Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Q & A TIME!!!

Sometimes I feel as though I may have blathered on long enough. So now it's your turn, Let's do some Q & A. Post your questions in the comment section and then tomorrow I'll respond tomorrow night. Anything, western riding, jumping, horse spooking, shying, rearing, won't take wormer, breaking, lifting feet, trotting, hollowed out, running away, collection, bits, WHATEVER!!! This should be fun and helpful for everyone and it keeps me on my toes LOL!!


Long Island Five said...

I've gotten to the point where I think I can pretty much sort out any horse at my barn on the longe line: politely keeping them out on a circle; getting them to eventually halt on the circle, w/out turning in; walk, trot, canter on command; even getting the horse to frame up, or at least engage, provided it doesn't have any physical issues; etc.

However, there's one stubborn "gorilla-faced" thick-skulled son-of-a-you-know-what that proved me wrong. I once took the line and whip from a barnmate, the gelding's owner, to help him "get it done," but the horse just stood there and stared at me, as if to say "Bring it on honey, because you ain't got nuthin' that I ain't seen." It didn't matter what you did with the whip, he didn't move and looked at me straight in the eye. I eventually approached him and just tried to get him to lower his head... nope, nothing.

Q: What would be the next couple things you'd try? BTW: We don't have a round pen.

texasnascarcowgirl said...

I have a horse I am ridding, she is older and had been abused and starved. She is good now but when you ride her, she will not back up. No matter what you do, she will go to her elbows before she will back up. I can back her if I am on the ground, heck I can back her to China. Get on top and it's a no go. I had my hubby get in front of her and try to back her with me on top, nope not gonna happen. How would you teach this no backing up mare to back up?

Anonymous said...

YAYYY! Ok, a little history about him first.

2yrs old fjord/belgian. He looks like a fjord and has the belgian blaze on his face, total cutie. I got him this past fall from a lady(hoarder) who said he'd never been touched, he was born at her place. I had a trainer for him but the guy disappeared so now I'm stuck doing this myself with limited time(which is why I had planned on sending him to a trainer). He's fine when I don't have anything in my hands...yet the second I have anything in my hands he's all scaredy cat on me so I'm pretty sure he's been "touched" by something and someone from when he was with original owner.

My question is, how in the heck do I get him to trust me when I have something in my hands? I've tried just looping the rope halter over my shoulder when I do anything in the pen. I have had him in the same pen with me and my two other horses while I brush go. But...when I have nothing, he's a total angel. So, where should I start? I have a round pen. This is not the same as starting a colt I've raised myself...that's for sure.

For worming, I just put it in his feed, for vacs...that's no problem, I just pat him in the spot and jab and it's over without him realizing it. For his feet...I can touch him down his front legs no problem...I haven't even tried the back though. His feet are fine though, thank goodness.

Jillian said...

I have two questions!


I worked with a 6yr old TB mare a few months back with serious herd-bound issues (among her many other issues). If she was turned out by herself, even within close view of another horse, she'd run the fence-line, whinny, scream, run around the paddock and on a few occasions would get herself so worked up that she'd slam bodily into the fence. She fell a couple of times doing this. She could stay out all day, hours and hours, and she'd never stop worrying, even with hay in front of her.

When turned out with another horse, she'd lose her mind if you tried to lead one of them away and pull the same behavior. If you left her in a stall without a horse in the barn (3-stall barn), same behavior.

On a strange note, she had no problem venturing out on her own once she was out on the trails. Perfectly happy to go exploring without a buddy.

Was there anything we could do to remedy her being so herd-bound?


I've been asked to start riding a teenaged Appy mare who's been doing basically nothing for 10 years. Someone's been riding her inconsistently for a while now but only at the walk/trot. The mare's owner tells me she was well-broken, has no other vices, but that she'll only buck at the canter and attributes it to beginners upsetting her with their lack of balance and leaning on her face.

I have no problem sitting a bucking horse but I have never ridden a horse whose main issue is the bucking. Assuming all health and tack-related issues are ruled out, what can I do to work this mare out of her bucking problem?

ponykins said...

I have a group of 7 horses that are kept together. Most have been born within the herd and grown up there, so all are buddies. I have one mare last summer, who was in foal, who decided to chase one of the yearlings. She would chase her like she was going to kill her. The filly ran for her life. To keep herd peace, I sold the yearling. Now, this year, the same mare is again 7 months in foal and she has now selected a 3 year old filly to chase. For 3 years, there was peace between them and now, she's out to kill the 3 year old. I have tried a muzzle, and then added blinkers to try to distract the mare, but no dice. So, she has to now be pastured apart. My question, why did his mare suddenly pick one filly from the herd and decide to kill her after living so long with her peacefully and then do the same thing this year. Is it the fact that she's in foal and hormones have anything to do with it. She doesn't bother any of the other horses, yearlings, etc. She is second in herd order with a gelding as head leader.

