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  1. #1
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    Jan. 9, 2012
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    Default Issue with not turning

    So my big lug of a 16.2 Percheron/TB cross that I got two months ago is having an issue. Well, we are having an issue together. He evades my cues to turn sometimes at the canter and will just keep plowing, no matter how strong my signals are. Or, if we are going by the gate, he will sometimes refuse to circle to a jump I am aiming at and will instead plow toward the gate. At the last show, he ducked out of the jump nearest the gate THREE TIMES over the course of the day- quite frustrating!

    I am already wearing spurs, carrying a crop, ride in a pelham, and he's just so big and strong and absolutely nothing gets this horse upset or riled. It seems to slowly be getting better, but it still happens sometimes. I have been spending a lot of time doing suppling exercises on the flat, and doing lots of concentric circles at the trot by the gate. It's mostly at the canter that he ignores my cues. I also have never been getting off anywhere near the gate - I go to random areas of the ring to get off of him and stop working.

    Any thoughts on exercises?



  2. #2
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    More work on straightness oddly enough. If he is standing up and square instead of leaning and going along crooked, you'll have better luck.

    They are not really "cues" either. They are commands delivered using the aids. They are not optional and you have to be consistent. He does not know which ones to obey and which ones to blow off unless he ALWAYS is expected to obey.

    Sharpen up your basics and his responses. But he is big and you say sort of an oaf? SLOW DOWN with the circles and jumping and concentrate on toning him up and letting him build muscle and balance so he can obey you more regularly. He might be trying to do them and cannot yet so is just learning he does not have to listen, getting confused and as frustrated as you are.

    Remember, NEVER ask a horse to do something they might fail at-always set them up for success. Take more time and do it right. So don't circle him if you are not sure he will circle.

    Fix that before you go jump and ask for circles.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  3. #3
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    Oh he's perfectly physically capable. And he was doing dressage with his former owner. He will turn and circle 9/10, or eve 19/20 and do it perfectly well and balanced. It's just the 1/20 he won't, and I am certain it's him just being a snot. I pretty sure I am consistent with my aids. If he ignores and plows into the gate instead, he gets a crop smack and a replay until he does it nicely. He doesn't just get away with it outright.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 20, 2009
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    Raeford, North Carolina
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    Default

    Couple of things (you may or may not like some of it, remember it's worth what you paid for it):

    #1 - I had a Perch/Tb that I loved, so you obviously have excellent taste in horses

    #2 - Suppling is not your issue, submission is. Your aids are your aids, they should get the proper response without getting stronger. IOW, escalating the aid should not be your first line of defense.

    #3 - My gut is that you need to step waaay back and focus on flatwork for a while. Jumping, and especially showing, with a horse not on the aids is not only a bad idea but it is dangerous. Your relationship with him is new and needs some time to develop. Not sure if you are working with a trainer but that would be your first move. He has got to be more responsive and starting with the 1/2 halt. If he blows through it he gets a come to Jesus full halt. You have got to get control of the HH and get control of those shoulders. I would venture to guess he is throwing his shoulder in the direction he wants to go and plowing right through.

    #4 - In addition to #3, work on strengthening. A horse without sufficient hind end strength to answer the demand is a horse on the forehand, and a horse on the forehand is a horse not on the aids.

    I'm sure many others will chime in, and without the benefit of actually seeing you guys in action I'm sure it is the first of many other opinions

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    "Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing" - Robert Benchley
    Cotton would fight.
    http://buildingthegrove.blogspot.com/


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  5. #5
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    Default

    I dunno, I always took a few months to figure out a new horse, maybe he is not just "being a snot"?

    He should not be plowing into things because he refuses to turn so something is not working here. Not sure the spurs, pelham and smacking him are going to fix the basic problem of not being able to get that 1/20 circle-confess no idea what that is. But whatever is different about it he can't do right now to the point of smashing into things.

    That's a problem.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  6. #6
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    Default

    I was meaning 1 time out of 20 he will not turn, circle, etc. It's not an every time thing, it's a random occurrence, but a problem nonetheless



  7. #7
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    More flat work and maybe ground poles to make him listen put some xrails right by the gate at home. You may not like this but I will say I've dealt with this with a couple horses and usually when i changed their job they were much happier and stopped this mess. Had one that hated jumping. He did it for me but he would sometimes pull the run out the gate technique or at least try to but the dressage arena he'd rock. So we stopes jumping so much at shows and did dressage. He was a much happier boy. If we did jump at shows it was little 2 ft max
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  8. #8
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    Default

    Make sure you aren't nagging (small aids, light tap with crop), and use your voice to GROWL at him if he starts to ignore you.

