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Don't know what to do now, was thrown off today.  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Mar 12th, 2010 02:41 pm
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GypsySusan
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MountainHorseGal wrote: . He absolutely surprised me !  My trainer noted how he is noticing the trust building between us.

This is huge!  I'm beginning to believe that the trust relationship between us and our horse is the key to everything we try to train.  As long as our horse trusts us to keep them safe and be their leaders, they try to please us and keep us safe in return. 

For the prime example of that trust relationship, see TessieB's post regarding Dink and trailering to their new home. 



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 Posted: Fri Mar 12th, 2010 12:16 pm
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MountainHorseGal
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Yes CRS I agree, I have encoutered the same thing with dead creatures on the trail. I am going to give this 8 months to a year. I don't want to go through this again and again. I did have a successful session where we did 2 hours of Olli walking across the mattress, tarp, he even dragged a bag behind himself and I was able to throw ropes off him, walk him to a mailbox etc. He absolutely surprised me !  My trainer noted how he is noticing the trust building between us. He also makes sure I ride with a very very loose rein which Olli seems to enjoy. I guess I haven't had much luck finding the "right" horse, I thought Olli was it. Hope he turns out to be. If not, I may just hang up the saddle.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 11th, 2010 07:40 pm
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fireandice
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I tend to agree w/RHT that sometimes it's best to move on.  But, I would TRY first at least.  Giving up based on one incident when you've had plenty of solid, relaxing rides on a horse might be a bit of a rash decision - only you can decide when or if you've had enough.  Still, I'm very much with RHT that for the most part, with exceptions from time to time, that your trail rides should be relaxing and enjoyable, ultimately.

Don't feel weird, my gelding tends to do better alone or with one other horse.  He also prefers to lead, even if it's somewhere he's never been before and is riding with a horse he's never seen.  They are all different, you'll just have to see what it is you are comfortable with.  No matter your circumstances, your safety always comes first.  Please let us all know how things are going, it really helps to share your experiences whether they be positive or negative.

T.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 7th, 2010 11:55 pm
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crs trail rider
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Heres another thought- not to use it as an excuse.  My RMH is a steady eddy.  She will go through and over anything and I have yet to find something that truly causes her to spook.  Today we were crossing a bridge we have crossed many many many times.  There is a beaver dam which is fairly new.  She crossed the first time no problems, we did the trail loop and went to come back and she started getting squirley as we approached the bridge.  And then she spooked (not a big one she spooks in place) I can count the number of times in 2 years that she has spooked on one hand.  I dont know why, but I have a strong suspicion that the beaver was close by.  We have flushed deer and quail and other critters and she didnt spook but if something smelled different or moved and I didnt see it then it could have caused it.  Now she went over the bridge but was definately much more alert than normal. 

Another thing- horses are very very sensitive to dead animals.  I have known some dead broke, nothing bother them horses suddenly balk and refuse to go forward and when the rider investigates or finally gets them to go forward there is a dead animal in the weeds. 

So while I stand by what I do to correct my horses- (from previous posts) I also do not dismiss their behavior out of hand all the time.  Sometimes there is a legitimate reason for balkiness.  Esp. if it is out of character.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 7th, 2010 07:39 pm
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MountainHorseGal
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Thank you Hope for the calming words, I am trying not to feel so anxious about doing the wrong thing or thinking I just undid my leadership  position with Olli if I let something go. I can be kinda intense about not giving in. It is good to hear that it is not that big a deal if Olli doesn't  lead right away and I let him follow. I have to learn to relax about these things!
Rockin I know what you say is logical and practical but I have gone through a few horses and would be truly heartbroken to sell this one, I feel I will never ever find the right one, I don't have the thousands of dollars it would take to get a trained horse, if money weren't an issue I'm sure finding one would be easy enough, thank you though I know you are absolutely right in what you say. My poor hubby just shook his head when I decided I would actually work Olli today, I did extensive ground work and in the round pen he threw a few bucks my way. I was stiff and tired but made him work until I had his respect and he no longer bucked at me. Then we stopped, he was wet from work as it is a warm day here, I somehow clambered on and went for an hour ride solo. He was so good and calm walking like a ole quarter horse. ( good thing cause my back was so tired !). But he is easier for me to ride solo, which seems somehow backwards to me.
 I hope it gets better from here. This is a life long dream for me, I am just not ready to give up on him yet and I'm very fond of this horse.
Thanks.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 7th, 2010 02:56 pm
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Rockin H Transport
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MountainHorseGal wrote: My hubby wants me to sell him of course I will not, I have to work through this.
I have to agree with your husband on this one.

