The Horse Forum banner

Hot, nervous horse afraid of leg

4072 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Kaifyre
My rescue Paso Fino has a few issues under saddle. His groundwork has improved immensely. His saddle work, not so much.

He stands relaxed for mounting, but the moment you get in the seat he is ready to take off. He whoas for about 2 seconds. Usually I just let him go, as he is difficult to hold and I would rather that energy go somewhere. He will trot very rapidly in circles. He literally does not stop moving the entire ride.

I've been experimenting with riding on a loose rein instead of constantly trying to rate him. This usually results in an extended trot. He has not broken into the canter, although I do rate him if it feels like he might.

He will whoa if I pull pretty hard back. I've been using a one rein stop with slightly better results. He circles to a stop, but again does not want to hold it. The minute you release he wants to move forward. Which means I have to keep repeating the one rein stop.

Forget about adding leg. You can't even touch his sides. My attempts at even adding a turning aid, result in him spinning around in a circle. Now he is fine with dangling stirrups on the lunge and hand pressure on his side's. But with a rider up, no way!

I finally got a good whoa at the end of our ride tonight which I used as a good ending point. Of course, by that time he was covered in sweat and getting tired.

He does listen to voice somewhat, and he rates sometimes. He turns really well based on rein alone. But he has a long way to go.

I'm tempted to have someone bring out a bucket of grain and hand feed him while I sit up there. Something to build trust, as right now he is ready to jump out of his skin. He feels like a keg of dynamite.

I will say he really doesn't do anything bad. His attitude is pretty good. He does get annoyed with the one rein stop, but ears go up as soon as we move forward again.

He does not gait. He does a trot without the suspension.
See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 15 Posts
Good suggestions above.
Do not just let him go! That can escalate to the point the horse bolts, soon as you put a foot in the stirrup
There are quite a few threads here, on horses that won't stand for mounting, so won't be repetitive
Not knowing the history on this horse, a lot of gaited horses are just taught foreward , so going back and teaching some basis is a good place to start.
Go back and teach on the ground first, that whoa means not just to stop, but stop and wait to be told to go again
Agree with above. It is not the horse, but the training
I mean, what kind of training has a horse tied to mount, and then released to zoom off! Any horse trained like that is going to be ansty and have go but no whoa.
I know a woman, around my age, so no spry chick!, that bought a Paso off someone that used to run a trail riding outfit around the Crows Nest Pass, and that horse is a calm and easy to ride as any other horse, in a plain snaffle, although he can move out!
Horses ride better in around pen, because they soon consider those walls as controlling and guiding them.
That is why good trainers don't ride in a round pen for very long. The fact that he does not ride well outside of that round pen, has me seeing a horse with little training, as a possibility, as much as having the possibility of having been subjected to 'standard Paso' training methods.
While some rescue horses truly have been abused, many are just not trained or handled much.
Have you started many horses from the beginning?
Going right back to basics in good under saddle training, would still be the place I would start
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 3 of 15 Posts
Not open for further replies.