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At my Wits End. Lazy horse /blocked Rider

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  • #41
    Bareback is good

    But what you need to do is drop your legs like they are nothing but tubes of wet sand. If you can't do this while he is trotting along in the arena with zero contact on the reins, then yep, you are the problem. '


    Grab the front of the saddle if you have to, have only enough contact to tell him when to turn the corner, really. Avoid using your legs for anything, tap him with your whip and send him forward. Do not grip with your legs, do not post, just let your legs be heavy and limp and use your hand to keep your seat down if you need to.

    Cobs can be lazy. I think he wants to be my next CDI pony or field hunter.

    Here's how you get him going forward. Leg, spur, whack. If that causes you to grab his face, grab mane, grab anything. Go for FORWARD first, contact second.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #42
      Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
      But what you need to do is drop your legs like they are nothing but tubes of wet sand. If you can't do this while he is trotting along in the arena with zero contact on the reins, then yep, you are the problem. '


      Grab the front of the saddle if you have to, have only enough contact to tell him when to turn the corner, really. Avoid using your legs for anything, tap him with your whip and send him forward. Do not grip with your legs, do not post, just let your legs be heavy and limp and use your hand to keep your seat down if you need to.

      Cobs can be lazy. I think he wants to be my next CDI pony or field hunter.

      Here's how you get him going forward. Leg, spur, whack. If that causes you to grab his face, grab mane, grab anything. Go for FORWARD first, contact second.
      Hes not actually a cob . Hes a cob x but looks more kike a Warmblood as hes thrown more to the TB in type. But definately has a cob attitude. N
      Beleive me we have done the whip tap no leg routine. Does not make any difference. If I smack him really hard he might kick out against it but it does not make him surge forward. He might flatten and run for a few strides but if I dont keep after him he will just stop. I have so tried and tried not to use legs at all and for training tend to use whip but during dressage tests tend to go for legs as the judge would probably be a bit disturbed at how much whip was being used to keep him forward during the test. Id rather not have to resort to whip at all during a test and feel so bad if I have to. The last test I gave him a pretty hard one on the outside for my canter transition at A. Someone outside of the ring commented on it afterward but the judges did not see it or if they did ma no comment. I got a 7 from both judges for the movement with both commenting he needed to come through, needed more jump into the canter. And that was after me giving him a pretty hard smack as I felt him want to suck back into the transition.

      I admit I havent tried bareback yet. Hes round enough for sure to be comfortable but i dont know about my stickability. Will give it a go
      Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #43
        Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
        Do you have access to a trainer? Hacking out will help with forward, but I'd suggest again you work bareback for a bit and see if you can evaluate your seat.

        Paula
        Yes I have tried several trainers and have done clinics with several more. Hacking out does not help really. He dawdles on a loose rein with a pretty bored type of attitude. I am thinking maybe mixing it up and doing some competitive trail rides and see if that gets his blood up a bit. Haven't done the bareback thing yet but it is on the agenda.
        Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

        Comment


        • #44
          Trust me when I say, you don't have to do a whole lot bareback on a horse to troubleshoot your seat and position. Sit on him and you'll know something. Walk him around your ring once -even if someone leads him for you -will tell you alot. A simple trot will blow your mind -you'll find out in short order whether your theory that you're blocking with your legs is correct or not.

          Paula
          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
            Trust me when I say, you don't have to do a whole lot bareback on a horse to troubleshoot your seat and position. Sit on him and you'll know something. Walk him around your ring once -even if someone leads him for you -will tell you alot. A simple trot will blow your mind -you'll find out in short order whether your theory that you're blocking with your legs is correct or not.

            Paula

            Ok you have convinced me. I used to ride bareback alot as a kid and had to wait 5 years before I even got a saddle. I went everywhere including galloping on the trails. I will see how well my balance is these days and report back. .........
            If you dont hear from me..... LOL
            Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

            Comment


            • #46
              I put an oh crap strap on Fella when I'm riding bareback so that if I feel unsteady I won't grab his face.

              Paula
              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

              Comment


              • #47
                Paula's right. It's worth the experiment
                OP I sent you a PM with some things to try too
                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                Comment


                • #48
                  I didn't mean use the whip instead of the leg aid

                  I meant use it if, the first time you absolutely ask for more forward, he doesn't move.

