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Green Horse Green Rider woes

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  • Green Horse Green Rider woes

    I need help to encourage a green rider to keep trying with her green horse, and ideas to help resolve her issues.

    Horse is nice; smooth, kind and suitably built to be easy to ride. Horse does lack some adaptability and isn't all that forgiving. With owner she will pull down and stop when trotting, or when asked to trot will twist/come of the track and not trot.

    Horse just has basic training...w/t/c, TOF, some leg yeild. When I ride her I try to imitate her owners issues, a bit (ride with a loose contact, unsteady seat and such).

    Didn't help that I couldn't ride horse for a month while injured (assistant rode her), but even then, owner only able to pay for 1 ride per week. I am now back riding, and have been on horse twice. Horse did pull the same issues with me yesterday, but one stern thump, and away we go.

    Owner is frustrated horse is still unwilling to trot with her. Carrying a whip helps, but owner is inconsistent with using it, and starting to piss of horse. Stearing at trot is getting MUCH better, but owner has trouble accepting gains in one area, when we are going backwards in another. She did not have these issues getting her to go previously, but then I used to ride the horse 2-3 times a week, however that is not in the budget.

    Horse hates lunging, so lunge lessons not a good idea.

    How do I help the owner see the progress and accept the set backs (or at least not let them frustrate her). She is a lovely lady, but does frustrate easily and I think worries she is not good enough for her horse..I think (and tell her) that they are well suited, but there are going to be some road bumps in the way...some bigger than others.

    Any advice?
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    Personally from what you say, I DON'T think they are well suited at this point. Your student has to pay for either more rides or more lessons (preferably rides, then phase in lessons) - just temporarily.

    The "starting to piss off horse" bothers me. That can get ugly, quickly.

    Maybe have her just walk when she's not in front of you. Don't put her in a position to fail. It doesn't serve her or her horse.

    Your client will not want to hear either of these suggestions, but that's reality. Just explain that you are looking out for her best interests.

    Good luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Since you're back to riding, I'd suggest you get on the horse at the beginning of every lesson (and maybe for the entire first half of every lesson) and school her in going forward obediently and through some simple figures (large circles, figure eights, half turns). That way, the horse will benefit from a good warm up and be physically and mentally "into" the ride... the owner will get to see the horse work successfully (and watch what you do to produce the success)... and the two of them will have a better chance of working together for the second half of the lesson. Allowing her to get on and benefit from your ride will cut down on the frustration considerably (for the horse, too).

      Do not try to replicate the owner's mistakes. Ride correctly and allow the horse to benefit from the positive. With only so much time available in one lesson per week, you all want to spend as little time as possible doing it wrong.
      Patience pays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Riding is supposed to be fun. It sounds like this horse is not fun for this owner. Horses are way too expensive of a hobby to be frustrated every time you go out and ride. She can't even get the horse to consistently trot. What about when she wants to canter?

        She needs a good broke packer. One that is easier to trot and canter. One that she can learn on without having to worry about teaching the horse new things.

        The only way I see this horse working is a big influx of money so that she can pay for intensive training for horsey.

        There is a reason for the saying: "Green + Green = Black & Blue".

        Until she can find something more suitable is there a good pony jock or junior or riderless student that can ride her horse a few times per week for free or cheap? At least this way horse gets consistent work and junior can get extra saddle time.
        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think horse and rider are well suited. It sounds like the horse has the riders number, or is way too green for a rider that can't make a horse trot.

          Assuming that changing the horse/rider combo up isn't possible, I'd start with the rider. I'd give her some walk exercises to do with her horse for a few weeks, and put her on a schoolmaster for lessons. Making a horse trot isn't difficult- so I'd start with evaluating her on a schoolmaster and figuring out what pieces are missing. Work on whatever she needs on a horse she trusts (could be confidence, could be balance...). Let her develop trust and confidence with her horse at the walk during this time so she avoids failure.

          Right before you are ready to go back to her horse, teach her how to ride the corrections she'll need for her horse- on the schoolmaster.

          I'd have her trot in or right after the corner (depending on whether bending helps the transition), then have her walk half way up the long side. Talk through it with her on the schoolmaster. As she picks up the trot, tell her "your horse is bulging in to the middle of the ring- what do you do?" Then have her tell you while the applies the aids to stay on the rail- very gently since the schoolmaster should be doing it anyway. You can stand right on the quarter line where the horse will want to bulge to in order to be close to her and help her confidence. Once she's confident with correction, she can get on her own horse. As you approach problems on her horse- you may have to go back to the schoolmaster for a bit, but hopefully you'll build her problem solving skills over time so that she can do it in the moment. In essence, you're teaching her the timing and feel that lots of people are born with.

