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So one of the new horses we just got is more on his slow side. when you start walking to lead him he like waits for a couple of seconds and then will start but very slowly. I got him to be able to walk faster and to a trot but I have to force it. How could I get him better?
 

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Aaargh. That drives me crazy.

Any horse that I handle has to match my pace. And some don't realize that at first. :p

What I do is make sure they lead well, even if slow. Then I carry a lunge whip in my left hand while I'm leading. I train them to voice commands. Just walk, trot, and whoa. Whoa is never a problem. :rolleyes:

I give the command and when they don't respond I keep moving forward but tap them on their hind end with the whip. I don't look back, my goal is to praise and have the whip dragging on the ground again when they respond. I can't, and don't want to, smack them hard. Sometimes I act as surprised as they are when they get tapped. A cheerful "Oh, hey, you brilliant piece of horse flesh, I thought I had a horse on this line. Nice of you to join me!"

It only takes a few sessions and sometimes I don't carry the lunge whip. I walk fast. I walk slow. I trot fast and slow. I stop at odd times.

This way is more fun and effective than walking backwards and questioning his intelligence.
 

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How is he in the paddock & with his mates? Because while it could be 'just' behavioural - as in, someone's inadvertently taught him to be 'lazy' - which is easy to 'untrain', in the manner Boots suggested - but quite possibly he has a physical prob & he CAN'T be energetic without pain.
 

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It could just be that he doesn't want to work but isn't naughty enough to argue much.

My TWH will stand and stare when you try to lead her and then she'll mosey very slowly. It's her way of "acting up". She also will get really mad and kick her belly when you are riding. She won't buck and she won't refuse. But she tries to tell you she is mad.
 

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It could just be that he doesn't want to work but isn't naughty enough to argue much.

My TWH will stand and stare when you try to lead her and then she'll mosey very slowly. It's her way of "acting up". She also will get really mad and kick her belly when you are riding. She won't buck and she won't refuse. But she tries to tell you she is mad.
Aha I love that. My mare swishes her tail and smacks me on my legs (thighs ouch!) when she's put off. Very disconcerting at first but came to realise very intentional on her part.
 
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