                  And even if he is more "warmblood" type, there are horses, that just don't have much of an extension or much of a jump in the canter.

                  I'd get the absolute best rider/trainer I could find and pay them to ride the boy for 30 minutes. If they get what you got, then that's what you have to work with.

                  If there is a dramatic improvement, then you need a lot more lessons. On a schoolmaster on the longe.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Another Uodate. I have ridden bareback. Its been a very very long time but my horse who has never been ridden bareback either and was a bit surprised at first was a true gentleman.
                    I donned chaps and put on a neck strap and climbed aboard. Nice round back but the wither was a tad bonier than I expected!

                    I was a tad nervous so we just hacked up the drive and back which took about 10 minutes and then headed for the ring.
                    We walked around the outside several times and what was very apparent by viewing myself in the mirrors was how much longer my left leg was and that my left shoulder was also dropped. I already knew I had a pelvis twist left from my accident and had always been aware of that in the saddle but it was so much more apparent bareback. The shoulder down however is nothing to do with the injury. I a collapsing my left side. Naughty. I am always aware of the pelvic twist when I am riding and so is my horse so I am constantly adjusting myself. To the left he will canter quarters in and coming into a halt will swing left. For this reason when I am in the saddle and have stirrups i weight my right stirrup to keep me straight. I could not do that bareback. The shoulder is something that is not so apparent with a saddle on either and thats probably because I am aware of my crookedness and weighting the right stirrup more also lifts the shoulder.

                    I swung my legs back and forward in the walk and it seems nice and free there.
                    I did manage a couple of rounds at the trot without using legs. I just clucked him forward. It was a bit hard to convince him to go at first as we were both a bit tentative to try it. He's such a star. He could pick up I wasn't positive and so he didn't go at first.
                    So at the trot it was the same as walk. Hips tilted left, shoulder down.

                    No I did not try the canter. I will save that for another day and also the toes down exercise to check if I am gripping.

                    What else should I have been looking for in the bareback ride. It did not really reveal anything I did not already know re the pelvis tilt but did reinforce to me that it is there !

                    I am keen to give anything a go to fix this problem
                    Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Honestly, no matter which way you are sitting your horse should go happily and promptly forward when you ask. Riding bareback is fun, but that will not solve your issue.

                      As my trainer says - there are no lazy horses - only riders that are not determined enough

                      so I think you need to start on the ground and make sure he responds to you in a peppy and prompt "yes m ‘am" manner each and every time you ask him any question.

                      Start just walking in hand in the arena. He needs to walk briskly and at your aide - if not use the whip as needed to convince him to do so. Ask him to halt and walk on. Same thing. You need to not let him revert to his old ways.

                      Under saddle you need to not worry about anything else... just ask him for a prompt response - with reins loose ask with your legs lightly but firmly. If he doesn't respond as you wish, start using the whip in an escalating manner - along with the normal, light use of your legs. - tap, Tap, TAP TAP THWACK!!!! CRACK! And stop immediately when he moves off. Repeat this as many times as needed and he *will* start moving.

                      This should be able to be resolved in a day with a few days of reminders.

                      Once you have him moving only then can you work on other stuff
                      Last edited by mbm; Mar. 29, 2013, 10:23 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I think you need some bodywork to sort yourself out so you can stop blocking him! (And I'll bet your dropped shoulder/collapsed left side, etc., has more to do with your twisted pelvis than you might think.)

                        This is my story, it might help...

                        I had an accident last winter that left me very one-sided, stiff and defensive (and to cap it all, unable to carry a whip on my innefective side.) My saintly but not over-motivated horse has quietly developed all sorts of interesting coping strategies to deal with my odd-ness and make his life easier.

                        After over a year of struggling with this, I've finally found the intestinal fortitude to have someone work on me, and for the last couple of months I've been visiting a Feldenkrais practitioner every couple of weeks. Haven't really told anyone I'm doing it because it's all a bit woo-woo and hard to explain. And it took quite a lot to actually allow anyone to touch me at all after the manhandling I took after my accident.

