New horse handling issues

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,679
Location
Ireland
I do hope you have a good instructor. Dutch Warmbloods are purpose bred horses and if he's been professionally ridden up until now it may take a bit of an effort to make him into the typical amateur's pet.
 

Dondi

New Member
Joined
27 December 2018
Messages
16
I do hope you have a good instructor. Dutch Warmbloods are purpose bred horses and if he's been professionally ridden up until now it may take a bit of an effort to make him into the typical amateur's pet.
Thank you, I completely understand. My soft spot for them comes from my wonderful Nan having them as I grew up and she always let me ride them when I went to stay. I was a bolshy teenager then with no fear and alot more confidence. But I am really lucky that I have a lot of good people now, who are able to watch and advise me if we can time it right, and I also have a determination of steel to have a wonderful and respectful relationship, whatever it takes :)
 

Cortez

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
8,679
Location
Ireland
Thank you, I completely understand. My soft spot for them comes from my wonderful Nan having them as I grew up and she always let me ride them when I went to stay. I was a bolshy teenager then with no fear and alot more confidence. But I am really lucky that I have a lot of good people now, who are able to watch and advise me if we can time it right, and I also have a determination of steel to have a wonderful and respectful relationship, whatever it takes :)
Whatever relationship you end up with will depend on who you and the horse "are" and whether you are suited, just like any other relationship. You can of course influence and shape that, but sometimes horses are just not the right fit, for whatever reason. I've had many horses through the years, and some I've just not got along with. Now, I used to be a professional rider so had to ride whatever I was presented with, but some horses are just not that pleasant to live with. Time and training will tell you as you go along, but don't be afraid to ultimately conclude that you may prefer a different type of horse. Horses are not like husbands (although you can trade those in too :) )
 

Dondi

New Member
Joined
27 December 2018
Messages
16
Whatever relationship you end up with will depend on who you and the horse "are" and whether you are suited, just like any other relationship. You can of course influence and shape that, but sometimes horses are just not the right fit, for whatever reason. I've had many horses through the years, and some I've just not got along with. Now, I used to be a professional rider so had to ride whatever I was presented with, but some horses are just not that pleasant to live with. Time and training will tell you as you go along, but don't be afraid to ultimately conclude that you may prefer a different type of horse. Horses are not like husbands (although you can trade those in too :) )
Ha ha I like that! 🤣
 

Dondi

New Member
Joined
27 December 2018
Messages
16
if the lunging helps why not lunge for a bit longer to get his fidgets sorted before trying to mount. if he is still fidgety and moves around, lunge him again and keep doing the same until he stands at the block, as soon as he does stand, praise him let him stand for as long as he wants to but as soon as he moves walk him round again and back to the block, dont try and get on just go through the exercise again and again. if he isnt getting better i would lunge again and dont give up.. you need to be patient and very persistant to get through to him that you are going to insist that he stands at the block...when you get success, praise him and put him away...do the same beginning the next day and if he stands ,get on and go for a fun hack,,, good luck
Thank you!! I like this and can do that for sure 😀 I will let you know how I get on over the next 6 weeks or so 🙏🏻
 

Theocat

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 November 2010
Messages
2,691
This sounds great! Did she walk up to it in a straight line and did you have something else the other side? He moves across as soon as I say “stand” and his rear goes outwards 🙈 I am not opposed to treats, and am asking him to stand at the block each day and ending on a good note when he’s let me reach over and stroke his neck, this is not always easy and he doesn’t move over toward the block. Not sure why he just seems to hate it!
Get him standing solidly and straight at the block before you reward, even if you need to keep circling or pushing him over. How often are you repeating in a session? I would do twenty or thirty repetitions of just standing at the block, increasing the pause before a reward. If you clamber onto the block and he swings away, get back off and push him back into position or walk around and start again. Don't reward until he's doing it properly. Another twenty or thirty repetitions once he has got that bit. It will make life much easier if you have help at least for the first session.

Make sure you haven't inadvertently taught him that "stand" means swing the quarters away! Also consider whether he's actually swinging the quarters away, or whether he's actually turning to face you in response to you speaking. Completely different process, same outcome!

Tristan Tucker has a routine for teaching the horse to move its quarters towards you which is ideal for helping with this. I can't remember the details but it is worth looking for.
 

Theocat

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 November 2010
Messages
2,691
Thank you!! I like this and can do that for sure 😀 I will let you know how I get on over the next 6 weeks or so 🙏🏻
It sounds as though the mounting - and therefore not riding - are at the root of the problems. It should only take a few sessions - less than a week - to fix the mounting issue. Good luck, looking forward to following your progress!
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
22,637
Location
W. Yorks
I once bought a Clydesdale who was difficult to mount, although I know, like you that she had been ridden in her previous home. I had a helper and I'm not sure that you have but this worked for me:

We built a 3-sided box with small straw bales, helper walked her into the box, where I was already standing on top of one 'wall'. Unless the horse was going to push over the bales (which she could have done), she had to stand still to be mounted. We repeated the process until we could dispense with the front of the box and eventually dispensed with the box altogether. Horse got food rewards for doing the right thing. This is the horse who almost knelt down to allow me to mount after I broke my ankle, so she certainly understood the lessons;)


Just another thought - and I know you heart will sink, sorry:( I had another mare who always told me when her saddle was uncomfortable by moving away from the mounting block bas I stood on it. I would get your new saddle assessed by a 2nd opinion, tbh.


