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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so the horse I ride is good in the arena most of the time, however sometimes he just won't go to the arena (I mount before we get there).
I don't like using a whip so does anyone else have any suggestions?
It's not anything medical/pain etc. He's perfectly sound. After a few squeezes I give up and make someone pull him from the ground just to go, then in the arena he's better
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Could you walk to the arena and then get on? The horse has learned that he can ignore you, and show his disrespect. A crop used properly is a tool, I don't know why you don't like them but I would recommend a crop. When you want the horse to move forward squeeze, cluck, spank = ask, tell, make. And you keep doing all three until the horse moves forward, as soon as he moves release the pressure so moving forward is more comfortable then not moving. You could also try yielding his hind end with energy to unstick his feet then ask for forward motion. You need to increase the pressure, making him uncomfortable for ignoring your cue and reward the slightest movement forward by releasing the pressure.
 

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Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing darn difficult.

If he won't walk straight on, back him up or do it sideways... Just keep his feet moving and pony club kick him.

I second the crop use. Horses boot each other to determine pack order.. A whip is a sharp reminder, and so long as you don't get happy clappy with it, then a quick whack on the behind will do more good than bad.

HOWEVER, I can also recommend that you put hat and gloves on and work him from the ground to go through. If you can't get the respect on the ground, you will have less chance when sat on a 650kg flight animal.

You need to think three step rule. Ask, repeat, demand. Squeeze with your legs.. If it's ignored, kick, if that is ignored, unleash hell!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see, so like pressure release.
I don't know I always thought crops were a bit harsh, but now that duffyduck pointed it out, they do fight in a natural herd too.

The problem is, he's a lesson horse and I will ask my instructor if I can have some groundwork time with him, but it's not something that usually happens here (unfortunately) /:

Thanks guys, I'll try this next time.
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Your trainer should assist you, and is always encouraged my pupils to work ground up.

If you sit and hit your horse repeatedly, or whack it because you eff up and get frustrated, that is wrong. A crop is an aid to back up your leg. As a lesson horse, he is probably a bit sour under saddle and trying his best to do nothing.

Used correctly, a crop means instead of pony club kicking and yanking his mouth and getting wound up at each other, you can put his brain back between his ears and remind him you want an hour of his time, then he can go eat some more.

Pressure and release, yes. If he moves his feet, inside rein goes fore and vocal praise is good. But don't over praise, and don't reward bad behavior. He knows his job, he isn't a scared baby or a first time competition horse. He is testing you through and through.

My advice?
Sit deep, kick hard, if he won't move, kick hard and give him a darn good whack..and hang on. Then immediately ask for forward, or leg yield, or shoulder in.. Do not let him plant and stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yeah I think I'll ask her definitely.
Yep, he gets used by beginners so he's a bit. Grouchy.

I get what you're saying. He's a good horse really, I love him, but he's got these moods sometimes D:

Mostly I need to change my attitude, because I always feel bad for the horse, and they never feel bad for me (lol). I just need to be a Lot more in command & firm
Just a small crop right? I don't need a massive whip that makes a loud *** noise.

Thanks guys, I'll let everyone know how it goes, I'm riding him on Tueaday again so, until then ~
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I'd absolutely get the whip and do the ask, tell, demand. When you get after him, GET AFTER HIM. Don't just tap him and annoy him. Crack him one or two GOOD times to get the point across. You won't have to do it again if you do it right!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My only fear of doing that is that the horse will buck me off because he's annoyed :p

But yes, do it once I won't have to do it again.
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farahmay, you've been given excellent advice and I do not feel the need to add to any of it. I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to hear someone open their mind to something they previously had a bias to (use of riding crop). It has been very enjoyable to read this thread and the responses, yours included. Good luck!
 

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I don't know, maybe I have a different opinion. I know you guys are all "do it once and he won't do it again" which would be true if its her horse because she would be setting the standard for training. However he's a school horse being subjected to probably repeated kicking, whipping and yanking. Even if she gets up him once he probably puts up with worse everyday. For the next six days or so people will let him get away with it again, and possibly reward it. So getting up at him one day a week and letting get away with it the other seven isn't really fair on the horse.

Lead him to the arena and get on there. Learn what you need to learn from him and move onto a more advanced mount. He's a riding school beginner mount which means he's great for putting up with beginner riders but he's not going to be responsive, sharp or forward moving because raw beginner horses are like that. It can be a rough life for them and I can't really blame the horse for not wanting to go the arena. Not saying you're bad, but I've seen some beginners bounce, yank, haul, kick - it's not their fault, they're beginners but it can't be pleasant for the horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you walkamile :)

Saskia, I understand your point. I am not a beginner however some beginners do ride him. Our barn doesn't let kids use crops because the horse will just become unresponsive to it.

I will try what everyone else has suggested, is. As saskia has states me riding him once a week really wont make a difference, then I'll just ask for a more advanced mount.

Thank you all for your input!
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