          Comment


          • #6
            If the pair MUST continue together. If the rider will not go back to a schoolmaster horse, and can not afford training for the horse, then every lesson you have with her, must be about the basics. She must learn to control her body, she must also learn to do forward transitions.

            It is a slow patient process, and every bit of ground gained must be praised, and then reinforced, before attempting another forward step.
            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

            Comment


            • #7
              Why are you telling her that she and the horse are well suited? They are NOT well suited. This situation is 1) going to ruin the horse and 2) everytually resut in an accident for the woman. Many things here scream out at me. The first is that the horse "hates to lunge". Horses are not ALLOWED to "hate" to do anything regarding work, so long as it is a reasonable request. Unless the horse has a physical issue, in which case she shouldnt be ridden anyways, she NEEDS to learn to lunge properly and deal with it. It jsut sounds like everyone is "pussyfooting" around a green hrose that needs someone to be firm with her and her issues will be resolved quickly. Otherwise she will develop some very bad and hard habits to break. The horse needs to be ridden by a good confident rider and not by the owner for a good period of time. She needs consistent work several times weekly. The owner needs to REALIZE that right now she should pay for RIDES not LESSONS if its a choice between the two. She herself needs to develop her confidence and aids on a more experienced horse. I am sorry but this path is not going to lead to anyplace and the owner SHOULD be frustrated, as well as the horse, because they simply are NOT currently suited to each other.
              Last edited by shawneeAcres; Feb. 4, 2011, 10:12 AM.
              www.shawneeacres.net

              Comment


              • #8
                Green horses and green riders are rarely a good combination. She needs a horse that will allow her to improve her skills and build her confidence; not a horse that frustrates and probably scares her. She will become a defensive rider, and the horse, as you stated yourself, is getting ticked off. Bad, bad combination. You are doing this woman no favors by encouraging her to stick with this horse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Owner is frustrated horse is still unwilling to trot with her. Carrying a whip helps, but owner is inconsistent with using it, and starting to piss of horse. Stearing at trot is getting MUCH better, but owner has trouble accepting gains in one area, when we are going backwards in another. She did not have these issues getting her to go previously, but then I used to ride the horse 2-3 times a week, however that is not in the budget.
                  Either the owner should learn how to cope with the situation and understand that this is not the horse's fault but hers and try to solve such minor problems (not wanting to go forward, stopping for no reason and going inside track...)or get another horse to ride on. She needs to understand that she needs to invest in time and money in this green horse. Being only ridden 1 time per week is certainly not helping...

                  A green horse deserves the best rider possible. A green rider deserves the best horse possible.
                  ~ 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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What MHJ said. ^^ . I'm forever grateful to my trainer, who rode my horse a lot for me (green OTTB) when I was starting out. It's hard for a beginner to learn on an uneducated horse. By riding my horse often, my trainer knew what his issues were too, so she could guide me more specifically, and work us both through our myriad issues.
                    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A horse with rideability issues is an unwanted horse.

                      (Spell check is telling me this is not a word. I declare rideability a word.)

                      Continuing on with this horse will likely end up with a rider who has on-going confidence issues as well as defensive riding habits that will frustrate her attempts to improve in the future.

                      Since every ride is a training ride, training this horse that she can have her way by being sour is making her hard to place in the future.

                      Ask me how I know.
                      Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Feb. 4, 2011, 01:14 PM.
                      2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                      A helmet saved my life.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnnysauntie View Post
                        What MHJ said. ^^ . I'm forever grateful to my trainer, who rode my horse a lot for me (green OTTB) when I was starting out. It's hard for a beginner to learn on an uneducated horse. By riding my horse often, my trainer knew what his issues were too, so she could guide me more specifically, and work us both through our myriad issues.
                        Yes for sure but the owner doesn't want/cannot spend the money for that. Unless the trainer wants to do it for free...
                        ~ 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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Melissa.Hare.Jones View Post
                          Since you're back to riding, I'd suggest you get on the horse at the beginning of every lesson (and maybe for the entire first half of every lesson) and school her in going forward obediently and through some simple figures (large circles, figure eights, half turns). That way, the horse will benefit ... and the owner will get to see the horse work successfully ...Do not try to replicate the owner's mistakes. Ride correctly and allow the horse to benefit from the positive. ...
                          I agree strongly with this posters suggestions. I had my GP rider riding my horse for first part of the lesson so she could feel horses issues and understand what we needed to work on that day. It also helped me gain a feel for how it was supposed to feel (my horse can fake you out easily). Started making great progress that way (schooling PSG) before mare injured herself.

