September 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm
I have a horse, that has done some strange things during our 5 year relationship.
1. he use to buck when asked to speed up, or he would just kick up back heels
2. our recent reactions to things now while riding is laying down while a rider is on him.
this particular horse is so darn perfect and smooth and compliant in the round pen, I could sell him as a kids horse if shown in the round pen very easily. just so darn perfect in that environment and to all the cues used to ask him to do anything, riding or on the ground.
now out on trail?? we have a different horse, and one that does not appreciate being rode, or asked to do things out on the trails.
several things about him ..
such as he has to lead, forget leap frog games, he won’t go middle or behind other horses. for get speeding up other then a walk unless you prefer the bump way to ride on a horse, and we had to change from a mullien bit to a correction bit recently to get the taking the bit away from me on rides.
his a handful and frustrating for sure. went to a aussie saddle with the polleys to keep myself in that saddle too.
used the calm paste from smart pak and that did seem to tone things down for this horse on trails. but not enough to satisfy my want of enjoyment on a trail ride with friends.
saddle has been casted to fit his back, so its not the saddle, and the training has been correct for him also, its not the riding, or that he does not know what is expected of him. shoot I have had and rode him for 5 years with these particular problems.
I am at a loss as to what to do with him and how to correct this and he does have a deep habit and behavior in this way when out on trails. but never does this stuff at home or riding around the area where I live. ?? puzzles me?
any ideas or informations on this particular issue will be gratefully accepted.
other things about this horse, he is my ACTCHA trail horse, my herd leader in pasture, sensitive and even understands the word “NO” when stated. he moves off when asked, stands perfectly still for grooming and mounting, even at the trails. he has rode a couple endurance contests. this horse is so darn awesome to me in so many ways, but we have issues for trail riding with friends??
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." - Kenneth BlanchardSeptember 5, 2013 at 12:49 pmLaurieFTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4
Well, I will ignore the kicking when asked to speed up since you seemed to work through that. Being herd leader would jive with wanting to be first on the trails in my mind and perhaps in his. Perhaps he does not see the trail experience as a work effort but some sort of weird turnout where he has to take you along.
How does he behave if you take him out alone?
I have had horses like that – the one I am thinking of was a very mentally competitive and dominant TB. He had to lead. If he did the experience was not bad. If I tried to make him lag or stay in the middle it was not a very pleasant ride.
If he is more relaxed out alone, that might confirm the competitive issue. You would not have to go far to test this out I don’t think.
What about with another single horse? Same behavior?
If it is his personality, I doubt you are ever going to change it materially so I suggest you start letting him lead and try to get him relaxed so that he can be next to another horse. If it has been 5 years, the behavior is ingrained and I suspect may be modified slightly but may never get to the point you want where you can totally relax at the back of the pack.
How is he in ring work with other horses? If this does not show up, then you somehow need to connect the tolerance of not leading in the ring with not leading on the trail.
One thing that did temper my guy over time was constant circling when he would get out too far. He was great alone… brave, fearless, quiet. But with others he had to be first and did not understand why I would not always let him be so.
Good luckSeptember 5, 2013 at 12:49 pmlovemyhorseTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 19
Maybe he is just not a trail horse. My horse is really not a trail horse. Retired roping. Arena horse. He follows my husband when he walks on a trail and I ride but horse won’t follow other horses. It’s like he has his own job to do and it’s not about following others. And it’s not about being on the trail with horses either. You need a horse that really enjoys being out and one that can work with other horses around. The round pen and around the barn there is usually no one else that bothers you. Horse is by himself. Maybe your horse thinks he has to dominate with others and can’t concentrate on the job at hand?? Just a thought.September 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm
response to both answers and posts.
he is perfect alone, and not a bit of trouble and so easy to get along with (like we are unified during that time), is just in group trail riding. out on the competitions he is perfect also – darn winner most of the time – just the friends and leisure riding trails I have issues with him.
this statement makes sense : “If he is more relaxed out alone, that might confirm the competitive issue”.
maybe he is possibly only going to be a competitive horse? I never had a horse that was like that. where trails and competition is too different things, I ride all my horses in both activities and this one guy is the only one that seems to have this different behavior on one thing and perfect behavior on another. ?
he gets along great at a competitive situation with other horses, but flat ears everyone on the trails, and won’t let anyone get ahead of him. his never kicked or cared to show a kicking behavior on competition events, but has recently started the kicking the horse behind him if they get too close? that is also a new thing recently. I rode him in parades and he does fantastic and is predictable in that group settings. which to me, maybe not him, is similar to group trail ride?
