling at him. If he reared I would let him come down and then bang him again while pulling him up.
I know this is not what you or most would do but it is the way I would deal with him.. He wants a fight, I would take it to him.
My horses would not pull this crap. It doesn't pay.
 

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Did you read the next part? This was THE first time, at the hunter pace, and the pace it WAS a crow hop, I was walking him in the FIRST place, and we were walking towards the barn when it happend!
The buck was another incident and I was NOT in a condition to work him when I got back up.
 

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Ah, I rode my gelding in a hunter pace and the first time he crow hopped ever was when his pony friend trotted away from him! I pulled him back and walked him back to the barn .
Sorry. I took that to mean you were still traveling at a hunter pace?? I did not know you had already pulled up, dropped to a walk. I will keep my advice to myself.
 

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A one rein stop is where you pull your horses head around to your knee, or as far as the horse can flex. If their head is turned, they can't rear, pick up a gait, and although some horses can buck, it'd be hard to do. It can be done in either discipline.
 

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Sorry. I took that to mean you were still traveling at a hunter pace?? I did not know you had already pulled up, dropped to a walk. I will keep my advice to myself.
I thought I had mentioned that we were at the finish line headed back and my mom wanted to trot (I was walking because I cad done a ton of cantering and jumping previously and I wanted him to cool out)
If I was trotting in the field and not headed home at the walk and he pulled this I'd keep him trotting in the field till he stopped the naughtiness and do the same method I did last night.
 

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A one rein stop is where you pull your horses head around to your knee, or as far as the horse can flex. If their head is turned, they can't rear, pick up a gait, and although some horses can buck, it'd be hard to do. It can be done in either discipline.
This may be something that may help you. I know Vida will settle right down after I do this a time or two. It makes it difficult if not impossible for them to act silly. I take her down to a stop, make her stand and flex for a minute then go on. It takes them back to the thinking rather than just reacting state.
 

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This may be something that may help you. I know Vida will settle right down after I do this a time or two. It makes it difficult if not impossible for them to act silly. I take her down to a stop, make her stand and flex for a minute then go on. It takes them back to the thinking rather than just reacting state.
I may recommend this to my mother, she has a ton harder time bringing him back than I do and is constantly trying to find a method to bring him back faster, I'm going to tell her this :D
 

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Just be sure to hav her and your horse practice before she actually has to do it. You have be sure you take your weight to the outside of the turn. There are several videos on Youtube if you search horse one rein stop. I made one but its not too good ;-) so if you see me don't laugh

This is a good one, except she needs to release faster when the horse brings its head around.
 
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