How to stop planting

Sassenach_1234

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21 August 2021
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I have just bought an 8yo mare. She’s was fine the first time I rode at home but the second time she planted and I had to get someone to lead her forwards, once I got her going she was ok. Then today she did it on a hack (we’d not gone far) and I could NOT get her to move. Unfortunately I had to give up in the end which I HATE doing as I know it will make it worse. We went back to the school to see if she was better in there but planted again (even from a trot) I’ve given a firm tap with the stick and she is just numb to everything. Even the lunge whips behind her she’s is just not fussed and not moving. I can’t even turn in a tight ciricle. In the end I got off and led her round the school. Got back on and planted again. Eventually I got her to walk and we called it a day.

What am I doing wrong! So frustrated as she didn’t do it when I tried her and hasn’t done it with the previous owner apparently.

I really want to get it sorted ASAP as the longer she does it the harder it will be to stop her doing it. Plus it’s bloody annoying! I just want to ride!

Saddle is fine and she’s not in pain as far as I’m aware. Passed 5* vetting. She’s not spooky at all so it’s just stubbornness I think but how do it stop it…..

Help please!
 

bonny

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17 September 2007
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I have just bought an 8yo mare. She’s was fine the first time I rode at home but the second time she planted and I had to get someone to lead her forwards, once I got her going she was ok. Then today she did it on a hack (we’d not gone far) and I could NOT get her to move. Unfortunately I had to give up in the end which I HATE doing as I know it will make it worse. We went back to the school to see if she was better in there but planted again (even from a trot) I’ve given a firm tap with the stick and she is just numb to everything. Even the lunge whips behind her she’s is just not fussed and not moving. I can’t even turn in a tight ciricle. In the end I got off and led her round the school. Got back on and planted again. Eventually I got her to walk and we called it a day.

What am I doing wrong! So frustrated as she didn’t do it when I tried her and hasn’t done it with the previous owner apparently.

I really want to get it sorted ASAP as the longer she does it the harder it will be to stop her doing it. Plus it’s bloody annoying! I just want to ride!

Saddle is fine and she’s not in pain as far as I’m aware. Passed 5* vetting. She’s not spooky at all so it’s just stubbornness I think but how do it stop it…..

Help please!
I would take with a large pinch of salt that she’s never done that before. Why was she sold ?
 

Sassenach_1234

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21 August 2021
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55
I would take with a large pinch of salt that she’s never done that before. Why was she sold ?
She did it once when she arrived with him but he gave her a form smack and she never did it again apparently. He had her for over a year and was only sold as he wants to do Foxhunter abs while she’s a great jumper she’s not quite up to 1.20
 

Lady Jane

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I would get your trainer on board and see what happens? Where you riding out by yourself? Does she do it when you ride in company?
 

Hepsibah

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If she won't go forwards, ask her to go backwards. It's the old pressure and release trick. Ask for back gently with your hands and keep that light pressure on while asking with your legs every few moments. It may take a little while but the moment you get a hint of a hint that she is thinking backwards release the pressure. Give her a second then ask again. Once you get a few steps backwards, ask her forwards again. She might take a few tries, I once had to back a pony halfway across a field before she gave up and behaved herself but it is easier to go forward and the aids for going backwards are clearly harder to ignore than a smack with a whip.
 

Sassenach_1234

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21 August 2021
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55
If she won't go forwards, ask her to go backwards. It's the old pressure and release trick. Ask for back gently with your hands and keep that light pressure on while asking with your legs every few moments. It may take a little while but the moment you get a hint of a hint that she is thinking backwards release the pressure. Give her a second then ask again. Once you get a few steps backwards, ask her forwards again. She might take a few tries, I once had to back a pony halfway across a field before she gave up and behaved herself but it is easier to go forward and the aids for going backwards are clearly harder to ignore than a smack with a whip.
Thanks I’ll give that a try tomorrow. I did try backwards which she did for a few steps and the when I losened reins to go forward she stopped. I’ll give it another go.
 

MissMay

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7 December 2010
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I used to school a planter oh my god nothing more frustrating.

And the only thing that worked was waiting it out, it's like she needed time to decompress and forget why she didn't want to go. First day took maybe 20 mins and after that it gradually got less. We stayed off the roads until the planting was nearly gone.