ETA, he doesn't look ribby in your photos, to me, he just looks very fit.
 
Joined
18 October 2017
Messages
19
Just another thought - and I know you heart will sink, sorry:( I had another mare who always told me when her saddle was uncomfortable by moving away from the mounting block bas I stood on it. I would get your new saddle assessed by a 2nd opinion, tbh.
Agreed, my boy's saddle was not right for him and he was telling me by swinging his hind quarters away. After a time he also started fidgeting for girthing. He was new to me so I thought he was just trying it on, but after I had a new fitter out and got a new saddle, he stopped swinging his bum away instantly.
 
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
549
Loads and loads of good advice here

Remember that his behaviour is a product of his previous experience
For example- some pro yards prepare horses for riding in cross ties, they have no opportunity for fidgeting- if he was used to cross ties and suddenly is untied, or just normal tied, he might fancy a fidget just because he can. You just need to retrain your way of doing things.
They also may be less particular about mounting- maybe they get legs up from grooms, maybe they have a bit permanent mounting block in the yard and just walk them along past it and hop on, he might have never been asked to properly stand and wait, or there has always been someone there to hold the other side.
Doesn't surprise that he's good for the farrier, that will have been trained into him by a succession of farriers who all expect the same thing!
Its maybe not so much about settling in but just about different homes he has had having different ways of doing things and priorities, there are loads of excellent suggestions above to help you begin your training.
As long as you are patient, and consistent, and get good advice, there is no reason why you can't turn him into the horse you want.
Competition horses are different, you might need to lunge him before you ride to get the tickle out of his toes if you can't ride regularly. And if you are confident hacking but not in fields, then keep going out but just stick to roads / tracks- it'll keep his little foreign brain interested. Mischief often appears when they are fresh or bored, even in an otherwise lovely individual...
 

9tails

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 January 2009
Messages
3,926
that’s what I was hoping the clicker training would help with. He’s just so used to moving off straight away, I am thinking I could see if a leg up makes it any different, lunging him first definitely takes some of his edge off and getting on is easier by about 10 minutes......maybe this will just come as we do it more?
Getting a leg up or getting on while he's walking past is just papering over the cracks. You need to teach him to stand at the block and move his hand quarters in line with the block. I used a schooling whip to lightly tap my horse's rump until she took one step towards the block. Definitely not whipping, slight tapping to annoy her and she tried all the moves stepping out, forward, back until she did the right one. Stop, praise, rinse and repeat. It takes time but when they've learnt that's it for life, they don't forget. I don't even need to ask for her rump in, she does it automatically. But if I need to mount from something that's not a block, I stand on it and can point a finger at her rear and she sidles in.
 

Landcruiser

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
1,167
Location
Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
Are you using a "normal" headcollar, ie one a horse can ignore if he chooses to do so? And a short leadrope? Using something with more refinement and less capacity to be ignored can only improve matters. A long rope (minimum 8ft) and a rope halter are what I always use. This can be left on under a bridle, which can be helpful. And then constant, consistent placing back where you want him to be - no drama, no raised heart rate or breathing, just put him back where he should be, be it for mounting, standing for feet, whatever. Use as little force as you need to - aim for less force needed each time (but use as much as you have to), and be consistent. Always do it, never accept less, however long it takes. These are manners that will stay with him for life and repay you a thousandfold.
Also, I would drop the clicker training (and definitely drop any treats). I am sure a horse like this will learn to try to mug you if you're not careful. And timing has to be PERFECT, which isn't something you can learn from reading a book.
Good luck, he's a beaut.
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
9,674
Good advice about getting someone to help. The horse is reading you, your body language, etc and doing his own thing. I daresay his previous professional yard owners were far more strict. At this stage you must remember that you are his teacher, and he should take his lead from you. If you do not show him what to do he will take matters into his own hoofs and do what he wants. The boss horse makes the other horse move its feet. Is he moving your feet or are you moving his feet?

I once went to a clinic and there was a lady there whose very attractive Arab horse was simply walking all over her, just not obeying her at all. The lady giving the clinic took over and in minutes the horse was following and leading correctly. The following day this horse was being troubled by a large flying insect and we, as spectators could see that the horse was distressed, but the owner hadn't noticed and the horse was giving longing looks to the trainer - who noticed that something was wrong and went over to investigate. Told the whole story of the clinic really.
 
Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
82
I am no expert, but for what its worth lunging really helped a lot with a similar issue in my last horse. It also had a lasting effect as once he got used to standing still and behaving while being handled it became a habit. Keep going and don't give up - for sure there is a solution if you keep trying different things. Good luck!
 

BOWS28

Active Member
Joined
27 February 2018
Messages
215
Location
Hertfordshire
This advice is absolutely amazing, thank you! This is my very personal journey and I adore him, he has a very loving personality sometimes but also can be silly when super excited. Ground handling lessons sound exactly what I need, I am based in east anglia, Ipswich area so if anyone had any trainers they can recommend I would really like to hear about them.
I’ve cut his hard feed down, and took out the Alfa a he was having as he was completely nutty on it. The only reason I’m still feeding something is that I need to get some weight on him, he’s a little ribby but again I’m super happy for any suggestions. He’s on dengie hi fi, fast fibre and micronised linseed, and I have put hay in his field, is this too much?
Thank you again, to know it’s more common than I think helps more than you know 🙏🏻
Linseed made my girls nutty!
 
Top