Gallopy Problems - Help!

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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Does anyone have a horse that has to set of on a gallop first when with other horses? if so, were you able to help/fix the problem?

Jacob is very mannerly when trotting/cantering/galloping out on a hack in terms of speed and stopping from the seat, however he has to set off first otherwise he plants and will bronc/rear/drop shoulders all sorts until you hit the deck. He has succeeded in getting me off, and got his previous owner off several times doing it. The bizarre thing is that he doesn't mind being overtaken once in that pace, no reaction at all, it's just the setting off. He also has no adrenaline reaction beforehand, and as soon as you are on the floor he is calm as a cucumber, he doesn't even pull away and gallop off or prance around..

I would love to go on some fun rides this year and he is otherwise great in a group, not silly or hot, but I am worried that I'll be decked if someone canters past from another group, or sets off in front of us.

I have a jockey friend who sticks like glue, I can replicate the situation and see whether having someone sit to his shenanigan's a few times helps - or I am not against sending him off somewhere for a couple of weeks.. I just don't know how to fix it, and it's the one thing that holds us back!
 

Elf On A Shelf

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When you set off are you holding onto his mouth? Or do you set off with loose reins? Some just don't like the feeling of being held back when they set off.
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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Neither really, it's just a normal contact - he isn't held back at all.
He also did it once when I was side by side with a horse and they were jogging and we then went into trot - I think in that case it was a build up of tension, but I am starting to wonder if it's just a learnt behaviour.
 

dogatemysalad

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One of my friends ex racers is the same. He has to set off first or else will go into a major melt down. He doesn't mind being overtaken either.
 

ihatework

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Ultimately it’s most likely (although not definitely) going to be because the horse isn’t truly forwards.

Instead of going forwards that energy comes out explosively.

I’d wager that a pair of brave pants, a pair of sticky pants and a big kick forwards, preferably up a steeper incline, should sort it/lessen it.

But don’t book me for the job 🤣 Find a brave and willing victim for that
 

Annagain

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Archie wouldn't have a meltdown but I couldn't hold him. If something went in front of him, we'd be going too. Again, he didn't care if he got overtaken but I didn't have much chance of stopping until they stopped either. As soon as they stopped, he would stop straight away, even if he was a fair distance behind - he was built for comfort not speed! There were two occasions when he did manage to contain himself because I really needed him to so I wonder if some of it was me not really wanting the battle and letting him go to a certain extent.
 

Roxylola

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My horse used to do similar, but he was travelling so a bit easier to deal with. With him he'd grab the bit, plunge his head down and bronc. I used to just leave him to it for half a dozen strides til I could get my leg on and get his head up then he'd settle. If I tried to fight for control initially he'd pull me out of my seat and deck me.
Neck strap and kick on I'd say should sort it given a bit of time
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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I can sit most of what he does but I definitely don't have the seat to be able to sit to what he throws in this instance, but I can pay a jockey who rides for my old yard to ride through it. He is happy to do so, and the things I have seen that man sit are beyond belief!
Perhaps that is the way forward - I also think once I have seen from the ground what he does I will feel better about riding it.
 

Annagain

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Ultimately it’s most likely (although not definitely) going to be because the horse isn’t truly forwards.

Instead of going forwards that energy comes out explosively.

I’d wager that a pair of brave pants, a pair of sticky pants and a big kick forwards, preferably up a steeper incline, should sort it/lessen it.

But don’t book me for the job 🤣 Find a brave and willing victim for that
This is most likely it - my friend had an ex-racer who stopped racing because, when all the other racers left the start gate, he'd be cantering on the spot inside it! He never really got out of the habit. When we all had a canter we knew he'd be 5 seconds behind us all at the start and 15 seconds in front us by the end. He was fast enough to overtake the carthorses but obviously not other racers. He never bucked or bronced though, just ran on the spot so wasn't unnerving to give a good kick to, it just didn't always work. He looked like Fred Flintstone trying to start his car.
 

pixie27

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Ultimately it’s most likely (although not definitely) going to be because the horse isn’t truly forwards.

Instead of going forwards that energy comes out explosively.

I’d wager that a pair of brave pants, a pair of sticky pants and a big kick forwards, preferably up a steeper incline, should sort it/lessen it.

