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Old 30-01-2012, 09:14 PM
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Angry xxx strong horse!

My Welsh D Star is super strong whilst being ridden whether its in the school or out on a hack. He is a very lazy horse however it is begining to feel like a chore to ride him and not pleasurable. I feel like I have to fight with him constantly. He is ridden in a waterford hanging cheek snaffle. He works very much on the forehand, this is something we are working to solve. However, if he doesn't want to do something he won't do it, and now has started to through in some bucking. He uses his strengh against me and evades the bit and leg aids.

On our hack yesterday he completly took me by surprise and bolted, flat out gallop leaving the whole ride behind us. There was no stopping him. No matter what i did (giving and taking the rein, sitting tall ect.) He just put his head in the air and went for it! I eventually got him to stop by turning him into a sheep enclosure. limited his space so he had to stop. I was terrified! I've never experienced him being so out of control. Now I'm worried about taking him out. It wasn't exactly a safe place to gallop.

He has had the usual checks, his teeth and saddle was checked early January this year. His back is fine as the vet has checked that too. I even got someone in to give him a sports massage. I'm at a loss! Has anyone got any ideas??
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Old 30-01-2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

Since you've ruled out any physical ailments, is there a chance it's something to do with your relationship with each other? There seems to be a lot of fighting and resistance from both sides, perhaps some join-up exercises and going back to basics might help? Any horse can be strong if it wants to, just as they can be gentle and yield to their rider if they want to, but that's the thing, he has to want to work with you, you can't force him into it, he's much bigger than you and he knows it Hope this can be of some help.
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Old 31-01-2012, 03:38 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

Thanks Argent. I've never done join up with Star. We have always worked together quite well for the past 7 years apart for some small hiccups along the way. I don't know why he has just started to object. My instructor just says he is being stuborn and bad. I really don't believe that. I wish he could speak to me. We did some lungeing today and he had no objections.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:42 AM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

Sounds good - I really love to listen to teachers and take their advice but when it comes to horses I always feel like I'm being asked to be cruel!

The lunging sounds good, perhaps build up some more positive experiences with him.

It could be that he's simply bored? Are these the same schooling exercises and hacks that you do on a day to day or weekly basis? Maybe try some new things with him to engage his brain (you mentioned he's lazy but very strong, suggests that he's bored and doesn't want to be there), maybe some of those horse games you can do in the school? Or perhaps try a new event with him to see if that sparks his interest?

Hope any of this helps lol, new reasons and possibilities keep popping into my head!
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:55 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

So far most people have said it just him being nasty, nice to have someone tell me otherwise. We school him twice weekly and we hack out at the weekends. We are in a great location for hacking, with the pentland hills on our doorstep so we are always going on new hacks. We don't tend to do the same each week.

It's the lack of control that is frightening me. If he does decide to bolt and I can't get him back. Then he is either going to injure himself, me or others. Yesterday I took him in the cross country field where we have a sectioned of part of the field for warm up. He was going really nice, until he snaped and off we went like a bat out of hell again. It took me 15 mins to get him to stop circling him until he calmed down. I really want to break this habbit before it gets worse. I'd dread to think what would happen if he did this in a public area.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:24 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

if i was you for hacking i would go in a slighty stronger bit a pelham or even a 3 ring (dutch) gag starting from the snaffle ring and if need be work your way down the rings dont start at the bottom , yes i know they are stronger and used incorrectly can cause damage but importance is you need to control him before you totally loose your conferdance or have a accident. pratice in the school 1st as useing bits like this is to allow you to have more control but still maintain light hands and light aids, so you dont hang on to the mouth or yank to stop, these bits are for training aid not a permant fix.
also out hacking dont forget your schooling and what you learnt in lessons

sounds like he started to "take the piss abit", so work with your instructor to teach him to listen to you alot of transitions direction changes get him constantly listening to your aids and most inportantly control speed.
for schooling it sounds like he leans onto the bit, when you have him round he should be up and light on the forhand and working from behind, maybe try him in a loose ring snaffle for schooling work so he cant "hang on"

things like this take alot of schooling work from you, horse and instructor...
trust me ive been there

Last edited by ClareJane; 01-02-2012 at 08:36 PM.. Reason: incorrect spelling
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:33 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

I am actually having a similar problem! My pony is fine in the school, a little lazy sometimes, but otherwise good. However he has started to bolt when out and about! He has only ever done this before when we've been out on our own, but recently he has started to do it with others. I have NO breaks at all, so I am going to try a 3 ring dutch gag to see if that helps. He's due the dentist this month, so if there is any problems there that should get sorted. But I feel for you, it is very scarey when they just go for no apparent reason. Fortunately my boy hasn't put in any bucks or rears (touch wood) but he's super strong. I hope you figure it out, it isn't nice when riding becomes a chore
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

I've never been a lover of severe bits. Although I have ridden other horses with pelums and dutch gags. It might be an option to change the bit. The force I need to use to stop him bolting, giving and taking the reins is like pulling teeth, and not good! I'm always so light on contact, and don't want to pull. My friends at the stables have reccomended I use a martingale or market harbourgh to stop him getting his head to high and evade the action of the bit. I have never used one.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:56 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

A hanging waterford snaffle is quite a severe bit and can be quite painful for the horse, especially if using one rein and the bit is moved across his tongue, bars and the corners of his mouth.

If you are constantly fighting him, he's not forward going and he's started bucking too, it is highly likely there are still pain issues somewhere that have been missed.

Even more likely if this is a recent change.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:16 PM
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Re: xxx strong horse!

He has been into the vets for a good check over, and all tests were clear.
He has regular equine sport massages and was a little tight in his hindquarters but we have sorted that issue following advice to a T.

Anyway today we were in the school, just going over the basics in walk and trot and did some trotting poles and he was on his best behaviour. We took Storm and his rider with us and Star seemed to perk up having some company. It may just be that he has needed something new. See how he goes at his lesson on wednesday. I'm still not brave enough to take him on a hack, but I'm sure we will get back to it soon.
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