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Don't understand most of your above post sorry OP - punctuation would no doubt help. I did get that you use 'push & release method'. Yes, that(negative reinforcement) is the general method for teaching horses specific cues. What do you do to *reward* what you get from him though? As in, what Good Stuff does he earn in doing what you ask, rather than just the release of 'Bad Stuff'(pressure)? And if he loves to run, do you ever use that as a reward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
He now responds in a positive way to leg. Obviously you didn’t read my first post that stated he used to bolt from the leg. If you look up the method I use it’s one of the methods top trainers use. I started this conversation to try and get some tips not get insulted for my training methods. You have not met the horse and you don’t know his personality so please don’t diss me or him. I would appreciate if I could get nice feedback.
 

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He now responds in a positive way to leg. Obviously you didn’t read my first post that stated he used to bolt from the leg. If you look up the method I use it’s one of the methods top trainers use. I started this conversation to try and get some tips not get insulted for my training methods. You have not met the horse and you don’t know his personality so please don’t diss me or him. I would appreciate if I could get nice feedback.
If this is directed at me, I am not 'dissing'(I assume that means having a go at you?) you at all. I am not being sarcastic or such(know that doesn't come across well in writing), but asking questions/offering advice honestly. Please remember, on a written worldwide forum, it's easy to misconstrue meanings, so please try to assume the best, not the worst of people.

Yes, I did indeed see that he used to bolt from your leg - as others have said, racehorses aren't taught leg aids, so he may never have been trained for that. Good that it sounds like you've been teaching him. Not sure why that's relevant here though. I can't know 'the method' you use if I don't know what it is. Sorry if I missed it, but has it a lable that you mentioned earlier?

Or do you just mean that you use negative reinforcement/pressure-release? Yes, I think everyone(cept 'purist' positive reinforcement trainers) use it. As I said, it's great for teaching specific cues/actions, but what do you do to positively reinforce/reward him for what you get from him? What do you do to teach/encourage him to WANT to do as you ask, rather than it just being a task he must do?
 

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I do not think that anyone is disrespecting you at all. As i read it you are asking what you can do to not have to lunge your horse before you ride and people are trying to answer you.

I have worked with racehorses in the U.K. For many years. I have dealt with both flat raced horses and jumpers. What I do know is that these horses do not tank off when first mounted nor do they buck and mess around. Some, when fit, might think about it but they are soon stopped.

So, something is missing in his training for him to behave this way.

To allow him to buck and mess around when you start to lunge him is, to my way of thinking, telling him it is OK to do so. So, when you do nit lunge him he thinks it is OK to mess around because that is what he does at the start of exercise.

I would also suggest this horse gets less in the way of hard feed and way more turn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
He is turned out full time as I have said before. We have tried less hard feed, all that did was make him underweight. I don’t think you understand that he is simply too strong for people to ride him without being lunged. He isn’t being naughty he is just having fun. He simply has too much energy.
 

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I - and I think others who have replied - do indeed understand he's too 'strong' for people to ride without lunging. At the moment. I'm not sure you are getting that we are generally seeing this as a training issue. That's why we're suggesting not letting him run amok on lead, why we are asking what specifically you are doing to 'retrain' him.

But it is often not JUST about training, too much energy is indeed often a factor, which is why we're suggesting he get more exercise(horses don't always get much when turned out) and asking about diet.

Since you won't tell us what/how much you're feeding, can't suggest any specifics, but from the above, if your horse is on grain or other 'high octane' feed, this is likely a part of the problem, and can cause other health issues too. If you simply reduce/remove this feed, yes, if he's only maintaining body condition on it, he's going to lose weight. So you need to replace those 'calories' with healthier, lower carb 'fuel'. Hay/roughage is always number one, generally best provided free choice/full time, if there's not enough grazing to be had. Extra lucerne/alfalfa, beet pulp, copra meal, rice bran & the likes are good 'supplementary' ingredients for weight gain. Oil can be added to feeds for extra fat(this has to be fed little & often - few meals daily if poss - & added extra gradually.
 