all these statements provided sort of makes sense to me:
1. “Maybe he is just not a trail horse”
2. ” It’s like he has his own job to do and it’s not about following others”
3. “If it is his personality, I doubt you are ever going to change it materially so I suggest you start letting him lead and try to get him relaxed so that he can be next to another horse”
4.”Perhaps he does not see the trail experience as a work effort but some sort of weird turnout where he has to take you along”
5.”You need a horse that really enjoys being out and one that can work with other horses around. The round pen and around the barn there is usually no one else that bothers you. Horse is by himself. Maybe your horse thinks he has to dominate with others and can’t concentrate on the job at hand?? ”
this forum does help, thank you so much. sometimes a person can’t see the forest for the trees. which in this case that is just what I needed to see from other people perspective. I have been emotionally involved with this horse from the get go, he was green then and had to work with him a great deal thru various things and we come a long way in our time together, and we are tight the two of us. but maybe he just isn’t going to relax and be a leisurely trail horse, maybe he does need the competitive aspects, and now that I think of it, its when he is the most relaxed and cooperative with me, and is terrible at trail riding and I don’t have any fun with him any more then he does with me in that kind of environment.
that’s ok, I have another horse that does well on trails, not as smooth but a lot more predictable and willing to go the trails in a friendly manner. just need a softer saddle for my butt with my other horse, LOL!
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." - Kenneth BlanchardSeptember 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm9heritageTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4
It could be anxiety. I have had huge luck with Relax Me by Horse First for so many problems. I hate to keep mentioning, and I don’t work for the company. Just a very satisfied customer who has had to give horses with bad behavior away in my lifetime before finding this product.September 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm
what would be the differences between a trail ride group and say a ACTHA competition group of horses? he is so darn wonderful at the competitions, and even when we did the endurance rides he was great. still in the lead, but in those events his position is not as important as his performance in those particular situations. now to just go ride say, on a camp trip to the mountains, be around other horse folks, and check out some woods, this horse does all kinds of nutty things, plus fight me. on regular trails everyone wants a turn to lead, be middle or ride at the end, through out the trail experiences. its not that we are just walking along ho-hum. areas we hit the twists and turns fast, or leap over small logs, or trot thru waters. some of these things my horse does at event groups, with no problem. but ….???
just to lay down in the middle of a trail ride? that’s odd, or to take up kicking or start a buck, or even kicking out at another horse behind him?
I got to thinking, this might be a habitual thing about him and trails and I might just give up on working it out? but I think not and yes I can be wrong on this, but he is so perfect, well mannered and gives willingly to everything when we are on a contest of some sort. he has never laid down, bucked, kicked up, or had any other fusses with me at an event, just the perfect angel all the way?
anxiety I wonder of too? its calm in the woods, on the trails, no traffic, no crowds of people, bright lights, parades, horse wagons and chains rattling, etc.
would his anxiety come because its calmer? that in my human thinking isn’t registering for me? so I wonder what is in his mind as a horse and horse thinking on this subject?
I do believe he is not going to be a trail horse for sure, being 5 years (got him at 5 and he is 10 yrs old now) of having to work through so much with him on this one area. he flew through all the training and exercises like it was nothing for setting up for competitive things to do, when we started out with each other. now we are more slowed down, less competitions and more group trail riding trips.
maybe this horse is so smart he learned to tune into me with the “lets go get boy, and try to win this thing” and maybe that is not what we are doing on trails and so he thinks something is not right? maybe? if horses could only talk and let me know what is bugging them about anything, I could be of more help to them, or at least this one horse.
9heritage I will try the relax product and see if that makes any differences at all. but its not just moods I want to work with him, its his actions too that I would like to understand and help him with, so that he does not have such a fit about things like he does.
some horse are quiet and hidden in their concerns, and not excessively reactive about it, just enough to give you feeling that things aren’t exactly right for them. then there are others that seem to yell it at the mountain tops and make it very clear that if you don’t understand then its just not going to work for you or them either. my horse is the one that yells at the mountain top when things bother him.
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." - Kenneth BlanchardSeptember 6, 2013 at 8:18 pmlovemyhorseTopics Started: 0Replies Posted: 19
Maybe something horrible happened to him on a trail that he remembers? My suggestion is — love him for what he is and what he can do where he does it right and don’t force him to do something he hates — do what he likes to do and does well. If you don’t, all you will end up with is a miserable ride and a miserable horse and a miserable you. Leave the trails for a horse that truly enjoys being out. Your boy might just feel secure around the arena and the wide open spaces freaks him out and it sounds like nothing is gonna change that.September 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm
My suggestion is — love him for what he is and what he can do where he does it right and don’t force him to do something he hates — do what he likes to do and does well
this is more then likely the solution and what I will end up doing with my saddle bred horse (bat). I am now working with my new horse (C.C., a fox trotter), for trails and camping trips only. his a good natured horse, he has not done anything other then trail riding in his past life and owners and so far seems to enjoy it comfortable and without issues about it. his a little rougher then my other horse. but I am looking for a nice Australian saddle (no horn) that will fit the new horse and myself, for those long distant ridings we like doing. I have two big long distance trail rides coming up this month and will be taking the CC out on his first long rides on these trips coming up, will see then how things go and if I can for a change enjoy the trip and friends riding. wish me luck as the horse I will be on is a new guy for me.September 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm
thank for all your thoughts on this particular horse issue. I do greatly appreciate reading these thoughts and ideas, or even other possibilities about horse behaviors. other peoples thoughts are often times enlightens me and pulls me out of my emotions. giggle, sometimes is good to have two horses and do different things per each horse.
thank you all so much again
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