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How the heck do you keep them entertained?

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  • How the heck do you keep them entertained?

    So my Welsh CobX is making terrific progress. Which has come with basically just riding around in the fields ect. We've found that schooling to school him just wont work. So we'll ride through the fields doing little mini leg yields. Or sprial circles ect.

    However he gets so bored you can not do more then two cricles ect. before he throws a mini tantrum (note nothing bad just ok im going to stand here now and not go forward) but ask him to start doing something else he is like "OH! something new sweet!" So I can never get to the point of look you did it perfect lets move on. So he doesnt ever really get to the reward portion. However he has made such progress as we now have an established outside rein, we understand leg means more then forward and we have really good steering off the seat.

    The problem is you cant ride in the same spot two days in a row or you get the I'm not going to do anything. Like today I rode him in the same spot as yesterday because I wanted to do some trot work and this paddock is a perfect arena size and has no trees. Its the only one like it on the property and our actual arena isnt fenced. SO anyway he was having none of it, despite him being perfect yesterday. Like we had zilch steering, NO outside rein and instead of forwards we walked backwards. You cant really get onto him because he just stands there or takes off at a gallop. I mean feet planted or balls to the wall gallop. Then you get him to walk a couple of strides and he rinses and repeats. After you get on to him about his tantrum everything flys out the window.

    This happens all the time. No matter where you ride except on the trails. We have a five minute trail on the barns property he loves when we ride. We trailered off to a state park with the barn he loved it he just loves being on the trail. But I dont have a trailer to trail ride him all the time, and he needs to learn hey we can do the same thing more then once. We really need to start working on some finesse doing some patterns, progressing in his over all knowledge rather then loosly letting him figure it out on his own. Hes been undersaddle almost 5 months now.

    Hes still got a 3 year old mind in a 6 year old body from standing in a field for 5.5 years of his life. Any ideas on how to keep him entertained. We seriously can not hack out in the same field twice it is getting ridiculous. I'm tring so hard to keep him entertained but there are only so many places we can ride!! Ideas please!
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

  • #2
    I think someone needs to explain to him who is really in charge.

    Personally, I'm a wimp, so I wouldn't want to do it, but if I were in your position, I'd be finding someone who would explain the order of the world as far as "human asks, you do," to him.

    And I'd be finding some way to take some lessons on him.

    In fact, best of all would be if you could work with someone who will lay this revelation of the wonders of submission on him and teach you how to maintain it.

    It's not your job to entertain him. It's his job to entertain you for the hour or so a day you get to ride him.


    • Original Poster

      We take lessons, and its the same thing. I do try to establish the hey look I'm in charge but like I said after I establish this we have nothing. Today we were trotting like a jack rabbit and cantering sideways after we had a come to jesus meeting about it. Then I try and ride until we have a nice controlled something, but we literally never get there. Today we finished head to head, like you could see he was just as pissed about the whole thing as I was.
      --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


      • #4
        Are you saying he's like this in your lessons?

        What does your trainer think/do/say about it?


        • #5
          I have known horses that hate arena work and love the trail and horses that hate the trail and love arena work. Sounds like this may be your guy.


          Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


          • Original Poster

            He is like this in lessons Yes and no. We always try and do the lessons in a different spot and that seems to increase the numbers of times we can do the same excersize more then once and if a person is on the ground he is always more attentive to the rider.

            But we dont even do arena work, because in the actual arena forget asking him to do anything. "Its all orange clay, thats boring I want some trees please." We always ride in large large pastures or a paddock.
            --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


            • #7
              I don't think it's a good idea to do the same exerise more than once in a row anyway. Many trainers have told me that more than one circle in a row is just dily dallying.

              If you want to school stretchy circles, legyields, lengthenings and shouder-in during your ride, rather than having the "stretchy circle session," the "legyield section," and the "shoulder-in" section, try doing
              10m circle (X1) in corner, SI half of long side, 10m circle (X!) at B, SI to corner, stretchy circle on short side, 10m circle at C, legyield to B, lengthen rest of long side, stretchy circle on shortside, shoulder in 4 strides out of corner, lengthen across short diagonal, and so on.

              You can then repeat the basic pattern the other direction.