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He is turned out full time as I have said before. We have tried less hard feed, all that did was make him underweight. I don’t think you understand that he is simply too strong for people to ride him without being lunged. He isn’t being naughty he is just having fun. He simply has too much energy.
I think you are viewing this from the wrong angle. I would bet some money that there are a number of horses that are fitter, faster, and hardier (in terms of endurance) than him - in other words "stronger" - that do not display this behavior. You need to address his mind set and his expectations rather than writing this off as "It's his personality."

He's not too strong, he's too impatient, he anticipates being asked to "go," he's nervous about what is about to happen when he's being ridden, or any number of other reasons why he cannot be handled when mounted, especially with generous turn-out.

@loosie also brought this up repeatedly, but you absolutely must reward him for patience. He must get something out of not behaving like a lunatic. As it stands, his behavior - in his mind - has a more preferable outcome for him than any other behavior. Teach him that "being patient" has the more desirable outcome for him. Maybe he thinks that being a lunatic is currently expected of him. Show him with rewards that "being calm" is a perfectly fine strategy for him to pursue. Unless he's in acute fear because of an environmental stimulus, there is no impetus for him to bounce off the walls.

This is but a small example: I mentioned before that I started riding an Arabian show horse on the trails. He gets lunged just to see how he interacts with me. Do you know what the first thing was that *I* taught him? How to not take off at a trot as soon as my fingers touch the lunge whip. It's a show barn with a busy trainer - he doesn't have time for matters of etiquette like this. The second thing was to teach him that "walk" is a perfectly acceptable gait on the lunge line. He doesn't get to trot, and he doesn't get to "whoa" without going through the walk. By far not as extreme an example as yours, but it may illustrate the point.
 

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I ....I let him buck and gallop on the lunge so that he is well behaved when I ride him...But if he stops respecting me even for a second we go back to groundwork until he respects me again...
I have never had experience with an ottb, other than the 17 yr old freebie that me and my twin got for our 7th birthday that gave me my first taste of horses, so I can’t say much... but those two statements kind of contradict themselves there... you said you let him buck and gallop while he’s on the lunge, so he is behaved when you ride him (for me I stopped seeing the point of lunging like that a while ago, my mare drug me around having the time of her life and it got us nowhere but a tired horse that fiiinally listened. One of my friends taught me the method, my horse changed into a thinking horse, one that uses her brain but Im not about to get on until she’s thinking, and bucking is done for.and she WILL NOT get away with bucking whenever she feels like it, she can be coldbacked and she is allowed to let a few rip if she’s fresh or feeling it, but a few good ones and then it’s down to business.) then the second part says when he stops respecting you, you get back on the ground til he starts respecting you again, which is you ...letting him carry on again? do his thing?
 

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Couldn’t figure out how to edit my other paragraph so I figured I’d add this one...since he likes to run, that’s the last thing you want to take out of him. Find a way to direct that energy,I understand he’s strong, horses are big majestic creatures, that outweigh us by far. Since his “lunging” isn’t helping, and if I’m not wrong it sounds like it’s just encouraging him to keep being naughty since nobody is strong enough to handle him, maybe you should try something different, teach him to lunge with respect, which involves changing directions a lot, yielding hq and fq, make him move out for a change and do what you want instead of allowing him to run and buck. If he wants to buck, make him work, show him that bucking and bolting means more change of direction and short circles until he calms down. Teach him to slow down a little and pay attention to you. You aren’t tiring him out, you are just teaching him to use his thinker, and with all his energy it sounds like he should catch on.yes he can run- when you ask him too but you want him listening to you, waiting on you. He can’t just go when he feels like it. With my horse, she can be lazy, she can’t just stop when she says so(we would never go anywhere). I think it’s fair to ask for their attention when I’m around a horse. It’s the same as hanging out with a friend (almost😂). When we are together, it’s no fun when your friend could care less about the conversion and isn’t paying attention.talking/communicating requires focus. It’s a two way street.on the other hand if he’s sore, that could definitely explain some of it, but don’t let him create a bad habit, just because he’s in pain doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants. Anyways I hope you find the advice you’re looking for 🙂
 

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When training working with a horse you need to have a reward that makes horse want to do the right thing. It's not just about pressure and release,especially when you are having trouble with horse. I have a gelding who likes to go and fast. He gets reactive gets going way faster then I like,I know from riding him the warning signs before he bolts. So I redirect him get his attention doing lateral work ,side pass leg yields,and laterally flexing giving to bit.

