Training help!

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Izzykitt, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Izzykitt

    Izzykitt Registered

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    Hello! And thank you so much for taking the time to click here and read. I’ll start off by saying that the horse in question is a 16 year old Rocky Mohntian gelding who is sound, floated, healthy, and there has been no change in barns. I have worked with him for years before taking a break due to unforeseen circumstances for two years. I recently came back and bought him, as it was the least I could do for that horse. He saved my life, and all I want to do is give him the best life possible.

    I have some questions and I need advice on how to fix some things. All the problems I will list have been a problem before I left, so they where not suddenly created. I understand that non of this is his fault and I want to know what I can do to help him.

    First he is very hot headed? And I say that with a question mark because he is and he isn’t. With me, he is quiet as a mouse. At a walk under saddle and at a walk with lunging he is fine. At his gait he is ok. I can get him to relax and flex on a lunge but he sometimes acts up. It is his canter that is the issue.

    When I ask for the canter on the lunge, he with go into it, then buck, turn and stop and try to come in. It made me wonder if he was having a hard time transitioning. So when I would ask for it again, he would take off as soon as I even touched the whip to ask him to move in a full blown GALLOP around me. He will stop when asked, but it’s not what I want out of him. I want a smooth collected canter.

    I know that he hasn’t been hurt by me with the whip, as I have never struck him with it. He is not afraid of it as I can smack it on the ground around him without him even flinching. When I was taking lessons, I was actually known to be too soft. I however did establish he wasn’t to walk over me, but I am softer and more kind.

    I know he was used as a barrel horse, so he never really had that transition into the canter I am guessing. Granted, I have never seen him worked with by anyone else. So it would make since he would lose his balance while I asked for the transition and would want to gallop when I asked for him to do it again to avoid upsetting or making me angry. These are just my thoughts and I don’t know if they are correct.

    I don’t know how to help with his transition without him flying into a full blow gallop or freaking out. I also do not know what other things could be causing this.

    Also, he tosses his head a lot under saddle. I don’t normally use bits on him, I use a rope halter and he responds great. He just always tosses his head. I cannot figure it why. I give him all the reign I can, yet he still tosses. He doesn’t toss when I apply presure, he stops fine, turnes fine, everything fine but still throws his head.

    He also occasionally will buck going into the canter, another balance issue I believe?

    I’m sorry if that seems scatters, but that’s the only way I am able to get it down. If anything needs clarification, feel free to let me know. Any advice is welcome! Thank you all so much!!

    Izzy
     
  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    I suggest that you post a video, it's pretty hard to tell over a BBS, a bulletin board system.

    Have you had a chiro look at him, we assume there's a pain issue before we rule that out.

    What's the training you know of, and what you've done?
     
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  3. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

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    Habits and expectations can greatly influence responses. If a horse was habitually asked to put forth maximum effort when told to increase its gait, the horse is likely to continue to do so. It may take time to change this reaction. It is important to work on helping the horse release unnecessary tension. As you achieve this, try to give preparatory signals to say, “Get ready for a change.” Then, “whisper” the cue. Also, never forget to help a horse develop the physical ability to do what you ask of it.

    It is important to remember that having sound health is not the same as having the physical ability to perform certain tasks well. Specific exercises may help develop such abilities.
     
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  4. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Need video to see what is happening. No way to really say without that. Why are you lunging him ? Is he rideable?
     
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  5. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    Hes a rocky mountain horse? What was his previous life like? Gaited horses often aren't ever "taught" to canter with a rider on their back. He might really have a hard time balancing himself at the canter and he might be showing you that he's frustrated. Rockies do tend to have a lot of pep in them--they like to go. And if he was doing barrels that's a double whammy. No offense to any barrel racers here, but horses tend to get ruined when all they do is run barrels. You put them in a ring and they lose their mind. I would suggest cantering him up a hill to help him get some muscle memory on a collected canter. Trail rides might be good too to just get out and learn how to be on a loose rein and an easy gait. Good luck! I've got too rockies and I love them to pieces.
     
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  6. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    Are you sure the saddle fits?

    Beyond possible pain issues, this sounds like years of bad riding/training, people hanging in his face with harsh bits etc.

    I agree that a video would be very helpful. Without it it's pure guesswork.
     
  7. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Stop lunging him~!! He is gaited, gaited horses need straight lines.
    He is broke, he doesn't need lunged.
    Saddle him, bridle him, get on and go ride.

    More horses act up because people want to make them go in small boring circles every dang time before they ride. Go ride and your isse is solved.
     
  8. Izzykitt

    Izzykitt Registered

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    I’ll see what I can get together.

    No I haven’t had a chiro look at him recently, but this is been ongoing problem for years and the original owners did have a chiropractor out.

    As of training that I’ve done I’ve done, i’ve more bonded with him to the point that he trusts me and knows that whatever situation that I put him in he’s going to be safe. That is why everyone else that has tried to work with him hasn’t been successful. I am normally the only one I can get him to relax fully and to do everything without flipping out XD I’ve done a lot of Pat Perelli stuff, and I took a little bit of Clinton Anderson, and I tried to make the best, most natural, and pain-free training I possibly can.
     
  9. Izzykitt

    Izzykitt Registered

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    He is rideable and can be a joy to ride! I am lunging him to help him learn to achieve a nice, relaxed walk, trot, and canter without me undersaddle.
     
  10. Izzykitt

    Izzykitt Registered

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    To be honest it’s not often I ride with a saddle. I ride a lot in a bareback pad to help take the strain off his back or fully bareback.
     

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