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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    93

    Default Spinoff: Getting the truly lazy young horse moving forward

    After reading a thread about a lazy young horse leaning on your leg around turns (I totally feel your pain), and reading various responses, I now have more questions. Some posters suggested that the horse was not lazy, just uneducated. But what if the horse is actually really lazy? This made me think about my guy..
    I have a 3.5 year old draft cross that has a few months of light light riding under his belt. His trot and canter are naturally fairly forward, but the walk is. so. slow. Even leading him, watching him walk in the pasture, lunging, anything, it is slow as molasses.
    He is far from reactive, so inspiring this horse to move at the walk is a challenge. We have made some progress with using poles and hacking around the farm, but he is simply in no rush to go anywhere. Even if he is following a horse, he has no desire to walk any faster to keep up. The horse has a big walk in him somewhere that comes out in small glimpses (and a lot of effort on my part), it is just a game of finding the "formula" to bring it out of him. FWIW he is only ridden on a loose rein at the point..and until we have forward energy we will stay there. Has anyone else had any experiences with anything like this? Any suggestions for inspiring the oh so chill boy to get moving?
    Proud Owner of Wiley the Welgian



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2010
    Posts
    1,609

    Default

    A friend of mine has a Warmblood that was gelded late in life - and he is possibly the laziest horse ever! One way to get him to go - a whip-person on the ground to chase him with a lunge whip. Actually, I've seen that used on a few horses now, and it does seem to motivate them when a rider with whip and spurs does not. One warning - whoever is riding better be brave and willing to go w/ the flow, even if the flow gets very fast at times. Put on a bucking strap, make sure the horse isn't caught in the mouth if he does spurt...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    591

    Default

    I agree with Mystic. Carry a while when leading if he drags behind you and really encourage him to walk out, don't let him get away with it. Same under saddle. Make sure that even on a loose rein your arms are following so he can get swinging but really demand the bigger walk out of him. If he trots to avoid it gently bring him back and keep asking until he figures out what you want.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2012
    Location
    Wairarapa New Zealand
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Google "Andrew McLean" - an Australian riding guru. His "nagging persistant whip tapping on the shoulder" exercise - you keep doing it until the horse responds by doing what you want. My trainer introduced me to it some time ago and it does work - and it doesnt take the horse long to realise that "guess what! Yes the whip will keep going until you do what I want" - I used it in canter to help keep my horse straight. A friend used it to encourage her horse to be very much ahead of the leg ... that mare was lazy and would try and get away with the minimum amount possible but has really improved "forward" since we started this with her.

    And no, it isnt "HITTING", it is a light but very very persistant tap. I am not describing it well.
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    93

    Default

    RaeHughes..I totally know what you mean! It has worked for 10 years getting my older mare on the trailer I am so glad you brought this up…I will have to mess around with it!
    Proud Owner of Wiley the Welgian



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 17, 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    224

    Default

    I also have a very lazy horse, at all gaits. However when leading her you have to slow her down. I've been working on getting her to respond better to leg which she does, but slows down a couple strides later. (Start with a light squeeze, harder squeeze, then light kicking, harder kicking, eventually going to the crop. She now responds to a medium/hard squeeze.) And yes I do just keep encouraging her forward but its always speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down. I think I'll try the whip on the shoulder thing.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    5,786

    Default

    I don't believe these horses who are THAT lazy truly exist. My mom's mare is as low energy as they come - she doesn't break out of a walk by choice, ever, unless it's to keep away what she perceives as a threat to her food.
    At the same time, she is totally in front of the leg and forward under saddle.

    I think these "lazy" horses are more often low energy and find it's easier to ignore than go forward, so they do it. Horses will take the path of least resistance. Give them a leg to lean on and they will, let them move slowly and they will, especially if going faster gets them off balance. Demand that they always move forward promptly with energy, and they will because it would take more energy to fight you once you're consistent about it.


