Plod to excitable

hobbit

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I've had my horse almost 12 months, and although it's taken a long while for me to build bond with him, I love him to bits now.

I've learnt not to judge horse by it's cover...I had a perfect school master on loan for 2 years, and it broke my heart when owner wanted him back...but everyone pushed me to buy a horse, to keep me going and not get disheartened etc...but went to see this pny - Tyzer, and had him on trial for 2 weeks...hated him...he was a plod. Just wasn't my loan horse!! Anyway, I bought him...

At first I called him a Trekker, and really couldn't gel...now I use that affectionately as his nickname
But he's by far a trekker now!!

He's gone from a no muscled, no weight, ploddy horse who could barely trot in the school let alone canter...to quite a fiery, excitable pony that loves to jump etc...

Now I'm going to sound like nothings right lol...I love that he finds things excting, he's an honest little jumper, and he loves it.
But cantering out in company is starting to make me nervous...when we start cantering he'll throw his head high, then lurch forward...that doesn't normally bother me, but he's recently started bucking when cantering out now due to excitement (but, the horses were good, and when I called for friend to stop, both horses stopped mid gallop).
The problem is his bucks really unseat me, so after him throwing his head up and lurching forward, him adding a buck after just unbalances me. And he's the type that gets nervous if rider is unbalanced and has been known to bolt.

The thing is, he's a fit pony, went hunting over winter, did fun rides all last summer etc...but I've been so busy with work I have barely ridden him more than 2 times a week! So I can't blame him for being excited...he's stabled atm. I'm hoping that when they are turned out 24/7 that he calms down, and I'm trying to find a sharer so he gets ridden everyday.

Anyway, went for a hack yesterday, and as there were 4 of us I felt more nervous to canter in company...he was already jiggying in trot, and I felt so bad being the one that said "I don't feel safe cantering", when everyone else wanted to canter...anyway, we split up, and cantered 2 at a time...and we had a nice calm canter (had 2 canters, slightly up hill), with no bucks.

I don't think he's really ever going to stop his head throwing up and lurching forward in canter (he only does it when cantering out in company), he also wears martingale and sometimes a flash. But how can I keep my confidence with cantering out in company?
 

scottish_girl

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I had this problem with my horse for a long time, he would buck and take off with his head between his knees. I found that pushing him through it worked and kicking him on if he bucked, also if you can feel he is away to lurch forward try pushing him on and through to show him who is in charge! Have you tried just cantering alone? Maybe the sound of the horses around him is getting him over-excited.

Before you canter just take a minute or two to calm yourself down and not to show him you are feeling a little nervous about what he may do during the canter and just be a step ahead of him while out.
 

showpony

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Best tip I could give you would be to get lead horses rider to tell you when they are going to canter and ask for canter transition when others are still trotting!!
Also keep nose to tail if possible, and keep pony's mind busy, with my mare I tend to do some lateral work etc to keep her brain focused on me .
 
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Kaylum

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Is he not going out at all? If not he must be bored stiff. I don't know why yards without all weather turn out don't use barns rather than stables. At least they get to move around. Anyway what you feeding and did you buy him as unfit? Seen so many horses for sale have have been out of work for a long time and people buy them as they are unfit and a lot different to a fit horse that lies beneath.
 

AmyMay

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Firstly, pop a standing martingale on.

Secondly, if he's getting no turnout he is of course going to be 'wired'.

And thirdly, ride 'smart'. Go out with no more than three horses, and always be the lead horse when it comes to cantering (never the follower, that's far too exciting). Or even better, canter side by side. Don't ride nose to tail. Bucking is often done out of excitement, and you taking charge of the situation should solve it. Don't shriek or yell, but growl and give him a firm 'Oi!).

Lastly, remember you've ridden him in the most exciting of circumstances, hunting and fun rides. You know he's a good pony, and your more than capable of coping with him in these situations, so the hacking is no different. He's getting no turnout and no real exercise to speak of, so going out in a group at the moment is all a bit 'whey hey!'
 

