How can I stop Tantrums??

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Alice_Jayne, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Alice_Jayne

    Alice_Jayne Active Member

    Ok so we have a gorgeous grey TB Gelding who is a massive sook!!!!

    We have now stopped riding him for a year while his old racing injuries heal (He managed to hurt his back hooning in the paddock wich flaired up old racing sores) but when we were riding him he was a gem.

    We used to keep him down in Wanneroo and rode him at least once a week and didn't have a problem, we then moved to Bullsbrook and didn't ride him as much, only a few times a month around the property or out on the trails. He was perfect a little spooky when it came to little ponies but that was it, he would have a tantrum then walk on.

    But now he has turned into the devil. if he doesn't want to carry on going forwards he will just back up!!!! If we face him in the dirrection we want he will back up and if we face him to go home he will back up!!! It has gotten that dangerous that he went out into traffic and had my sister in tears. I used to be able to ride him out with my mare or by himself but towards the end of riding him he would even have a tantrum leaving our gates backing up into trees and into storm water drains.

    I got told to carry a twig with leaves on it and to bop him between the ears with it to stop him from backing up but that just made him rear :(

    He is off work like I said now but when he does come back into work, what can I do to make him stop, or what could be causing it???

    He is a good boy in the arena and didn't show signs of pain. Would love to be able to enjoy a trial ride on him once again as he used to be so cruisy and comfy :)
  2. May be you are holding his reins too tight so he is backing up? ';'
    If the front is shut he can only go back or up.:)
  3. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    I think that once you have him checked over by a vet, Chiro and muscle worker plus the usual saddle fit etc and they all rule out pain you send him to a professsional.
    Hitting a horse between the ears is an old training method when a horse is mid rear so hitting him over the head when backing up is likely not going to have the desired response, if anything you should be applying the go button so around the hind end makes more sense.

    Anyway I still think off to a pro. They know how to do deal with things like this and a horse who is backing up with what appears to be quite severe rearing is only a minor step away.
  4. MissDQ

    MissDQ New Member

    Has he had work done on his back ? To me he is screaming ouchies.

    If it were my horse, I would be having plenty of work done on his back and lunging only to built back muscles then see about riding, regardless of whether he's good inside or outside the arena or whatever. He would also have more consistent work instead of a ride here or there.
  5. Alice_Jayne

    Alice_Jayne Active Member

    Yes I only carried a twig once and as soon as he went up into the air I dropped it and rode back up the road home.

    He was getting lunged regularly as we have been told he will never be able to build muscle on his whither as he is such a chunky boy the racing pad has killed all the muscle there.

    I am a laid back rider so don't ride with overly tight riens but I know my sister can when she gets tense and nervous, as we thought it could be him picking u on her nerves but then started doing it with me.

    At the time of being ridden he wasn't showing any pain before or after the saddle had been on as I have had a poorly fitted saddle before and was horrified to find my mare had such a sore back.

    His saddle has been fitted and he is ridden in a half pad for the extra padding around his whither.

    Yes Gamby i was considering getting him re - educated but he is technically my sisters horse and she isn't too fussed on getting it done as she is happy him being a paddock pony for the rest of his life.
  6. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Sounds like, either a saddle fit/pain issue, or a training issue.

    In the second paragraph, I am concerned that the half pad might be making the saddle too tight on an area that is already identified as a problem. If you had the saddle fitted with the pad in place, then the saddle fitter would have taken it into consideration, but if you have decided to add the pad, with the idea that it will make it softer for the horse, you might actually be making it tighter...the exact opposite of what you want.

    In the first paragraph, if I read it correctly, as soon as the horse reared, you dropped the stick and rode him home again. Sounds like he had a major win there and no doubt he will throw bigger and bigger tantrums at you in future, in a bid to get you to back down again.

    Why did you do that?
  7. serendipity

    serendipity Well-known Member

    seens if you were.going to smack him anywhere with the twig it wpuld be on the butt.just seems counterproductive to me to smsck a horse on the head and expect him to go forward.
  8. JustJam

    JustJam Well-known Member

    Simple - Arrange for an instructor to come out and have a series of lessons on him.

    There is very little point in trying to 'second guess' this kind of behaviour online because it could be due to any number of reasons. And this kind of behaviour is particularly dangerous and, if not resolved, could escalate very quickly.

    An instructor would (should!) be able to pick up any pain issues and will be able to guide you towards developing your riding and communication skills.

    Eyes on the ground (and in this case an instructor) is the only way to move forward with this issue (pardon the pun! :D)

  9. Alice_Jayne

    Alice_Jayne Active Member

    I got told the stick idea off an old horseman and am open to any ideas on what to do to help this boy enjoy riding out once again.

