Unwilling to go forward - being an arse or something more?

scattynuttymare

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Can I have your veiws please guys. I have a big (17hh) Irish horse who's just turned 5. Had him approx six months. He has developed an unwillingness to move forward. Sometimes he'll work quite nicley and other times as soon as I put my leg on he'll buck. I can get 1/2 hour out of him before he stops wanting to move off my leg. He had very little schooling from the home I got him from. Literally just hacked after being broken in. I got him and had problems with him not wanting to be tacked up or stand tied up. All this has been sorted out but now I have a new issue. I don't even even have to use my legs very hard. Just the softest of squeezes and he'll lift his bottom. I have been lunging him the last few days and he seems ok. Lazy but hasn't bucked. He is a lazy horse but I can't tell if this is him just saying 'sod off I'm not working' of if there's more to it. They are not massive bucks but it is putting me off a little. If I try to ride him through it he normally continues to buck and occasionaly waves his front leg out infront of him, stamping the ground and then will sometimes just get on with it. Other times he keeps up the prtest so I have to admit I get off - I know it's not the best thing to do but if I do get off I lunge him straight away so he doesn't get away with it.

Edited to say: My instructor has also ridden him and has exactly the same issues with him.
 

scattynuttymare

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No I also hack. Not out on the road just around the farmland. Again he's ok sometimes and othertimes he bucks. Doesn't matter if he is alone in compony, in front or behind. There are not massive 'I'm going to get you off' bucks but with him being so big it is quite frightening... unless I'm just being a wimp - hangs head and sighs.
 

stacey_lou

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Thats one issue id look at first is his tack like Amy may has said if its nipping he'd buck but if its a case of going forwards and into the bridal has he got a problem with his teeth maybe?
 

scattynuttymare

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His saddle was brought and fitted new when I got him. It was then checked three months later on advise of saddler. He is ridden in a plain snaffle and his teeth were done three weeks ago by an EDT. She did have to remove a tooth as it was in the way, I'm assuming that it was a wolf tooth but I must confess I can't actually remember! Anyway she didn't say that there was anything to cause any problems and advised him to be looked at in a years time
 

stacey_lou

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Maybe hes just being a general ass hole (with out causing offence) do you jump off and end your schooling when he starts playing up? beause if you do this could be a reason for why he does it beacuse hes poss done it a few times and has relaised that if he plays up he can rest and get away with it.
Does he do this out hacking of just schooling?
Personally ( obviously I dont know the inns and outs) but if he did it everytime after half hour id ignore the bucking try and sit throught it and keep pushing his forwards untill he gave up but thats just my opinion.
If his teeth,feet back and tack are all ok then i cant think of any other reason other than just being lazy
 

scattynuttymare

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I have my instructor - who is also at a loss with him. She with visits me once a week. Apart from that I am bringing him on myself. I have always brought my horses on myself. Although normally I have brought them as yearlings rather than just backed and ready to go further so I've known a little more about previous horses.
 

arwenplusone

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How much work are you doing with him? He is still a baby and is probably a bit stuffy with the schooling at the moment. Do you vary his routine? Pop a cross poles to keep his interest up?

Also much more than half an hour on a baby and you may be losing his attention span anyway. Perhaps go in the school, work on something for 20 mins & then hack? Before he gets silly. You can then build on that.
 

diggerbez

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might be worth getting a chiropractor or physio to just check his back isn't a bit uncomfortable but if thats ok then i'd be inclined to think he's just being stuffy/lazy. my grey in my siggy was like that and it sounds awful but sometimes he needed a few good whallops to get him forwards. admittedly then had to survive rodeo bucks but it did work wonders!
smile.gif
 

AmyMay

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Agree with Mayflower. He may also benefit from some time turned away. He's a big horse, and will still be developing.

You'll know through experience as well though, how they can go through this 'stage' where they simply say 'no'.

What's his diet like?
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]

How much work are you doing with him? He is still a baby and is probably a bit stuffy with the schooling at the moment. Do you vary his routine? Pop a cross poles to keep his interest up?

Also much more than half an hour on a baby and you may be losing his attention span anyway. Perhaps go in the school, work on something for 20 mins & then hack? Before he gets silly. You can then build on that.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm riding about three times a week. Maybe four if the weathers nice and only for about 40 mins at a time, normally less but never more than that. We are doing plenty of stretching exercises and some pole work / raised pole work. I've not actually jumped him yet as he's very green and unbalanced on the flat and I'm not sure he's ready for it. I'm keeping it all varied and fun for him but just can't seem to work through this barrier. I am at the moment when I ride just walking him around the field on a loose contact just asking to move forward form my leg and rewarding him when he does so with out protest. He has been ok ish with this but only in walk. Trot is another hurdle to get over.
 