                        She's done a rather marvelous job of releasing my left side and sorting out my locked up hips.

                        The long and the short of it is that much to the astonishment of my horse (windmill ears when I was able to stop him from popping his left shoulder at a canter depart,) and the amazement of my trainer at the improvement in my seat, I have an effective left side again.

                        We aren't "cured" yet, but the channels of communication between me and my horse have re-opened. He's not tuning me out as worthless noise any more.

                        Might be worth a try.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          I bet you've stumbled upon the cause. You're crooked -I feel your pain; I'm crooked too. My crooked manifests in my tendency to counterbend on the left lead.

                          As a classical trainer explained to me; you and your horse are two playing cards balanced on edge one on top of the other. Crookedness will probably feel like an unsteady or unevenly distributed load. I know that my horse -bless his heart -will not go if I'm unbalanced. I don't know who taught it to him, but it's great and it's a pain. It's great because I've been saved from a loose girth, but it's a pain if I'm not correct.

                          What do you think?

                          Paula
                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Originally posted by mbm View Post
                            Honestly, no matter which way you are sitting your horse should go happily and promptly forward when you ask. Riding bareback is fun, but that will not solve your issue.

                            As my trainer says - there are no lazy horses - only riders that are not determined enough

                            so I think you need to start on the ground and make sure he responds to you in a peppy and prompt "yes m ‘am" manner each and every time you ask him any question.

                            Start just walking in hand in the arena. He needs to walk briskly and at your aide - if not use the whip as needed to convince him to do so. Ask him to halt and walk on. Same thing. You need to not let him revert to his old ways.

                            Under saddle you need to not worry about anything else... just ask him for a prompt response - with reins loose ask with your legs lightly but firmly. If he doesn't respond as you wish, start using the whip in an escalating manner - along with the normal, light use of your legs. - tap, Tap, TAP TAP THWACK!!!! CRACK! And stop immediately when he moves off. Repeat this as many times as needed and he *will* start moving.

                            This should be able to be resolved in a day with a few days of reminders.

                            Once you have him moving only then can you work on other stuff

                            I wish it was that easy.
                            We have chased him with lunge whips with me on him, we have smacked, we have tapped, we have wopped and I can tell you it does not work because of blockages. We have used the Savoie method, the McLean method, the monty Roberts method and many more that don't have names. End result is that it does not improve for very long. I can scare the hell out of him for a day and the next day he's back to his laid back self.
                            Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Lots of good ideas above, especially the idea that you may be shutting him down by clamping with your legs and tightening your hips. But here's one more idea - have him checked out by a good chiropractor. If his pelvis is locked he is doing all he can, and then you will be temped to clamp to get him going and shut him down more.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                I bet you've stumbled upon the cause. You're crooked -I feel your pain; I'm crooked too. My crooked manifests in my tendency to counterbend on the left lead.

                                As a classical trainer explained to me; you and your horse are two playing cards balanced on edge one on top of the other. Crookedness will probably feel like an unsteady or unevenly distributed load. I know that my horse -bless his heart -will not go if I'm unbalanced. I don't know who taught it to him, but it's great and it's a pain. It's great because I've been saved from a loose girth, but it's a pain if I'm not correct.

                                What do you think?

                                Paula


                                Oh gosh yes I am definitely crooked. Its not a revelation to me. Ive known it for a very long time. I Was fully aware it was affecting my horse in ways like swinging his hindquarters but never really considered it was the cause of not being forward as well. I do get very tight and stiff in the shoulders too.

                                I am under a bodyworker and have regular treatments. Weekly when bad, the two weekly and am currently on a monthly regime. I try to stay fit working out at least 3 times per week.

                                As a result of my injury I now have an arthritic condition now so i am never going to be dead straight much as I want to be. I have to live and work with it as best as I can.

                                Now thinking about further exercises I can do with loosening the hips and shoulders. I wonder if I should invest in one of those stair walker things with arms. That would work shoulders and hips right??

                                God its a bitch getting old and stiff. But hey those Para riders do a decent job and I am nowhere near that level so no excuses!

