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Discussion Starter #1
So today, I go out to ride Ice and long story short it ends with him taking off towards the gate, me dropping my reins and then bailing out. He's been very "get up and go" ish, and a whole lot brattier, since he discovered that he could canter. That's all he want to do. So, being a race horse, he does it, and forgets about whether I want him to or not. Tomorrow, if I'm able, I'm going to go out and run him in the round pen till he never even thinks of cantering ever again. I also plan on checking the resident western trainers rates at my barn (she follows clinton anderson, just so everyone knows). Anything else that I should do? I would have gotten back on him, but a few people thought I should go get checked out by the ER so thats what I did.

He "knows" how to one rein stop--as in when he feels like bending his neck, he'll do it, but if he stiffens up, I might as well be yanking on a tree trunk. He also, when he's not feeling bratty, understands verbal cues to the point of where I can talk him down from having a fit with my seat and my voice. So thats all good, but is there anything else?
 

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Where do you ride? Are you in an arena, ring, round pen. I would take him in the round pen to start and work on transitions, getting him into the canter for a stride or two and then bringing him back down to the trot or walk, etc.
 

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maybe instead of cantering him, or lounging him at a canter.... Try walking him for abit, and maybe some trotting. but dont go any faster than that. Until he learns to listen to you better..
 

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My mare almost dumped me day before yesterday. She hates being ridden in my english saddle (or bareback) and she went nuts. Luckily I stayed on but I hopped off and grabbed my lunge line and trotted her around until she was puffing. i didn't get back on her (I was at home alone and I have issues riding when no one is home anyway o I wasn't going to get on a bratty horse in case something happened) but I think she got the picture and Im just going to throw the western saddle on from now on. Squirly horses in the weather we rare having.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just to be clear, we were trotting. Or supposed to be trotting. I wanted him to walk so we could go back to the gate, and he said "uhh, NO" and took off. We were riding in the arena at the time. I ride Western to begin with, and hes usually very respectable--until last month I did something he didn't like and he decided to buck and take off....when he figured out he could canter. I stayed on that time, because I managed to keep my reins and get him in to a one rein stop.

My philosophy is if he wants to canter thats fine! And then he'll keep cantering, and keep cantering, and keep cantering.....until I want him to stop. Maybe once he learns there's more work in being bad then being good, he'll listen to me.
 

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I agree with you that the horse should maintain the gait you choose until you say otherwise. Ground work will go a long way to get his respect. But eventually you will have to ride him again and it sounds like you need some breaks before you engage the engine. When he jumped into the canter, the best thing to do would have been to shut him down immediately with a one rein stop. When you do get on him again, teach him the one rein stop at the walk, then trot and finally canter. Any time he makes a decision about speed that is contrary to what you want, shut him down right away. It might take a few rides, but eventually he'll figure out that he won't get anywhere with that tactic. Of course then he'll pick another fun one like backing up or something, but that's another post....
 

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I don't think this is an "oh, yay, I want to canter" situation but more a "I do not respect you and know when I get going there is nothing you can do to stop me" situation.

In this case cantering him until he is exhausted is probably not goignt o help too much.

You need to work on him respecting your every cue at the walk before you move to the trot. Then same for the trot before you canter.

If he is bracing his neck at with the one rein stop and not stopping, you are doing it wrong. It is not just crank his head to the side and hope he stops, he will either do exactly as he is and resist, or keep going and possibly fall and hurt or kill you both.

What he should be doing is moving his hind end away form your leg as you bend his neck, this causes him to mentally change gears from "go" to "turn", and in effect he will slow down and stop.
 

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I agree with MyBoyPuck. Only thing I wanted to add is concerning this
me dropping my reins and then bailing out
I wouldn't ever do this unless there was no other option like they're running to something that has a low roof and you're going to get raked off or they're about to go off a cliff or something and you can't stop them. Jumping off when they're naughty just trains them that they can train YOU to get off when they want you to. I've ridden several horses where they learned they can get their rider off and you can't trust them enough to let your guard down when riding.

