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Getting the very Laid back horse motivated and in front of the leg.

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  • Getting the very Laid back horse motivated and in front of the leg.

    I am really really struggling and so frustrated. My 5 yr old Sec D Cob is so incredibly laid back and lazy and its driving me crazy.

    He has the most amazing rythmical paces but they are just going nowhere. There is nothing much forward about them.
    He is scared of nothing. You can crack a stock whip on his back. Hes been used for vaulting. Nothing fazes him.

    I have tried everything I can think of. Hes better but just never consistent.
    I did the Jane Savoie thing and that has made his upward transitions alot better but he just does not stay there. He will burst into the upward transition if I really slap him hard but then just gradually gets slower and slower and I feel I am constantly trying to motivate him. I can get a little more trot at times but the canter just never gets any bigger even in an open feild with me in two point and yahooing in his ear to try and motivate him.
    Lengthening the stride in canter just is not a happening thing and some times if I really try he just gets offended and even more behind the leg.

    I have used a Whip Wop which works occasionally and today tried a long piece of thick irrigation pipe which gave a thudding noise. Because it was new it got him moving but did not keep him there.

    I am ashamed to say I was actually thinking while riding that wouldn't electric spurs be great
    My trainer has resorted to chasing me around during a lesson with a lunge whip and says Gosh hes just too laid back.

    I went to a clinic with a load of auditors recently and was embarrassed to be whipping him really hard to keep him moving. I was wearing spurs as well.
    Hes absolutely exhausting.

    Hes fed oats and is out at grass most of the time.

    I sold my crazy spooky Warmblood which was constantly trying to kill me and now have the opposite problem. Yes I should be happy I have a safe horse but OMG.

    Anyone got any other ideas.

  • #2
    I have a laid back Friesian. What works the best for him is getting him out of the ring. Working in a field, on the trails, new places.... Also is you get him in good shape the work would be easier for him. I also use different whips, popper type, longer, shorter, just a variety. Everytime I get on I have to do the Jane Savioe technique and then I do a lot of walk/trot transitions to get his attention. Good luck I know it's not always fun but you are safe!
    Friesians Rule !!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Eireamon View Post
      I am ashamed to say I was actually thinking while riding that wouldn't electric spurs be great
      Don't feel bad this has crossed my mind too.
      Dawn

      Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a lazy horse until an excellent trainer made me take my leg OFF.

        Ask for your up transition and then take your leg completely off the horse. Dare him to break (as he likely will in three steps). Then: KAPOW!

        Immediately after you get your reaction to the KAPOW, take your leg OFF. Dare him to make the mistake. Don't prevent the mistake, tempt him with it. When he falls for it and slows down, even a little, KAPOW!

        Turn onto a 20m circle and put daylight between your leg and the horse's side. When he breaks, KAPOW! He should go around the whole circle around and around on his own with you not even touching his side.


        Everytime you feel the urge to squeeze or cluck, take your leg OFF instead and tempt the mistake. Then, when he slows down, KAPOW! And then go right back to daring him again to see if he learned.


        Works a treat.
        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
        Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          rizzodm Glad I am not the only one thinking evil thoughts.
          Friesan4me I am sure the Welsh cob is probably a bit the same in temperament to the Friesan. Yes having him out makes some difference but not alot. I have a racetrack around a big paddock and try to gallop him around. I am sure the neighbours think I am nuts hooping and hollering him on. But sadly it makes not alot of difference. Hes actually pretty fit so thats not the issue. Hes ridden 6 days per week for around 45 minutes.
          meupatdoes. Thanks for that suggestion. Definately going to try that one tomorrow and will report back how it goes.