You're bruised and sore, your nerves are rattled, your confidence is shaken, you're risking serious injury and all you really want to do is have a little fun.

This thread is filled with good advise, but do you want to spend all summer on an issue you may not be able to whip, or do you want to enjoy the upcoming riding season?

I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I'm over 40 now.  I choose my battles more wisely, and I weigh the rewards differently than I did 20 years ago.

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 Posted: Sat Mar 6th, 2010 06:26 pm
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HopeMissouri
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So you think its okay to let him follow another horse even if I have asked firmly for him to go first..




Absolutely!  Even though you're still young, you probably don't want to be wrestling with your horse.  You probably won't win!

If he'll happily follow another horse...why not?  Following will soon turn into leading willingly.  It may take a few rides, but so what?  This is supposed to be FUN.

My best trailriding buddy and mentor is in her early 60's.  She often asks me to ride to help her start her younger horses.  (She helped me start my RMH and my seldom ridden SSH pony.)

If her horse gets stuck leading, then I ask my horse to lead.  If we are both stuck, we shrug our shoulders, turn around, then take a different trail.  It's no big deal.  We probably won't get stuck there again and eventually we NEVER get stuck. 

We want to encourage our horses and only insist if we can do so safely.  A good leader usually has a Plan B, even C.  There are times to be persistent, if it can be done safely.

When I was an athlete I did warm up exercises.  Likewise I warm up my horses from the ground, then from the saddle before we hit the trail.  If my horse isn't ready, it's my responsibility to help him get ready.

Hope you enjoy a swift recovery!

Hope

 



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 Posted: Sat Mar 6th, 2010 05:21 pm
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MountainHorseGal
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Thank you all for the tips and kind words. I fell on my side/bunn and am still pretty sore. Spent that first day hobbling around the house balling my eyes out. I'm over that now. I will definitely look into Quietex, I've never used anything like that. Funny thing, I've had several young horses and several Arabians but none have refused to go forward when asked to quite like this. So you think its okay to let him follow another horse even if I have asked firmly for him to go first...not necessarily past an obstacle but just down the same trails he has been on many times before? That's the part I just don't understand. Why will he not go when he has been on those trails many many times alone? I'm 54 yrs old and am still trying to get my well trained horse. I hope Olli comes around. He is so good in many ways, will cross water, tarps, put up with a bouncing (large) ball around him and under him. He seems so sensible and brave and then does stuff like this.  Will this balking  behavior go away if I let him follow another horse and do the leap frog thing, because I don't think I can "make" him go without an explosion, or should I get someone to "make" him do it? I seriously spent over an hour one day trying to get him down a road that he had ridden before, it was like a wall was there and he would turn his neck this way and that, go backwards etc. I'd get him forward a few steps at a time but he was relentless and more tenacious than I am.  I will not agree to let Olli go at a faster pace unless he is "calm submissive" (as the Dog whisperer says) anymore. I feel I rode him (when I was bucked off) while he was  in his red zone so my fault totally I guess I thought he'd calm down. Again thanks and I guess this too shall pass...

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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 08:24 pm
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crs trail rider
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I dont think its "letting him win" by letting another horse go first when he is balking at an obstacle.  We (my riding buddies) and I do this all the time w/no bad results.  Sometimes a braver horse will show them that there is nothing to be afraid of.  Sometimes we choose to work them through it though.  IF they are working calmly before the balky behavior, I usually ask them quietly and calmly to cross the object.  IF they are objecting very very strongly, I will err on the safe side.  I will either 1- let someone else go over the obstacle (or through) first and then I will ask again.  Usually if is a being brave issue they will go ahead and follow the other horse.  If it is a genuine being afraid or even just being stubborn I will choose to work through it, if they continue to balk I will sometimes get off and lead them through it.  and then back through it and then again and then get back on and ride them through it.  If it is the former problem- they were just not brave enough to go first, we usually recross the obstacle 1st rider 1st again, and then I ask again, but this time we are first.  If they are being a nut before the object, but will follow the other horse through I accept that this time we are just going to be the follower and do not fret about it and work on it another time.  I would rather enjoy my ride and work on any issues later (when at all possible- like just some manner issues or going forward when asked issues)

Right now your goal should probably be a incident free ride, which would entail letting another horse go first and just accept that your horse needs to go second for a while.  Its not a bad thing he will build up his confidence by doing the obstacle over and over again even if it is second or third in line.  Until he is settled down totally I would just work the walk and do nothing faster.  and take plenty of rides with horses that your horse knows and trusts.  That will go along way of helping him overcome his fears and I agree I love the leap frog thing.  It will help him gain confidence in his abilities. 



