I ran Rusty into a tree - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 73 Old 08-07-2019, 09:17 PM
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Moral of the story = it is up to the rider to ease the horse into being warmed up (don't go too fast/hard too soon). Thus the adrenalin burst can be controlled. If not, it doesn't matter what bit you use - the adrenalin burst will be the dominant power controlling the horse. The horse isn't even controlling hirself because the rider is doing that job. So before attaching artificial dominance tools - understand your horse's nature and how to manage it.
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post #52 of 73 Old 08-07-2019, 09:21 PM
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This is simply the flight response that is a horse's nature. And why we can round them up & ride them in the first place!
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post #53 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chrisssy View Post
I have a thoroughbred who I noticed can get a little crazy either in the round pen or if I don't walk him round a little before a canter. So I looked it up - found that hot blooded breeds are used as race horses because they have a quick adrenalin burst. If a horse is not eased into a trail ride or whatever they are doing - the adrenalin can take over and they run randomly...for example, into trees. Hope this helps?
I really don't think this is an adrenaline burst. I don't think Rusty even has adrenaline, lol.

It's really hard to explain, but you know when you let a horse out to pasture in the morning? The type who takes about three to five canter strides, then puts his head down to eat. That's what happens with Rusty. The first time he decided to gallop and yes, we were going down a hill, yes, he started to trot, yes, I tried to shut him down and he didn't listen and then cantered sideways, and I was having no success in slowing him down so I let him go, he galloped about three or four strides, and then came back down to a walk and was fine. This time, he got excited about going on a new trail. We were about a quarter of the way into the ride. He walked the whole time at a good clip, but still, not excited or jiggy. The new trail is on a slight downhill grade, he began to trot, I tried to pull him in, he ignored me so I tried to turn him into a circle, he responded by doing a canter stride with his nose sideways, I opted to let him straighten out his head and go towards the trees. He ended up with his face in the bark of an old fir, but at that point, he was not going fast. Maybe he was at a really slow trot at that point. The trail is maybe 10 feet wide, lined with trees on both sides. He couldn't get up to any speed doing circles that small even if he wanted to.

He does really love trails and gets excited. In the arena, I need a crop (though I don't actually have to use it anymore because he's learned that when I ask for the trot or canter, he needs to give it to me or else the crop will come out). Some days it's a lot of work just to keep him walking! On the other hand, the moment I let him out of the arena to go on a trail, his head perks up, his walk speeds up, he is happy. So whatever training tools I use, they should be used on the trail. Yes, I need to continue to work on his training in the ring, but he won't act up there.

Will look at a kimberwicke.
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post #54 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 10:07 AM
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You might try a Dr. Bristol bit. Adds a break. Have you trained with treats? If you use a que word like "sugar" and follow with a treat he will learn that 1) you say "sugar" 2) he stops and gets the treat. That would break the cycle. Saw it work with a really spooky horse. Instead of bolting he would stop and look for his sugar cube.
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post #55 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 04:04 PM
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Maybe for ring work and yes it is important to have your horse schooling and listening to you in the arena and this will still be in effect out on the trails.
Be sure in the arena you are "calling the shots" and he is not going around, ho hum, don't need to do a good walk. Take charge of what you are doing and keep it varied enough that he has to pay attention to you and your requests (or commands)

work on a lot of transitions and be sure he is listening and responding smartly, that gets him listening to you and giving the correct response. If you ask him to "walk up" be sure he does, never mind if he thinks it's boring, he needs to do it, then when he does the right thing for a bit, change to something else.

One exercise I do is walk 6 steps, trot 6 steps, halt, trot 6 steps, walk 6 steps. This can be mixed up in any order even a few back up steps, but the horse has to respond smartly. I also do this out on trails to keep them handy. You would be surprised how many horses and riders can't do this accurately. I was at a show once and this was asked in one of the classes and my horse was the only one that could do it right. Other horses did it but not with exactly 6 steps or from a standstill to a trot.

