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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 5yr old QH is an extremely nervous horse it seems like. Whenever he is away from the other horses, or they walk away from him. He freaks, starts rearing, pacing, sweating. Will NOT stand still. If i am next to him touching him he is alright (for the most part, still paces) he calms down a bit. Once i walk away, its all bad. He starts screaming and rearing, etc etc. Even if i walk a few feet away from him to grab tack. We recently moved him to a boarding facility while we fix up our barn. As far as riding, he has never rode with another horse that he doesnt know. A gal at the facility was getting a lesson. Soon i started to mount him, he reared and flipped over. Eventually i got on him, as soon as i sat down on the saddle he took off towards the horse. You can imagine the fight that we had over this. I pulled his head to my foot to stop him, yet he continued to sidepass towards the other horse. Eventually i got him to go forward, then he would spin around and take off again. The gal riding went to the outside arena. Because ofcourse we were getting in the way of her lesson with my horse relentlessly trying to get to her horse. So we are riding in the arena alone.. every single time we pass the gate, no matter how much i pop him with the crop or use my spurs on him he stops and screams. I tried doing exercises around the gate, that led to repetitive rearing and screaming. Then i decided to work in the middle of the arena and working on lead changes. Which went better then the rest of the time. Today i rode him again, this time alone. But the same old thing, trying to rear when mounting, taking off towards the gate, stoping at the gate, constant screaming, pacing. I know its a phase and he is a baby and still learning, but honestly im lost with what i can do to try to calm him? He relies on me or the other horses as a comfort, he is not independent. I know separation is the best thing, but right now thats not an option, because of the boarding facility once i get the horses moved home you better believe he will be by himself. I dont want to use a calming agent, because im really not accomplishing anything. I work him in a full cheek snaffle, and i lunge him for 20min before i ride all the time. What are your takes on this? Im desperate for any other ideas. :?
 

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.Delete.

A horse has no conception of time. If you can get your horse to believe that when he is alone or when he is with you, sometime later another horse will eventually show up or he will be reunited with another horse you can fix this problem. Now to convince him of this he has to go through the experience of alone-horse appears, alone-horse appears, alone-horse appears, etc. What you want is for him to get worked up a bit, a horse appears, he calms down, horse leaves, he gets worked up, horse appears, he calms down, etc. The time he is alone before he figures all the horses have left should increase. Eventually he will figure he has no need to get worked up as another horse will show up if he just hangs around. I don't know if your situation is conducive to this but it's an idea.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, i will try that. From my experiences people have told me to "work threw it and he will get over it eventually" But i feel asif he is being a danger to me, himself, and other people around him with this behavior.
 

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Your horse is heard bound. Tie your horse in the stall until he stands quiet. Once he does turn him out for his "reward". Ignore it for awhile because it's going to get worse before it gets better. Unless he's tearing the walls down I wouldn't worry too much.

I wouldn't ride him with another horse until he's ready. And if you absolutely have to I would just work him on the ground before you get on his back. Unless your a 100% confident rider I wouldn't do that. With no offense intended from what you've posted it doesn't sound like you are.

If you lunge everytime you ride and it isn't for respect all you're doing is getting him stronger and stronger, making it easier for him to fight you...

"no matter how much i pop him with the crop or use my spurs on him he stops and screams" This statement scares me, and I would get a professional trainer. It actually makes me want to vomit.. Do i even have to explain why?

From what I've read, it's you. Not your horse, why the HELL would you ride a horse that is rearing with spurs AND a crop?.. I mean what are you thinking? Your horse is probably telling you that all your doing his hurting him. And I bet money that when your horse is starting to spook you grip your legs on his sides, with spurs..

I need to breathe and not go off.. I expected more from you.
 

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He's herd/buddy sour.

Bascially you are going to have to ignore what he is doing and keep working him if you want to accomplish anything.

I work in the arena with other horses, without other horses, start alone, end alone, etc. I will sometimes get a horse who decides they have to drop the shoulder or try and watch the other horse being worked or scream and try to head towards the gate or door when the other horse leaves. I simply change what I am working on. If I have to work on something specifc, the session can end up being two hours long.

Horses are herd animals. You have changed his routine and he is looking for a leader/alpha. Be that alpha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your horse is heard bound. Tie your horse in the stall until he stands quiet. Once he does turn him out for his "reward". Ignore it for awhile because it's going to get worse before it gets better. Unless he's tearing the walls down I wouldn't worry too much.

I wouldn't ride him with another horse until he's ready. And if you absolutely have to I would just work him on the ground before you get on his back. Unless your a 100% confident rider I wouldn't do that. With no offense intended from what you've posted it doesn't sound like you are.