    If he knows what to do, and you are sure he is just giving you the finger I'd have a CTJ meeting with him. Then as soon as he flicked an ear in the direction he is thinking of going, I'd growl, and remind him to listen.

    It may take you being really on top of it, and catching him before he actually starts to "not turn/throw his shoulder out", to get it stopped. Each time he is successful at evading, it is reinforcing it. So you may really need to get after him a couple of times. But do use your voice. It really helps. A "HEY!HEY" or "Ahhh, Ahhh" can stop some misbehavior if they know that you mean it.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    Maybe different, then, because he does not understand he HAS to do it?

    I say go back to basic flatwork starting with those half halts backed up with a GTJ reapplication of the same aids until he complies, don't add more aids. For example, smacking him for not turning might get his attention...now. But it does not teach him what he did wrong, does not allow you to figure out why he failed to turn and he WILL learn to ignore it.

    Not trying to be mean here but...hows your leg strength? Big horses always killed my legs-I liked a TB or breedy WBs. No shame there, but something to work towards perfecting.

    Maybe a month of good basic flatwork and some no stirrup work would help you get a strong enough leg to balance him up and apply a strong aid with the leg with the spur and stick only as back up. Lessons too.

    And remember that when we jump, the horse has to work more independently then they do in Dressage where they are almost micromanaged every step-you have to let go over the jumps and cannot be wrestling around your corners and expect to get any sort of distance at all. And that might be where you are getting steering issues around the jumps...you risk starting him on the stopper train.

    Maybe look at it that way to work on the solution. But I would not ask him to jump until you work it out...it's a more harm then good situation until he listens up and/or learns to balance or whatever the issue is.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Can you go all the way back to ground poles without him getting bored? Work a circle of ground poles, 20 meter circle, four poles? I think I've seen it called ring of death or something on here. But start with poles. Moves the poles all over the ring, including right next to the gate.

    When I was riding a lot of horses, I mean a LOT of horses, I never shut the gate. The only horse I rode who exited the ring despite strong aids was an AH of a Trakehner, and he was built like a big heavy boy and would drag on his front end and slam through my aids. We went back all the way to circling, over ground poles and small jumps, and asking him/teaching him to stay off his front end. It worked if you paid attention and could feel him getting heavy, but honestly he was still an AH and never a fun ride. His owner went up the bit spectrum for years...
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  11. #11
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    Jul. 12, 2010
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    Default

    I have a Perch/TB cross as well and rode a 100% Perch growing up. Making a sweeping generalization based on 2 horses I think there's quite a bit of smart/stubborn involved.

    I'd suggest taking a step back and thinking about other things your horse doesn't particularly like to do, where you can easily win the battle. Create the habit of obeying you in other contexts.

    Also, you can try working an very square corners in other parts of the arena using ground rails to create a true square. Begin at the walk, lots of trot & then canter. To do it correctly, you'll need to use both hands & both legs. Once you're getting balanced square corners with the rails, practice without the rails. When it's all rock solid, then begin doing it in the problem corner. So instead of your course being jump- go around the ring- jump it becomes jump- square corner- square corner- jump. Instead of having all that free time to think about being naughty between jumps, you both have 2 specific skills to execute. Added benefit, you'll have a very balanced horse as you go to the fence.

    Good luck!



  12. #12
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    Jan. 9, 2012
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. my legs aren't terrible, but could use some more strength. I've started doing a few minutes of no-stirrup trot work every ride, but I'm honestly nervous to canter without stirrups! As my confidence grew the past couple months, we've slowly gone from crossrails up to 2'6", and I have found that he's actually happier when we're doing the bigger jumps, and he's pulling this less and less. Maybe he is just bored with smaller? I don't know.

    I'm also getting his teeth checked/done in case that's contributing.



  13. #13
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    And just for funsies, here is my oaf being an oaf: http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...isadimbulb.jpg


    He stood there seemingly unaware that he could get himself out, even after he stopped munching. Silly.



  14. #14
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    Just a thought here...work on turning using "scissor legs" (and visualize the scissors when you do it) to turn. It takes both legs to turn...inside leg ahead of the girth to hold the shoulder up and outside leg behind the girth to block the lateral movement and prevent the blow thru. Make sure you are using active, direct inside rein and no indirect/crossover garbage and use passive contact with outside rein to keep him moving forward and not drifting out into your blocking outside leg-and spurs are good here with a big horse. You HAVE to keep his body between your legs or you will loose him to the outside.