              Do the best you can for each segment and reward him for the effort.
              Then move on to the next thing.
              The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
              Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
              The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


              • #8
                What does your trainer actually say it?

                I think your problem is starting from the fact that when you say go, hes says no. If I ask my horse to go, they better go. The most important thing is to have your hrose in front of your leg. If your horse is stopping and saying no to going at any point in your ride, he is not in front of your leg.

                frankly it doesnt matter if he is bored when he is saying no that strongly.
                "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton


                • Original Poster

                  Your question confuses me.

                  See hes either entirely to in front of my leg in the trot and canter but so behind at the walk. He is definately a different type of horse, then I've worked with before.
                  --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


                  • #10
                    Forgive me for saying this...sounds like you have a spoiled brat with a very high opinion of himself that has been unemployed for some time and sees no earthly reason to please you. He is not respectful of you nor wanting to put in good work. I had a mustang that did much of the same, complete with nasty squeals and bucking when he wanted out of work.

                    I couldn't fix him. Maybe You can't either, but there darn sure are other, tougher riders that might. Be sure they show you how to remain with the upper hand. I'm not saying over powering him or "cowboying" him (but a "good" cowboy might be very handy in this situation) I just think he needs a no BS attitude of do this NOW. (Of course after having looked into back or soreness issues, which I doubt are the problem frankly)
                    There is the point that he just might not DO dressage for a living but might be a fabulous xc jumper or whatnot...
                    Good Luck!


                    • #11
                      sorry i meant what does your trainer actually say about the problem? I mean that he stops and wont go anywhere. When he does this what do you do?
                      "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wylde sage View Post
                        Forgive me for saying this...sounds like you have a spoiled brat with a very high opinion of himself that has been unemployed for some time and sees no earthly reason to please you. He is not respectful of you nor wanting to put in good work. I had a mustang that did much of the same, complete with nasty squeals and bucking when he wanted out of work.

                        Good Luck!
                        I agree wylde sage. Horse is saying no and you are saying that is ok we will do something else. You have to make sure you have the time to put in a ride where you can end on a good note. Even if that good note is one calm step of a walk. Your horse has learned to get out of work.Even if he is bored he still must respect what you are asking him.I have dealt with horses who get bored of drilling stuff. They get sloppy but still listen to the basic aides.If he swings to the other end of the spectrum when you get after him, you need to change your approach.You may have to put in a two hour ride but you need to end on a good note.


                        • #13
                          Your Welsh cob X does not respect you.
                          You may need to go back to basics of lunging and voice commands. Make sure all his gaits are forward. Walk needs to be marching not a waddle or amble or meandering. Trot needs to be cadenced and canter is not an excuse to runoff even on the lunge.

                          He may need some time to go back to the basics and then give him some time off to mentally process. Treat him like a 3 yr old even though he has a 6 yr old body.

                          And be willing to do battle to win the argument , if it takes hours, stay with it. Some Cobs are creative and will fight to win. I know I have had one. My current Cob does not, he is very efficient in doing his work and on rare occassions he will be argumentative.

                          You have to be more determined to win than him. Don't give him an inch.


                          • Original Poster

                            See here is the bitch, his ground work is impeccable. Lunges on complete voice commands or slight body movements which ever you choose. He longe lines perfectly. Both he is always attentive always perfect round and focused and forward. He gets the I'm the boss on the ground. He free lunges or on the line any where any place.

                            My trainer tells me to get onto him, and I do but because we have a person on the ground we dont get to go so far in the opposite direction. We've agreed that his mind is immature for his body. So we are just trying the slow, yet remain happy and making riding fun. But you can only do that so much with a horse who only knows so much, and where there are only so many places to ride.

                            He has been to a trainer as well.

