Miscommunication issues

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by JinxedDream, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    I think I'm the problem with both of my geldings. Why? Because they now have the same "problem." And the only common denominator between the two is me.

    Cairo, TB gelding approx 6-8 years old, had 90 days training with someone else last year. I had a more experienced rider put another 10 rides on him this summer for me. She hasn't been over since mid-August. I can not seem to get him to lunge clock-wise. It's a battle. We have a saddle issue which I thought was the cause but it has not improved. He's now difficult to catch. He's still okay to ride when I do get to that point.

    Ralph, draftx gelding approx 5-6 years old, no history, supposed to be broke to ride, a former kid's camp horse. I have trouble seeing this pushy 16.3hh horse around children, but anyway. He's taken everything I've thrown at him in stride. The rider I hired did some groundwork and was also thinking he was broke once upon a time. He's no longer super pushy, he's now easy to catch and he follows me like a puppy. But like Cairo, he will not lunge clock-wise. I have never ridden him, we're working up to that. He lets me tack him up and lean across and all I get is a raised head and flicking ears.

    What could I be doing wrong? What sort of things should I take a step back to look at? Cairo has been my horse since May 2016. And now when I work with Ralph, on some level his behavior is now eerily similar to Cairo (outside of one is an athletic sport horse and the other a lazy buddy sour draft horse). Both follow me around an arena, I don't need a lead rope to get them to back up, trot, and turn on the forehand.

    Just looking for outside ideas. I was working with Ralph last night and he did some things I've never had him do until I realized Cairo does the same things. So I've now "trained" my horses to be my horses and we're obviously having communication issues. The hired rider does not have these lunging issues.

    For an FYI, long story short, we relocated, I was in a serious car crash with serious injuries, my horses have more or less not been worked in about a year by me and I finally got my motivation back (there's various threads about all of the above).
     
  2. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    You are not up to riding yet, correct? Because I am a bit confused with the "lean over" comment...
     
  3. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    I have ridden Cairo before I figured out my saddle doesn't fit him anymore. The hired rider used an English saddle and I had a lot of trouble using it. I used it before the accident but since I've only been comfortable in a western.

    I have never ridden Ralph, even before the accident. Since I got him at an auction, I don't know if he was actually broke. I have leaned across him several times. My BF will be the first to sit on him when I feel Ralph is ready. Maybe this weekend.
     
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  4. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    I would like to see a video so I can give you accurate advice. If you don't want to post it on the open forum, pm it to me.
     
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  5. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Stop lunging him. He's broke. Saddle him, mount up, ride off.

    He's probably gotten his joints tweaked FROM lunging.
     
  6. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    Agree with manes, stop lunging. They're both probably softer to the same side. This could be due to the way you ride them (unevenly) or they are both left sided naturally, or a combination of both.
     
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  7. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    I've never ridden Ralph though. I don't lunge for more than 10 minutes maximum. For Cairo I do at times lunge longer because he gets rushy under saddle if I don't. I can not ride more than a trot at this point, so it's easier to lunge him for a few minutes before I get on.

    @manesntails I don't know if he's broke, but he behaves like it. Other than if you drop a lead rope, he panics and takes off. I couldn't lead him when I purchased him.

    @BluemoonOKy I can try. I will see if my BF can take a video.
     
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  8. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Well, we had rough broke Mustangs. Rode them through town traffic taken right out of the stall.
    They didn't lead, didn't hoof handle, didn't stand to mount. They got finished without ever stressing their joints on a lunge.

    All you do is make them stronger in wind and weaker in the ankles by lunging. And tick them off.

    Cowgirl up~!! Get on and use your body to slow the horse's pace if he wants to go too fast. Be patient. The horse will learn how to be with you if you ride the gait you want and you just tweak your rein and release to turn and stop.
     
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Manes is the anti-longeing committee here, lol.

    Longeing does not have to strain the horse's joints. It depends on how long your longeing sessions are(10 minutes in each direction is plenty, 5 min in each direction is better).

    The surface you longe on is also very important. It needs to not be slippery, not be too hard like concrete, and not be so soft his feet are sinking into the ground. You need to NOT see him slipping or nearly falling, and he shouldn't be getting frantic and going TOO fast or torquing around so that he hurts himself.

