Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/A few problems with me and my horse + how to train a few other things?
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I've been watching your videos before I got a horse (thank-god) and I value your methods so much and have since gotten a horse! I've only ever ridden him in a halter and things are going quite well – I never will ride him in a bit again. However I am having some problems. I ride in a web halter because I can't turn his head in the rope halter as easily; on the ground he flexes quite well! I'd prefer to ride him in a rope halter but I don't know how to ride him in it as well as it it supposed to be. I've had a look at your videos and website and none address this problem exactly but do you think I should try one rein riding (I think this would be the best idea)? I have been doing some with a lead rope and hopping on him because in an 80 acre mountain side/rainforest paddock walking back to the tack shed is not easy! He is a very good horse its just me that can't figure it out! Other than that he is great in the halter, I can take him up the road, around cars and for big and long trail rides. Once again though I have a little trouble getting him to slow down and stop from the canter, gallop and trot. I can't properly seat myself and ask him to slow down from a canter and gallop when he runs up the steep hills, he does however walk when he gets to the top of the hill because he is tired from running up it! But I don't want to teach him that he can gallop up any hill especially because I want to teach my 6 year old sister to ride and my friends who have no experience with horses (Teaching 3 people - all bitless!). He is perfect in the round pen and grass arena just when we go out into the paddock he gets a little excited. I pull back to get him to stop because I don't know what else to do! He is good on the ground and stops when asked, just in fast gaits I don't really know what to do. Also seeing as he is in a giant paddock, I would like to teach him to come when called. He did this for his old owner (In a smaller pasture too, about 5 acres?) so I'm not sure what she did to teach him this. I've been bringing a bag of carrots every time I go see him and shaking it. Hes very slow about it though. Do you think if I keep repeating this it will eventually teach him to come? I don't always ride him either - I usually clean his paddock, the horse float (where all the gear and food is stored) and the tack. So I doubt its because he thinks he will be ridden. I've been training him not to bolt or shy away from other horses in the paddock when they approach him or try to nip him - which is going great and the other horses are learning not to chase him. Speaking of that - I had him in the 100 acre paddock for 2 days with 9 other horses. When I came to see him he had cuts all over him which most were bite/kick marks that weren't too bad, but everytime i turned him out into the biggest paddock he would get really badly cut from what I think is running away from other horses and getting cut on branches. So I put him in smaller paddock (80 acres, not that small!) with 2 other horses that were the lowest in the herd and he is doing well with them. I am going to Bali in a few weeks for 2 weeks and I am thinking about just turning him out into the big paddock. There isn’t really anyone to supervise them apart from the owners of the property that I could ask to check on him. His wounds healed on their own anyway, I just sprayed them with a medicated spray to quicken the process. Should I just turn him out with all the horses and let them sort it out on their own? One more problem, he is very respectful on the ground. That is until you get to something he doesn’t like or want to do. When I take him for trail rides (everyday) theres always something he is a bit sceptical of. For example mud puddles, small creeks, wooden logs. I remember from one of your videos you said that you shouldn’t ignore the problem but confront it. So I get off, undo one of the reins and attempt to lunge him around it (He lunges well anywhere but where he is scared). For example when I lunge him over the mud puddle, he will jump into me, rather than jumping over the puddle. He pushes me out of the way to go around me rather than go around and through the thing that is scaring him. I push him back out and put pressure on him until he is out of my space, in the end he crosses things calmly, its just the start that isn’t too good. Thankyou for any advice or critique you have to offer Rick – you are my role model in the equestrian world! Be as harsh as you need because I know I am doing things wrong I just don’t know what it is. - Amelia
If it is not working then you are not doing it right. The horse is scared since you are scared. If you can't ride with one rein you should not be riding with two, you can't learn how to control a horse with two reins. Take it slow and stop trying to get fast results that is why it is not working. It takes time for you and the horse to learn.