CrashedIntoBlack said...

I'm taking lessons/riding partners from/with my mom's friend. The horse she rides is a 16 yearold morgan mare who is wonderful in the arena if you're an advanced rider, but sometimes she gets afraid of things and will back up. She backs up until you point her away from whatever she's afraid of (Sometimes noone knows what it is exactly.) From what I've seen, there've been some close calls, she's almost gone over onto a barbed wire fence, and into a ditch. Her owner has gotten her used to a lot of things, umbrellas, whips etc. and cannot figure out how to get her out of her flight mode. She rides in a D ring french link snaffle if that makes any difference. Sometimes the horse will not go through a pasture gate under saddle, but will normally (Evidence that she may just be pulling our chain.) Her rider brings a crop with her when we go on the trail across the street from the barn and uses it when she goes into brat mode.

Any suggestions? We've tried to get her to follow me and my horse but it rarely works.

sterling said...

My horse (I've already mentioned him in a couple previous posts) is a purebred Arab with wonderful manners, great temperment, he tries anything for me, and he has a brain he knows how to use. He was put through years of professional saddleseat training, and when I got him he had the whole head-in-your-face thing going on, although he hates that position. He is now completely recovered from all soreness and strain and he has a crest now, which he has never had before. He's strong enough physically that he could go into just about anything I wanted to do.

We have just one little problem: he won't put his head down at the trot. Now, he's tons better than he used to be. He is very good at the canter and at the walk, flexed and soft, relaxed. Nut at the trot his head comes up about five inches and his nose pokes out. When I ask him to flex, he won't. He is fine in the german martingale we have, but once that's off, his head goes up and his nose goes out. We've started to teach im inside leg to outside rein, but I was wondering what you would say.

GoLightly said...

Why is backing up becoming so important?
Why do I read about backing up problems?

Why is it so important to the rider?

sure isn't to the horse..

Has it stopped raining yet?

Heather said...

What do you do when you have a new gelding in your herd that won't leave one of the other geldings alone? We recently got a standardbred who is fantastic in every way but one, he chases my old pony for NO REASON. Taking either out of the herd permenently isn't really an option. We're currently waiting it out to see if things settle on their own (they have in the past when we've gotten new horses) but I worry about the pony.

clara said...

ok my horse pulled his suspensory ligament last feb. and had 7 months off where he was convined to a small paddock. i started riding him in july and now he has made a full recovery.

he is a pleasure horse and before he got hurt he had the best lope in the world. a true 3 beat, round, consistant lope. it was amazing

now that he is back to work he doesn't have that lope anymore. i know that he doesn't have the muscle or stanima he did before he got hurt. his jog/trot is awesome. very round and has good impulsion but his lope is aweful. if i get a hold on his face he speeds up and when i give him his head he four beats and eventually breaks into a trot. he isn't round at all and has trouble balancing. i try to do a lot of circles but it's really hard to do when your sharing the arena with instructers, lesson students who can't steer and other boarders. the other two out door arenas have fairly deep footing so i don't like to work in there too often.

a little info- my horse is now 8 he is halter bred so his hind legs are very straight making it difficult to get good hind leg action but he can do it.

Q- what will really build up his muscle and stanima?

should i just keep doing circles or do you have any other excersizes that will help?

what should i do if he does 4 beat? i've just been pushing him out into a faster lope but i can't get him to round up which is really frustrating.

and i do have a round pen btw

Smurfette said...

Hey, I think this is a GREAT idea! My problem area is a particular horse that will NOT learn to do a flying lead change, as opposed to a drop or simple change (I don't know what the english term is for it). Other than the lead change, he is a pretty advanced horse, I can move his shoulders and hips in or out at walk, trot and canter and he responds to his other cues with legs, seat and bridle quickly and quietly. He will counter canter, if I keep him moving forward, but his natural inclination is to drop change into the "correct" lead if counter cantering. I have taught lead changes to several other horses without incident, but this horse just eludes me.

Both I an the horse are considerably older (I'm 50 and he is 18) than I was when I was last teaching this skill, and both of us have definate "artheritic changes" that I believe are contributing to the difficulty.

Could you share our lead change methods with me/us? I have tried both the "practice simple change over and over until it becomes anticipated, and then push through a flying change" (my favorite, and on rare occassions successful with this horse) and "lateral through the change spot, and cue for the other direction" with which I have had NO success.

Your thoughts are appreciated.