                                Its a good call getting someone to look at him too. Its likely I have made him stiffer as a result of my injuries.
                                Don't Squat With Your Spurs On.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by WildWest View Post
                                  I wish it was that easy.
                                  We have chased him with lunge whips with me on him, we have smacked, we have tapped, we have wopped and I can tell you it does not work because of blockages. We have used the Savoie method, the McLean method, the monty Roberts method and many more that don't have names. End result is that it does not improve for very long. I can scare the hell out of him for a day and the next day he's back to his laid back self.

                                  it is. the issue is not him, it's you. and it is not your position. your position may make it difficult for him to do anything special, but a forward horse will GO when asked. period

                                  how can i be so bold as to say this? because i had to deal with this myself. and it wasn't until i decided to actually ask and expect my horse to be as i wanted that i got results.

                                  it very well may be he lacks fitness.... and that will need to be built up. but he can and will be light and easy to maneuver if you insist on it.

                                  you say it works for a day - then what? what do YOU do differently? do you give up? feel bad? think it is too hard for him?

                                  all of the above are self defeating.

                                  if a trainer can get on him and get him to go, so can you. you just have to decide to do it.

                                  eta: its NOT about scaring him. it is about *teaching* him to respond as you wish. if all you do is try to scare him, no it will not last. you need to start at the beginning - on the ground - and insist on his prompt response AT ALL TIMES. then start under saddle. dont expect fancy work - just that he tries to do as you ask promptly if you say "horse go" he should promplty and happily move off in whatever gait you request.

                                  i promise you it can and will work.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    oh and i wanted to add: riding properly is a heck of a lot easier on a horse that is moving actively forward.... when they are holding back or not responding to the leg it is VERY difficult to sit on them correctly - so you will have a much easier time working on your seat when he is moving out.

                                    good luck - i know you can do it!

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by WildWest View Post
                                      I wish it was that easy.
                                      We have chased him with lunge whips with me on him, we have smacked, we have tapped, we have wopped and I can tell you it does not work because of blockages. We have used the Savoie method, the McLean method, the monty Roberts method and many more that don't have names. End result is that it does not improve for very long. I can scare the hell out of him for a day and the next day he's back to his laid back self.
                                      Now I'm wondering about the horse - have you tested for/considered metabolic issues (EPSM comes to mind as it can exist over a broad range of severity) but also heart murmur, iron or red blood cell deficits etc ... how is he at liberty in a herd or large field?

                                      As for the lack of forward re training, if this a difficulty for a horse, it needs to be reinforced in a positive manner in the early stages of training. If this was never done with this horse, then maybe spend a year going back & really developing that foundation.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        My crookedness made me unable to train him for the most basic things. What I had to do was put him under a trainer to install the buttons so when I half-ass a cue -like moving on the circle on the left lead, he goes "oh, I know what you're trying to say" and does it. She also makes him more forward.

                                        I pay her to ride him once a week just to keep him there, and he's about to start partial training for April (she'll be riding 3x instead of 6x a week).

                                        So if you can swing it, maybe you can get your trainer to tune him up, ride him regularly to keep him forward and sensitive to your cues even though you might be challenged not to block him or to be straight. That is not to say you should cease pursuing activities to make you more balanced with regards to strength, but it might help you.

                                        Of course it's possible. Like you said, those para-olympians are able to pull this off. But realize they work their butts off for things we might take for granted like balance, and their horse have to trained to read their particular cues. Which says to me maybe the trainer route is a good idea?

                                        Paula
                                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by alto View Post
                                          Now I'm wondering about the horse - have you tested for/considered metabolic issues (EPSM comes to mind as it can exist over a broad range of severity) but also heart murmur, iron or red blood cell deficits etc ... how is he at liberty in a herd or large field?
                                          Agreed. Test him. Might be the best $35 you've ever spent. I used animalgenetics in the past, had the results within 3 days of them receiving the hair samples:

                                          http://www.horsetesting.com/PSSM.htm

                                          I watched a friend's perpetually lazy and 'stuck' cross turn into a forward machine within a couple of weeks of a food change designed for the EPSM horse. It was amazing to see the 'lighbulb' go on in his body and him suddenly being willing and able to work hard.

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