          Comment


          • #6
            My Friesian cross is just like that. I now have a bunch of tricks that I use.
            First I start out with diagonals. I half-halt and collect him as we make the turn and then send him forward across the diagonal. He's learned that he should go across the ring and now motivates himself.
            Then I move to transitions. My trainer suggested trot-walk-trot transitions, but what works better for my guy is trot-almost walk-trot. After only a couple of those he's better.
            Then I move to transitions within the trot to more slowly get him moving. Trot-half-halt, half-halt-trot.
            Cantering early in our ride helps too.
            That usually does the trick.

            Going forward is not necessarily the issue. It's his hind legs moving underneath him that keeps him in front of my leg.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
              I had a lazy horse until an excellent trainer made me take my leg OFF.

              Ask for your up transition and then take your leg completely off the horse. Dare him to break (as he likely will in three steps). Then: KAPOW!

              Immediately after you get your reaction to the KAPOW, take your leg OFF. Dare him to make the mistake. Don't prevent the mistake, tempt him with it. When he falls for it and slows down, even a little, KAPOW!

              Turn onto a 20m circle and put daylight between your leg and the horse's side. When he breaks, KAPOW! He should go around the whole circle around and around on his own with you not even touching his side.


              Everytime you feel the urge to squeeze or cluck, take your leg OFF instead and tempt the mistake. Then, when he slows down, KAPOW! And then go right back to daring him again to see if he learned.


              Works a treat.
              Totally agree with taking the leg off, but I wouldn't tempt him to break because there will be minute physical changes in the rider's body that actually DO tell him to break, and then he's getting punished for listening to subtle cues.
              Perhaps a more appropriate mindset would be to think he will rate within the gate just as he is until you tell him otherwise. then if he deviates in any way, he gets a big reaction from the rider.

              Also, just want to point out that if he's pokey by himself or with his mates in the pasture, you are unlikely to change his perspective on the matter, even with cattle prods installed in your spurs. I wouldn't want to battle with such a thing every ride
              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
              chaque pas est fait ensemble

              Comment


              • #8
                I would definitely make sure the release in forward cues happens as suggested.

                I would also do more transitions. He's forward in transitions then eventually slows down? Change gaits again before he has the chance. The bonus to that is if you're asking for changes in gaits, you can't be keeping the same pressure on him all the time or he won't be able to tell you're asking for anything.
                If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                -meupatdoes

                Comment


                • #9
                  'I had a lazy horse until an excellent trainer made me take my leg OFF.

                  Ask for your up transition and then take your leg completely off the horse. Dare him to break (as he likely will in three steps). Then: KAPOW!

                  Immediately after you get your reaction to the KAPOW, take your leg OFF. Dare him to make the mistake. Don't prevent the mistake, tempt him with it. When he falls for it and slows down, even a little, KAPOW!

                  Turn onto a 20m circle and put daylight between your leg and the horse's side. When he breaks, KAPOW! He should go around the whole circle around and around on his own with you not even touching his side.


                  Everytime you feel the urge to squeeze or cluck, take your leg OFF instead and tempt the mistake. Then, when he slows down, KAPOW! And then go right back to daring him again to see if he learned.'

                  THAT! I also had a 'lazy' Friesian. In truth he was just micro-managed by me so he learned to ignore the perpetual nagging. Less is more.
                  You see a mouse-trap. I see free cheeze and a challenge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                    I had a lazy horse until an excellent trainer made me take my leg OFF.

                    Ask for your up transition and then take your leg completely off the horse. Dare him to break (as he likely will in three steps). Then: KAPOW!

                    Immediately after you get your reaction to the KAPOW, take your leg OFF. Dare him to make the mistake. Don't prevent the mistake, tempt him with it. When he falls for it and slows down, even a little, KAPOW!

                    Turn onto a 20m circle and put daylight between your leg and the horse's side. When he breaks, KAPOW! He should go around the whole circle around and around on his own with you not even touching his side.


                    Everytime you feel the urge to squeeze or cluck, take your leg OFF instead and tempt the mistake. Then, when he slows down, KAPOW! And then go right back to daring him again to see if he learned.


                    Works a treat.