    So okay. The problem you gave us is that both your horses won't longe clockwise - to the right.

    But you didn't explain how you longe. Do you longe like many Western riders do - at slow speeds, on a small circle, with a lot of slack in the line(and generally no whip), or like other people do - making the horse stay out on a larger circle, making the horse maintain faster speeds, and the slack out of the line and the horse even taking a hold a bit and connecting with the line, so that it doesn't hang down with slack in it(and usually with the longe attached to a colt bit/english snaffle bit), encouraging the horse to move frankly forward with little taps of the longe whip.

    How you turn them to go to the right, and what happens when you attempt to go right, or how you punish them when they do not go to the right. Can you EVER longe them to the right? Or do they flip and go the other way every time?

    First of all, longeing is really an art. You can really accomplish a lot, or you can just put 'meaningless mileage' on your horse. Longeing really can be very, very beneficial to training - IF you know how to do it.

    Generally, people have the won't-longe-right problem because they don't really have control of their horse when they're longeing.

    Now...here's what usually happens. The horses longe left okay(as far as you can tell), but when you try to make them longe to the right, whichever method you use to turn him(1.) making him 'flip' - turn without going out to him, or 2.) going out to him, turning him around, and then sending him in the new direction), he will either spin around and go the other way when you don't want him to change direction, or cut in and go so close to you, you have to stop them as you are afraid you're going to get kicked.

    Horses generally longe very easily to the left, without much training, because they are led from their left side and handled from the left side, so they are used to having you on their left side. Unless someone really works on it, they are more reluctant to longe to the left.

    And some of it can be just 'because I can.' Some of it is just general brattiness.

    Sometimes the horses go really badly to the right because they're fresh - in other words they're not getting enough work, often enough. That's not really their faults. It's a shame when you get hurt or sick and the horses are on vacay for a long time, but it also means then when you put them back to work they don't behave very well. These horses have been out of work a lot and horses just don't behave too great after a long time off or if there is too much time between sessions.

    If they're fresh because their schedule doesn't have frequent enough workouts, then you really have to think about changing your schedule.

    But a lot of this is about HOW you longe the horses.

    Your said your other riders don't have any trouble longeing to the right. And that can be as simple as right when he starts to slow down to flip and go the other way, the person gives a little very well timed swish with the longe whip and the horse says, I better not turn and go the other way.

    In other words you need to learn:
    1. When you're longing the horse to the right, you make sure to urge him to keep moving frankly forward so it is not so easy for him to flip and go the other way. To do that flip, he has to slow down and almost stop, so you keep him moving more frankly forward so he can't do that. When he STARTS to slow down, QUICKLY get after him with your whip - INSIST he keep moving at a brisk place, at a CONSISTENT rhythm. If he even STARTS to turn in toward you, make absolutely sure he knows he isn't supposed to. Push him back out to the desired size of circle and correct speed.
    2. While you are pushing him forward in EITHER direction, you ALSO are turning him constantly, so he bends his neck and looks with his head slightly toward you, and turns around the circle. Turn turn turn turn turn. He does not make a series of straight lines with sharp corners (like a square), instead, he is bending and turning all the time. Don't take any breaks of attention, don't answer the cell phone - really focus on what he's doing and watch him every second.
    Keep in mind that IF you teach the horse to 'flip' without going out to him and turning him around yourself, you are going to have trouble with the horse flipping when you don't want him to.

    Longeing has THREE elements:
    1. You keep the horse OUT away from you and on a decent size circle - same exact size in both directions - 60 ft diameter is good. Consistently out there, without cutting in and making a lopsided circle.
    2. You have NO slack in the longe line - it doesn't have a big loop in it or hang down and drag on the ground.
    3. The horse is turning AND going frankly forward all the time.

    So. This is mostly about recognizing the warning signs that he's about to try and flip and go the other way, and saying, not on your life, pal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    @slc, she ain't lunging for Art~!!

    Unless you got a 30' lunge line you're doing to the horse what he would never do to his own joints.

    You don't need to lunge ANY horse.
    You got it to ride, ride it.
    Don't torture it, by making it go in tight circles then wonder why it likes it better when it doesn't see you.
     

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