Sarah1

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How quickly are you asking him to 'work' once you get in the school?
When I started having lessons with my instructor, about 2 years ago (horse was 6yrs at the time), he advised me to make sure my boy is really forwards & moving off my leg before taking up a contact and asking him to work as he was feeling very behind the leg and this was causing him to buck & levade and generally be an arse!
So, at the beginning of the session I trot him forwards on a long rein (canter if he's feeling really stuffy) and don't take up a contact until he's moving off my leg & feels forwards. I find if I do this at the beginning of the session I can then get some decent work from him. The other option is lateral work but with yours being a baby this might be more difficult and to be honest takes a lot longer with my lad!
So, I think if you're sure he's not in any discomfort then just ride him forwards before asking him to actually work and echo what Mayflower said about the length of time you're schooling as you could just be doing too much for now with him.
Good luck & let us know how you get on
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
might be worth getting a chiropractor or physio to just check his back isn't a bit uncomfortable but if thats ok then i'd be inclined to think he's just being stuffy/lazy. my grey in my siggy was like that and it sounds awful but sometimes he needed a few good whallops to get him forwards. admittedly then had to survive rodeo bucks but it did work wonders!
smile.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

I was going to get him checked. I thought him a couple of weeks to see if he improves and then go down that route. I will post another thread in a mo asking for recommendations. I have a 'back man' that I would normally use but I'm not sure he's right on this occasion.

My instructor has given a good few whollops to get him forward but it just didn't do anything. I'm not brave enough to try it myself and never be able to smack him hard enough anyway!
 

MrsMozart

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[ QUOTE ]
His saddle was brought and fitted new when I got him. It was then checked three months later on advise of saddler. He is ridden in a plain snaffle and his teeth were done three weeks ago by an EDT. She did have to remove a tooth as it was in the way, I'm assuming that it was a wolf tooth but I must confess I can't actually remember! Anyway she didn't say that there was anything to cause any problems and advised him to be looked at in a years time

[/ QUOTE ]

A year's time? My dentist says every six months for neds upto twelve years old (I'm a bit paranoid about dentists after Dizzy!). Try changing the snaffle, see what he thinks to something different. Does your instructor ride him through the bucks? His saddle may well need checking again - if the last place didn't do much with him, now that you're schooling and lunging him his muscles are going to be developing, plus his age means he'll be growing still.
 

diggerbez

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yeah...get him checked. then you know its not a pain thing and you can start looking for a different solution
smile.gif
the suggestion abovie about really getting him forwards before picking up a contact is a good one- forgot i used to do that with said grey too- literally galloping around the arena on him at times for 5/10 minutes before commencing proper work
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blush.gif
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
How quickly are you asking him to 'work' once you get in the school?
When I started having lessons with my instructor, about 2 years ago (horse was 6yrs at the time), he advised me to make sure my boy is really forwards & moving off my leg before taking up a contact and asking him to work as he was feeling very behind the leg and this was causing him to buck & levade and generally be an arse!
So, at the beginning of the session I trot him forwards on a long rein (canter if he's feeling really stuffy) and don't take up a contact until he's moving off my leg & feels forwards. I find if I do this at the beginning of the session I can then get some decent work from him. The other option is lateral work but with yours being a baby this might be more difficult and to be honest takes a lot longer with my lad!
So, I think if you're sure he's not in any discomfort then just ride him forwards before asking him to actually work and echo what Mayflower said about the length of time you're schooling as you could just be doing too much for now with him.
Good luck & let us know how you get on

[/ QUOTE ]

It sounds like I ride in a very similar style to you. I ride on a long rein as soon as I get on allowing him to move forwards and stretch down, this is in walk and trot and then I gradually take up the rein contact after 10 - 15 mins if he's moving forward well and blowing / showing signs of being ready. I don't canter on a long rein as he just is not balanced enough and I know it would end in disaster! The last few times I've not taken up the contact at all as it's been a battle of about 20 - 25 mins to get him walking forward willingly and when he does I continue for another 5 - 10 mins praise him and get off
 

Loubiepoo

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I'd def get a physio out just to give him a check over, he may well be just getting a bit stuffy and trying it on, but at least if you've had him checked over you can eliminate the pain / discomfort issue and get on with things. The striking or waving a front leg out can also be a sign of discomfort/frustration.
 

scattynuttymare

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What are you feeding him?