Jericho

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Exactly what Amy May said... We having a slightly similar issue and trying to figure how to deal with it and this sounds like good advice
 

hobbit

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We do have winter turn out, but as it's end of winter, the grass is eaten low and he loses weight easily...so with the bad weather has been in, and if do turn out it is only for a few hours. He isn't on anything fizzy, he's of molly chop, conditioning cubes, and the non sugary beet....and Kaylum, our yard does have barns but they are used for youngsters who have the winter off, and old horses who need to move around. Our yard provides all year turnout, but in winter it's weather dependent, but in summer is 24/7. we have great grass in summer because of our yards sensible turnout in winter.

Show pony, will def do the canter whilst they are trotting, will hopefully stop him doing the initial lurch.

Very true Amymay, felt totally safe cantering with 15-20 people out hunting, so no reason why shouldn't feel safe with just 2 or 3. :)

Thanks for all the comments...going to do trotting hacks as much as possible when on my own to get some energy out of him, and try and do smaller group canters until he's out for the summer.
 

AmyMay

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He isn't on anything fizzy, he's of molly chop, conditioning cubes, and the non sugary beet....

Mollychop is full of sugar, and conditioning cubes are full of energy, and potentially explosive for a lightly exercised horse who's getting little turnout.
 

hobbit

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I've got the non fizzy types, asked over counter for foods with little sugar in them. he needs the conditioning cubes as he loses weight so easily...but to be fair he hasn't had any feed in about 2 weeks as run out.
 

BlackVelvet

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Firstly, pop a standing martingale on. Secondly, if he's getting no turnout he is of course going to be 'wired'. And thirdly, ride 'smart'. Go out with no more than three horses, and always be the lead horse when it comes to cantering (never the follower, that's far too exciting). Or even better, canter side by side. Don't ride nose to tail. Bucking is often done out of excitement, and you taking charge of the situation should solve it. Don't shriek or yell, but growl and give him a firm 'Oi!). Lastly, remember you've ridden him in the most exciting of circumstances, hunting and fun rides. You know he's a good pony, and your more than capable of coping with him in these situations, so the hacking is no different. He's getting no turnout and no real exercise to speak of, so going out in a group at the moment is all a bit 'whey hey!'

This!
I had a really lovely honest gelding but take him out with other people and it blew his mind. I just couldnt hold him back and he got to a point where I felt he was going to get dangerous. I started hacking with sensible people whos horses could stay behind him and didnt bolt, as he hated being left behind.
 

Annagain

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My otherwise gem of a share horse would have the odd excitable buck when cantering. They were little bunny hops which made us laugh rather than anything bad, so we didn't do anything about it, but when a more novices rider started riding him we decided we had to stop it, so everytime he bucked we gave him a bit of a dig in the ribs and a growl, if he bucked again he got a flick of the whip. We had to sit through a couple of protests but after I think 3 occasions (over space of a year, they're that infrequent!) he hasn't bucked again. Your boy seems like a lovely horse who just needs telling what he's doing isn't acceptable. He probably thinks you're enjoying it as much as him!
 

atropa

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Second the poster who said canter in front so you can control the pace etc. Make sure you canter out with sensible riders and horses who won't overtake you.
When cantering behind, build it up over time ie master cantering with one horse in company, then two, then three etc.
 

Tobiano

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If he is bucking in canter may I suggest you get his back and saddle checked? Never a waste of time or money in my opinion. :)
 

wench

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If he's stabled and not getting much exercise he really shouldn't be needing conditioning cubes.
 

AmieeT

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Agree with the comment about the standing martingale. I used one on mine as he would throw his head up, and he's barely done it since. Forgot to bring the martingale are taking everything home to clean it and he was still as good as gold.

Try not to give in to his behaviour- the girl that loaned my boy before me would get off after he threw a buck- which meant it was his favourite trick when I got him! Staying put was difficult and I found it scary but he knows he won't get out of work by doing it now!

Ax
 

hobbit

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Normally I'm the confident one and my friends go in front to set the pace as they normally nervous onrs/on new horse etc...but think it might be time to swap. But dont wanna make them go behind if they're more comfortable in front. But will have a word next time we do a canter.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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I've got the non fizzy types, asked over counter for foods with little sugar in them. he needs the conditioning cubes as he loses weight so easily...but to be fair he hasn't had any feed in about 2 weeks as run out.
You need to get grip, your fit horse has been stabled for two weeks, and you have run out of food............. if you don't have both time and commitment, and this horse is too much for you maybe he would be better elsewhere?
If it is just a temporary problem it might be worthwhile getting an instructor or good rider to come and school him for you a couple of days a week. Until you can get sorted.
 