But don’t book me for the job 🤣 Find a brave and willing victim for that
This is what I had to do with my old TB!

Stuck him in between two friends on safe horses, going up a hill on a single track. Was a case of hold neckstrap & mane, heels down, and ride forwards. (Helped by instructor behind me shouting 'KICK ON SHOULDERS BACK' repeatedly.) I only did it as I hiiiiighly trusted the person in front not to bomb off and to keep an eye on whether I was on the horse, on the floor, or airborne.

He got better, but I was never brave enough to take him on a fun ride etc!
 

Leandy

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I can sit most of what he does but I definitely don't have the seat to be able to sit to what he throws in this instance, but I can pay a jockey who rides for my old yard to ride through it. He is happy to do so, and the things I have seen that man sit are beyond belief!
Perhaps that is the way forward - I also think once I have seen from the ground what he does I will feel better about riding it.
It is certainly worth a try but I think once your jockey friend has worked out what the secret is you are still likely to have to work through it yourself although it will be easier for you to have the confidence to do it once it has been proved that it can be done.
 

Roxylola

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To be honest as well I reckon at a fun ride once you're on and cracking on he'll settle. I'd just try and keep the pace up to start with when you do go - be the kn0b cantering past everyone lol
 

fredflop

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Are you out hacking with friends? If so you should always canter/gallop in single file for safety, they can’t race each other.

I was on a hack with my riding school cantering along. One novice rider decided to pull their horse out of line and kick to see how fast they could get the horse to go. They got a severe warning at the end of the ride...
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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To be honest as well I reckon at a fun ride once you're on and cracking on he'll settle. I'd just try and keep the pace up to start with when you do go - be the kn0b cantering past everyone lol
I hope so, there's only one way to find out! I am hoping if his 'mate' stays with him he'll keep a lid on it.


Are you out hacking with friends? If so you should always canter/gallop in single file for safety, they can’t race each other.

I was on a hack with my riding school cantering along. One novice rider decided to pull their horse out of line and kick to see how fast they could get the horse to go. They got a severe warning at the end of the ride...
We are on the South Downs so have lots of room, we also don't race but don't gallop in single file either - I think that sounds more dangerous than making sure you have your own space, although I can see why it would be enforced in a riding school.
 

timbobs

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My ex racer used to be like this. He was quite happy in front/middle behind once he got going. If we were at the back it just meant to had to have a couple of seconds warning so I could start cantering half a stride before everyone else and he was fine!

Ed was happy to stay wherever in the group he was, as long as he got to start slightly ahead of everyone else
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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My ex racer used to be like this. He was quite happy in front/middle behind once he got going. If we were at the back it just meant to had to have a couple of seconds warning so I could start cantering half a stride before everyone else and he was fine!

Ed was happy to stay wherever in the group he was, as long as he got to start slightly ahead of everyone else
Did you ever take yours to a fun ride or the like?
 

timbobs

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Did you ever take yours to a fun ride or the like?
Yes and he was fine! He was quite content in our little group, as long as we applied the same rule within our group he was fine. Happy for other groups to overtake, and was fine when groups ahead cantered off.

This was his only little quirk so I just worked with it, rather than fight with him.
 

Jellymoon

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I would def get your brave jockey to see if this can be ridden through, without making a big deal of it, i.e. just legs not a big leathering!! It might take a good few goes, and maybe of you do want to do a fun ride, you could get him to take him on the first one??
The other thing I thought of was hunting, or drag hunting, depending on your preference. Get a brave pants person to do that with him next season and I reckon your problem would be solved.
 
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My Welsh cob does this! I've had him 16yrs and tried everything! I've done fun rides, beach etc I just make sure everyone lets me know in advance so I can get at least parallel with someone, as if we're last its the same - bronking or fly bucking out of anger thinking he's being left behind! He knows in in 'his' group on a fun ride so on large ignores everyone else plus we always ask for them to pass no faster than a trot.
 

whirlwind

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I’ve got another who’d like to do this! With him he’s generally fine if everyone sets off steady, ie a couple of strides of trot and then canter or if I can get him cantering a couple of seconds before the horse in front does. He’s fine on fun rides as long as you keep moving at a fairly sharp clip 🤣
 
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