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Its rarely the horses fault- Its usually a failure of the rider to communicate their requests in a manner that the horse can understand. Lisa
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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 06:18 pm
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fireandice
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Stormz:  I love the leap frog idea!  I will use it while on the trail with my buddy this Sunday.  He's bringing his young filly out for the first time, cool! :cool:
T.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 06:16 pm
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fireandice
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Mountainhorsegal:  So sorry you were tossed on your bum!  Good on you that you got back on, that's very important.  Did you ride a bit more down the trail, or turn around and go back to the trailer/home immediately afterwards? Try and remember to be positive, I know that it's so hard after being thrown - it really messes with your head doesn't it?  Everyone has brought up great points and it could one of, or a combination of, the suggestions mentioned. 
Spring is right around the corner too, my gelding can get a little hot and bothered around mares and particularly when he hasn't been ridden much, coupled with a change of weather.  Sounds like the buddy change has had an effect on him. 
I know this might not be popular, but I'd get right back on asap and start with short rides - always ending on a positive note.  Keep it short and sweet, slowly extending your time.  Something as simple as saddling up and being tied for a couple of hours, then turnout for a few days.  Then do the same with a few minutes of riding, some tie time, turnout.  Keep your mind clear of being dumped, that will interfere with success (as hard as it is).  I don't think a lot of time between rides is going to help.  You're still going to be faced with the same fear today, or next year.
I love what MTRA said regarding being picky about who you ride with.  They need to be sensitive to what is going on with Ollie and behave accordingly. 
Don't be discouraged horsegal, we've ALL been there, and probably will a few more times before it's all over with! ;)
T.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 04:43 pm
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stormzgaitzrgr8
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It's true, when you are riding again it's a good idea to choose riding buddies that can help you and Olli overcome the fear of being left behind. The leap frog game works well..riding with someone who will let you lead, then pass you a bit, then let you pass them a bit.. and on and on extending the distances very slowly til your horses get the idea that they will not lose their buddy no matter how far away you are. I have done this with my gelding, and it's helped him listen to my direction rather than taking cues from his buddy. It will take time but it is well worth the effort. You will feel such satisfaction when the problem is solved! I also used Quietex with good results during these lessons.. it helped him relax.. I found it's hard for him to learn when he is upset and nervous.. this may be true for Ollie, too.
The most important thing is to go slow and be safe. And don't lose heart!



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 04:12 pm
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MTRA872
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Olli could very well be taking his cues and getting his emotions from the other horse. You need to be picky about who you ride with. You can get him over it but you will have to do some work and do it along with other people who understand your problem and know how to help it. Again, too involved for a simple answer on a post. You NH trainers should be able to help with this, and going back to basics to help establish your leadership would be a good idea. Hang in there!



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 12:56 pm
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MountainHorseGal
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MTR yes, this behavior became stronger when I sold the other horse and Olli was submissive and attached to him. The first thing I noticed was that he wouldn't go down the quiet road which I had ridden him on before, I spent 1 hour working him there.  I did get a mini and now Olli acts like a boss in the pasture but on the trail with another horse he reverts to submissive, yes, he did seem to want to hurry to be the other horse and was not listening to my cues. This was the first time I rode with this other horse on these trails and her problem with him is that is very fast and has a hard mouth, do you think Olli thought his quick pace was fear motivated? Will this pass? He turns into a baby with other horses, yet I ride him alone. Tracey, thank you for your kind words, I guess you know what I am feeling right now. I am so upset at myself, of course if I would have been smarter I wouldn't have continued to ride with Olli in explosive mode, or I should have slowed him down and disengaged his hindquarters until he listened to me before proceeding. I have had his teeth checked and will do so again, and yes, something could have been amiss in his tack but he did ride quietly after he threw me on the way back home. Should I let him just ride behind another horse ? Or is that giving in ?
I did cancel the ride, it really shook me up emotionally and physically this time.
Thank you.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 12:08 pm
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MTRA872
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If these changes started after selling his pasture buddy, that could be a huge factor in the behavior issue, especially if he is now an only horse. He could be experiencing separation anxiety. The herd instinct is just so strong. Not wanting to go first could be that he is fearful of being made to leave the other horse. When he was behind, and the other horse started gaiting, he did not want the other horse to get away. If his actions are created through fear of separation rather than belligerence, forcing him to stay separated such as by trying to hold him back while the other horse is gaiting, will only make things worse, as you experienced through his blow up.  

