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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Posts
    168

    Default Ready to cry! Please help with my horse.

    I just spent 45 mins trying to get my horse to walk calmly in a circle and am at a complete loss as to what to do!

    Back story:
    I have owned her for 4 years and we never had a perfect connection or anything and she has always been a little spooky and hot, but it's no uncontrollable.
    I had her leased out to a girl who was running her barrels with her (what she was originally doing when I bought her and what I was doing with her for a little while) well apparently, she got on the mare and ran her to the ground because my horse came back a bigger spazz than she had ever been! Her brain is so fried that she can't even walk in a circle on the aids calmly and I can't for the life of me figure out what to do! I took her to my trainers and she wasnt horrible, but we still didnt get anywhere with her. Today she would not settle at all and I dont know if I should just start over like I am training a horse who has never been ridden and start with lunging or what....

    Please help!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,732

    Default

    You need to give her some time off. Most horses with fried brains don't sort themselves out during training. Leave her alone for a month, then re-assess. She may need more time than that.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,040

    Default

    I feel your frustration. I'd say this; first rule out any physical issues. Then, barring that, get a better trainer, someone who's rehabbed horses with issues perhaps (not a beat them type, a patient, reprogramming type), and then have patience. If it is that her brain is fried she'll need time and patience.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Hunterdon County NJ
    Posts
    2,939

    Default

    Take her out of the ring and do something completely different. Do not insist on controlling her every step. Try changing her mouth gear. Maybe a hackamore instead of a bit.

    Overall, ask for different things. Use different equipment. Follow the old adage of 'Ride where you can ride.' Do not stay in the same place failing to accomplish your goal.

    If you feel the mare has been overly pressured, then stop pressuring her.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
    Location
    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,936

    Default

    Everyone's right....BTDT and all you can do is rule out any physical issues, time off, and find a trainer experienced in handling problem horses. I actually worked with a Natural Horsemanship trainer (local trainer with good references rather than one of the crazies) who had worked with me and my mare before. We did a couple of months of ground work before even thinking about getting on her. I also took lessons on a quiet schoolie which helped rebuild my confidence - keep in mind your brain is probably fried too!

    Good luck!
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2012
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Give her some time off of riding. Let her be a horse. Once you decide to get back on, ride outside with her and let her walk around where she wants to go. Then, slowly ease back into more structured riding. Letting her wander around outside wher she wants to go while you're riding her in the future (even after getting back to structured riding) isn't going to hurt.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Posts
    168

    Default

    She has had 3 months off and is regularly seen by a chiro. I guess I will start with ground work. If I get too stuck, I am super lucky and have one of the worlds best natural horsemanship guys down the road from me Josh and John lyons opened a facility about 3 miles from me a few years ago.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    2,920

    Default

    I would stop the lease.

    Who in their right mind think that it is good to ran barrels like a crazy with a mare who is, apparently, just coming back to work after 3 months off?!?

    I think you should have her checked by a vet, she's probably muscle sore everywhere! Also, your mare could have an ulcer or suffer from a mild tying up crisis.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Posts
    168

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alibi_18 View Post
    I would stop the lease.

    Who in their right mind think that it is good to ran barrels like a crazy with a mare who is, apparently, just coming back to work after 3 months off?!?

    I think you should have her checked by a vet, she's probably muscle sore everywhere! Also, your mare could have an ulcer or suffer from a mild tying up crisis.
    Clearly you didnt understand. I have had her back for 3 months now. She is now coming back to work after being checked out and is now unmanageable. She was in perfect shape when I sent her off.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
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    1,210

    Default

    If she walks 2 or 3 steps, get off and call it a day. Do this every time you ride until she relaxes and you can walk forward. We have done this with very fried horses and they slowly realize we aren't trying to kill them,



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2008
    Posts
    2,305

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ready To Riot View Post
    She has had 3 months off and is regularly seen by a chiro. I guess I will start with ground work. If I get too stuck, I am super lucky and have one of the worlds best natural horsemanship guys down the road from me Josh and John lyons opened a facility about 3 miles from me a few years ago.
    This board is not very open to natural horsemanship, but I think this is actually a very good idea. Especially if you can get them to work with both of you (you and the horse) together. They'll give you a program to get control of her mind then her body on the ground. Then when you go back to riding her, hopefully things will come together for you.

    I'm sorry this happened to you, and I hope it works out.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2010
    Posts
    14

    Default A Thought

    Coming from background of seeing badly ridden barrel horses, I would suspect the major problem is the expecting any kind of contact. Those riders are not good with their hands, and I would suspect, although this is just suspicion, that who ever was riding her was hanging on her mouth while she was expected to run causing anxiety.

    If she can't even walk calmly, I would maybe make my "rides" getting on sitting there while she stands quietly and repeating that a few times with no motion involved.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
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    3,510

    Default

    I had one of those in my barn; nervous former barrel horse mare that is!

    She also didn't know how to walk.