                          Also - after a great lesson like that my horse came out the next day - CORRECTLY - so that will help encourage the owner that she can ride correctly. Make certain owner has specific issues to work on (homework) between lessons - so you can re-evaluate her (and the horse) at the next lesson and see if they've made progress.
                          Now in Kentucky

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Valentina, I don't get the impression you were a rank beginner, so this may be a case of comparing apples to oranges. This rider isn't even at the point of being able to feel correct versus not correct. She hasn't mastered the very basics.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You can't teach a green rider how to ride correctly on a green horse and everytime she gets on her green horse, she is teaching him something negative. There is a very good reason for inexperienced riders finding a trainer with school horses before they venture out and buy what they can afford only to have endless issues and neither make any positive progress.
                              PennyG

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Unless the rider is heavy on intestinal fortitude and has a strong desire to make this work, this will not work.

                                If I couldn't get the horse to accept being longed, I wouldn't be encouraging her to ride it.

                                It sounds like they just aren't a good match, but it does sound like you like the horse. You say the horse is kind (but then go on to say he is not adaptable or forgiving, which to me does not = kind, but maybe he is kinder to you undersaddle?).

                                And you also say the horse is W/T/C and doing some leg yielding and TOF, but she can't even get him to trot. That is a huge disconnect. Is the horse also completely disrespectful of her on the ground? If he needs a good regular whompin' to get with the program he doesn't have the temperament for a green rider and it's best to break up earlier vs. later in the relationship.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Just some thoughts. . .

                                  I think I read in the beginning that the horse "does not like to lunge" WEll, in my barn that horse would be lungeing every day until it was loving it. Not with the rider, but perfecting the technique.

                                  When I had surgery my horses lunged every day until I could ride. Teach him to long line too. Also teach the rider to long line. It isn't always about being in the saddle, sometimes doing ground work helps with riding.

                                  I think my point is that the horse doesn't get lunged because he doesn't like to be lunged, well the horse doesn't like to trot either, so do you stop trotting him? My horse hated water, not sure if she likes it now, but she sure as heck jumps in and out when I ask her.
                                  RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                                  "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I totally agree with Eventer55! That sentence about lunging jumed out at me too, and in my opinion, it's not the horses decision to be made!! Work on lunging so you can help the rider SAFELY!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      there's a difference between having the potential to be a great pairing, and being well suited for each other today. I bet if these two met at a different time different place they'd be harmonious, and that's probably what you see that's making you feel they are well suited, but just because a horse isn't tossing a green rider does not mean the horse is prepared for the task of teaching.
                                      the horse is a teacher just as much as you are.
                                      sounds like the horse needs to become a working student's project, and the owner needs lunge lessons on a school master.
                                      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                      chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Owner and I have come up with a plan that combines many of the ideas you posted: I am going to ride the horse for her for the next few weeks during her lesson time so she can watch the ride. Then we will progress to me riding to start, and her finishing the ride. The horse is ok with 3 days per week riding, so hopefully we can keep it in budget. We will also see if one of my students can put some rides on her (supervised by me) when owner is out of town to save some money.

                                        I am also going to have her use my saddle on her, just in case it is a saddle fit issue as well. It doesn't seem to be, but the timing for her issues to start would add up to the new saddle.

                                        Owner took lessons for a while on one of my schoolmasters that is close in type to her horse, and can w/t/c comfortably on him. She never rides outside of lessons.

                                        Owner is not "ruining" horse in that I have to rewind and fix her...it is just that owner cannot progress in the manner to which she expects and is going backwards a bit from where she was when I was riding the horse more. She CAN get the mare to trot, but not consistently and horse will challenge the request repeatedly. Once they are trotting they are good for the most part...until we take a walk break.

                                        Owner has cantered a tiny bit on her. Had no trouble getting the canter.

                                        I think, deep down, that if I could address the owner's confidence, and get her past the "I love my horse and that should be enough" phase of horse ownership, that they WOULD be fine together. She hates having to use the whip She was able to be much more confident/forceful on my horse.

                                        She bought this horse in a "Black Stallion" type moment, and I think it is hard for her to accept that you can't love the horse into obeying. Horse doesn't care that you saved it from going to Mexico!

                                        Horse will lunge for me or my assistant, just not for owner, and not in a way that I would think makes her suitable for lunge line lessons. Too much time spent being parellitized I think.

                                        I really do think they will be a good match one day, if I can only get this rider to believe in herself and accept set backs. If anyone has ideas on how I can help the MENTAL aspect of the owner's limitations, that would be great!
                                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                        Comment

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