As for going out on the trail once he knows you can shut him down if you need to the problem with disappear.


I had a new horse years ago that was great in the arena but when I took him out on the trail, we would be trotting along then suddenly a great leap in the air, 180 degree turn mid air and warp speed for home. He was not a nasty horse but had probably just found that this had worked for him in the past so why not with this new person. I couldn't stop him (part draft and huge) with a snaffle so I dragged out the Pelham and the next time he tried it I shut him down within a couple of strides, I carried a crop in my boot and out would come the crop and I burned his backside back up the trail. Only had to do it twice and that was the end of it. He was basically a nice,good natured horse and after that was a lovely horse to go out riding with, very dependable and trustworthy.
Happy riding
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post #56 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by keelan View Post
You might try a Dr. Bristol bit. Adds a break. I personally haven't had luck with anything "snaffle" but that's just me. I honestly don't see any reason not to use a mild curb. It even encourages them to break at the poll vs. star gaze. Have you trained with treats? If you use a que word like "sugar" and follow with a treat he will learn that 1) you say "sugar" 2) he stops and gets the treat. That would break the cycle. Saw it work with a really spooky horse. Instead of bolting he would stop and look for his sugar cube.

Use the word "whoa" instead of "sugar" and people will think it's good training vs. thinking you are spoiling the horse. Plus, it will respond for any future owners with the word "whoa."


I actually use treats a lot. Mostly for standing still to mount. And as a reward for sidepassing and working gates. But yes, I bet they would also learn "whoa" quick.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #57 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 04:23 PM
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@Woodhaven



does this:


carried a crop in my boot and out would come the crop and I burned his backside back up the trail. Only had to do it twice and that was the end of it.

mean that you instantly turned him back to the original direction and spanked him repeatedly as he went forward, in that direction?
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post #58 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I really don't think this is an adrenaline burst. I don't think Rusty even has adrenaline, lol.

It's really hard to explain, but you know when you let a horse out to pasture in the morning? The type who takes about three to five canter strides, then puts his head down to eat. That's what happens with Rusty. The first time he decided to gallop and yes, we were going down a hill, yes, he started to trot, yes, I tried to shut him down and he didn't listen and then cantered sideways, and I was having no success in slowing him down so I let him go, he galloped about three or four strides, and then came back down to a walk and was fine. This time, he got excited about going on a new trail. We were about a quarter of the way into the ride. He walked the whole time at a good clip, but still, not excited or jiggy. The new trail is on a slight downhill grade, he began to trot, I tried to pull him in, he ignored me so I tried to turn him into a circle, he responded by doing a canter stride with his nose sideways, I opted to let him straighten out his head and go towards the trees. He ended up with his face in the bark of an old fir, but at that point, he was not going fast. Maybe he was at a really slow trot at that point. The trail is maybe 10 feet wide, lined with trees on both sides. He couldn't get up to any speed doing circles that small even if he wanted to.

He does really love trails and gets excited. In the arena, I need a crop (though I don't actually have to use it anymore because he's learned that when I ask for the trot or canter, he needs to give it to me or else the crop will come out). Some days it's a lot of work just to keep him walking! On the other hand, the moment I let him out of the arena to go on a trail, his head perks up, his walk speeds up, he is happy. So whatever training tools I use, they should be used on the trail. Yes, I need to continue to work on his training in the ring, but he won't act up there.

Will look at a kimberwicke.





I think much of what you describe about Rusty is what people say about a lot of Appalousa horses. IT is one reason why they have a reputation of being 'pigheaded'. But, out on the trail, their go walk out and get there attitude is so fine! A lot of appalousa horses don't see any purpose in arena work and will start to become very resistant to it, but do love being out and moving over ground. You should have seen those Appy's on the Chief Joseph ride; all day powering up and down hills, and always with ears up and ready to walk on!


