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Bareback VS Saddle

2840 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DraftyAiresMum
:runninghorse2:
Okay, so no, I'm not new to this site, and yes, this is my first post for this account.. Tada.
Okay, so anyways, on October 1st (yesterday), chaos happened with plans and ways to get home from school and I ended up having a friend over. She's amazing with horses and is basically an expert... Sometimes I feel like such an idiot around her when anything involving anything in life happens. But that's not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about my horse embarrassing me and being good for one person but never with me...

Okay, so this is how it began. We followed my horse around the front and back pastures for ages, trying to catch him. We eventually caught him in the front pasture after maybe forty minutes of following his stubborn butt around. We haltered him and then, once he realized his mom didn't have the saddle, he was SOOOOOOOOOO calm. He does that, like always, but for once, her wasn't being such an ***. He was actually being a good boy around strangers. I don't get it. Maybe because she's a horse genius. I don't know. Anyways, she got on him bareback eventually and he didn't fight or freak out like he usually does when there's a saddle on him. I don't know if it's my saddle or not but every time he has a saddle on, he's a jerk, and apparently (I've never ridden him bareback nor have I seen it happen) being bareback is his favorite way to ride... Is it because he's worked "super hard" (he's just told to go) whilst under the saddle and only really walks when bareback? He's green broke but I plan on riding him in barrels and stuff but as you can see, he's a butt with saddles... And you have to have a saddle to run barrels (I know you don't have to have saddles just for fun)... I don't know. Is anyone else's horse like this? Does anybody else's horse(s) hate saddles and know how to fix this? I don't understand why.. The saddle could be too small, but I'm not entirely sure. JEesh, I can hardly get it on him but I doubt it's because of the size... Maybe. I don't know at all. :pinkunicorn: He needs to quit being a pain and needs to learn a little bit of respect, yes, but he's not as nearly as bad with me as he is with other people (except for my friend apparently) so... I dunno. Give me advice please lol XD
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In addition to what Saranda suggested, I would ask you to consider your relationship with your horse.

Horses generally respond better to an individual who displays consideration towards them.

Gaining the respect of a horse is not achieved by approaching a horse as if it is a stubborn jerk and a pain. You might achieve obedience if the horse shuts down and submits, but you won’t achieve respect.

If you want to gain the respect of a horse, you should show the horse respect and try to understand the relationship from the horse’s point of view. This does not mean that the horse will control the relationship. It simply means you should try to understand how horses think and act and approach the situation with this in mind.

A good relationship is developed through understanding. Understanding is usually developed through communication. Communication is a two-way street. People and horses come together without a common language. A language needs to be developed.

Learning is best achieve in a calm environment. Horses live in the now. You must focus on the present when you are with a horse. Don’t think about what you did earlier or what you will be doing later. Don’t think about how the horse acted last week, yesterday, or even several minutes ago. Deal with things in the present.

It would be difficult to establish good communication between two individuals if one of those individuals takes the approach that the other is stupid or stubborn because he doesn’t understand the language he is hearing. A better approach is to try to help the other individual understand.

If a horse doesn’t appear to understand, try to explain what you are trying to convey in a slightly different way. Any time the horse appears as though he is beginning to comprehend, let him know – reward him in some way. If you do not let him know that he is responding correctly, he may try something else which is likely to be wrong and be punished for it. This is can get very confusing.

Don’t try to “make” your horse understand. Try to “help” your horse understand.
 

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I can almost guarantee you that your saddle is a significant part of the problem. Your attitude toward the horse is the bigger part, as TXhorseman pointed out.

My gelding used to be a pain under saddle. Never anything dangerous, but just wouldn't listen. I tried different bits. I tried different techniques. Then one day my best friend hopped on him bareback and he was a completely different horse. Soft, responsive, an absolute angel. I had convinced myself that my saddle fit even though I knew it didn't because I loved that saddle. But, when he was better bareback, I took a step back and really looked at how my saddle fit. I ended up selling the saddle and getting one that actually fit him. He's 1000% better under saddle now.

Your riding could also be a factor. Your friend might be a quiet rider with quiet hands, good balance, and a forgiving seat. A lady at my barn has a mustang/QH cross mare who was being an absolute pain for her. Wouldn't trot under saddle and hardly wanted to move at all. We checked saddle fit and it was fine. My best friend rode the horse (who, despite some of her major faults when it comes to working with horses, does have a good seat and fairly quiet hands) and the mare was fine. Then we watched the lady ride and knew exactly what the problem was. She was completely stiff and bracing against the stirrups, which caused her to bounce all over this poor little mare's back. Small wonder she didn't want to work and was not pleasant while being saddled!!

Some horses are more opinionated about saddle fit than others. My old gelding was a complete monster if his saddle didn't fit perfectly. Same with a friend's gelding. My current gelding is more forgiving, but he still doesn't like it when his saddle doesn't fit like it should.

I agree with everyone else. Have someone who knows what they're doing evaluate the fit of your saddle, get a vet and/or chiro out to make sure your horse isn't sore, and then get some lessons for yourself.
 
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