If you lunge everytime you ride and it isn't for respect all you're doing is getting him stronger and stronger, making it easier for him to fight you...

"no matter how much i pop him with the crop or use my spurs on him he stops and screams" This statement scares me, and I would get a professional trainer. It actually makes me want to vomit.. Do i even have to explain why?

From what I've read, it's you. Not your horse, why the HELL would you ride a horse that is rearing with spurs AND a crop?.. I mean what are you thinking? Your horse is probably telling you that all your doing his hurting him. And I bet money that when your horse is starting to spook you grip your legs on his sides, with spurs..

I need to breathe and not go off.. I expected more from you.
Perhaps your assuming that im beating my horse? The statement did sound a bit rough, but trust me i dont "stab my horse with my spurs" I give him pressure with the spurs and pop him in the but with the crop. Nothing more nothing less. I dont abuse the aids i use with a horse. Iv always ridden him with spurs, and he did not start rearing untill i introduced new horses. And no he is not starting to spook when i grip my legs i am very light with my legs. Aswell as everything else. I dont like a horse that is "dull sided" like my pervious show horse so i do everything i can to keep him light and responsive. Sounds as if your biased against spurs? But then again thats the impression im getting from your post, just like the bad impression you got from mine. Riding aids are only as harsh as the rider. And trust me i am certainly not harsh with my aids. I dont see why a pop in the butt with a crop and pressure with spurs is such a horrible thing.
 

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Perhaps your assuming that im beating my horse? The statement did sound a bit rough, but trust me i dont "stab my horse with my spurs" I give him pressure with the spurs and pop him in the but with the crop. Nothing more nothing less. I dont abuse the aids i use with a horse. Iv always ridden him with spurs, and he did not start rearing untill i introduced new horses. And no he is not starting to spook when i grip my legs i am very light with my legs. Aswell as everything else. I dont like a horse that is "dull sided" like my pervious show horse so i do everything i can to keep him light and responsive. Sounds as if your biased against spurs? But then again thats the impression im getting from your post, just like the bad impression you got from mine. Riding aids are only as harsh as the rider. And trust me i am certainly not harsh with my aids. I dont see why a pop in the butt with a crop and pressure with spurs is such a horrible thing.
Trust me, I will use aids when needed, I'm not biased to anything artificial aid. On the other hand if it's not needed or I'm reading what you're dishing out correctly I guess you could say I am a bit "biased".

So let me get this correct, You are taking an already flighty, herd bound horse, that "rears", "freaks", "paces", and "sweats" (all your words) and using spurs and a crop to try and get his attention? The only reason why horses get "dull sided" is because people don't learn how to correctly give and take away pressure. If you're always putting the pressure on and never releasing it the horse will get numb to your leg cues. Using spurs on a horse that obviously doesn't listen to you in the first place is a huge no,no. All you're doing is making the experience worse. It's not like what you're describing is an old 20y/o lesson horse that is lazy and needs a crop or spurs every now and again..

When your horse walks passed that gate, you don't kick him with your spurs and smack him with the crop to try and regain is attention, that screams poor riding skills; A disaster waiting to happen. You have always ridden him with spurs? might I ask why you feel you need them on a horse like what you're describing? have you ever ridden him without spurs or is it just something you think makes your outfit look better? In the beginning if all you do is keep putting pressure on, esp with spurs all you're doing is making the horse numb, so later on in his riding life you will need to have more and more of the pressure.


A five year old horse shouldn't have to be ridden with spurs AND a crop already.. something is wrong here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use the crop for the sole reason to keep him from stoping at the gate, nothing more nothing less. I dont understand why that is such a bad thing? Im not abusing the aid in any way.
 

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He's only stopping at the gate because you're letting him! So why should he have to be punished with a tap from a crop when it's your fault? Someone should be tapping you on your as!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How in the world am i letting him stop? When am i trying everything i can think of to keep him forward past it, yet he slamms on the breaks everytime. I have never stopped him at that gate before. So please, explain how am i letting him.
 

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A five year old horse shouldn't have to be ridden with spurs AND a crop already.. something is wrong here.
Just quickly - Spurs aren't a disciplinary tool - I know plenty of 5 year olds who are ridden with spurs for refinement and do great.

*

Okay. I have sympathy! Latte is also very herd bound. She was 5 when i got her and was still in a paddock with her dam :S.

