According to one of the greatest horse trainers, and arguably one of the greatest horsemen of the twentieth century, Alois Podhajsky, Olympian and Director of the Spanish Riding Academy: “If your horse does not do what you ask, do not first assume that he is rebelling. Ask yourself if he understood your request. If he understood and does not comply, you must determine if he is physically able to do the task.”
In my experience a well-trained horse with a decent work-ethic doesn’t act out without a physical reason. There is a high degree of probability that pain motivates him to get you off his back based on your statement that he is/was easily managed on the ground and when you weren’t demanding so much of him. The accelerated rate of his misbehavior would indicate an advancing issue. I would seek a ‘lameness’ veterinary expert to identify/eliminate the problem. Just because he doesn’t respond to firm hand pressure does not mean you + your saddle/seat aren’t inflicting severe pain. It could also be the saddle fit, but I would NOT blame the horse’s mentality until I eliminated possible physical issues.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Mapale.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...