Horse not going forward - help!

fishy

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5 March 2011
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Ok so not exactly a competetion thread but if I can't sort this out then its not going to happen. My lovely mare will hack out quietly behind anything, she will not bother if they trot/canter off and is calm and relaxed. She will also go in front in walk, but as soon as I ask her to trot or canter it becomes an issue. She just wants to stop! If I'm cantering she'll do a few strides and then stop dead and if I'm trotting she puts her head up and does the most awful jolty trot. I have to push her every step of the way instead of asking and then supporting until I want her to stop. She also does this if I take her out on her own, but is not as calm and relaxed, she seems to get very anxious on her own. Any suggestions or tips as to how to get her to go/keep going its been suggested I wear spurs or smack her, but a smack elicits a huge buck so I'm not keen to do this! Thanks for reading (if you've not fell asleep yet) x
 

fishy

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She will happily trot and canter behind another horse and trots and canters happily in the school. She regularly has her back, teeth and saddle checked. Personally I think she may be just trying it on with me a bit!
 

WandaMare

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Sounds like she's napping if she's ok in the school. I would work to increase her confidence by taking her out for short rides as often as possible, lots of praise when she goes forward. If she bucks when you use your whip you will just need to ride her on even more strongly and take no notice, I know its difficult but she mustnt let that develop into a habit. Keep your reins short so you keep her head up, this makes it harder for her to throw a big buck and ride strongly forwards. Where do you use the whip, sometimes they are less reactive if you use it on the shoulder rather than behind the leg. She does sound as though she is nervous to lead which is just a confidence issue so the more she does it, the easier it will be for her. I would get her walking and trotting out in front first, then move on to ask for canter once she feels more confident.

If you feel worried about the bucking thing and it makes you back off, don't be afraid to ask a more confident rider to take her out a few times. No point in shaking your confidence or risking an injury.
 
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warrington
my TB gelding is exactly like this! will do it all in the school and happly follow on a hack

but put him in front and he wont move.

he used to be same hacking solo but i hacked with a smaller lunge whip and every times he nappes i sent him forwards with a wiggle of lunge whip behind him (difficult to ride with) but worked a treat i can no hack alone with any whips at all!

also im still working on the group thing i can come from the back in a canter to the front and lead for a little but i cant start out in front.

i think its a stubbornness thing with my gelding as hes not spooky but hes lazy and wont exert any more energy than he has to.

im quite happy to follow behind other aswell so this rubs off on him! try making your mare work behind the other hold her back trot her up and past then stop and continue to walk if shes happy with that and then trot along side other and canter to and slowly edger her in front and ask ther others to shorten their strides so you can get that little bit infront and work on that. thats how im doing it and 4 months later i can lead sometimes (when hes in the mood to)
 

spookypony

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I found taking my unconfident pony on pleasure rides helped his attitude after the rides. Now, he practically elbows his way to the front after the first hour, and is much happier to lead than before. I think the speed helps!
 

Tammytoo

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10 June 2011
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Yorkshire
My mare was just like this. Long story short, she had hock spavins. I think it would be worth having her checked out because it does sound pain related. Especially the jolty trot with her head in the air, she's obviously trying to avoid pain somehow. Reluctance to work and go forward can be classic signs of spavins.

Have you had the fit of her saddle checked recently?
 

JFTDWS

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4 November 2010
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Sounds like a more dramatic / less willing version of my lad - mine goes forward fine in the school / behind / in front in known places on hacks, but take him out alone or somewhere new and he backs off my leg entirely and goes very babyish - he bounces up and down on the spot and wobbles sideways staring at potential monsters :rolleyes:

Fergs has got infinitely better just by practice and perseverance - will now take me forward in canter properly out by himself - next test is to find somewhere new and see what happens ;)
 

fishy

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5 March 2011
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north west
Thank you all for your coments :) Glad to see I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I have the vet coming up next week (routine) so will ask him to check her hocks, although she goes well behind and doesn't do the jolty trot then, and she loves to jump! (sadly I don't :( ) Her saddle was checked and re-flocked in November. I think she is just trying it on with me as last year she suddenly developed a spin, but I have managed to stop this now. I'm thinking a few lessons might help us both. Thanks again xx
 
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