Two things strike me, though, about the bolded portions of your post. That is that both incidents occured where the trail was a bit downhill. That may indicate that your hrose lacks familiarity with how to handle himself and stay balanced, with a rider up, going down hill. It might be worth some work on those hills, specifically. Doing things like asking him to stop part way down, and actually BACK up the hill a bit, then praising him to the skies when he does and giving him a totally loose rein for a bit.


You guys have to be able to trust each other. He has to trust you to let him put his head where he needs it to be, going downhill, and to move a bit faster if necessary to keep his balance. And you have to trust that he won't just fall from there into a total rush out of control.


I would suggest doing some hill work if you can. Don't have anyone in front of you, unless they are willing to stop and go slow when you do, so that Rusty isn't worried about catching up if you stop him midway. That comes later. Get him to slow half way down the hill, back him up. Do the same at the bottom of the hill, turn him around and go back up the hill, and down, and up, until he is just 'ho hum' about it.


The 10 feet wide is plenty wide to do a complete hindend disengagement, as long as you are going no faster than a slow trot. So, the minute he starts to trot unasked, you can get him to circle into a disengagenemt. If he is cantering sidways through this, then you are allowing him too much time to take over before shutting him down, AND, you are pulling too much sideways, and not enough upward to get him to follow that rein around and not leak outward through his shoulder.
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post #59 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 06:31 PM
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@Woodhaven



does this:


carried a crop in my boot and out would come the crop and I burned his backside back up the trail. Only had to do it twice and that was the end of it.

mean that you instantly turned him back to the original direction and spanked him repeatedly as he went forward, in that direction?
I stopped him from bolting home, we turned, he thought he would stop and he got a couple of good swats with the crop and we went right back up the trail. He did not stop or hesitate so I had no need to do anything more. I did have my legs on him strongly and used my voice to make sure he kept going.
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post #60 of 73 Old 08-08-2019, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodhaven View Post
Acadian I understand you don't want to be more harsh with Rusty than you need to but have you ever ridden with a Pelham and double reins? That way you can ride on the top rein, either a snaffle or plain and if you need more you can switch to the bottom rein. I like that because I don't have to use a curb unless I need to and the horse quickly learns it's best to do what is asked before the curb comes into action. The one thing is to let him know and learn about a Pelham and a curb in an arena before going out anywhere so he knows what to expect.
I totally agree with this! I had an ex-racehorse that could flat-out RUN, as you might expect!! Quite the fun experience...except when you're on the trail, loose your stirrups, and have no idea how you're going to stop him! Good thing that a flat out gallop is a smooth ride!

Anyway, I switched to using the straight bar Pelham and double reigns when on trails, and wow, what a difference. He totally respected that bit! It's nice to have the option in your hands to first try the easy "ask" with the top reign, and then you have the backup "you WILL DO" curb reign. My curb was a full chain, not a strap or any part of it a strap, and I would recommend that for the extra oomph you'll get. The bit had a good solid, heavy weight to it too, so that in and of itself was a different feel for him and garnered a bit more respect.

You'll need to have soft hands and a good understanding of what contact means when using this bit as to not overdo it when not on the trails. If I rode with it in the arena, the curb reign was almost always a loop (hung relatively loosely) so that I wasn't in jeopardy of accidentally "grabbing" his face when I didn't mean it. I also used it when doing some cross-country jumping as he used to get revved up going over the jumps in a wide open field. Otherwise, I rode him in a regular snaffle, which was probably about 95%+ of the time anyway...

Keep in mind that the very few times you will need to be truly, downright harsh will not negate all of the soft-but-firm training you do otherwise. Safety is paramount.

If he is a little dead-sided, perhaps using the small nub, rounded spurs would help? That is only if you are confident in your ability to not bump him with them otherwise. But they could give a bit extra incentive to move off of your leg while training, and I wouldn't use them every day for training either so it stays unpredictable for him. You could also try a dressage whip...they are long and are meant to be able to tap the horse behind your leg, and all the way to his butt, without having to move your hands from the correct position. With crops, you have to move your hands to get to their middle and end body areas :), and that might be more of a hindrance for you when training.
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