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Hi
My 9 year old cob gelding who is normally fairly quiet and calm, fine to ride and only a bit strong on the ground is throwing himself around galloping all over the place and seems to have no respect for me or my family.

So two weeks ago on a hack he spooked when I got off him too close a gate. When I caught up with him, he was jumpy and when I tried to catch him he went a bit crazy, jumping around, and ended up kicking me (never done before with me or previous owners) I put it down to him being scared. Anyway what with injury was unable to ride for past two week so he had just had ground excercise in his field.
When I then started riding him in the field again he was jumpy and kept running back to the gate. So after a ride round the field when he bucked twice (again ner done before) thought instead I'd take him out, thinking he was bored, what with only being being in the field for a couple of weeks.
I live in wales and the path down to the road is steep an rocky so I don't normal ride him down, and though he can be strong the ground I have a minty Roberts dually headcollar so it's not normally a problem but when I went to walk him down he went crazy because I wouldn't let him eat the grass, jumped about kicked out and ran away, and kept running away when I tried to get him, had to get my dad to get him back.

Why is he doing this? Lack of excercise? Boredom? Too used to having his own way from time out from being ridden?

It's even affecting grooming and picking out his feet, he bites stomps and stamp his feet, and wanders off, thugs he was really good for before.

What's wrong and what can I do to change it?
Sorry this is long winded but I don't want to gives up on what was a really god horse.
 

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is.he hurt

Wow thats a big difference. You said he spooked and ran off are you sure he didnt hurt himself when he ran off cause that could cause some mood changes. I would have the Vet come out even if there arent any you can see.
 

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You say "he". Gelding or stallion? Any mares in the area? Even a Gelding can react to a mare in season.

Go back to ground work. LOTS of ground work to get his manners back in line and repeat over and over. NO missing a cue or step. Light use of the end of the lead line, crop or even a whip. BE careful cause HE is testing and may resist and pull IF you have not done this before.

IMO. Good luck and STAY SAFE.
 

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I agree with Sky. This horse is not scared or bored, he is having fun at your expense.

if he is strong on the ground and gets away with ill manners this will escalate to when you are riding. he knows he can trample all over you so he does.

A dually halter can be good if it is correctly used. However, I would prefer a Be Nice halter but again, you have to know how to use them and get the timing correct.
I would ride him down the track, if he is safe when he pulled away from you and charged off then he is safe for you to ride down the track.

All in all you need a trainer both to sort this bully of a horse out and to help you learn to read the signs and correct the behaviour before he can get away.
Horses do not suddenly loose their manners, they test the boundaries and push them further and further until they can do what they want. This is what has happened with your horse. He needs to be put in his place fast.
 

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I have a question is the gate the way in and out of the field? How big is the field? Is he at home or at a barn? What was your routine before the incident with the gate? Like what did you do when you have taken him out hacking? It seems and I agree with the other replies that he is testing you, back to groundwork is the best bet, also recognizing the feeling of what he feels like before he starts bucking and testing you. Shut him down as my trainer calls it. I know it sounds weird but, it has already become 2 times and 3 times it becomes a habit. This is a far idea, but check the saddle I bet you have already done this. I have a few cobs at my barn, they can defininty be pushy. Groundwork go back to basics, define where your space is and that you are in charge not him. That does not mean get all ugly at him but you need to forceful. An idea is I don't know if you have an arena but work him in there once his ground manner, he may be thinking that the field is where he can take off, be cause that is what you have been soon going out for hacks. If he has horse friends back at your house he may be herd bound but doesn't seem like it from your description hope you figure this out and be safe! Oh and sorry for how long this is
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Sounds like he tried a spook with you to test you.. you unfortunately didn't pass his test...and now he has your number.

Get help... a trainer you trust.
^^^^this and I hate saying this but he's been testing you for awhile and you haven't noticed to make the proper corrections.

It does take some horses longer to lose all respect for the human but, eventually all of them will if they're not properly and fairly disciplined.

Please locate a good trainer for both you and the horse before you end up in ER and a good horse ends up getting sold because he won't listen anymore:)
 

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You may not like this but the next time a hoof comes at you immediately hit him once as hard as you can with a riding crop. He'll jump because of the sharp pain and surprise but it will sure get his attention. Be sure you are out of his kick zone when you do this and don't have him tied. He's testing his limits and will continue to expand them until you or a trainer shows him "what for". And don't overthink his behaviour or make excuses for it. He has figured out what he can get away with and is now dangerous.
 

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Hi,

How long have you had him? How old is he? What would you say your riding/training experience is? What does 'only a bit strong on the ground' mean? Why I ask is that I tend to think it likely that those that suggested he's just worked out how to get the better of you are right. But it's also very possible his behaviour is due to pain(eg saddle fit, injury, bit pain, etc) so I'd want to be definitely ruling that out/treating before looking at it as purely training.
 

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I like many of the current suggestions. I would also think about his feed and whether he is being overfed any high energy feed, and if so, take him down to a grass hay based diet only for now. These cobby types usually do fine on such a diet and tend to get overzealous if fed grains or high energy feed unless they are really being worked hard.

Next I would put this boy to *work*. Start on the ground with lunging using constant direction changes, backing, moving all body parts....make him move, get him really listening to you, wondering what you are going to ask next. Praise him when he does something right, but quickly move from one thing to another to keep him guessing.Clinton Anderson's lunging for respect 1 & 2, very helpful stuff. Also his sending excercises, getting the horse to go where you want him to with escalating aids until he responds, really gets the horse focused on you.

On his back I would initially do some giving of the five body parts to make sure he is responding and safe, and then *work*. Lots of trotting at first, smaller circles, frequent direction changes, frequent gait tranistions. Stop, back up, trot off, I mean *move his feet*. He should be so concerned about what you are going to ask of him next he has no time for naughtiness. Then move on to cantering circles, if he throws in a buck drive him foreward, hard, get him tired. Also with cantering, I like to do a lot of sharp stops, backing, immediate canter departure. Gets the horse working off his hind end and makes him pay attention.

Most horses like this, you can gradually decrease the intensity of the work and make the schooling a little less intense. They start to realize that if they behave, life is easy, if not, they get put to work. Some though, will need constant work to do to keep them occupied. I don't like those guys, they exhaust me their brains just never seem to settle. Being the cobby sort, I suspect your fellow is just testing the waters and getting into mischeif without enough work to do. Most horses need to be put to work when they start to act up every so often, my own mare no exception. Especially when they are first getting to know you, they are testing you. Let him know that if he has the energy to act up, he has the energy to do some hard work for you. He should quickly gain respect for you.
 
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