                    Agree with this. Nagging with the leg and aides makes lathargic horses.
                    Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
                    Full Time Dressage Addict

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Two of the EPSM horses I have worked with ride a bit like that. Like there is a giant magnet pulling the horse backwards more so the more forward you try to go. Or like riding in a bowl of molasses. Eventually, once they break a sweat, and you are soaked in sweat, they do suddenly find the forward button, which is like suddenly being on a different horse. FWIW

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ditto to check on EPSM. Also, a friend of mine has an amazing Hano mare that for 4 years was like that. She was ready to sell the horse. Then tried Gastrogard as a last resort, voila, horse is now happy to go forward.
                        "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          No leg try out today. A huge rain storm that has been coming in from Australia hit us last night and its been raining hard for the past 15 hours. So it will be a day off for the horses.

                          Petstorejunkie I do agree his mindset is very laid back. Hes not the type to go running around his paddock. Hes definately of the couch potato variety and if he were a person would spend all day loafing around. I know I am not going to turn him into a hyperactive athlete but would at least like a little more try.

                          I am aware nagging with the leg is not a good thing and I try not to do this. It usually ends up with a wallop but thats not really a good thing either. I feel so bad that I am after him so much and as Petstorejunkie says when a horse is naturally a very laid back character its not something that is probably going to change a whole lot.
                          When I was at the clinic and walloped him a few times I was aware that God those auditors probably think I am abusive. I felt it myself.
                          Its been in the back of my mind the last few days that if I cannot fix this I need to move him on to someone who wants a horse with one gear. He is so safe and would be an amazing trail horse for someone who just wanted to poke around looking at the scenery.

                          BUT he has really good paces and fantastic rythmn and an amazing temperament and I think if I can crack this I will have a lovely dressage partner so I am not giving up just yet.

                          EPSM is not something that is known in Welsh cobs and he has no symptoms so thats not something I would really consider. Hes just a laid back horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Jane Savoie thing has two parts. Three, actually.
                            1 Ask nicely.
                            if ignored
                            2 REALLY get after him
                            3 test. Ask nicely.
                            If no response repeat step 2

                            Sophie is rather laid back herself. Last summer I took lessons from a really good trainer. In addition to making Sophie GO on the lunge she had me ride at a trot tempo that I thought was really REALLY fast. In the beginning our goal was once around the large arena with no break. If Sophie quit we got to start over.

                            It took a few weeks but she will now keep going without quitting and without nagging.
                            I wasn't always a Smurf
                            Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                            "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                            The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I have used the Jane Savoie method extensively on other horses carol and I agree it works really well. But the horse has to have some degree of sensitivity.
                              This one does not. I am sure if I planted a bomb under him and exploded it he would just walk off it. Nothing much scares.
                              I had shooters next door last evening and all of my horses were galloping around and freaking out. This one stood looking in the direction of the shooters with a look on his face Of "Oh how cool can I come help out?"
                              I wanted a more laid back horse but this one is killling me.
                              I have a couple of Welsh cob TB crosses and I have had to teach them to be motivated in going forward as well. One I have to remind occasionally as he can get a little dull like most horses but once hes going he then stays there.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Eireamon View Post
                                I am really really struggling and so frustrated. My 5 yr old Sec D Cob is so incredibly laid back and lazy and its driving me crazy.

                                He has the most amazing rythmical paces but they are just going nowhere. There is nothing much forward about them.
                                He is scared of nothing. You can crack a stock whip on his back. Hes been used for vaulting. Nothing fazes him.

                                I have tried everything I can think of. Hes better but just never consistent.
                                I did the Jane Savoie thing and that has made his upward transitions alot better but he just does not stay there. He will burst into the upward transition if I really slap him hard but then just gradually gets slower and slower and I feel I am constantly trying to motivate him. I can get a little more trot at times but the canter just never gets any bigger even in an open feild with me in two point and yahooing in his ear to try and motivate him.
                                Lengthening the stride in canter just is not a happening thing and some times if I really try he just gets offended and even more behind the leg.

