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Getting a lazy horse on the aids...curious for opinions

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  • Getting a lazy horse on the aids...curious for opinions

    I'd love to get some ideas for a getting lazy horse on a rider's leg aids better...

    Horse is lazy and not respectful of the rider's leg. Rider tries her heart out, but lacks in the leg. However, rider isn't advanced enough to ride with spurs without using them every time she uses her leg and horsey gets his feelings hurt with whips and sometimes bucks when hit.

    Right now rider has been trying ask (nicely and quietly with leg) and then TELL (loud thump with the leg).

  • #2
    squeeze...thump...then wack. If he bucks...turn him in a small circle. If he is turnning...much harder to kick/buck and it will get very old fast.


    Make sure you are not sending mixed messages...so reins should be soft until you have the forward from the leg established.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Haf N Haf View Post
      I'd love to get some ideas for a getting lazy horse on a rider's leg aids better...

      Horse is lazy and not respectful of the rider's leg. Rider tries her heart out, but lacks in the leg. However, rider isn't advanced enough to ride with spurs without using them every time she uses her leg and horsey gets his feelings hurt with whips and sometimes bucks when hit.

      Right now rider has been trying ask (nicely and quietly with leg) and then TELL (loud thump with the leg).
      ummm well...

      I don't interject much on the eventing threads...but if a horse is on full feed,fully conditioned and not lame "being" lazy to aids is much more a case of niggly,poorly timed or confusing aids that he has (for his own sanity) learned to ignore and in sorting thru the "noise" just has to find the loudest ones....or he was never ever trained to listen for the "finer" cues

      and having a poor rider simply escalates his troubles as they cannot teach and he cannot learn properly from them

      Tamara in TN
      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I guess I should have posted this on the dressage forum.

        Comment


        • #5
          My guy is like this, Lots and Lots of transitions... Even if just W/T.

          I have and still do resort to the whip and he does just what your guy does, however when he acts out like that I give him another good whack. May not be the answer for a semi-beginner or a more timid rider. But he gets whacked often a little harder than the time before until he either listens or stops being cheeky about it. This often only takes 2 nice whacks before he realizes big momma's not taking any crap
          Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks, everyone. Sounds like her instructor is already on top of it as she's doing the things mentioned here. They're working on lots of transitions and not being a nag with the leg. She wants to quit using the whip because it upsets her how hard she has to hit him to get him to listen to it. I thought I'd see if there were any other ideas. Her instructor was out of town for a couple of weeks and she asked me what I'd work on if I were her while the instructor was gone.

            The bucking is very occasional and doesn't scare her, but I know she doesn't like that he does it in response to the whip. He never bucks at any other time. He's older, BTDT and a really good boy. Just lazy and she's weak in the leg. It's just a process...they'll get there.

            She wants to do some baby eventing (like an 18" schooling show) and he's fine for that. He's done some 2nd level stuff and jumped 3 foot in the past. They're just ironing out some kinks their riding.

            Comment


            • #7
              Is she using a dressage whip? If not...she should try that.

              If she has to hit him hard more than once....then something else is wrong. And it rarely should be "hard" wack...just a quick one. Either she is holding him with her hands or perhaps giving him a half halt with her legs without knowing it (by squeezing with her thighs).

              She just shouldn't have to be kicking or hitting him all that much to go forward. She should spend some time out of the ring...or at minimum going around the large out side of the ring just working on getting him quicker off her leg and then leaving him alone.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

              Comment


              • #8
                Good advice here already, just remember the whip is there to support the leg. Timing is just as important with the whip as with any other aid. Since you already know what he's about, there shouldn't be much lag between a squeeze from the leg and a pop from the whip. I'm not suggesting you just whip him every time, but she should be able to feel when he's sucking back. The horses I've ridden who buck when the whip is applied are usually just a little confused about the intent of the aid, or they're having a physical problem.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                  Is she using a dressage whip? If not...she should try that.

                  If she has to hit him hard more than once....then something else is wrong. And it rarely should be "hard" wack...just a quick one.
                  One of the horses I used to ride had a Big Issue with whips but could also get lazy and ignore the aids - the solution was to ride with a nice stiff dressage whip that you could basically PRESS against him instead of actually snapping him with it. It was enough to remind him that you meant business without making him freak out about being whipped. (And I do mean press - you'd bring it up against him to produce roughly the same sort of sensation as if you'd prodded him with your finger. There was no whippy action to it at all, hence the very stiff whip.)

                  So it may also be worth her experimenting a little with how 'whippy' the dressage whip is. Clearly some horses have preferences.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Haf N Haf View Post
                    Thanks, everyone. Sounds like her instructor is already on top of it as she's doing the things mentioned here. They're working on lots of transitions and not being a nag with the leg. She wants to quit using the whip because it upsets her how hard she has to hit him to get him to listen to it. I thought I'd see if there were any other ideas. Her instructor was out of town for a couple of weeks and she asked me what I'd work on if I were her while the instructor was gone.

                    The bucking is very occasional and doesn't scare her, but I know she doesn't like that he does it in response to the whip. He never bucks at any other time. He's older, BTDT and a really good boy. Just lazy and she's weak in the leg. It's just a process...they'll get there.

                    She wants to do some baby eventing (like an 18" schooling show) and he's fine for that. He's done some 2nd level stuff and jumped 3 foot in the past. They're just ironing out some kinks their riding.
                    I do agree about trying dressage whip vs. bat/crop. However, I also agree that likely there's something else going on. Is he out of shape/just getting back in shape? I'd try a massage and see if it makes a difference. My horse was bucky/kicky at commands to go forward and I could feel something was wrong - one massage, and he's back to a lovely, forward mover. He was *trained* how to respond, just wasn't doing it, and at attempts to push harder would buck or kick. It was his way of saying "something's WRONG, mom!" If this rider is just learning, she likely doesn't know enough to feel that something's wrong.
                    Originally posted by Silverbridge
                    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CanTango1 View Post
                      My guy is like this, Lots and Lots of transitions... Even if just W/T.