    The half pad was recomended by the saddle fitter to help raise the saddle up off his back.

    Could it have been the early start to him having a sore back?

    We always knew he has mild arthuritis in his hips but have had him on suppliments to help him with the pain, could this have started it all??

    He used to be fine, walk trot and canter. The tantrums first started with him not wanting to go past the gate to the property where he was on spell at. It then started happening when passing the ponies (one of his fears) on our trail ride, so we took a different route and he then started it when we go past a paddock with a couple of yearlings in it.
  10. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    How long ago was the saddle fitted?

    Have you had anyone out to do any body work on him, eg Bowen, equissage, sports massage, chiro?

    When were his teeth done?

    If all those are fine, and it is not pain related then it sounds like he could be acting like a brat and has been allowed to learn that rearing is an acceptable evasion that will get him out of doing what you want him to do. If you are not experienced enough, I would suggest an instructor/trainer (etc) to come out and work with the pair of you.
  11. Pugsworth

    Pugsworth Well-known Member

    If he wants to back up.Back him up all the way home.
  12. amber sunday

    amber sunday Well-known Member

    I had this problem for the first few years I had my horse, he hated going out on trails on his own, always fine wit another horse though.
    If he wants to go backwards away from home, let him go as far as he wants, when he stops (calmly) ask for another 3-4 steps, pat him, turn around and ask for forward as quietly as you would asking for him to walk when you first get on, the bigger deal you make out of it, the more he will do it.
    If he wants to go towards home, one rein stop ASAP, (as pulling on their mouth when theyre already going backwards only leaves one option..up!) let him calm down and ask for forward again.
    I found that backing up towards home lead to a great deal more rearing and spinning and general tantrum chucking than away from, when he'd get past whatever he didn't want to go past (or possibly purely forget that it was his idea in the first place...bright spark :lol: )
    Purely what I found worked for me, and my pony is a bit..special :eek: but he either grew out of it or learnt it wasn't getting him anywhere. Obviously this is after ensuring he's not in pain :)
  13. sunline

    sunline Well-known Member

    bit hard to "diagnose" a horse, just from a few paragraphs you've written.

    However if you've said that your sister is happy for him to be a paddock ornament, then let him be one.

    To me he just sounds arthiritic, sore and tired of it all.

    If you're sister isnt serious about riding, leave him be to live out his life happy in the paddock.
  14. monomeeth

    monomeeth Well-known Member

    You've said you know he has arthritic hips. That's your problem right there. No need to look further. They've progressed and are now worse, as is the usual thing with arthritis. Maye it's in his backbone now too. He was a good boy, but now he is not a good boy, and that's because it hurts him too much now to be ridden and he's trying to tell you so the only way he knows how.

    Give him his supplements to help him be paddock sound, give him a warm winter rug to keep his back and hips from seizing up on cold mornings, and let him be a pasture puff if your sister is happy with that. You'll have to keep an eye on him and make sure he is still ok even for that. One day he won't be.


  15. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Get him vet checked. If the vet clears him then sort him out with training.

    I recently had one of my mares who was throwing spectacular tantrums vet checked including bloods. She got the all clear and now 'madam' is in boot camp and doing well.

    Good luck with your horse and stay safe.
  16. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    My horse tried the backing up gig, after ruling out pain I started to use a crop on his butt when he backed up. Then he decided to pig root, he got another smart crack on the butt, had a go at getting his head down for a buck got another crack with the crop and then gave up.:D
  17. Indigo King

    Indigo King New Member

    I have a mare who was a bit like this, although not as severe.

    The horse has no confidence and taking to him with a forcefull, hitting etc manner is only going to make things worse. You need to build his confidence by being firm with him if he is mis behaving but you have to do it with feeling so that he knows he is not allowed to do it but also so that you don't spark something else to happen for example rearing.

    And when he is good and does give and respect you, you need to give, pat, praise him. If he is getting upset with something you are doing take a break, have a breath, give him a pat, let him relax and try again slowly. This is so much more important than pressing the issue and getting each other more tense.
  18. Indigo King

    Indigo King New Member

    Or yes, he is in extreme pain! As Monomeeth has said.
  19. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    It is a horse not a child, a crack on the butt with a crop is nothing compared to what one horse will do to another. Sometimes a crack on the butt in the right moment can nip a lot of problems in the bud.
    If you have ruled out pain that is.
    My horse was not backing up because he was scared he was backing up as an attempt to get out of work.
    I don't even normally carry a crop but I will use one when needed.
  20. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    As for taking a break when the horse starts getting upset ONLY after you have gotten to do something that you want it to do. Otherwise all you are teaching is
    that they can get out of work by having a tanty.

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