                                I have used a Whip Wop which works occasionally and today tried a long piece of thick irrigation pipe which gave a thudding noise. Because it was new it got him moving but did not keep him there.

                                I am ashamed to say I was actually thinking while riding that wouldn't electric spurs be great
                                My trainer has resorted to chasing me around during a lesson with a lunge whip and says Gosh hes just too laid back.

                                I went to a clinic with a load of auditors recently and was embarrassed to be whipping him really hard to keep him moving. I was wearing spurs as well.
                                Hes absolutely exhausting.

                                Hes fed oats and is out at grass most of the time.

                                I sold my crazy spooky Warmblood which was constantly trying to kill me and now have the opposite problem. Yes I should be happy I have a safe horse but OMG.

                                Anyone got any other ideas.
                                yep

                                done more than few like him, so 1st change tactics and attitude
                                so 1st you, sounds like from past warmblood you had to hold him back a lot
                                so this comes natural to you becuase thats how you rode your horse

                                welsh cobs are intelligeint horses and they will do what your asking - think about it

                                so with lazy or sharp horse asin your previous one was sharp this one is lazy you as a rider as it is a rider error , have to be quicker thinker meaning you have to be sharper with your aids

                                for your next lesson, i want you to try the kick and click method if you have a school kick and click at the same time and send him off on a gallop down the long side of the school, then stop pat praze him with a good boy voice as in use your tones of voice , and repeat , keeping your hands still , do this until he goes of the tweak of your heel

                                dont slap him, a whip is back up the leg, and dont use anything other than a crop or schooling whips, if you can ride with one schooling whip , and can change hands then try riding with two, dont worry horse will go forwards as they cant concetrate on two whips , when using schooling whips properly your leg should be on the horse the same time as the whip is on his flanks which will
                                send him forwards and onto the bit using the width and full lenght of the school practice in walk and vary the paces as in medium free and active using the half halt stride if the horse hasnt been taught to do the half halt stride then start off in walk
                                will give you link of how to perfrom the half halt stride and few more helpful tips

                                then once mastered hh and the whips use the school to help lenghten /shorten his striding if hes not been tuaght he wont know how to do it and it could be that your asking soemthing from him and either hes not been taught or your not gving the correct commands and signals or perhaps mismatching them which is confusing him, so as hes not a type of horse to nap as in buck or spook but still a form of napping hes being ignoring it and doing what he thinks is right as hes not getting a direct signal of command
                                horses only ever do what there rider is asking

                                http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=178116

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  What worked like a charm for a smart but lazy one:

                                  a) start out on a loose rein. Expect him to carry you forward without any urging. The minute he slows its 1. light squeeze 2. PONY KICK PONY KICK PONY KICK into a huge trot.

                                  b) bring confused horse back to the walk and continue on as if nothing is different. When he slows. Repeat 1 & 2.


                                  With this I don't really think its the force that is so effective but the "flapping" and transition into a new gait. Even lazy solid citizens prefer not to be kicked like a stubborn lesson pony.
                                  A smart horse quickly learns that it is so much easier to move out then to move up a gait. To keep this effective you really have to correct every time you feel the engine slow before it totally dies on you.

                                  With this horse If we are trotting along and and I go to circle and I feel the engine die, I drop the contact and big kick forward. You have to be willing to abandon any exercise at any point to maintain forward energy. It will get better but never accept "my engines dying but my circles really round" or "we were about to do a downward transition in a few steps any way so I guess now is fine."

                                  Demand responsiveness 100% of the time.