[/ QUOTE ]

He get daily turnout and then in a night. He has breakfast and dinner which is 1 scoop alpha a, 1 scoop pasture mix in each feed, chooped carrots / apples. He has 5 slices of hay at night time.
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
His saddle was brought and fitted new when I got him. It was then checked three months later on advise of saddler. He is ridden in a plain snaffle and his teeth were done three weeks ago by an EDT. She did have to remove a tooth as it was in the way, I'm assuming that it was a wolf tooth but I must confess I can't actually remember! Anyway she didn't say that there was anything to cause any problems and advised him to be looked at in a years time

[/ QUOTE ]

A year's time? My dentist says every six months for neds upto twelve years old (I'm a bit paranoid about dentists after Dizzy!). Try changing the snaffle, see what he thinks to something different. Does your instructor ride him through the bucks? His saddle may well need checking again - if the last place didn't do much with him, now that you're schooling and lunging him his muscles are going to be developing, plus his age means he'll be growing still.

[/ QUOTE ]

I was going to get him check with in 6 months but with someone else. It is the first time I've used this EDT who is also a healer. I normally use my vet but another girl had her horse being done so I booked in too. I am going to stick to who I normally use though. My instructor did ride him through the bucks a couple of times but it took a good 10 - 15 mins of battling with him. I have to confess that after that I stopped and began to lunge him when he wouldn't go forward. I just didn't like the idea of him having a beasting. Especially when the results of him moving forward was short lived
 

AmyMay

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Here are my thoughts then based on everything you've said.

Don't let anyone wallop him - will just reinforce the napping (that's what I think it is).

Do get someone to sit on him and simply ride him through it. This rider is going to be quiet, confident and probably a man. They're not going to wallop him or shout at him - but simply sit there and continue to ask until they get the right answer.

Good luck with him. I would be suprised if it were anything other than his age and general 'I know better' attitude.
 

Sarah1

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Alfa A sends my lad loony! Might be worth changing it for something else and see how he is?
I know what you're saying about him being unbalanced - what about cantering him forwards down the long side of the school only? Really push him forwards, ask him to slow to a trot along the short side & then push him forwards again and keep doing this until he's feeling sharper off your leg?
It may be a good idea, as others have said, to have the physio out & just check he's not a bit sore.
My lad is also quite a big chap and was slow to mature.
 

Kenzo

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I would certainly go down the route of double checking your saddle, after all what one saddle fitter says is certainly not what another says, so double check.

If he is a little sore in his back from either the saddle or if he's pulled something looning about (like young horses do) then there is every possibility that this the niggling will become pain after 30 minutes of schooling, specially if he is lazy sort, only takes them to prat about in the field and because there not naturally athletic from a young age they do them selves a mischief. Also depending on what your actually doing during your schooling, 30 minutes can be quite demanding on a 5 year old if your asking a bit too much, specially if your warming up first, some just get a bit soar and throw the teddies out of the window and if he's a tad lazy then could it be his fitness? after all they are in the Kevin the teenager phase at 5.

Perhaps finishing on a good note after 20 mins and cooling him off with a gentle hack? so he learns that this schooling lark is not that bad after all and its within his capabilities?

How is your horse going? is there any difference in his paces and movement the lunge, hacking out or riding in the school and doing circle work? Does he buck on the lunge with his tack on?

Is he showing any signs of discomfort, tail swishing, stumbling, uneven muscle, stiffness etc you mentioned that he didn't used to like being tacked up, could be that may of been suffering from some pain when ridden and associates being tacked up with it.

Perhaps get a the back person back out to double check everything or have you vet out to carry out some hind flexion tests etc to see if anything shows up.

If there just little bucks and you have ruled all the above out and he's only doing it after a while then its just naughtiness or he's telling you that your now asking too much in which case I'd bring him back to basics again but at the same time would not tolerate the bucking, he's got to learn its not acceptable because if he's a clever little so and so he'll learn that he can avoid doing what he wants by using this threatening behaviour, some horses you can give them a smack for it others are better if you just sit quiet and ignore it and continue, as they learn what comes after there reaction, so depending on what sort of horse he is but if there only little bucks then keep his head up and keep your leg on and be quick to reward him when he settles back into a rythem again.

If he threatens and feels you backing off, he's learnt straight away what he can do, easier said than done I know.

Hope things pick up
smile.gif


 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
Here are my thoughts then based on everything you've said.

Don't let anyone wallop him - will just reinforce the napping (that's what I think it is).

