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Young horse, more woah than go?

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  • Young horse, more woah than go?

    We have a 6 yr old Arab Gelding at our barn, that is incredibly respectful, ridiculously calm, and super curious. He is a barn favorite, and is amazing on the ground. Under saddle, he is really calm and a try-hard. He does his best to please, and whatever you ask he does. He would love to just spend his time walking, but if we ask for a trot, he begrudgingly does it. He goes into a very weak trot until I ask for more. With a lot of encouragement he goes into a nice, powerful trot. I would love to have him more responsive to my cues, and for him to immediately pick up his powerful trot as soon as I cue. Worst case scenario i could add a whip, but I am hoping to fix this without artificial aids. His walk-canter transitions are not very good, but he does pick up his canter eventually. Any ideas about how I can get more go from him? He seems to want to do his best, but doesn’t seem enthusiastic. Can you train a horse to love to go? I thought I read somewhere that younger horses tend to be lazier, is this true?

    Interestingly, when I have him on the lung line, he loves to gallop, buck, and really flaunt his stuff. He has the most amazing trot on the lunge line, that I have never seen undersaddle.

    He is somewhat new to this barn, is it possible he is unsure, causing him to slow down?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pop_676 View Post
    We have a 6 yr old Arab Gelding at our barn, that is incredibly respectful, ridiculously calm, and super curious. He is a barn favorite, and is amazing on the ground. Under saddle, he is really calm and a try-hard. He does his best to please, and whatever you ask he does. He would love to just spend his time walking, but if we ask for a trot, he begrudgingly does it. He goes into a very weak trot until I ask for more. With a lot of encouragement he goes into a nice, powerful trot. I would love to have him more responsive to my cues, and for him to immediately pick up his powerful trot as soon as I cue. Worst case scenario i could add a whip, but I am hoping to fix this without artificial aids. His walk-canter transitions are not very good, but he does pick up his canter eventually. Any ideas about how I can get more go from him? He seems to want to do his best, but doesn’t seem enthusiastic. Can you train a horse to love to go? I thought I read somewhere that younger horses tend to be lazier, is this true?

    Interestingly, when I have him on the lung line, he loves to gallop, buck, and really flaunt his stuff. He has the most amazing trot on the lunge line, that I have never seen undersaddle.

    He is somewhat new to this barn, is it possible he is unsure, causing him to slow down?
    My guess is that this is a green broke or even really unbroke horse that does not yet have the strength or balance to carry a rider and show his natural gaits.

    Possibly saddle fit issues as well. But typical unbroke horse confusion and imbalance, mainly.

    What does the actual ownet think about the horse and how does he go for them?

    The solution is correct schooling based on the training pyramid. From how you phrase your questions, you are not the person to undertake this. It requires a rider skilled in starting green horses who would recognize this as soon as they got on.

    Walk canter transutions are also a relatively advanced skill that needs more strength. And it is typical that you don't see a horses full range of gaits under saddle for a year or two.

    OP, what is your relationship to this horse and to the barn? Taking this question along with your previous one about punishment, I'm going to make a huge assumption that you are a lesson kid or barn helper at a lower end barn and don't have your own horse. Apologies and please correct me if I am wrong. It's just that your questions are all about other people and other people's horses.

    Thats fine of course! But just a warning that you personally are not going to be able to step in and magically transform greenbroke or problem horses that your barn program brings in. Indeed you shouldn't really be riding green broke horses except under the guidance of a very good trainer who can teach you to train. Otherwise you can really mess up their minds. And bodies. And get hurt too.



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    • #3
      I had a young appy like this. I started religiously taking her out in the hills for gallops/ big trots, especially with her WB BFF who she was motivated to keep up with, once a week, and jumping once a week. On dressage days I would warm up with some big forward canter in light seat to wake her up.

      I also agree that strength and fitness is likely the big issue.

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      • #4
        this article addresses your concern. http://www.janesavoie.com/article_driving_aids.htm

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        • #5
          This article is a good overview of basic ways to lighten up a sluggish horse who *is already broke and understands the aids.*

          It's not good advice if the horse is very green and doesn't understand the aids yet, or is too unbalanced to feel comfortable moving under a rider.

          OP needs to be 100% sure which it is before they get on that horse again.

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          • #6
            There is nothing wrong with carrying a crop. Most of the time you don't even need to use it, just the presence of it is enough. Getting a horse quick off your leg is a very common riding lesson for people, ask your trainer to give you this kind of lesson with this horse. Walk to canter transitions are very difficult for horses and it is unfair to ask this from this horse right now. Doing lots of transitions will help this horse. For now work on getting a nice rhythm in the trot and letting him develop and get stronger and more balanced. Pretty basic stuff with the guidance of your instructor.

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            • #7
              Using a whip to train a young horse is NOT an artificial aid. It is used to emphasis and re-enforce your leg aid. You need timing and using it correctly so he understands that leg on means go. You have to instill forward thinking and moving forward off your leg with many many many young horses. If you do it right and consistently, you often then will not need to carry a whip. But with a green horse...it is often needed to help teach them that leg on means go forward. That and make sure you are not blocking him with contact....he needs to learn forward...so you need that front door wide open and only using your leg aid (supported with the whip if he doesn’t respond quickly).
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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              • #8
                Is this a school horse? Sounds like it.

                What is your riding level?
                What does your trainer think about this situation?

                A whip and spurs are acceptable training aids but need to be used with caution.
                Especially is this is not your horse.
                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                Originally posted by LauraKY
                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                HORSING mobile training app

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