NH trainers and instructors are generally very aware of just how strong the herd instinct is (it is absolutely key to the horses' survival as a species and the cure is far to in depth to cover in one post.) I would urge you to talk with your trainer about it and hopefully he can help you work through it.

Also, seconding the others, rule out any medical issues, feed problems, ill fitting tack, other things that may have changed since the start of the behavior problems. 



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 01:06 am
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whattarack
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How well do you know your horse? It this behavior his nature? I had a horse that did exactly like you describe your did. Turned out her teeth were killing her. My vet checked her teeth every visit and I never thought they could have been as bad as what they were. Took her to and equine dentist, saw the cuts in her mouth, the ulcers on her tongue, no wonder she expressed her pain so strongly. She really hurt. Once her mouth healed (about 10 days after the dentist) she was back to being a good girl.

I do remember her acting somewhat bull headed a few rides before the blowup. So this is just a real long post to ask, "have you checked his teeth really, really good?"



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 Posted: Fri Mar 5th, 2010 12:26 am
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stormzgaitzrgr8
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The one time I took a hard dive off of my bolting walkaloosa, it was weeks before I healed enough to ride.. you might consider giving yourself some time before planning to join anything competitive. After it happened to me, I spent the time retraining my boy from level one Natural Horsemanship.. worked him every day til I was sure he knew who was in charge again.  I also need the time to work out my personal fears.  I took it slow, and now we are the team that I always hoped we'd be. Don't despair.

I would also recommend paying attention to any recent changes to diet, supplements, etc that may have exacerbated this trouble in him. In my case, I discovered that my gelding was insulin resistant, and needed Quiessence, a magnesium supplement to take his uber anxiety away. Once treated, he was a new horse.. far more cooperative and quiet.  While it hasn't been necessary for over a year, I did give him Quietex (a natural valarian root powder) when needed to calm him.. with very good results. Best wishes,



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 Posted: Thu Mar 4th, 2010 09:00 pm
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TN Trailrider
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 am supposed to go my first Competitive Trail Competition Mar. 13th. Should I go? If it was me, I wouldn't go.  Ollie sounds like he needs a good refresher course.  Think you'd be putting yourself in danger in going to the competitive ride with his attitude like it is. 



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 Posted: Thu Mar 4th, 2010 08:42 pm
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MountainHorseGal
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I have been riding my KMH for almost a year now. He has been easy and calm but changes have happened to him since I sold his pasture buddy in Nov. Olli started to balk at going certain places, I can usually overcome with leg and crop. But, I think now it has become ingrained more because he has gotten away with it a couple of times. It is worse with another horse. I do ride him alone just fine with smaller resistance. This morning, friend  met me and I tried to get Olli to go first, no way !. He even reared slightly and I did bring his head around to stop it. Butt would go to the other horse etc. I did get him forward a bit and we'd start all over. Not wanting to ruin my friends ride I said, you just go first I am not winning this battle. Olli was nervous the entire ride (not like Olli). She gaited slowly up a hill and Olli was at the races! He did slow unwillingly and was like a bomb about to blow. He did just that.
Head down and I went sailing through the air landing flat on my back, couldn't breathe and prayed that I would be okay. I am so bruised and sore and of course been upset about this.  I have been working with a NH trainer and Olli does resist at times in our sessions and tries to get to the other horse. Now I feel he thinks he can win these challenges with me or just dump me. (He hasn't behaved like this to this extent). I know the mistake I made letting him win, I shouldn't have ridden him since I felt he was "hot". I am supposed to go my first Competitive Trail Competition Mar. 13th. Should I go? I called another trainer (mine doesn't always ride the horses himself, he is older and has back issues, doesn't take them in for training)
I was going to take Olli to another trainer who will get on him and re-create the situation. I think I didn't get after him quick enough or fast enough, I have seen it done by a trainer and they respond like lightning to the horse and I'm sure I don't and I should have just stayed with him at the beginning and worked him through this resitance.
I also must say I started giving him a popular supplement G as Sun that contains Paprika. Do you think that could have caused this change?
I am miserable because I have always wanted to do this rides and go places with my horse. My hubby wants me to sell him of course I will not, I have to work through this.
Any advice is appreciated.

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