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Horse with no brakes

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  • #41
    I wish I had a video of the trainer "just stopping" a horse. I don't know how to describe it well. But the rider "just stops". Strong hold hand aid (not ripping or yanking), back and seat saying stop. Whoa and whoa now. you do have to be a very strong, tight rider, though. The horse can not move you when you do this. You wait until he gives....

    I'm sorry if this doesn't seem helpful... but it can work if you just try it.


    • #42
      sorry double post


      • #43
        AGAIN, OP said horse knows WHOA. Just says "screw you" when it feels like it. It needs a CTJ meeting that will make a total and complete believer out of it. AFTER you have eliminated any pain-from-tack or weight issues.

        OP might not be strong enough or bold enough to have said CTJ meeting, but someone needs to before horse hurts someone. Needs to learn bolting and tearing around when 'dressed' is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. The idea of contacting a good Western (reining, cutting) trainer makes sense. Oceans, if you're in the Tulsa area, I can recommend an excellent one, who knows the h/j, dressage, eventing route.
        Equine Photography in the Northeast


        • #44
          Solving this problem is rarely pretty. I like a mullen pelham with two reins. I'll ride nicely on the snaffle rein until pony decides to forget how to stop. I will half halt nicely and request pony come back to me. When he inevitably ignores this, I will do any number of things to make him stop. I will yank him in small circles. As in, his nose is cranked to my knee and I will make short, sharp tugs on that rein. Sometimes this is enough to be convincing. If not, I will up the ante.

          I have also been known to just let pony go. If he wants to run, fine, we'll run. But we only get to stop when *I* say so. You're tired now? Oh, that sucks. We're going to keep running some more. Oh you're really tired now and think we should be done for the day? That sucks too. Now we'll go back to our regularly scheduled programming for today. I'll proceed with an abbreviated version of whatever lesson I had planned for the day. Most horses figure out that it might be a good idea to conserve energy since they never quite know when they'll be asked to *keep going*.

          Another thing I'll do is to just put the horse to work. Okay, you'd like to run? Sure, but we're going to do it in figure eights or serpentines or whatever. I don't care about being on the correct lead. I just assume it makes life harder if you're choosing to be a jerk and do things on the wrong lead at Mach 10. I will yank the horse around by its face to make these figures happen if necessary.

          Horsey learns that its easier to just do what I say than it is to be a jerk and run off.


          • #45
            Originally posted by OceansAway View Post
            This is the problem. With the exception of a couple, I keep hearing how I must make him stop because I am training him to not respond. Well I know this! I am asking HOW to make him stop so I can start retraining. I cannot retrain if I cannot get him to stop in the first place.
            Here's how we do it with youngsters (and how I'm doing it now with a coming four year old).

            Define the task: The Object of the Exercise is that the horse moves its feet on command and stops moving them on command.

            The easiest venue for this is a round pen. You don't have to worry about other stuff. This works on a longe line, it's just more of a pain.

            Put the horse on the rail and let them settle. Then tell them to "walk." Use whatever system you use for ground work, but they must "move their feet" when you tell them to. Keep them moving at a walk. Watch them carefully. In a while (maybe just a few minutes, maybe much longer) they will begin to show signs of wanting to stop. Don't. Keep them moving another circuit or two until you are SURE that they are ready to stop. Then command "whoa." Profusely reward the stop. Let them rest for a bit. Then have them walk more. When you see readiness to stop then go a bit longer, then stop. Reward profusely. Let them rest a bit. Do it again.

            Note that this is not a "run them to exhaustion" routine but a "discipline building" routine. Don't let them move faster than a walk. Get three stops and then quit for the day. Come back tomorrow and do it again. Defer saddle work for a week, or more, until you get a consistent stop on command.

            Then add the tack but stay in the round pen. Work 'till you get a consistent response.

            Then mount up. Stay in the round pen. Begin with an assistant giving the command. If the response stays correct and consistent then let the rider give the commands while the assistant observes (and assists with ground commands if necessary). Then remove the assistant. Then move to a larger venue. Then go out on the trail.

