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Hi!
I recently got a new horse. She is a 15 year old quarter horse who basically has not been ridden in ten years. She is doing well but there are a few issues that I am having with her.

First, she refuses to turn to the left. I try to turn her head that way and she whips it the other way. I can sometimes get her to turn left at a walk but not always, and never at a trot.

Second, she always tries to stop by the gate of the arena.

Third, she will not stand still for me to get on her.

Finally, sometimes she will not let me catch her in the pasture.

Overall, she has been great, but these problems make it difficult to train her. It seems kind of like she does not like being ridden, but we have a great bond developing on the ground. What should I do?
 

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since she has not been ridden in ten years, she might need a bit of a 'tune up' with a professional trainer. You could work with that trainer, too.


Not wanting to turn one direction sounds like a physical issue, perhaps in her neck or poll.



Her stopping by the gate is her wanting to get out of work. For that you have to stop her and get off, at the end of your ride, NOT by the gate. You also can have her do more work near the gate. But, to be honest, I think her issues are two fold:


something physical that makes going left difficult or painful


and she has not been in work for a long time, so sees no reason to start working now, and you are not experienced enough to change her mind.


Vet check . . and professional trainer tune up. That's the ticket!
 

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First, she refuses to turn to the left. I try to turn her head that way and she whips it the other way. I can sometimes get her to turn left at a walk but not always, and never at a trot.
Hi & congrats on the new horse.

First & foremost, did you have her checked out physically, to make sure she doesn't have any issues that make it uncomfortable to be ridden? And saddle fit - a common pain for horses - is it comfortable for her? Has she had her teeth attended lately(on av they should be done yearly)? Always rule out/treat any physical issues before 'working' a horse, and always consider the possibility of physical issues whenever you have other 'issues'.

Secondly, what is your training experience level, and has she had any 'refresher' training? If the horse was only ridden until she was 5yo, she may well have been quite 'green' & little educated in the first place, then she's had 10 years doing... nothing? I'd personally start a horse like that from scratch. If she did have good training in the first place, you'll 'breeze' thru, but if there are any 'holes', you can 'fill' them before going on with 'higher' stuff.

As for specific above - it may be that the bit hurts her mouth, or her teeth are bad, so she doesn't want to turn one way, or the saddle digs into that shoulder... whatever. If it is purely a training thing, I'd want to first ensure she can yield in all directions easily on the ground before asking for it when ridden. When riding I would NOT be asking for a trot at all until she was yielding softly & reliably in all directions at a walk.

Without seeing exactly what's going on, with so little info here, can't tell you whether it's how you're doing it that's the prob, so I suggest you find a trainer or experienced person to come watch & advise first hand.

Second, she always tries to stop by the gate of the arena.

Third, she will not stand still for me to get on her.

Finally, sometimes she will not let me catch her in the pasture.

Overall, she has been great, but these problems make it difficult to train her. It seems kind of like she does not like being ridden,
So sounds like you're a beginner & you have a 'green' horse. So you need a trainer, to both establish what she knows/doesn't & ensure she's well enough educated for you, and to teach you how to handle & train her. Otherwise it's... the blind leading the blind.
 

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Congrats on the new horse!
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A good, well trained horse should not be throwing those fits even if it has been years since it has been last ridden.
I personally with those issues would work from ground before beginning under saddle.
Lets start by not wanting to turn left, I'm not sure how you have been handling it but it most likely got worse if she got her way and you turned right instead. So rather than letting her get away with it, lets take it back to basics. I would start by lunging first to the right side and then to the left. From ground you will be able to tell which side she's better on (probably the right). Walk her around the arena like you would under saddle and ask her to turn left, if she were to give you a problem I would lunge her again in that same spot to indicate that what she had done was bad. Always associate bad behavior with work rather than hitting or letting them get away with it. Always remember that once she gives in and she does it (it does not have to be perfect) leave her a lone for the rest of the day. Patience is key when it comes to horses.
I hope this helps! :cowboy:
 
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