                      I have and still do resort to the whip and he does just what your guy does, however when he acts out like that I give him another good whack. May not be the answer for a semi-beginner or a more timid rider. But he gets whacked often a little harder than the time before until he either listens or stops being cheeky about it. This often only takes 2 nice whacks before he realizes big momma's not taking any crap
                      My trainer earlier this year told me my horse needed to be more "forward thinking" He has a tendency to be lazy, and likes to quit and suck back when I ask for more connection. As a result, I tend to nag with my leg. She had me start asking once, quietly, then a 2nd time with a stronger leg aid (first a squeeze, then a good bump) if he didn't go surging forward he got a sound WHACK. just one....all it took was 2 days of this. Horse moves nicely forward now with a very light leg aid. I hated to use the whip, but he had a choice, and he very quickly chose wisely he actually "got" it shortly into the first ride, but on the 2nd ride had to see if I still meant it or not.

                      I still carry the whip, but very rarely have to use it.
                      I tend to be a very quiet rider, my trainer says I need to be a little more of a drill sergeant, and stop being so nice. I'm not advocating beating your horse, but one good whack with the dressage whip right behind the leg goes a loooong way towards getting your horse to respect that leg.

                      I also want to say we know with him it's not a pain or soundness issue. He has regular chiro and massage, and is fit and sound. He just doesn't want to work any harder than he has to....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a lazy TB gelding who is basically a slug. I started him six years ago and I'm pretty much the only one who has ridden him since. He's fine for other people to hop on, basically a good guy, but hes my good guy.

                        Last year, I had to have his left eye removed. Prior to that, I'd retired him from jumping since he was having eye issues. I got a new trainer shortly before the eye surgery.

                        When my leased mare was sold, I needed something to ride. I had a horse... I was going to ride him. Its been nearly a year and we're starting to fill in all the cracks and really get into the nitty gritty. Like, when I say "go" it means "go now."

                        More background: I train horses for a living. I retrain spoiled horses FREQUENTLY. I'm not a pansy and I certainly don't mind gritting my teeth and getting after a horse when they need it.

                        Fast forward to three weeks ago.
                        Me: I can't get him off my left leg. He just leans on it.
                        Trainer: Why don't you carry your whip in that hand?
                        Me: I can't, it scares him and he bucks because he can't see it coming.
                        T: HE CAN'T SEE IT COMING?!?! GOOOOOD! We don't WANT him to see it coming. We want him to get OFF your leg!
                        M: Yes, but its not fair! On the other side I can just use it as a warning and he is fine.
                        T: Is he leaning on your leg?
                        M: Yes.
                        T: Whats your other option?
                        M: Spurs?
                        T: Why aren't you wearing them??
                        M: He has rubs.
                        T: So he leans on the spur, too.
                        M: Yessss....
                        T: Put the whip in your left hand. Use it.

                        So, we bucked and farted and snorted and spun and then he quit. And now I run XC with my whip in my left hand. Its its more effective than in the right. Because he can't see it coming.

                        Moral of the story: Use a dressage whip, use it as needed and USUALLY when they realize you mean business, they get over it.
                        Big Idea Eventing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another way to use the whip is to hold it vertically and swish it back and forth so that it makes a noise.

                          This can work quite well for a horse that STOPS from the whip (which includes kicking and bucking). All the same rules apply...light aid from leg, if the response is inadequate, swish whip rapidly until you get forward, stop swishing immediately.

                          Probably the trainer should check out the horse's response before the green rider tries it.

                          It's a pretty soft but effective aid. You might get a jump forward the first time.
                          Ring the bells that still can ring
                          Forget your perfect offering
                          There is a crack in everything
                          That's how the light gets in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Horses can feel flies on their skin.
                            When they "can't feel" a kicking rider it is not because they can't feel it. They have learned not to listen to it. A rider who is forcing the heels down and constantly in contact, squeezing with their calves, forces a horse to tune them out. I have seen this so much in school horses that there is some truth to it. The solution is to develop an independent seat, leg, and hand...sorry, that's not a very easy answer, is it? But unfortunately, it's the right one.
                            Sigh!
                            Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                            Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TBrescue View Post
                              I'm not advocating beating your horse, but one good whack with the dressage whip right behind the leg goes a loooong way towards getting your horse to respect that leg.

                              I also want to say we know with him it's not a pain or soundness issue. He has regular chiro and massage, and is fit and sound. He just doesn't want to work any harder than he has to....
                              There are definitely horses who need that - a reason to stop ignoring you, or who have levels of tolerance of what they can ignore because it's easier not to respond. Your horse sounds normal for a specific personality type to me!

                              The horse in the original post makes me question if there's actually something physical because of the bucking part - he's responding, just not by going forward, which would be easier than bucking. That what makes me question if there's a physical problem.
                              Originally posted by Silverbridge
                              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My suggestion when he bucks is to hit him again, harder. My now retired horse had his former owner well trained. She'd only ask him to canter "every other ride or so" and when she asked he'd buck so she'd get off him and put him away.

                                Horsey gold mine

                                He wasn't terribly athletic and was pretty lazy so he had to learn that bucking was more work then cantering.

                                I used a western saddle and a big whacky stick and simply hung on and whacked until he cantered. It took about a week of rodeo rides and he was cured.
                                http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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