            If you've done this correctly then you've filled in a massive hole in the horse's training and re-installed the "brakes." You can now move on down the road.

            With a green horse this doesn't take all that long. With a badly broke horse it can take much longer. But, to quote one of my guiding lights (Col. Alois Podhajsky), "I have time."

            If you don't have time or if you don't have patience then find a "leather and iron" solution. But be aware that the hole will always be there.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


            • #46
              Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
              Solving this problem is rarely pretty. I like a mullen pelham with two reins. I'll ride nicely on the snaffle rein until pony decides to forget how to stop. I will half halt nicely and request pony come back to me. When he inevitably ignores this, I will do any number of things to make him stop. I will yank him in small circles. As in, his nose is cranked to my knee and I will make short, sharp tugs on that rein.

              I will yank the horse around by its face to make these figures happen if necessary.


              • #47
                If you have time please read Janet's post. This is very close to what we have been doing to the pony. We've sped it up some, we didn't do riding in hand, but the pony is now standing like a rock to be mounted and much more respectful after a week of ground work, ground work wearing the saddle, ground work fully tacked.

                He is another that will happily blow you off. He's beginning to understand not to do that.

                G is describing something similar, it's almost just drill drill drill till the horse does it in his sleep. According to Flylady, the household cleaning site, it takes 29 repetitions to establish a habit. You need to establish the habit that he listens/stops/respects Every Single Time.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #48
                  Originally posted by ken View Post
                  ken, dear, let me tell you a little story by way of example. I reschooled a horse for a woman who hadn't ridden him in some time. She only told me that he needed reschooling and "she didn't want to screw him up."

                  Okay. So I rode this horse for almost a year, brought him back to basics and started bringing him back up again to address the problem in his training. He was never anything but a very highly schooled, submissive, light, obedient ride with me. A real pleasure. (He had been professionally trained and shown up to 4th Level-just to be clear.)

                  One day the owner decides she is going to ride him (rather than just cool him out when I am done.) After she gets on, she walks and trots for a few minutes, and her horse grabs the bit, yanks his head down and bolts off, humping his back. She immediately falls off. I find out that this is the reason that she doesn't ride him--because he does this to her every single time.

                  I continued to school the horse as usual, and one day out of the blue (with a bitless bridle on no less that I was trying) he tries the same stunt on me. I used a severe one rein stop on him and he never tried it again.

                  Morale of the story- Do you want to ride that horse or watch him get so bad that he is sold down the road because he has become too dangerous. OMG is right.
                  Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Feb. 2, 2013, 05:07 PM.
                  "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                  • #49
                    I have ridden several horses - all OTTBs, for whatever that's worth - that were able to demonstrate really good halts and downward transitions, *except* for certain periods of the winter when it was chilly & they did not get enough turnout because the paddocks were too icy for it to be safe.

                    We could argue about whether these horses were truly broke or not (IMO, certainly not in the cowboy sense of "they'll do it even if the world is coming to an end around them,") but I was confident that they fully understood what I wanted them to do, and simply preferred to blow me off in favor of expending some of that excess energy they had on board.

                    My solution was to ride in a gag that had exactly the same hollow mouth roller bean snaffle mouthpiece as their regular bit. I put two reins on the gag so I could use one as a normal snaffle rein and only used the gag as needed to ensure the horse would stop or do a downward transition when and where I asked.

                    With the toughest ones, I generally started on a relatively large circle or on a simple figure like a serpentine which gave them something to focus on, moving their bodies and bending right and left. A lot of times I went from walk to canter and let the horse move forward on a big circle without too much restriction; as long as they weren't grabbing the bit and they were staying balanced reasonably well (no motorcyling the corners) I was happy to let them get rid of some of that energy in a controlled fashion before we really got down to more focused flatwork. Then we would trot, practicing transitions within the gait, on the same simple figures. Any rudeness in the bridle was calmly corrected with the gag rein backed up with leg, and some lateral work to make the horse realize that being rude = harder work.