When he's back to listening I give him a treat,but he has to be in the right frame of mind before I hand him a treat. Yes I do this under saddle I have peppermints I keep in my pocket. Doing this treat thing has made a big difference he settles more quickly,because he knows now that doing the right thing he gets a reward he really likes. I decide when he gets that treat if he gets pushy or to focused on getting that treat,I keep him workings till he gets his mind off getting that treat. Then I give him his treat he's learning I decide when it's treat time not him.

Same deal when working with him on the ground,I use treats but I make sure I'm rewarding behaviors I want, so timing is real important.

When I lunge I use lots of changes of directions so not just going in mindless circles. Also do lots of changes of gaits trot to canter,and canter to walk. I don't let horse buck and just tear around they have to listen and do as I want. Lunging time isnt a free to do as they want time ,plenty of that when turned out to pasture.

I've had trouble with my gelding reverting back to old ways,like being cinchy biting ,kicking and just being ugly. So using the treat rewards and he's slowly starting to get less cinchy but again the timing of giving that treat is very important. Him being cinchy didn't just all of a sudden happen again it started with pinning ears I ignored it. Then he was swishing his tail stomping a back foot he was telling me and I wasn't listening. So these problems don't just pop up out of the clear blue.

I maybe hand out 5 treats between saddling and riding time which is 3 hours,so not giving out a lot of treats.
 

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He is turned out full time as I have said before. We have tried less hard feed, all that did was make him underweight. I don’t think you understand that he is simply too strong for people to ride him without being lunged. He isn’t being naughty he is just having fun. He simply has too much energy.



He has no manners. He is being naughty. That is the long and short of it. Holes in his training or has been allowed to "get the jollies out" on the ground and has decided it must be OK in the saddle as well. Tinyliny, I am sure it is tiny, that I remember saying be as hard as you have to while being as soft as you can. If your horse respects you as the leader and you say "no foolishness - lets get on with business" then there is no need to lunge. His excess energy will be taken care of once you are in the saddle. I personally don't want to ride a horse that I am told HAS to be lunged to be ridden. If I have to do anything more than get him or her in there to evaluate how he will respond to my authority or convince them I am in charge by getting them to focus on me first ( and that shouldn't have to happen every time you ride that same horse) then he needs more training. Maybe possibly if it is a horse that has had to be stalled and is used to being out I'll lunge to take the edge off if I am not up for a good run or hard work session but that is not something you should expect HAVE to do every time you ride. If you (G) are at that point then your horse needs more turn out, less or a different feed, more training or sold off.
 

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My trainer (para Olympian) can’t ride him without being lunged either. He is simply to strong. Usually on the lunge he’s gallops and bucks for a round 5-10 minutes but if he is hot that day it can be up to half an hour. He’s gotten much better with listening too me and respecting me. Please also keep in mind he had two years off before I bought him not being handled at all. He is in a paddock full time. Please keep the replies coming though I really appreciate them. 😄
What is your trainer's disability?


The galloping and bucking should be something he does on his time not yours. How big is his paddock? Does he get turn out with other horses?

It shouldn't matter the amount of time he has had off.
 

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With me, horses that want to mess around get worked. I do not mess around with trying to get them to walk in the arena but take them out and about. If they mess around they are made to trot, I head for the hills and after trotting them up a steep hill they soon settle and realise that when I am riding them it isn't worth messing around, they need their energy to get around wherever I choose to take the,

If you cannot get out on the trails then much the same in the arena, he would be worked hard, trotting and cantering in small circles, bucking would earn a hard crack of the whip and a double boot on his sides with my hands high so he couldn't get his head down. Trying to tank off would result in being pulled into a tight circle and made to keep going until his sides were heaving and he looked like he had just had a bath.

As for,feed, there are plenty of feeds for weight gain without high energy.
 
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