So in the arena or fields if she did it I would just sit, slack the reins don't fight and slump down nearly in the saddle don't let her feel any resistance every few mins gently squeeze and ask to move if you get the defiant head toss then sit quiet again. Eventually they get bored and over themselves and you continue as you were. The key is not to get angry (even though its so hard) don't let anyone try make you loose your cool it won't work and your worse off.

After maybe a week of just letting her wait it out the plant was nearly a thing of the past I felt it was a defence mechanism
 

Peglo

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I watched a video and it was similar to miss may’s advice. You’d have to be super patient and not get angry.

when the horse stopped the women started tapping the horse with her heels. Not kicking or squeezing just gentle tapping so that it was irritating. Loose reins and relaxed posture. Then as soon as the horse started moving, even really slowly the tapping stopped. Horse was rewarded for moving. Then when it stopped again the tapping started and it kept working like that until the horse realised it was better to move.
I can see how this would work but not actually needed to try it thankfully.
 

smiggy

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I think I’d be asking the old owner to come and ride her, see how he gets on.
could be a stress thing, new home making her more anxious
or could be her default thing, fine if she knows it doesn’t work but every time it does she will be reinforced .
I had a highland who was terrible for this when first broken. We got it sorted, she was fine for years, then went to sell her and first person who tried her , she planted with her out hacking, lady didn’t deal with it very promptly and bingo, habit back. Took months to get her back to normal.
im not saying it’s your fault, just that guy might be telling the truth, she tried it once, he very promptly stopped it, before it even started so she didn’t bother again. You just weren’t so quick, she got away with it once and now it’s a fun party trick ?
 

Brownmare

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It could be a confidence thing, new yard, new rider etc. I think I'd be leading her out in hand and doing groundwork in the school for a while to start to build her trust in you. Then hop on when you get to the last 10 min of your route out or to walk out of the school and back to the yard and yake it from there. If she is still sticky, the wait it out trick is a good one, or see if you can "unbalance" her into taking the first step by opening you hand out wide to turn her head and using the opposite leg to push her sideways. I find that gets a sticky horse moving most times.
 

pistolpete

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29 July 2009
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Horses plant when flight seems less likely to work for them. They’re still stressed and in their reactive part of their brain so can’t be ‘logical’ about what’s being asked. If less over faced often things will improve quickly. Horse needs to know you’re listening to her when she shows concern. I think you need to allow a bit more time to grow a bond for this to improve. Good luck.
 

Caol Ila

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Horses plant when flight seems less likely to work for them. They’re still stressed and in their reactive part of their brain so can’t be ‘logical’ about what’s being asked. If less over faced often things will improve quickly. Horse needs to know you’re listening to her when she shows concern. I think you need to allow a bit more time to grow a bond for this to improve. Good luck.
Totally agree with this. My Highland could have a pretty hardcore plant in him if he was stressed and overfaced. With the wrong trainer/rider, there is potential for this to become a serious thing. I would rather not. So I'm being super careful about what I ask and when I ask it. He's had a few wee ones, but I was in a position to unstick him via non-coercive methods-- by having OH or another horse run in front of him. His SOP, when worried, is to freeze and back off the leg. So long as he moves forward when I put leg on and say, "It's fine," we are good. If he keeps backing off, I put OH or horse friend up front rather than get into an argument that will help no one. He's getting a lot better at leading hacks and trusting my aid when worried. With horses like this, building that trust by choosing activities where you both "win" is probably the best way forward. Foinavon is a sensitive chap, but with this as his default 'freak out' behaviour, rather than the spooking/running you'd see in a typically hot horse, there is lots of potential for it to go very wrong.

I'm introducing arena work very. very. slowly.
 

pistolpete

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Thank you C I. Appreciate that. I feel sometimes horses are expected to be more resilient than they physically can be sometimes. With the right training though great results can be achieved kindly.
 

claret09

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21 April 2014
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my boy used to plant for england. the thing i found worked with him (might not work for everyone) was to flick my reins from side to side over his neck. i used no leg either. flicking the reins also meant i wasn't restricting him from actually going forward. it helps if you can be super quick and do it as you feel them going to plant. hope that helps
 
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