                    Generally it took several rides for the horse to consistently return to promptly responding to the aids to slow or halt without the gag, but they all got there. One of the nice thing about the gag was that it gave me all the brakes I needed to keep us and everyone else safe in the meantime, without having to go to a different/harsh mouthpiece. As far as the horse was concerned - the bit never changed!
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                    • #50
                      This kind of problem is a dominance issue.

                      Here is how I deal with it. Tack up (saddle, bridle, lunging sercingle, side reins and chain attached all the way around the nose), the type of bit you use is not relevant.
                      Lunge the horse and when you want it to stop, say Ho. if the horse doesn't stop, make him stop dramatically. Do this until the horse stops on command instantaneously. And be clear- Ho means Ho. No moving around, no fidgeting. The horse has to stand there quietly.

                      Once established on the lunge, proceed under saddle. If the horse bolts, say Ho. If the horse refuses to stop politely, stop him by any means necessary, pulley rein, small circle, jerking the mouth, I don't care because at this point the horse is asking for it. Once the horse has stopped, back him up briskly then proceed to working trot for a few steps. Ask for a downward transition, walk a few steps and back to trot. Rinse, repeat. If the horse is not immediately forward at the trot stop, back up and ask for trot using the whip. The horse needs an attitude of "your wish is my command".

                      If, at any point, you feel over matched, get off and put the sercingle, side reins and chain back on an re-enforce the ground work, then get back on and ask again. I have had horses make me do this 4 times in a single ride but they soon figure out that they are just going have to work their ass off if they are going to be piggy.

                      Remember, this is a dominance issue and horses are creatures of movement. If you control their movement, you control their mind.
                      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                      • #51
                        OP you obviously understand that what are doing is not working..so you need to do something else.
                        I was riding one of my BIG Holsteiners(at a show) where he decided to ignore me and would run thru my aids. He didn't want to stop and was acting pretty much like a pig! This guy has always been a bit of a bull head but will work for me as long as I make him. Well, to fix his problem of not stopping for me, I granted him his wish to keep going and I pushed him into a gallop around the outside of the dressage schooling ring. I just kept him going...when he started slowing , I just laughed and sent him on. My husband kind of stared at me in awe as we flew around the ring, but I assure you he was very happy to listen to my whoa. He was too tired to do well in his next class, but he decided to listen to my aids again. Just a note, he was a very fit horse. I would not continue to send him forward past his ability.
                        I remember a trainer friend of mine who would say...grant him his wish..and I always remembered that.
                        My trainer friend would ask for whoa and if he didn't get it he would just send them on with a laugh. He would say...I'm trying to be nice to you but if you want to keep going...we can do that too. He laughed a lot at these kinds of things
                        Last edited by Ticker; Feb. 1, 2013, 03:57 PM.


                        • #52
                          We wonder why we see so many 'I cant get my horse on the bit' threads.

                          The seat does a lot of the talking and there are ways to avoid a war. Get some good ground eyes or a trainer involved to help you. Most horses who have become bolters will only bolt harder and faster if you begin to yank on their face or get a stronger bit.

                          We are the humans. We need to be smarter
                          ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by ken View Post
                            Yes OMG. If the horse is willfully disobeying and doing something that dangerous. Yes. I will do whatever I have to in order to convince the horse that that is an unacceptable behavior. The alternative is generally getting sold over and over as a bolter and finally winding up on a one way trip to Mexico.

                            So yes, if I have to do something ugly for a couple of afternoons in order for the horse to have a good home and a good life, I'll do it.


                            • #54
                              i think the part that may be missing here is that *if* the horse is unbalanced he may not be *able* to stop. punishing him by yanking, circling etc is just bad horsemanship and shows lack of education.

                              i would be very interested in seeing video of this horse to see what is going on. it may be a disobedience, and if that is the case then i would do as Guilherme suggests.... it also may be horse is not able to stop and if that is the case then the rider needs to work to understand why horses fall out of balance etc.

                              so OP do you have video and or can you describe, in detail an episode of not stopping?