                            So basically its time to get to work.
                            --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


                            • #15
                              couple things.Pony is a 4 letter word for a reason; i wont work with those monsters anymore. aint worth it for me.
                              but that doesn't help you.
                              i see either 1 of two things going on.
                              1. even though he is showing talent for this avenue, it may not be what he enjoys, and I think it's quite arrogant to say that these creatures that let us ride them don't have a say in their career. it really makes me question people's motives when they start treating horses like motorcycles. So anyway, he may not be the best fit for your goals, or
                              2. he's confused. his forward button may be broken, your relationship may need work, your lines of communication may need refining...
                              I start them all off at liberty and get them doing all 3 gaits at the speed of my discretion. they learn FORWARD, half halts at liberty, tof, toh, and LL but most importantly they learn that i'm the nice lady who just so happen can make their feet move when i want, where i want, how i want. this is not chase your horse with a whip, or wave crap at it like a pepperoni. Liberty work is an art that takes tremendous bodily control for the person.
                              Then they go to in hand and learn how to move their body in response to the rein. they learn shoulder fore, shoulder in, both on straight lines and on a circle, the learn how to reach down for the bit, and how to lift their topline, and of course more forward. ALL before they are ever sat on.
                              when there are gaps in the horse's education on the ground you have huge swiss cheese holes in the saddle. All the steps are taken in hand and at liberty to teach the horse A. I am worth learning from, and consistent enough to trust and B. that I'm interesting. he cares about the trees, the footing, the dang birds because you are not interesting enough for him, so his scenery has to be.
                              Be the most interesting thing to your horse. Less evolved horseman resort to violence, smacking, and yelling, while a more evolved horseman realizes that a horse not paying attention to them has lost interest because the rider is boring (to that horse), and they don't see the point. Force is the weapon of the weak.

                              I just read your most recent post. Ride him with longer reins like driving reins, and when he's a snot mounted, hop off and ask for the same thing on the ground several times, then hop on and ask for it again. it may be that it's just not translating for him, and you need to make the translation more obvious. If he's still a snot after that, try a person on the ground helping to guide him towards what you want while you ask in the saddle.
                              stop and think how amazing it is that they can even figure out what we want from our slight muscle and weight adjustments! they even get it right most of the time when we get the signal wrong. We should give horses more credit, and use patience.
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble


                              • #16
                                Have you ground driven him? Or only lunged him?

                                Early training is boring. But they have to go through it to get to the more fun stuff. They don't have the mental capacity or physical balance to do the fun stuff. Leg-yield, shoulder-fore (later bcoming shoulder-in, then half-pass) is only the start of the fun stuff.
                                Supplying exercises and transitions are key to the latter. And don't ever do them(transitions) in any kind of regime. Or the Cob will have that game too!!!!


                                • #17
                                  What happens if you lunge him a really long time (25 min same direction, same gait) in the same place you worked him the day before? I could see him getting bored, giving you the opportunity to have the battle with him from the ground. Not that I'm an advocat for a lot of lunging but maybe once to see what he does.


                                  • #18
                                    You need to stop caring if he's "bored" or not. Horses will graze in a field in the same spot more or less for hours on end.
                                    He has your number. Quite frankly dressage IS somewhat boring and repititious. Perhaps he doesn't have the right mind for it. Regardless, I'd adopt the attitude that you are asking for one hour and he has 23 in which to do as he pleases.
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                    • #19
                                      My very last pony was like this. I adored her! She was completely voice trained and I translated it to the saddle with ground driving. She went on to become a stunt double pony and knew all sorts of lovely tricks. She was a tough ride though and devilishly smart. She would have sucked as a dressage pony all those patterns would have driven her insane. I would ask for a walk and she would buck backwards for a bit and then give me a couple of steps forward. Often times it was a sheer determination to get what I wanted that made us get it done. I will admit she defeated me on many occasions but we had moments of greatness. Once I started the ground driving she loved it and that was our break through. That and I would show her a new trick from the ground to master if she was good for the saddle portion. Try the ground driving and try the trick training.
                                      Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                      Originally Posted by alicen:
                                      What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                                      • #20
                                        Our job is not to "entertain" horses! Unless they are stuck on stall rest! He needs to learn NOW that this is YOUR hour. He is not a three year old with a short attention span, he is just trying to convince you of that! If you are not able to ride him thru this then I strongly advise sending him to someone for 30 days that will do so. Once he learns he can get away with this, his "boredom" will become a bigger and bigger problem, until he decides he isn't working at all. But if you nip it in the bud right now, you can have a nice horse for the future. Of course, you may want to make sure that nothing is bothering him physically first, but from the description it just sounds like he is learning to become a spoiled brat.