                                  I also find that it helps to do some work in-hand/on the lunge line to get responsive transitions and put in the "forward" button

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    goeslikestink I never hold any horse back. My warmblood was very spooky and sensitive but I never hold any horse back. Your method is similar to the Jane Savoie one which I have used. Yes it makes him responsive to the upward transition (although a click and kick would never make him gallop) but it has not been successful at keeping him going. He will move off ok but just gets slower and lazier. If I so much as relax my core he stops dead. And yes I do transitions within the paces. I can get some change at the trot and walk but urging the canter on yeilds little change. He has one rythmn at the canter and efforts to get him to lengthen his stride at this pace have been pretty fruitless so far. The Whipwop used at the canter in an open field does get a few bigger strides but it does not keep him consisitently forward. I would have to be waving it around constantly.

                                    gracelikerain thanks but yes similar again to Janes method which does work on most horses but does not keep this one forward.
                                    I am not constantly kicking him.

                                    I have been using the whip and the minute his pace starts to slacken it is applied but is not used again until he slackens again. The frustrating thing is that I have to really hit him hard to get any reaction and I just donot feel right smacking a horse so hard. If I hit my warmblood or even my half Cobs like this one I would fly to the moon.
                                    He has a hide like a rhino and is unscareable. He is slightly scared of the whipwop which is why it is more moderately effective when cantering in an open field but its ungainly to use and only really suitable for one handed riding at faster paces.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      <Adds layers to protective foil over head.> I have ridden a fair few "lazy" horses. I've come to believe that "lazy" is something people train, it is not a natural horse attribute. A horse may have a laid-back attitude toward life, but that /= lazy. Horses don't have the brain cells to decide they are "lazy" - they just react to what happens every day. Once people put the words "lazy horse" in their head, they expect the slow or ignored response, and don't correct it properly. The horse reacts accordingly, since horses do what seems to be best in each circumstances.

                                      I recommend making up your mind that this horse is NOT lazy. That word is killing your ability to deal with him. Rather, he is CONDITIONED, behaviorally, to riders that don't ask so that he knows he needs to respond promptly - whether he has just been asked for a transition, or he's expected to keep going. No matter what he does, he's just responding to you, and to other riders, in some way. He is not creating some ethic out of his own mind - because he is biologically unable to do that.

                                      Take the advice of other posters on ways to get his attention. Being that his conditioning is in a sad state right now, you need to be pro-active and anticipate his next slowdown. Correct him before it happens - get in front of his pre-set anticipation and re-direct him to expect something other than slowing down.

                                      Your horse is not gaming you. He never understood that someone expected him to keep going. If the aids applied to date haven't communicated that, it's past time to find something else that he understands. The standard checklist of aids don't work the same for every horse. Part of horsemanship is adapting to the horse that you have. But you are likely to get a lot of resistance to that idea from other people, who like sticking to the standard checklist, and blaming the horse for not knowing it.

                                      Be very observant to how the horse moves, and get help from others on the ground who believe in behavioral conditioning, not horse "laziness." Identify what causes him to slow down, given that you believe you are telling him otherwise. Something is impeding him - in his mind - and it is likely physical, although not necessarily painful. Is it the rider on his back - does he feel he needs to be able to move his back more freely? Is it that he wants more freedom of head and neck? He doesn't know where to put his feet? Something else? Let him tell you why he doesn't maintain pace and isn't responding .

                                      I'd advise every rider to never allow the thought "he's lazy." No, he needs another path to conditioning his behavior than he's had to date. A horse has no idea what "lazy" is. That's just the excuse we use to give up on conditioning the horse's behavior, when we're puzzled by it.

                                      Good luck! I hope he works out well for you.


                                      (From someone who has been there more than once -- after you have fixed this through behavioral conditioning (and I never found that difficult, just in need of creativity and observation,) you will have many surprised observers that the horse is no longer "lazy." They will not like it that you have undermined their favorite excuse for horse-blaming when they have to work harder than they intended to to get good performance. But - you will be a happier rider for the experience. This horse has much to teach. )

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ^^^^
                                        THIS....excellent post Overandonward!

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