    If a horse truly won't move forward, I'm looking for reasons it's balky, physical problems, feed issues, etc. I just don't think a properly ridden horse is like that if there's nothing wrong.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    93

    Default

    I know it is possible to get him in front of the leg, it is just finding the right "buttons" to get him there. He just is in no rush to go anywhere, so yes very low energy. He just needs to realize that walking in a negative speed is not allowed. I have never been around a horse is not inspired to move by anything. He just is in no hurry for anything.
    Proud Owner of Wiley the Welgian



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2014
    Posts
    280

    Default

    Maybe this could help you? Jane Savoie has some good tricks:
    http://www.janesavoie.com/breathing-...98623c09b3b866


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,438

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HicksteadFan View Post
    I also have a very lazy horse, at all gaits. However when leading her you have to slow her down. I've been working on getting her to respond better to leg which she does, but slows down a couple strides later. (Start with a light squeeze, harder squeeze, then light kicking, harder kicking, eventually going to the crop. She now responds to a medium/hard squeeze.) And yes I do just keep encouraging her forward but its always speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down. I think I'll try the whip on the shoulder thing.
    The slow acceleration of aids is not doing you any favors, I'm afraid. If you want your horse to go from a light aid, then you have to teach that if they don't respond to a light squeeze, they get a big whack with the stick. If the horse doesn't bolt forward - you haven't made enough of an impression.

    Then go back to the light squeeze again and the response will be there.

    This may have to be repeated a few times across multiple rides until the horse figures out that failure to respond to that light aid means they are going to get a big spanking. But even the slowest learners figure it out pretty fast.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    7 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    6,108

    Default

    Horses work around us with the perimeters that we set. If the horse is allowed to dawdle while being led, with basic work in hand, then he is setting the actions rather than the handler. This means the handler must be clear, supported if necessary (with a whip which reaches behind the left side and touches the horse). Every progression is touch/vibrate quicker/or TWACK. The horse WILL learn very fast. (And yes I have worked with many types of drafts). And when mounted, use ground support to back it us if needed. Make sure when mounted than the rider either uses the whip on the shoulder, right behind the leg (if so no pulling back to do so). And by letting the horse be on loose reins, he gets to choose...that is not his role.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ladybugsbw View Post
    RaeHughes..I totally know what you mean! It has worked for 10 years getting my older mare on the trailer I am so glad you brought this up…I will have to mess around with it!
    Too funny. I hit (haha) on this technique sort of by accident for a stubborn loader (mare) as well. Just tap tap tap on the croup until she glares at me with an expression that can only say FINE!!! and calmly walks on the trailer lol.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2010
    Posts
    1,554

    Default

    My lazy horse, Spursuaders help ( humane spurs that for some reason, lazy/spur sour houses respond do, sold on smart pak



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2009
    Posts
    937

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ladybugsbw View Post
    RaeHughes..I totally know what you mean! It has worked for 10 years getting my older mare on the trailer I am so glad you brought this up…I will have to mess around with it!
    Can you describe it a little more? Sounds like a very effective aid.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2009
    Posts
    937

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ladybugsbw View Post
    RaeHughes..I totally know what you mean! It has worked for 10 years getting my older mare on the trailer I am so glad you brought this up…I will have to mess around with it!
    Can you describe it a little more? Sounds like a very effective aid.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,707

    Default

    a straight horse has no problems going forward. a crooked horse can't.

    I have yet to encounter a truly "lazy" horse once straightened and gymnasticized.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,535

    Default

    What Lucassb said.

    Ask once nicely.
    Then whack him so he jumps.
    His option: walk forward or levitate.


    Be mean enough that after two or three repetitions to show you aren't kidding you don't have to be mean anymore.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 17, 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    The slow acceleration of aids is not doing you any favors, I'm afraid. If you want your horse to go from a light aid, then you have to teach that if they don't respond to a light squeeze, they get a big whack with the stick. If the horse doesn't bolt forward - you haven't made enough of an impression.

    Then go back to the light squeeze again and the response will be there.

    This may have to be repeated a few times across multiple rides until the horse figures out that failure to respond to that light aid means they are going to get a big spanking. But even the slowest learners figure it out pretty fast.
    Well it works on my horse. She is responding so much better to leg now. I have the Equitation Science book and it says the same thing based on many experiments.



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