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hobbit

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personally I wasn't asking your opinion on whther I should keep him or not! So you can keep them to yourself!
I was asking on how to keep my confidence out cantering, thank you very much.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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personally I wasn't asking your opinion on whther I should keep him or not! So you can keep them to yourself!
I was asking on how to keep my confidence out cantering, thank you very much.
If you have to ask on a forum you can expect a variety of answers.
See my next post
 
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Exploding Chestnuts

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This is to be expected of a nice forward going type which you have been hunting all winter, he is probably ready for competition, but he may need a good 60-75 minutes exercise every day.
 

Honey08

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My husband's gelding can do this now and again. I find you have to tell him to canter rather than letting him drift into it (or leap!) when following others, and sometimes I pull him up for a few strides while others continue, then do an upward transition again, letting his stride lengthen, then shortening it again (repeating this frequently within one canter, so lots of transitions within the pace), until he buckles down and realises he still has to listen to me even though we're cantering. The worst thing you can do is let him do it and not object back. Our sharer is very petite, the horse is a 17h powerful chunk, so he used to canter off when we got somewhere we often cantering, and she couldn't always pull him up. He never cantered off quickly, but it was still a deliberate disobedience, she was too "gentle" with him. When he was rude to her like that I had her be rude back, giving quite a tug if need be, until he listened. Personally I don't like a big horse to know how strong he is!
 

hobbit

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we had a real nice trotting hack tonight which seemed to help relieve some of his excess energy. We had one moment coming back across the field where a sheep moved and he bolted forward a few strides, and was jiggy most of the way back across field to yard...see that doesn't bother me. It's the bucking I am terrified of...my 2 friends horses were a bit jiggy too, but they were able to keep me calm and make me focus on heels down and sitting back etc...

anyhu, he's having another good trotting hack tomorrow, and schooling Thurs...unfortunately sat off due to work, but he's going on a lengthy ride sunday, with hopefully a canter at end of it out in company :)

I know he's fit and needs the work, just until we're out for the summer my job just is hard to find time. and they all calm down once on summer fields...and the no mucking out means I have time to ride.

Just need to focus on my positin when expect a buck. deep seat. sit back, heels down. Not sure why the bucks scare me more than mini rears, lurching forward etc,,,but they do...he has only bucked a few times, and only towards end of winter, so hopefully is just a passing thing....
 

hobbit

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Now and again on winter paddock - weather dependent.
And when muck out is generally on woodchip for good hour (where he can walk about to stretch his legs)
 

showpony

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Bolting is something different. He tanked off for couple of strides... I scanned over inital reply,. If horse doesn't have any turnout And has gone from hunting all winter to Being stable confined... Well you should see the answer.
 

sarahann1

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Limited turn out + feed the equivalent of a mars bar + not enough exercise = bonkers horse

Ok, so the above is quite simplistic, and every horse is different, but as others have said Molly chop is full of sugar and conditioning cubes full of energy.

Personally I would change that diet as soon as possible. Along with all the schooling suggestions you've had.
 

AandK

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You need to get grip, your fit horse has been stabled for two weeks, and you have run out of food............. if you don't have both time and commitment, and this horse is too much for you maybe he would be better elsewhere?
If it is just a temporary problem it might be worthwhile getting an instructor or good rider to come and school him for you a couple of days a week. Until you can get sorted.

The above comment is a bit harsh, but you say in one breath that he loses weight easily so has conditioning cubes, and then say he's had no feed for 2 weeks as you have run out? Am I the only one who finds this a bit hard to swallow..
 

hobbit

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he's had no feed for past 2 weeks as he is quite nicely plump (not overweight) now, so never thought to buy another bag as hoping will be out on summer paddocks soon, he is on good haylage, and is eating as much of it as he wants, to keep the weight on. seems to be working ok at the moment, but as the winter paddocks are quite low in grass, he will only be out for short periods
 
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