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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'd like to do some Trail classes at the fair with my 21-year old paso fino gelding. Maybe a few Western Pleasure, a halter class if his confo is determined to be excellent, and maybe a walk, trot, canter class or something.
Arthur's one hangup is this: My family kept him and a few other riding horses at our house for a long time. 15 ish years. Then my mom got a divorce, and a few years later, when I was 6, we had to lease the two horses we still had (the others had passed of old age over time), Arthur and a Missouri Fox Trotter named Beau who were best friends, to a couple with open spots in their barn an hour away while my mom got her life back in order from the divorce. They paid for the vet, farrier, feed, bedding, etc, and rode them whenever they wanted. I got to see them only about 5 times during those 2 years. Then we were able to move Arthur (Beau had foundered) to my mom's friends barn, which was 5 minutes away from our house. Her friend had a horse that needed a friend, as his companion had recently died. I was 8 years old, so I took care of Arthur every day, rode often, etc. 2 years later, my mom's friend called us to tell us that she was selling her horse, and Arthur needed to be moved. I had an idea....I got our barn and pastures ready, working for months. By the time my mom's friend's horse was sold, Arthur was back on my property. I was overjoyed. We bought Lulu, a miniature horse mare, to keep him company. Arthur hated her. They annoyed the crap out of each other for a full year. However, when we bought a Paint Clydesdale gelding and a Welsh stallion, Arthur, being dominant, took to herding Lulu around incessantly. I couldn't ride Arthur now without ponying Lulu. It got really annoying, and has been going on for 2 years. I cannot ride Arthur anywhere without Lulu coming with us. He freaks, and does not cooperate. I try to assert myself and tell him who's boss by circling him in the back pastures. I make him walk away from the barn where Lulu is, and I have to kick him the whole way. He fights me the whole time. However, on the stretch of the circle heading in the direction of the barn, I have to keep him on such a tight rein. He just won't slow down. It is sooo annoying. He used to hate Lulu, but ever since we've had the stallion and the other gelding, he drives me insane. HAS to be near her. I can't groom him in cross ties without Lulu being there in the barn aisleway with him. How the heck can I stop this?? I obviously can't have her running behind us in the show ring at the fair! I know him. He won't perform if Lulu isn't there. And Lulu is not the best horse I've ever known. She bucks at Arthur the whole time we canter in the back fields, which gets Arthur going. If Lulu feels like hanging back on the ride, Arthur will wait for her and i CANT get him to go forward!! Should I use spurs?? A crop?? I don't want to hurt him. Sorry for the really long explanation....Here's a video of us riding. You can see how Arthur's fine with Lulu following us, but when she slows down, he halts and waits. And I sit there kicking like a maniac trying to get him to move.


Do you think he'll stop this behavior if I sell the other gelding and the stallion? I need to sell them anyway to make room for my friend, who will hopefully be buying and boarding a horse on my property soon.
 

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heres an idea............. how about sell the mini? It sure seems like you go through horses fast, to sell the other two before you sell the mini.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The other horses died of old age. Beau foundered because the people we leased him to put him out on fresh grass for too long too early. We have to sell the other gelding because he bites and kicks really badly, which his previous owners never informed us of. The stallion I need to sell because he's stressing Arthur out, who's herding Lulu around like crazy. If I sell Lulu, Arthur will be heartbroken. I don't think I can do that to him. His obsession with her started as a show of dominance, but it's matured to an actual bond. To the extreme. I mean, you should have heard him crying when I took Lulu in the back pastures to be lunged the other day. It was pitiful
 

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!!!! (thunderhooves you're so awesome xD)

*ahem* back to the matter at hand--You should probably try working with him on the ground first before getting up into the saddle. Just practice walking away from her by picking a spot 'x' distance away, and go there. Let him fight and cry and do whatever else, but don't let him turn around, just keep facing away from her. When you get there, don't let him return to lulu until he stands quietly and responds to you willingly, and then when you are returning, make sure he walks quietly--if he rushes, you back him up and stop. Eventually he should learn that the quieter and less freaky he is, the faster he'll get back to his girlfriend!
 

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Hey its me. I just think you should sell steely and sonyy. you cant do anything with sonny. and i think arty feels that steely is more dominantthan him, and you dont have to sell lulu. when i put my horses there arty will have company so he might not feel so protective over lulu
 

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He'll get over it. And its not liely he will stop if the others are gone and more come in. :) i hope you'll figure it out! it's just like weaning; you have to seperate the mom and baby, and the baby gets all sad looking and pitiful, but its for the best. :) And the foal gets used to it after a while.
 

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Yes, you should seperate them if you are able. Like, in seprate pastures/stalls/ etc.
 

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I agree with Thunderhooves and 21Animals start separating them. I wouldn't let Lulu follow you out on a ride either it's just encouraging the behavior. You need to teach Arthur to pay attention to you not Lulu. Circles, gait changes, serpentines, direction changes are all your friend. At this point it doesn't sound like he respects you as the leader so he doesn't listen to you.
 

