Arising Head issues

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Fireplay, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Fireplay

    Fireplay New Member

    Hi all,

    I currently have this horse (new) and he is a very impatient cheeky horse which i dont mind. But he has been getting alot worse trying to nip me walking to and from the paddock or grabbing his lead rope in fustration or tries to bold me over.. We have had lots of words and smacking and telling off and making him stand off me and listen but it last for all of ten seconds. He is also like this tied up most times and when i ride him he goes almost bridal lame on occasions and then is fine after a few minutes but will still can chuck his head around.. oh and he can rear! I am a soft rider and never force him into anything so i think it is an old die hard habit. I am at the point where i am going to lose all patience for him and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions that could help with this behaviour?
    Thanks :)
  2. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    Firstly assess that he is not in pain somewhere. Had some issues with my boy a couple of weeks ago and found out he had a twisted atlas vertebrae, ouch. Chiro said he would have had a massive headache and was carrying himself all wrong because of it. 2 days later much happier pony and rider. Then of course rule out all the things everyone will ask or tell you.....establish good goundmanners, send him to someone else, have an instructor ride/assess him, saddle fit, teeth. Very hard to offer advice when we dont know much about him though..age, history, education , conformation etc any more info would help. Has he had a vet check?
  3. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    If you are a soft rider you may not be assertive enough for this horse.

    If he was mine I would be playing the seven horsemen's games with him to teach him respect. I would also do join up with him as I find it a very very useful tool.

    However if you are a soft rider who doesn't stand up and say No!!!! with passion and energy you may find you need the help of a professional.

    Sometimes soft riders and pushy horses is a recipe for disaster.

    Assertive does not mean smacking/hitting or physically getting stuck into a horse. It means that strength of purpose that horses will know you dont put up with rubbish.

    Hard to describe but horses know who has it and who doesn't.

    Have an honest assesment of yourself. Can you be assertive without exploding out of control? If not this may not be the right horse for you or you may need professional help to get where you want to be.

    Good luck
  4. Fireplay

    Fireplay New Member

    Thanks for the advice:)
    No he is not in pain and has the teeth, saddle and all the other stuff checked! He is a 16hh tb x trak and 8 with alot of personality, I have asked and people say be firm with him which I am which then turns into a game etc. I stand my ground and i have been with horses for many years and ridden many different horses and you start to recognise change in a horse after they realise that they will get nowhere testing you but i guess he is still trying. By soft rider i was meaning i dont yank on him or pull his head down or do anything to cause his rearing or head issues, im still assertive and no what i want from him and he knows what i want from him he just challenges me. I guess im asking for more advice in needing more control over his nipping issue as it can be quite challenging leading him and trying to saddle him up. He isnt in pain its more an attitude problem and thats where i wanted a different perspective on how i could try a different way with him instead of the typical getting him to stand off of me if you get what i mean?
  5. Nattyh

    Nattyh Guest

    Hi Fireplay, if you lead him at the end of a 12ft (eg. Parelli style) lead, then he cannot nip you? Seriously - Get him out of your space and keeping him out would be helpful even just from a dominance/ respect perspective - you might find the nipping actually stops by magic if he is a little more respectful of you?
    I hope that is something that helps. If you have issues on the ground then you are likely going to get them in the saddle and though I personally loathe ground work, if you are not looking to have that conversation in the saddle, then you need to crack on with the ground work before it all goes pear shaped :-0
    Good luck.
    ETA: if he can bite you while you are saddling him up then tie him shorter :-0
    If he cannot be trusted, it needs to be done.
    ETA: and if he thinks it is funny to bite you when you are mounting, simply flex his little head around and introduce his nose to your offside stirrup while you hop up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2012
  6. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    If mine bite they get a good slap on the chops!
  7. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    some super good advice here!

    i also ride a half trak and a friend also has a half trak (the other half is some fancy WB breed) and they do seem to be a little bolshy. i treat my mare in the same way i treated my pushy, dominant tb - from the second i get that halter on in the paddock, i start asking questions.

    make it back up, yield it's head around, yield it's fore & hind quarters, reverse around corners, tiny circles with changes of direction, squeeze in between tight spaces (such as trees or fencelines), stop & start with you, make it sidepass down the driveway, or move, back into and out of the tie up bays or up and down steps (our tie up bays are on cement pads that are about 10cm above the ground).

    and this is all before i've got the horse tied up to saddle up. i figure if you're leading the horse from the paddock ANYWAY, you might as well make it productive time & get the animal listening to you before you hop on it's back. of course, if it goes to bite you, a slap in the chops helps reinforce boundaries. but doing unpredictable things that makes the horse think keeps it guessing and looking to you for guidance rather than thinking it can be the boss of you.

    i learnt this the very hard way with my tb and i wish i had known this before i took him on as it probs would have signficantly reduced the amount of down time i had with him. and from the moment i got my riding mare i start 'asking questions' as soon as i catch her. it just keeps her interested in what i'm doing because we're never predictable.

    as for bridle-lameness, perhaps there's a physical issue or muscle memory issue?

    and rearing? forward forward forward!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

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