Do get someone to sit on him and simply ride him through it. This rider is going to be quiet, confident and probably a man. They're not going to wallop him or shout at him - but simply sit there and continue to ask until they get the right answer.

Good luck with him. I would be suprised if it were anything other than his age and general 'I know better' attitude.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is what I'm thinking AmyMay. I will not let anyone wollap him again ever. There is no point fighting with him because he will win at the end of the day. I have myslef been riding him into a loose contact and not and asking him tomove forward. I ignore him when he bucks but praise him by giving him a good scratch on the wither when he moves forward.
 

Sarah1

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Agree with AmyMay about not allowing anyone to wallop your horse and also that the rider you need to find to ride him thro this episode will be a man - my instructor is a man and whilst I'm not saying they're better than women as there are some really good female instructors out there, with such a big horse a man has more core & upper body strength and therefore will not allow the horse to pull them about and because of the extra strength, in my experience, they seem to have far better control of their muscles & limbs.
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
Alfa A sends my lad loony! Might be worth changing it for something else and see how he is?
I know what you're saying about him being unbalanced - what about cantering him forwards down the long side of the school only? Really push him forwards, ask him to slow to a trot along the short side & then push him forwards again and keep doing this until he's feeling sharper off your leg?
It may be a good idea, as others have said, to have the physio out & just check he's not a bit sore.
My lad is also quite a big chap and was slow to mature.

[/ QUOTE ]

I am coming to the end of the bag of Alpha and was going to replace with Hi Fi as they are looking a bit porky. I do canter down the long side but being so big in a 20 x 40 arena once we've canter 5 strides and I'm at the corner so it is a bit difficult but we have our good days!
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
I would certainly go down the route of double checking your saddle, after all what one saddle fitter says is certainly not what another says, so double check.

If he is a little sore in his back from either the saddle or if he's pulled something looning about (like young horses do) then there is every possibility that this the niggling will become pain after 30 minutes of schooling, specially if he is lazy sort, only takes them to prat about in the field and because there not naturally athletic from a young age they do them selves a mischief. Also depending on what your actually doing during your schooling, 30 minutes can be quite demanding on a 5 year old if your asking a bit too much, specially if your warming up first, some just get a bit soar and throw the teddies out of the window and if he's a tad lazy then could it be his fitness? after all they are in the Kevin the teenager phase at 5.

Perhaps finishing on a good note after 20 mins and cooling him off with a gentle hack? so he learns that this schooling lark is not that bad after all and its within his capabilities?

How is your horse going? is there any difference in his paces and movement the lunge, hacking out or riding in the school and doing circle work? Does he buck on the lunge with his tack on?

Is he showing any signs of discomfort, tail swishing, stumbling, uneven muscle, stiffness etc you mentioned that he didn't used to like being tacked up, could be that may of been suffering from some pain when ridden and associates being tacked up with it.

Perhaps get a the back person back out to double check everything or have you vet out to carry out some hind flexion tests etc to see if anything shows up.

If there just little bucks and you have ruled all the above out and he's only doing it after a while then its just naughtiness or he's telling you that your now asking too much in which case I'd bring him back to basics again but at the same time would not tolerate the bucking, he's got to learn its not acceptable because if he's a clever little so and so he'll learn that he can avoid doing what he wants by using this threatening behaviour, some horses you can give them a smack for it others are better if you just sit quiet and ignore it and continue, as they learn what comes after there reaction, so depending on what sort of horse he is but if there only little bucks then keep his head up and keep your leg on and be quick to reward him when he settles back into a rythem again.

If he threatens and feels you backing off, he's learnt straight away what he can do, easier said than done I know.

Hope things pick up
smile.gif




[/ QUOTE ]

He does go forward on the lunge. Occasionaly he stumbles but I think this is down to him being so big an unbalnced he just doesn't know where his legs are going. Along with the fact he hard very long poorly shod feet which we are correcting. He was very pushy on the ground when I first got him, didn't want to tie up would squish me when tacking up and now all that has gone so I think that was just from his last owner being a bit too soft and letting him walk all over her. She sold him because he was too much.
 

Kayfm

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Once pain or discomfort is ruled out, concentrate on forwardness with no outline. my warmblood used to hollow out and suck back under protest of ' ive worked hard enough now and dont want to do any more' or 'this is too difficult for me'. i have a great military instructor who has sorted us out.
even when i start a schooling session now i work him in forwardly on a looser rein for about 10 mins before asking for the real work in an outline. Every horse is different and maybe between you and you instructor, you can work it out. Of course lungeing and a pessoa is great for forwardness - it really does work.
 
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