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Is he bucking/rearing/spinning? Or just refusing to go forward? I didn't really see anything terrible in the video, it actually seemed like you were letting him stop and wait for her.

I don't have very much experience with spurs so I'll leave that alone. A well-placed "smack" MAY be helpful, however you could run the risk of him figuring that he only needs to listen when you have the cropp with.

Personally I would just use your legs and seat to encourage him to move forward. The old "ask, tell, demand" can work wonders. It really is amazing how much "pressure" you can put on a horse using just your body and "normal" tack. Just be sure to let up right when he gives you what you want. Even if he gives just the littlest bit, release the pressure. He might go right back to balking, but he'll start to figure out that pressure goes away when he gives you what you're asking for and it should be long before 1 step = a nice forward ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In the video, I was telling him to stop because my mom, who was filming, was telling me to wait for Lulu. Arthur went forward on my command because he knew she was following. I wish I could get a video of what he's like when I take him out and leave her in the barn....I'll try to. When we go out without her, he doesn't buck or rear, but he does try to spin around so I have to keep a tight hold on him. He cranes his neck around and tries to go the other direction, which is towards her. When I do walk him in the direction of the barn where Lulu is, it's all I can do to keep him at a walk. He fights the bit in an effort to get to her. What works with him sometimes to slow him down when I'm leading him is a slap to the stomach with the ends of the reins. I wonder if I should try that?
 

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Going away from the barn I would just ride out the spins. Keeping him moving forward and keep asking him to pay attention to you. Try serpentines, gait changes, halts, etc.

Going towards the barn this is what worked for me and buddy sour horses before. He would also try to rush home. I would turn towards home and ask for a slow calm walk on a loose rein. The second he sped up, I turned him around and we trotted away from the house. We did some serpentines, circles, etc, basically made him "work". Went maybe half a block, I turned around and again asked for a slow calm walk on a loose rein. The second he started to speed up we turned around and repeated the above manuevers.

To be honest I don't think you're going to get anywhere by popping him with the reins/crop/spurs when you want him to slow down and listen to you. What you want is him to calm down and pay attn to you. By using reins/crop/spurs in the way you're talking about all you're going to do is ramp him up. The problem is that he doesn't look to you as a leader and he doesn't trust you to take care of the problem (being away from his "herd") because you haven't yet proven yourself to be the leader of the herd.I would try all of this in a safe area relatively close to the barn to start out with, gradually move further away as he starts paying attention to you.

Another thing that may help is some basic groundwork. Really basic stuff here: walk him around on a lead, practice backing up, turn on forehand, yeild hindquarters, and things like that. I actually started this in the paddock where he lives. I tied the mare that he was/is in love with right outside the paddock and walked him around inside. I made him pay attention to me by not being predictable in my requests. Ex. Walk forward, halt, back up, walk, turn, halt, yield hindquarters, etc. After a couple sessions of this we moved outside the paddock boundaries while the mare was kept inside the paddock. Same type of groundwork. Then we walked up the driveway. Then I rode him away from the paddock. I only worked on the groundwork for about a week, everyday 10-20 minutes.

The groundwork should help prevent the problem from occuring in the first place while the first thing I wrote about is what to do if he does it while you're already riding him. If you're really committed to fixing this problem I would work on the ground first then take it to the saddle.

A very important thing: You need to stay CALM, don't let him ramp you up and get you upset. Keep your emotions under control. This will feed to him too. You'll feel like you're in control and he will respond to that even if only a little bit. At the very least it'll make any action you take hold a lot more weight with him.

Honestly I see no reason to separate them in their day to day living. In fact I think it's cruel. It's very healthy for them to have a herd they really enjoy being with. You just need to teach him that you are the leader and the most important person in the herd.
 

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You are continuing to enable his behavior by giving in and having Lulu out with him; so he doesn't like it? WHO CARES!!!! Start taking him out, and working with him separately, period... He needs to learn to obey you whether he wants to or not. Pen Lulu, and just start taking him for walks, or take him out, groom him and put him back out...start out 'short' but he does not get Lulu out with him, no matter how much he hollers. He is with the other horses 24\7, he can listen to you for an hour or so out of that day.
 

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Just ignore his annoying issue, if he doesn't move forward or wants to turn back YOU make him keep going. Don't became abusive/mean but make him move forward. Be stubborn, don't give up and get lulu if he doesn't do what you want. If he does do something good reward him with your voice, a pat, etc.
Do everything seperate, feed them seperatley, groom, lunge, etc. If possible even put them in seperate fields/paddocks (that are next to each other). If this is not at all possible begin slow till they/he gets over it.
So just keep doing everything with them seperate. It may feel like your are being mean but he will have to deal with it and start realizing he will return to lulu AFTER being ridden or whatever you are doing with him at the time. My pony used to be really herd bound and scream when I rode him out on the trails alone but I just told him 'it sucks to be him' and he had to get used to being alone and returning to his herd after the ride. Another coulkd be when I was getting my pony used to being alone I got a person to walk with me the first few times when I went hacking alone, this made him feel a bit more secure but not relying on his attatchment to the herd.
Keep persistent and try to do everything seperate!
 
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