    Set up the old wheel of death with 4 poles and start at the walk. Master that you can trot. Then you can canter but make the circle BIG because he is a big boy and we want him to succeed.

    Have had a couple that tried to go out the gate at first. I let them. And that's when I used the stick-after they got out of the gate. They quickly decided it was not such a good place and worse then working in the ring. Get off in the ring when you are done and NEVER ride him out and get off. Sometimes removing the reason for them wanting to run out (to be done) helps.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    I would go a step farther and encourage heavy use of the outside blocking rein and leg. If he's being a snot you want to overuse outside rein and leg to block his shoulder from going that direction. Free up the inside rein to offer him a nice place to go, squeeze and release it softly like wringing water out of a dishrag. Don't pull on your inside rein and keep his neck straight, straight, straight.

    I see this a fair amount with greenish horses overbent to the inside. It's more or less a free pass to bulge out at will in the turns because you've already lost the shoulder. Maybe "suppling" is counterproductive for him right now if it is bend-heavy....think making sure you have a straight neck in front of you all the time.

    Love that pic, I had a grey oaf for many years and still miss him!


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  16. #16
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    I will definitely try all these!

    And well well- the vet was out today and he DID need his teeth floated, and got them done this afternoon. I'm interested to see if that affects anything.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 13, 2011
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    When my drafty does that I slow down, let go of my inside rein (bc otherwise I will try to use it, making things worse), take a strong hold on the outside and pop him a good one with my leg. If he responds right away with 'omg sorry!' and counter bends while shifting weight to the inside, I move on. If it happens again or if he is 'bla' about it, halt, leg yeild away from wherever he's dragging me to, making sure he's on the aids and respectful before moving on.

    When he responds by pulling harder or going faster I halt and take a few steps back, and I'm sorta rude about it. Then repeat the walk/trot halts a few times nicely to make sure he got the point, not just that I was being a random crazy person

    An exercise that helped me was trot to halt transitions, paying close attention to if he's even in boh reins and perfectly straight. If not, leg yeild away from the side he leaned into or pulled on. Pick up trot and repeat.

    You will figure each other out, it takes me a good 6 months wih a new guy to feel totally in control, even if I have no issues.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 9, 2008
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    Alabama
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    I would go a step farther and encourage heavy use of the outside blocking rein and leg. If he's being a snot you want to overuse outside rein and leg to block his shoulder from going that direction. Free up the inside rein to offer him a nice place to go, squeeze and release it softly like wringing water out of a dishrag. Don't pull on your inside rein and keep his neck straight, straight, straight.

    I see this a fair amount with greenish horses overbent to the inside. It's more or less a free pass to bulge out at will in the turns because you've already lost the shoulder. Maybe "suppling" is counterproductive for him right now if it is bend-heavy....think making sure you have a straight neck in front of you all the time.

    Love that pic, I had a grey oaf for many years and still miss him!
    ^^^^ This
    This spring I was constantly getting comments on my dressage tests that my 15 meter circles were too big. My guy was blowing through my half halts and I was losing his shoulder. The key was to become more effective with my outside rein and leg. He had to learn that when those aids were applied they were like a wall that he was not allowed to go through. One exercise we used was almost like neck reining. I would warm up on a loose rein and ask him to turn using outside leg and rein only. If he didn't respond then he got a tap with the whip on his outside shoulder to remind him to move it. It's amazing how quickly they learn. Another thing that I had to adjust was my inside leg. When turning I was focusing so much on creating proper bend with my inside leg that I was using it too strongly at times. As soon as I lightened up with the inside leg pressure, he began turning better.



  19. #19
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    Nov. 28, 2008
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    Florida
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    Default may be hurting

    I would suggest to call your vet and have him scoped for Ulcers. You stated you had him only 2 months. He could of gotten them at the old place.

    I had a horse doing the exact same thing, we treated like he was major barn sour. We tried to work thru it did all the same tricks you stated and more for 2 months.
    I notice his coat getting dull and skin was breaking out. I called our vet he took one look at him said his coat and work ethic tells me he has Ulcers. We scoped him and sure enough. After being on treatment for 1 week and off work and lots of turn-out on grass. We got a new horse.



  20. #20
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    Thanks again for all the suggestions- tried a lot of them out this weekend. He was being a bit uppity and up in general yesterday especially, but with a lot of flat work and halting a LOT, he was yes ma'aming me by the end of the ride. We did have to have a full-on growling CTJ meeting in the middle of the ride when he tried play "guess the gait" repeatedly. I think he needs some general reminders that I am in charge, not him. I think we're going to work this out eventually



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