Horses will always revert to what they learnt first. When Latte gets uppity because the other horses are leaving, I go back to our basic, ridden work at a walk. I ride her in a smal figure eight, small enough that I can get a good bend going. I bend her a bit more than usual, and focus on changing the bend through the middle. If she stops and puts her head up to neigh, the inside rein opens up as astrongly as needed, inside legs goes on, and she needs to get bending around my leg immediatly. The big plus is that this disengages the hindquarters which takes away any ability to rear/buck. I also use my voice - If she scoots her butt under and throws her head up to try and dash toward the others, I will also growl low in my throat while asking her to bend around my leg - The second I get that bend and submission, growling stops, and I just keep her bending forward and continue on our figure eight.

Once I have attention, I move it up to a trot, and I keep it at a trot until she is getting tired. I don't stick to a firgure eight, but I do stick to circles and keeping a bend through her body. I mgiht do two left circles, then one right - make a snowman - Do one big circle then one small. I sometimes halt and back up in the middle of two circles, looking for the bend through the poll and soft back up, then continue on my new circle.
 

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.Delete. it sounds like your guy is herd bound. This can be worked through but it does take a lot of effort. To better help you I would need to know a little bit more about his past riding/training experiance. When he was first learning to ride was it by himself, sometimes with others, or always with his buddies? It almost sounds like it was always with his buddies but I could be wrong. Generally I find that if I start a horse and he is in a herd but comes out to work with me and ride by himself he transitions quite well.

If however he only ever rides with his herd buddies then they don't learn that being with just me is safe (my mom's horse is a little bit like this).

My other question is how is your relationship with him? Does he see you as a safe alternative to a horse? If you have a good relationship with him, take him places (in hand) that he normally wouldn't go...down the driveway, into the bush and see how he reacts. Do you ever take him for trail rides? or is it all in an arena setting? I have found that if I take my young horses on trails they learn to deal with scary situations and trust me (I will do this with other horses until they are confortable being ridden then move to just us)

Anyway if I could have a little bit more info I might be able to help better.
 

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White foot just because someone doesn't agree with what you are saying doesn't mean they are wrong. I train with spurs sometimes to on young horses...it's all in how you use them and the needs of the horse. You can't make a decision on her methods if you don't have all of the info.
 

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Wild spot, I do have access to an outdoor arena and still do 90-95% of my training on the trails. You have to use all of the skills that we teach in an arena but it's for a reason. I find that my horses understand better if they are shown "why" I'm asking them do do things the way I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for your response WildSpot, we do lots and lots of bending, and circles and such. He was pulled out of a pasture at the age of 4, and has been with about 8 horses his entire life just out in a field. I dont have that much experience starting older horses, do they tend to be more herd bound?
 

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I don't either - Latte is the first horse i've started, lol. I would say it doesn't depend so much on age but living conditions up until that age - in the case of both Latte and your boy, they are used to being with a herd and have never really had to adjust to being away from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
.Delete. it sounds like your guy is herd bound. This can be worked through but it does take a lot of effort. To better help you I would need to know a little bit more about his past riding/training experiance. When he was first learning to ride was it by himself, sometimes with others, or always with his buddies? It almost sounds like it was always with his buddies but I could be wrong. Generally I find that if I start a horse and he is in a herd but comes out to work with me and ride by himself he transitions quite well.

If however he only ever rides with his herd buddies then they don't learn that being with just me is safe (my mom's horse is a little bit like this).

My other question is how is your relationship with him? Does he see you as a safe alternative to a horse? If you have a good relationship with him, take him places (in hand) that he normally wouldn't go...down the driveway, into the bush and see how he reacts. Do you ever take him for trail rides? or is it all in an arena setting? I have found that if I take my young horses on trails they learn to deal with scary situations and trust me (I will do this with other horses until they are confortable being ridden then move to just us)

Anyway if I could have a little bit more info I might be able to help better.
I started him by himself, up untill now he has been out to pasture by himself since he has been here with me. I have not taken him out on a trail yet, i do plan on it! I havent had the time (with moving into a new house as soon as the wether gets good enough to get my trailer out) He has been ridden all over my old property, and has done fine. Its just he has never been exposed to different horses he doesnt know. I feel asif we have a good relationship to an extent, he will follow me anywhere (so far). If i am on the ground with him, next to him, interacting with him, close to him. He is fine, still screams and paces a bit. But for the most part is fine
 

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Wild spot, I do have access to an outdoor arena and still do 90-95% of my training on the trails. You have to use all of the skills that we teach in an arena but it's for a reason. I find that my horses understand better if they are shown "why" I'm asking them do do things the way I am.
I definately agree with this - Horses learn much better by doing. Sidepassing is so much clearer when a gate whacks them in the hiney if they don't :]
 
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