January 30, 2014 at 5:55 pm
My soon-to-be eventing OTTB is pretty well trained and has good manners. But sometimes when she and I canter/gallop on an open field or roadside she gets fussy and starts bucking. She never does this in an arena when we’re working on jumps or on the flat. Usually I ride it out but sometimes it gets ridiculous. I’m not sure how to go about correcting it. She’s very brave and responds well to body and leg aids. She has a nice canter/gallop and she has no medical issues. Her feet are kept, the tack fits, and her teeth are good. Any advice about fixing this issue?
No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teachingFebruary 6, 2014 at 3:55 pmmeagan_davisTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1
I have a TB/quarter mix filly that did the same thing. When this happens, she has started using the reactive side of her brain. The best “quick fix” for this is to start off cantering in a field then immediately go into medium/large circles. Do one or two circles to the left, let her straighten out for a few strides, then do one or two circles to the right. Continue this pattern and slowly let her canter straight for more and more strides. If at any point she wants to buck or overreact, immediately take her into circles and change the direction often to get her focused on you again. If she’s too out of control, use a one reign stop for your safety, then start working her in tight circles. Slowing expand the circles as she relaxes. This exercise will slow down her mind and get her focused on you and not bolting. Hope this helped.February 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm
Wow I never thought of it that way, thank you! I’ll be sure to try out this method! Now for her to have started using the reactive side of her brain- could it be something I’ve caused or is it just normal for young horses (she’s 4) to do this? Just curious.
No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teachingFebruary 11, 2014 at 1:41 amEquineMelodyTopics Started: 6Replies Posted: 29
I agree with meagan_davis. That is exactly what I would do, every time she starts to tense up, BEFORE, she bucks, take her and circle her, make her work her butt off. Then she’ll start to correlate “okay, if I buck, I have to work really hard, and I don’t wanna do that, so maybe I just won’t buck…” but again, make sure you catch it before she actually bucks. Start off with a few circles, then increase the amount you do every time, because, as always, start of with a little pressure and gradually increase the pressure, so they learn to respond to as little of pressure as possible. Doing some round pen work with her would also help you teach her some respect. I can’t go into too much detail about it, because that would take forever, but there’s a lot of different lessons to be learned from round pen training/basic respect training. But, and don’t take this as me insulting you or anything, if you decide to do round pen training, I would get someone who knows how to do it, either do it for you or help you, because there’s a lot more to it then following a technique, if that makes sense.
As far as the reactive side of her brain, it’s something that are born into all horses, and is there when they’re young or old, it doesn’t matter. Horses are a flight animal, not a fight. This also means they’re a reactive animal, rather than a thinking animal. So their first instinct is to react. Our job as riders and trainers is to teach them to use their thinking side, make them look for answers. We can do this through pressure and release. By applying constant pressure, and holding that pressure as they work through their options. For example, take a horse that wants to go one way when you want to go the other. When you put some sort of pressure on them as they go the way they want to, they’ll automatically want to look for a release of pressure. So, they try going all the possible directions they can go, except for the way you want to go, and you keep holding pressure in whatever form you’re giving pressure, and they start to think “hmm, over here doesn’t work, and over there doesn’t work, what about over here where she asked me to go in the first place….” and when they go that way, you release the pressure, this is the reward for them and they go “Aha! So if I just go where she asked me to in the first place, then I won’t have any pressure!”. So, it’s just a matter of teaching horses to use their thinking side rather than their reactive side. It’s a natural born in instinct to react rather than think, but we can certainly make it worse by the way we react to when they react to something. Anyways, sorry for the long explanation, I’m an aspiring horse trainer and I tend to ramble when I talk about this subject matter haha.February 11, 2014 at 9:10 am
The long explanation is just fine! Thank you! I’m working towards the Olympics one day so the more I learn the better. Thank you everyone!
No horse is incapable of learning- riders are just incapable of teaching
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.