Help please - how to get my lazy mare moving!

fishy

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I have a 9 year old ISH and she is sooooo lazy in the menage its driving me mad, I feel like I am constantly nagging her, which I know I shouldn't do. If I don't keep on at her all the time she will just stop! I know she is taking the mickey because if something distracts her she will often use it as a distraction and spook and run off, often throwing in a buck. I end up feeling like I've done an hour in the gym and she's not even broken a sweat!

Her teeth, saddle,back etc are all ok, having recently been checked. I feel like she is just having a bit of a laugh at my expense!

Any suggestions before I have a coronary?
 

Bambi.

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After one kick, use whip on hind quarters if she doesn't move. I did this with my horse who was slow off my leg and he learnt that if he didn't move off my leg the whip would follow! I didn't have to use much whip to make him listen (they don't need a whack with it or anything!) :D I then moved from that to him being tuned in with just my thought (preparation to trot we change our body language) so now it doesn't look like i do anything :D

Good luck, i know how knackering it is! lol :rolleyes:
 

Tiarella

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My new forest pony was like this. I just couldn't do anything so paid a bd trainer to 'sort him out' - £40 a time but within an hour he was sharp and listening. He is now schooling at elem level :)
 

Pinkvboots

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Agree with bambi, do loads of transitions from walk to trot to start with and then make your leg aid lighter as you go, I find if you do this for the first ten minutes it gets them sharp off the leg for the rest of the session.
 

JulesRules

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My girl is the same. She is quite forward out on a hack but not in the school.

I have been doing a lot of work with her recently in making her listen eg instead of nag nag if she is going forward then stop squeezing/kicking. When she starts dragging herself along I ask with legs and if no response ask with schooling whip (and the occasional smack on the neck with the reins:eek:) and then when she moves forward release and repeat over and over again. She is starting to go much better off my leg now after much persistance.
 

fishy

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Thank you for your suggestions, will give them a try. I'm a little reluctant to use a schooling whip as she has a tendency to cow kick (I've been told they are huge) when I use one . Was thinking of trying spurs for a few sessions, but haven't used them before and am a bit cautious.
 

Brimmers

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You need to teach her that when you ask her to move, she MOVES. Right away. Without arguing or dawdling. It sounds like she has no respect for you or your aids and is choosing to ignore them.

Try LOTS of transitions. Walk 4 steps, ask her to trot for four, then walk again. Repeat over and over in different paces with lots of changes the rein and INSIST on good transitions.

Not walk... shuffle into trot, drop straight back to walk.
More like... walk, SPRING into trot, forward back into walk.

Failing this, ask her to move forward nicely. If she doesn't move, grab a handful of mane and give a very firm kick, use your voice AND tap with the whip to ensure that she goes forward. (grab some mane because the last thing you want is for her to shoot off and you sock her in the mouth by accident, giving confusing signals to her.) As long as she goes forward, good. Try asking nicely again, and if she doesn't move, repeat the process. She will soon learn that responding when yo uask nicely is much easier ;)

and always remember to look on the bright side of life, you'll have legs to die for after a few more schooling sessions :D:D
 

Brimmers

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Oh it might also be because she ss bored! Try incorporating polework or a few jumps maybe to freshen her up at the start?
 

Pinkvboots

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I wouldnt use spurs, your horse needs to be off your leg before you use spurs they are not used to extra force they are there to minimise your aid and look like your doing nothing.
I use my whip on top of the hip bone just bong it on top it encourages the hind leg to move, so use leg no responce bong on the hip just a tap, many horses will cow kick if you use the whip on the flank, its easier to as you hardly have to move your hands.
 

Wagtail

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Don't use spurs they will just deaden her to the leg even more. Ask with a tiny squeeze and if she does not shoot forward use either a big boot or tap with the whip. Try to keep your leg still at all other times so you are not nagging. If you are kicking her every stride, it will just become 'background noise' to her. I find that most people who have horses that are lazy or dead to the leg are actually unconsciously nagging with the legs every stride. Ideally, a horse should maintain its pace until asked to slow, but in reality this is very rare. I aim to use my legs no more than twice every twenty metre circle, less if possible.
 

debsey1

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Mine would also try to evade the bit he would keep opening his mouth like a crocodile until it was suggested I try nose flash. I was a bit hesitant at first but my god he was so much better last week, what a difference, he actually was listening to me and worked well.
 
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What I do with my mare is get her listening to my leg when warming up by asking her to leg yield to and from the track and stop by a fence and turn on the forehand etc just to keep her attention and stop her from getting bored.
Then I ask for trot, if she doesn't respond after one squeeze with my heels, I chase her up with the whip by giving her quick taps behind my leg until she is moving forward. Even while trotting round, try not to use any leg at all and when she starts to slow down squeeze again, if she doesn't respond repeat the process by giving her quick sharp tacks with the whip behind the leg until she is moving forward! Don't let her get away with ignoring the whip so keep doing it until she is almost cantering! Also when you are chasing her up with the whip move your reins a bit further up the neck than you usually would so she doesn't get mixed signals.
This is what I have to do and after a couple of reminders that she has to go off my leg she soon gets the idea :) Good luck!
 

Pale Rider

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A seven year old has demonstrated good motivational skills on another thread.

If I knew the horse, it is easy to say what would work.

Lots of different behavioral patterns need different techniques.

It needs working out, Littlelegs 7yr old can do it.
 

Sussexbythesea

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A seven year old has demonstrated good motivational skills on another thread.

If I knew the horse, it is easy to say what would work.

Lots of different behavioral patterns need different techniques.

It needs working out, Littlelegs 7yr old can do it.
I know hanging a carrot in front of my horse's nose would motivate him but it's not very practical. :D
 

googol

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I think u need to back ur strong leg aid up with a smack with the schooling whip just behind ur leg. It's important it's ur leg they learn to respect, not the whip. I wud b making my horse break into the next pace if I had to use the whip. I'd let him break into a canter even if I only wanted a more forward trot, so that they learned forward really means forward! And I wouldn't bring back straight away - that would confuse them, let him break the pace for a good few strides. I think the most important thing is to have a very light contact - u do not want to b riding forward with ur legs but backwards with ur hands trying to get a contact! Get the forward mastered first!
 

fishy

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Thanks again for all your replies. I took her for a hack today and she is much more forward, I used my legs then when necessary backed it up with my stick. She was much better and so will definitely try this in the school. I'm pretty much on my own at the minute, can't really afford a regular instructor and whilst Y/O is very good its impossible to pin him down to help. I will also try some poles and see if that makes her a bit more lively. I know she loves to jump (and was bred for it) unfortunately its about 20 years since I did it properly and would probably spoil her by trying just yet. Thanks again for all the help x
 

Myloubylou

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My mare doesn't react at all to a schooling whip even a sharp tap however she moves off my leg when I carry my wipwop. It's a braided rope with tasseled end, you don't hit the horse just shake it against shoulder. Then when moving forwards, as everyone says above, loads of transitions to get her listening to my leg and seat aids.
 
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