    What we did to fix;
    1) Changed her tack completely. English saddle, simple egg butt snaffle, and no tie down/martingale.
    2) Put a super relaxed kid on her.
    3) Forgot about really trying to do anything in particular, and just worked on getting horse to be "happy". really helped to have contact on her (leg contact in particular) as if she could feel the hands/legs she wasn't laying in wait of a jerk or a kick. We would scratch her along her crest of withers whenever possible to get her to stretch out her neck.
    4) rode her beside/with a horse of similar speed, but that was relaxed, and just went around the ring with the occassional circle or figure 8. Very low key and really didn't fuss if she broke into a canter, just asked her back and continued along. Trails were good too.

    One thing I didn't do though, was expect her to walk quietly at the beginning of the ride. She was just too tense. We let her offer the quiet walk when she could.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Posts
    682

    Default Yes!!!

    If you have John Lyons down the road, you are a lucky girl . You cannot do any better. Call today. There are many, many barrel horses who have this happen because the riders do not know how to keep them sane.

    pKN



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
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    NYC=center of the universe
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    1,917

    Default

    Agree with John Lyons.

    I would also just do quiet trail riding with no pressure until you can get her to John Lyons.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    4,073

    Default

    I think the Dressage Forum is actually the wrong place to look for the help your mare needs...and to be honest it sounds like she has been a Barel Horse before and after...so even now w/ 3 months behind you it maybe dificult to make a leopard change its spots and forget a long ingrained pattern....more like a year off than start from ground zero in a completley diffrent enviorment, approach, tack as suggested.

    Did this horse have a calm solid loose rein flat footed walk to begin with or has she always beena bit of go go hottie as I believe you said??

    I have owned her for 4 years and we never had a perfect connection or anything and she has always been a little spooky and hot, but it's no uncontrollable.
    I had her leased out to a girl who was running her barrels with her (what she was originally doing when I bought her and what I was doing with her for a little while



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2011
    Posts
    168

    Default

    She is a hotter horse, but managable. When I was riding her, she was at 2nd level dressage as well as running barrels. She will never be a beginners horse, but she was very rideable. I dont think a year off would do her any good. The more time off she has the worse she gets. She is a horse who needs a job



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Location
    Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,219

    Default

    I have rehabbed lots of horses from similar problems. Here is the program I use:
    1) Vet out for basic exam and to check teeth. If all clear...
    2) Turn out for a week and only visit in pasture for treats and love
    3) Begin at the very beginning...work on relaxed head lowered leading in the pasture. Don't leave until he calmly leads with a lowered head. I also teach a "relax" cue at the same time that means "lower your head". This is used as a verbal cue to make him lower his head on cue which immediately calms a nervous horse. I then use this all throughout our ground and under saddle training to relax and calm him.
    4) Move to leading towards and in barb with a lowered head. Don't go a step farther without relaxation.
    5) retrain all grooming so you now have a horse that can be quietly lead in with no nervousness and will stand quietly without a single fuss for grooming.
    6) Begin lunging. The key is CALM. No running, bucking, bolting, etc. If he can't maintain emotional control on the lunge he can't control it with a rider. Start with walk only. Micing off voice cue and maintaining a quiet willing trot. Slowing down on verbal cue. Repeat with trot and canter only when each gait is 100% quiet, no rushing/head tossing/bucking etc. Do all lunging in just a halter with no tack. When lunging is calm, focused and steady through all 3 gaits move to step 7.
    7) Call saddle fitter. No tack goes on him without a professional fitter to assess. If all is cleared move forward. If not, get the issue fixed.
    8) So now we have a calm and quiet horse who leads, grooms and lunges with zero anxiety or resistance. Your tack has been professionally checked and a
    vet has checked it all out.
    8) Begin backing as if he is unbroke. This is a complete reboot. Treat him exactly as an unbroke 3 year old. Use your voice commands to slow him and ask him to relax his head if he gets nervous. Use only verbal cues and a ground assistant if needed until he responds 100%.
    9) If all went well you should have a different horse at this time!! And having John Lyons nearby is awesome! Utilize him if you can!!

    These are obviously just suggestions but this program has worked insanely well for me on many horses! One is just finishing it up right now! Best of luck and be patient, consistent and kind. The rest should just follow!!
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,769

    Default Assuming she gets turnout and very little grain....

    Quote Originally Posted by reay6790 View Post
    If she walks 2 or 3 steps, get off and call it a day. Do this every time you ride until she relaxes and you can walk forward. We have done this with very fried horses and they slowly realize we aren't trying to kill them,
    This.

    Don't insist that she MUST do something she clearly is not ready to do. Arguing about it will only make it worse.

    Is there something she can do reasonably well? Trot calmly accepting(not necessarily on) the bit? So trot, posting big, sit and say walk, walk as many steps as she will walk calmly than trot on before she starts to get anxious.

    FWIW the nice elegant hunter pat pat post will not regulate the tempo nearly as well as a definite UP DOWN with soft eyes and seatbones landing in the saddle pointing down
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    9,989

    Default

    Forget about tryng to get a hyped up horse to walk. Does she just try to run if you try to trot? Do you have access to trails?



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