I also think it's more dangerous to jump off a galloping horse. Most people do not know how to land correctly and will get hurt. I always stick with the horse and if I can't stop them I stay with them and wait for the opportunity to drive him into a corner or soften up and start listening. You don't want a loose horse or him to put a foot through the reins.
 

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If he is bracing his neck at with the one rein stop and not stopping, you are doing it wrong. It is not just crank his head to the side and hope he stops, he will either do exactly as he is and resist, or keep going and possibly fall and hurt or kill you both.

What he should be doing is moving his hind end away form your leg as you bend his neck, this causes him to mentally change gears from "go" to "turn", and in effect he will slow down and stop.
I was going to write this but I just felt plumb lazy. Also you missed an opportunity to teach him an important lesson...You can ride as fast as he can run. If you were in an arena you should have taken a deep seat and stayed with him. The worse thing that would have happened is you would have fallen off and you did that anyway. Probably he would have ran to the gate and stopped then you could have picked up the reins and proceeded to school him.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
To MBP-yes, thats exactly what needs to happen, lol.....he also needs to "go ridden out of him, and I do not have the velcro butt nor the real solid skills to do so, should he decide he wants to be a nut. Thats where my trainer comes in. I'll feel better knowing hes still only a five minute drive away from me and I can watch the sessions if I choose, but its not so much as having the brakes installed as giving them a tune up. Until last month when he took off on me, I could trot him on a loose rein and he'd never even think of going faster.

HS-You're right, its not a "yay, canter" its a "oh, I remember how this goes--I take off and its way more fun!" Again, he never had a problem with his brakes or his cues until he took off on me last month. Thats when he figured out he could go, and basically get away with it. In this case the cantering him in to the ground will get him to really LISTEN to my cues again--sometimes but not always he ignores the "slow down" cue in the round pen, so I guess its time he learned? As for the one rein stop, he bends fine from the ground and in the saddle. I've one rein stopped him before, the last time he took off on me, but that was a little more controlled than this time. At a walk, he yields his hind end into a turn and if I chose to he could put his nose on my foot. But when he gets his "race horse" brain, he forgets all of that and just knows how to charge forward with his front end and keep going.

Marissa-It wasn't a choice, as soon as he took off I lost my reins. They're thick trail reins and are kind of soft, so they just fell from my hand and that was it. If I'd kept them, I probably would have stayed on and gotten him under control, but at that point I knew it just wasn't going to happen so I rolled off. I've actually fallen once before and forgot to roll, which resulted in me breaking my wrist. So I did teach myself for future purposes, lol. He wasn't galloping, he was cantering, but it was his long and choppy race track canter so he was moving pretty fast. Like I said with my boy puck, I don't have the real solid skills or the velcro butt to sit his new found racetrack fits. Maybe after a few sessions with the girl who used to ride broncos he'll get it, but until then I don't plan on getting on him.

Health wise, I am fine, no concussion, but he did manage to clip me with his back legs (he has stiff stifles!) as he jumped over me, so I have a nice bruise on my thigh. My tailbone is also bruised pretty good, so I wouldn't be in riding condition regardless.
 

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I just do not see how cantering him into the ground can do anything more than tire him out unnecessarily.

How in the world could making him run around in a round pen until he is ready to drop going to make him pay anymore attention to you???

If the one rien stop only works at a walk that is the only speed you should be riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Heres my philosophy on the cantering. When hes in the round pen, although he's paying attention to me (his ears are on me, he licks/chews, etc), sometimes he does not listen to my cues. Normally, I just let it go and he can slow down when he feels like it, but not anymore. Obviously thats a problem. My solution is that if he doesn't want to listen to me when I ask him to slow down the first time, then he won't slow down when he feels like it either. He can go a few more minutes, and then I'll ask him again. If he doesn't want to listen then either, then we can do it some more. Eventually he'll learn there's more work in ignoring me than in listening to me. The only way he's going to run himself into the ground is if he chooses to be a brat and not do what I ask. If he listens the first time, then we won't have a problem, and I won't make him work any more than that.

Its the same philosophy as if he were walking off on me when I tried to mount; lots of people suggest that to get a horse like that to stand still, you teach them its more work in walking away than in standing there and waiting.

