Will we ever just 'get' it?

Neptune

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 April 2013
Messages
154
Visit site
I am one of life's very much un-natural riders. For someone that has been riding basically all of my relatively short life I am just not getting anywhere. I have only been riding 'seriously' like actually learning something, since a having owned horses as an adult, so about 10 years now. Had lots of ups and downs with my horses in this time and actually only spent about 6 years in the saddle due to various vets and box rest incidents.

Now have a horse which can do everything with his eyes shut whilst running backwards, but he just has such childish tantrums at times. He is still a bit green for his age but we could be so much further along if he just got on with it. One day he will be amazing and another a complete child where you actually can not get anything worth reporting out of him, have been known to be 2 hours in the schooling just trying to get his concentration on me. I just get so frustrated with him and have lost my cool with him on a few occasions, namely normally shouting and growling at him. Which is all pointless and still doesn't get us anywhere.

He is just constantly looking for things to spook at, taking hold on the bit and blocking his neck against me. I have regular lessons, have swapped and changed trainers a fair bit to try and find someone we click with but have struggled. We are trying to get into jumping as well but the flat work is letting us down. Hacking has got a lot better lately as long as I don.t actually ask him to 'work' out on a hack. We can only do 'fun' stuff.

His back / teeth / saddle etc are all kept on top off and have even had the vet out to him on occasions to check him over as he has been so adamant not to work as I Ask at times. He does have bone spavin which have been injected etc and dealt with. He is on supplements etc to help him.

I am starting to wonder if we are just not compatable. He is just at times does not have a workman like attitude, he is just so backwards with his thinking then spooks out of no where. Catching me so unawares. Then other days he is just amazing.

We can go out and complete a novice test with around 65%. So not to shabby but we can't get it consistently and mostly at home. You go out and he puts his party shoes on and just does it.

I am tired of struggling through and feeling like we are not good enough to go out to shows because we can't 'get it' at home. It is just getting me down in all areas of my life as it is just a heavy cloud over me all the time.

Please say I am not alone and I just need to keep plugging away it, it has been 4 years (albeit includes about 2years of no /limited riding.)

Although I have lessons. I am trying to avoid having them to regularly as I just become so reliant on the instructor that I don't think for myself and then reply struggle on my own.

Just don't know what to do :( Sorry for essay.
 

Shay

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 August 2008
Messages
7,345
Visit site
I think a lot of the replies you had when you posted the same thing a few months ago still hold really good. Perhaps just cut yourself some slack and just focus on enjoying him and being with him? Being good in competition isn't the be all and end all. It is OK to "just" hack and be around horses. Don't try to do anything for a bit - and your mojo will come back. Or it won't. But either way you'll be enjoying riding again.
 

Firewell

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 May 2008
Messages
7,817
Visit site
Maybe he doesn't like schooling that much. My old show jumper had funky conformation and as such found flatwork hard. He was exactly as you describe, so frustrating! He would spook as an evasion. God he was hard work that horse, my mum said if you could get a tune out of him you could get a tune out of anything! Sometimes I would get off him and scream in frustration. He could get high marks dressage when he tried as he had beautiful paces but he made it quite clear that it wasn't for him, he barely tolerated it for the sake of his health and that was it!
He was a stunning jumper, he jumped like a gazelle, you just had to accept that he wasn't going to go round with his pretty head tucked in and let him do his thing his way.
Have you looked at your horses conformation to see if it is because he finds it hard? Maybe his joy lives in other disciplines and you might have to hide his flatwork schooling by incorporating some out hacking or schooling him over poles and round cavalletties to keep his interest.
 

TheOldTrout

Completely Unknown Member
Joined
1 March 2015
Messages
12,281
Visit site
If he's OK hacking but not in the school, maybe you're tensing up in the school and he's picking up on that.
 

MuddyMonster

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 September 2015
Messages
5,210
Visit site
If he enjoys hacking and you enjoy schooling, can you not school out on some of your hacks?

My boy doesn't like schooling particularly and isn't adverse to that being known, loudly :D

So, we just spend a lot of time hacking - focusing on really riding straight on straight lines, then play about with learning lateral work, a bit of extending/collecting and today we practised the beginnings of a few walk piourettes (ok, so they may not have been pretty ...!) after jumping a series of logs to turn around and jump them the other way.

ETA: I've just realised you said you can't 'work' out hacking. We certainly don't worry about 'being on the bit' or anything like that - but that doesn't stop us mixing things up without any pressure associated with schooling. Even just walking on a loose-ish rein, we can still throw in some transitions or leg yield for a few strides.

Also, can you make the school 'fun' - the times I do go in the school, we play with poles (both going over but also laying out in an S shape, backing up inbetween, making a square and doing something different in that square box every time), using cones to weave between, circle around, ride to and from or use as markers for crisp transitions and then we set up 'scary stuff' like tarpaulin or banners.

Obviously, we aren't going to trouble Carl or Charlotte anytime soon - but he's improving all the time, without him noticing or feeling like work.

Not sure if any of that will help your boy?
 
Last edited:

Pigeon

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2012
Messages
3,790
Visit site
Have you had a pro dressage rider have a sit? Try and find someone who has trained horses to at least medium. If he is still blocking them, and not working properly (he probably will have a tantrum to start with so don't be surprised if that happens) I think you might need to do further vet work. My horse had ulcers and that was sooo evident in his contact.

It may also help you to have a lesson on a horse who is established on the flat.

Would you say he is in front of the leg? Being behind the leg causes all the issues you've described, and can be a pretty easy problem to fix.

But aside from that, mine is the same in that he doesn't really like schooling at home, but always pulls it out the bag when at a competition. Our solution is to do most of our schooling on hacks (he just goes in the arena to do a bit of cantering) we do lateral work, collection and extension, stretching and picking back up etc all on the lanes. When we have lessons we try to go to different yards for them, which he's fine with.

I'm also not a natural rider at all. Watch as many videos as you can and try and keep an eye on your position etc - also try and find an instructor that 'gets' your horse. Those two things have helped me.
 
Last edited:

TickyTavey

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 November 2011
Messages
220
Visit site
Maybe he's a bit bored in the school? I had an agreement with my old boy that we went in school no more than once a week and everything else done hacking. A 2hr slobber knocker doesn't sound fun for either of you! He sounds like he knows his job and can pull it out of the bag on show days so too much gojng round in circles in between is just adding miles to the clock. Which sounds flippant and reductive but is not meant to be. I'd be limiting schooling sessions though and using raised poles etc to keep him interested.
 
Top