                              • #55
                                100% agree, mbm
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                  i think the part that may be missing here is that *if* the horse is unbalanced he may not be *able* to stop. punishing him by yanking, circling etc is just bad horsemanship and shows lack of education.

                                  i would be very interested in seeing video of this horse to see what is going on. it may be a disobedience, and if that is the case then i would do as Guilherme suggests.... it also may be horse is not able to stop and if that is the case then the rider needs to work to understand why horses fall out of balance etc.

                                  so OP do you have video and or can you describe, in detail an episode of not stopping?
                                  Any horse can stop at any time. They may not give "pretty, balanced" stop but halting foot motion is not something that must be "learned." Recognizing a cue that says "hold yourself still" is the primary issue. Stopping in a balanced fashion is a secondary issue.

                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                  • #57
                                    Horses don't lose their balance when the temperature drops
                                    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                      i think the part that may be missing here is that *if* the horse is unbalanced he may not be *able* to stop. ...... it also may be horse is not able to stop and if that is the case then the rider needs to work to understand why horses fall out of balance etc.
                                      do you really, really, REALLY believe this?

                                      How in the world do all the badly ridden horses in the world not fall down and/or run off in droves? They don't, because they can stop. no matter how badly ridden, they CAN stop. At the most it takes a step or two to catch themselves, but of course they can stop. To say otherwise is pure fallacy.
                                      Last edited by katarine; Feb. 2, 2013, 03:53 PM.


                                      • #59
                                        Has this horse ever been scoped for ulcers? this may contribute to his increased resistance with the colder weather.
                                        He may also have some arthritis etc, so I'd suggest a thorough vet check (except this will also be $$).

                                        You might consider what you're getting out of this transaction: horses are dangerous & horses with no "whoa" are more dangerous (hopefully he at least has a strong sense of self preservation): what happens if you're injured - temporarily? permanently?

                                        If owner has no money for training, perhaps she might place him on pasture board etc until she's saved enough $ to have him properly re-started (with a trainer that includes transitioning the horse to the owner's abilities) - this will give the horse a mental break as well.

                                        In this & the previous thread, a common response was that this horse is NOT trained (to be the sort of horse that your friend wants/needs) - you can use more & more harsh bits & devices but this is not going to create a soft, willing horse that gives to pressure & enjoys his work.

                                        If horse has gotten worse with his current owner, then look for a physical issue (with the horse) but also the manner of the owner when handling & riding the horse.

                                        You're being a nice friend and obviously want to help both the horse & the owner, but you need to go back & establish some ground rules, e.g., if horse needs to just be ground worked for the next month (I'd also start here), owner needs to get on board with this & be part of the process - rather than insisting that she can still ride while you try to establish boundaries with the horse.

                                        Some horses need consistent, clear handling to be good citizens, others are much more forgiving - I suspect your friend needs the latter & bought the former ....
                                        It's difficult to watch, but also consider if the best path for horse & friend are with you or with a professional trainer?
                                        You might also charge friend a fee & then use this money for lessons or a ground starting clinic etc.

                                        There was a topic a while back about free online lessons offered by Susan Jaccoma so you might send a video into her

                                        Obviously you can start a new thread on COTH with video as well - perhaps there will be someone in your area that is able to help (in person).


                                        • #60
                                          Be sure to get VERY comfortable doing the one rein stop, ORS. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. NEVER bring your hand over his neck, your hand goes to YOUR HIP!!!

                                          ONE REIN STOP-


                                          Personally, I would NEVER suggest getting into a tug of war w/your horse. HE WILL WIN.

                                          If he is pulling, he is bracing. I would do a ORS anytime he got heavy or took off.

                                          Make him work after you get him to stop.

                                          Disengage his hindend for several circles. After awhile, he will start to think of it as work whenever he pulls. Be consistant. Starting, stopping and backing up will help to get your horses attention too.

                                          Draw reins to not give total release when the horse is doing well, plus it gives the horse something to brace against.
                                          Last edited by Shermy; Feb. 2, 2013, 04:57 PM.
                                          Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!