xxx strong horse!

Discussion in 'Horse Riding and Training' started by Starlight Express, Jan 30, 2012.


  1. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    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??
     
  2. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    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.
     
  3. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    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.
     
  4. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    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! :D
     
  5. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    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.
     
  6. ClareJane

    ClareJane PetForums Junior

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    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
     
    #6 ClareJane, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. Shady

    Shady PetForums Junior

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    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 :(
     
  8. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    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.
     
  9. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    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.
     
  10. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    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.
     
  11. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like you're making good progress, let's hope you've nipped this behaviour in the bud and he starts to enjoy working with you more and vice versa :D :thumbup:
     
  12. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    I haven't read all the replies.. But my answer.. He is a sec D.. One horse I would not be given..Far too head strong :D#

    I really hope you can resolve his issues and blimey you have some serious tackle in his mouth..

    Have you got anyone that can get on the end of a lunge whilst you are on.. and allow you to drop his for hand..

    I haven't read the full thread sorry im off to do it now..:)
     
  13. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    Waterford is a bit that has been made to prevent a horse leaning on the hands.. A pelham a horse will lean in.. Also she has the hanging cheek offering extra control..
     
  14. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    Try some of that gamgee stuff you can get to put on bits to soften there mouths..;)

    cant think of the correct name. x
     
  15. Starlight Express

    Starlight Express PetForums Member

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    Star used to be ridden in a everyday common snaffle. Up until he got so fit my instructor recommended I ride him in the waterford as he tends to lean on the bit and work too much on his forhand. I'm very light on the reins and not a novice to using such a bit. He is a very head strong horse and also very powerful and has a dominant nature.
     
  16. samhill

    samhill PetForums Newbie

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    Your approach of clarity of communication and consistency is absolutely the correct way to approach horses. Thsi not only makes them well behaved, but much happier. They are much happier when things are crystal clear, boundaries, I mean.

    samhill
     
  17. Fade to Grey

    Fade to Grey PetForums VIP

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    this is probably going to sound completely mad and a bit strange. when i was riding the horse i worked with started to do very similar things so one day i got on bareback and just walked around the yard stroking him and just getting contact between him and myself and sometimes i think its good to have a day of just a little plod around no saddle and bring back some contact between you and the horse. i'm not saying its the cure to all the problems but its good to bring the bond closer. i did this once a week (for a month or so) with him just having a day of a gentle walk, grooming and cuddles and it really seemed like our bond had been lost. i also let him graze out more and he just seemed to relax more and it made our hacks and schooling more enjoyable.
     
  18. samhill

    samhill PetForums Newbie

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    some horses are like that only they never has to take the lead and becomes lazy so from my point of view i am thinking to take care of the horse . that will be nice .
     
  19. MadsAndBramble

    MadsAndBramble PetForums Newbie

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    If you're still having trouble it might be worth heading to hay-net.co.uk and asking the resident equine agony aunt Lorraine Jennings as she has loads of advice to give! You can also ask her on her website School Your Horse | Just another WordPress site :) She has helped me with loads of problems with Oscar :)
     
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