Also, for the last two months, we had been w/t just fine. This taking off fit he has every time I ask him to trot is a new development, its only come up in the few weeks. He's developed new muscles, he's a little fatter, and its a little cooler, all things that are probably coming in to play, but I can't fix his thinking if I can't ride him. I could do worse things like throw a horrible bit in his mouth to get him to listen, but all I'm going to do is give him to someone with more experience dealing with unbroke horses, which he essentially is, whos ridden out lots of different things, and she can give him the wake up call he needs to come back to planet Earth.
 

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IMHO, Two things concern me about this. The first is that someone else might be able to "give him the wake up call he needs" but that doesn't help you ride him any better. Secondly, running a horse because you can't handle him isn't teaching the horse that he should listen to you and will only serve to make a stronger horse - more muscle, more stamina, better at cantering/running - which is not what you want. I'd make cantering hard for him - circle him, half halt, bend etc. - get in his way anyway you can. He's in an arena, he's not going anywhere.

Personally, I don't think horses understand the difference between working hard for punishment/correction and working hard because you want them to (doing their job). It's all work to them. What I think really happens with the mounting problem example you gave (where a horse is "worked" when they don't stand still), is that you are shaking up the routine - getting the horse to listen to you first, then taking away the anticipation/routine of mounting- where the horse doesn't know what will come next so he stands and listens to you. It's not so much "work" as it is making the right thing easier for him to do (stand and listen) and the wrong thing difficult (backing, moving, circling, lunging, etc.) With the mounting example, the handler is in complete control of the horse at all times. Not so with the horse you are describing. Using the roundpen to run a horse till he listens to you or drops can cause a horse to become sour to it (and you) and does nothing to help you under saddle. The roundpen is a very very small classroom. You do not want the horse to view it as a place of punishment.

Just my .02 cents worth tho...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, however I don't have the velcro in my pants to keep on him when he takes off--he goes from a walk to a canter by basically leaping forward a la shooting out of a gate on a race track. I am not sure that I can handle that every single time he does it in order to teach him that its not okay....hence getting the trainer, who is very experienced in breaking babies. Once he's gotten his brain back, then I'll proceed to get lessons (which I originally planned to do anyway but now that money will just go to a month or two of training) so that I can work on riding with him. But, as of right now, having someone else ride him would be the only option--my tailbone is pretty bruised up, and my neck and shoulder muscles are pretty stiff as well. He needs work, and I need a break....so that's where I'm at.

I completely understand about the round pen, but how else am I going to teach him to learn to listen? I've learned that the round pen is for teaching, and since I can't get on him, that's my only option.
 

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Leave him alone and let the trainer do it. If you try to run that horse into the ground in a round pen you should bring plenty of help. When you are exhausted the horse will still be going strong. Think about what the horse needs to learn and figure out how to help him learn it.
 

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I don't know if you'll be able to get to this, but I found this article about lunging very helpful. It'll give you some ideas/steps for how to gain his respect instead of just tiring him out and how to use lunging as a training tool. Hopefully this is the right one! The link should bring you to a page where you can click the link to the article.

Horse Lunge Training

Edit: The link is title "Print this Article for Free"
 

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I completely understand about the round pen, but how else am I going to teach him to learn to listen? I've learned that the round pen is for teaching, and since I can't get on him, that's my only option.
Your correct in the above statement, but what other's are trying to say is that running the balls off him is not the answer. Your not teaching him anything by doing this.


Think about what the horse needs to learn and figure out how to help him learn it.
If you aren't able then yes you need to get someone to help you.

Hope you feel better soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, at the time I wrote the original thread, I was not in the best of moods and I was on a considerable amount of painkillers, lol. So "running him in to the ground" was an over exaggeration....He'd probably wear me out before I did it to him. But what I mentioned previously about not letting him slow down on his own terms still holds true.

I also plan on getting him checked out again by the chiro (I still have one session left in my package) to see if maybe his flip outs are because his back is acting up....or if his flipping out has caused something to happen. Then I'll be discussing training options with the trainer, and getting his feet trimmed.... what a way to welcome in 2010!
 
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