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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I bought a 9 year old TWH about three monthes ago, my first horse, he used to be a hunting horse and is very bomb-proof. The owner was a friend of my father in laws and she took him on trail rides and never had any problems with him, she sold his pasture mate and him after losing her job. Problem I am having is, when I first got him he was very stubborn and would stop very frequently in the pasture and refuse to go, got him over that, and he walks somewhat faster when outside the pasture, but he will NOT go past a walk. I tried popping the reins on his withers and rear, as well as bumping his sides, my wife who has about 18 years experience tried and now my father in law is trying and he still wont run. I don't know what to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, he runs frequently when playing in the pasture and walks without issue, so I don't think that is his problem. He is alone in the pasture, getting a horse for my wife friday, don't know if that can be an issue. Also he is VERY hard headed, I don't know if that is factor also, just never knew a horse who didn't want to run.
 

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Does he move on a running walk? Have you asked the previous owners if they had any trouble with this? As he was a hunting horse, he may have been discouraged from ever cantering or galloping full bore . . .

. . . and, a lot of people think walkers should just stick to walk and running walk unless they are show horses (I know, strange, but aren't all we humans strange in some way? LOL) A vet check is a good idea, too--have you looked carefully at his feet/hooves? Is he shod? Do you have a good farrier? Have you felt up and down his legs for swelling/heat?

Sorry about all the questions, just trying to suss it out!!
 

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Teach him some cues in a round pen or lunge line if you do not have a pen. Cluck for trot or gait and kiss for canter. Help him speed up with a lunge whip and he should learn quickly. Now I don't mean beat him but snapping the whip behind him and if he doesn't respond then snap his behind.
 

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you also may be pulling back on the reins while you are popping him and sending mixed signals. Ask the previous owner how he was trained. Mine isn't cued by kicking him or popping him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Trying to get the contact info for the old owner, she is not a close friend of my in-laws, he has no heat or swelling in his legs that we have noticed but he is very touchy when it comes to touching his legs, he was shod but they came off in the mudd very soon after we got him. Farrier is coming out Feb. 1, will see what he says, but my father-in-law said in his 30+ years having horses he has never shod his, and we noticed no change in his walk after losing the shoes. It seems, as weird as it sounds, that he is traind not to run. But,the old owner said on his last trail ride him and another TWH got about 1/4 mile ahead of the other horses, but I will talk to my vet and see what he says.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I also held the reins loose when popping and bumping his sides. Did both after trying a LONG list of voice commands my father-in-law and wife knew. I want to hackamore train him and use as gentle of encouragement on him as possible, I don't believe in spurs, so I wonder if I shouldn't worry about it til I get him trained, but running a horse IS half the fun, and I want him healthy, definetly will have a vet check him just to make sure my checks didn't miss anything
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just saw the post on the lunge line, I bought one today, my wifes horse is used to it for warming up, they never used one. I am reading Natural Horsemanship, and he talks about lunging to challenge a horse's MIND and BODY, so I was going to buy one anyways, but I will try the whip cracking to encourage him with the sound, really don't want to pop HIM with it if I can avoid it
 

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Maybe he is afraid/unsure of you? Maybe it is the saddle? There are so many things that it could be other than disrespect.

Call a professional before you resort to hitting... that should be an absolute last resort and could exacerbate any possible fear/trust issues he is having.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I use an Aussie saddle, I read it is good for gaited horses. And, I gave him a light pop, definetly not a hitter. Like I said, I tried everything my in-laws 30 years with horses and horse training know, he just wont go. He walks about twice as fast out of the pasture than in, but even at the sight of other horses he wont run. I want him to be able to be true to his nature as a horse and feel that he can run when he wants too.
 

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Any other thoughts? I read on another thread that some gaited horses don't know they can canter/gallop, he does in the field, but could it be he doesn't know he can with someone on him?
 

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As has been said, some are taught that the world will come crashing in on their heads if they break past a walking trot... that could very well be the case with your guy. In that case I have no clue what to tell you...
 

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Any other thoughts? I read on another thread that some gaited horses don't know they can canter/gallop, he does in the field, but could it be he doesn't know he can with someone on him?
It certainly could be that he doesn't know he can or is permitted to. One is a matter of balance and one is a mindset. Either one takes time and patience to overcome.

I know you have said that he moves fine in the field, but it is also possible that while undersaddle he has pain issues that he doesn't have in the field -- whether due to tack fit or the weight of the tack and rider.

Have you tried him bareback? Also, find some rough country to ride in even at a walk to help him to learn balance. Make him learn that his feet can do funky stuff even with a rider on. Move him over and around obstacles of any kind: ramps, tires, trotting poles, fallen logs on angles, any obstacle on a hill, etc. etc.

Depending how much time you are spending on him and depending on the horse himself, 3 months may just plainly not be enough yet. If he has been taught for 6 years never to run, it ain't gonna change in a heartbeat; add new barn, new riders, new tack and it makes for some heavy changes for him to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Will try the lunge line and see how that works out, sans the horse whip. And sorry Honeysuga if I came across harsh, I am just really against cruelty to animals, hence the hackamore training to try and get away from a bit, and don't like insinuations that I "hit" my horse. I pop him like a barrel racer does, but didn't work the first time so no sense trying it again, same with the side bump, just hafta find what works for my TWH
 

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The saddle fit comes first to my mind. could it be pinching, hitting a nerve, causing a problem. DEFINATELY get hold of the previous owners and find out what tack they used on him and if he ever acted this way with them.. Sounds to me like there may be other issues involved.
 

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I didn't think you came across harsh at all... unless that is how you meant it hehe, no problem.

I must say though, that even if the saddle you are using is supposed to be great for gaited horses in general who is to say that this particular saddle does fit this particular horse? I am not saying that it is the problem, but definitely worth looking into a little more closely. When he sweats, is the sweat pattern even over the entire pad area or are there dry spots? These are usually indicative of pinching. Also you should be able to see light between his withers and spine and the tree of the saddle, it should be this way all the way down, if not it could be causing him pain when you are in the saddle and causing him to not want to move...
 

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Just saw the post on the lunge line, I bought one today, my wifes horse is used to it for warming up, they never used one. I am reading Natural Horsemanship, and he talks about lunging to challenge a horse's MIND and BODY, so I was going to buy one anyways, but I will try the whip cracking to encourage him with the sound, really don't want to pop HIM with it if I can avoid it
With practice you can pop it close to them enough to think they are going to get hit. I am glad to hear that you are learning about natural horsemanship. Mine are trained that way and they are trained to stand still when things are flying around like you reins or legs. Also on a loose rein they are trained not to react so it is possible that this horse has had some of this training in it's past but I would think the previous owner would stress taht and give some lessons. I would not sell my horse unless someone was trained properly to ride it but if the horse had changed hands which sounds like it has since you do not have contact with previous owner then stuff may have gor lost in translation.
 

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Any other thoughts? I read on another thread that some gaited horses don't know they can canter/gallop, he does in the field, but could it be he doesn't know he can with someone on him?
My gaited horse run in the feild but have not been trained to do so with a rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't think it is the saddle, I have used my father-in-laws western saddle and rode him bareback for about a month. He also does have even sweat under the saddle pad and I check his back before and after for tender spots, or twitches that a spot hurts to rub or brush. It sounds like from everyones consensus that he may just need training, which I am happy to give to make him happier and as least nervous under saddle as possible.
 
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