Latte's thread...

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Shandeh, Nov 1, 2009.

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  1. Shandeh

    Shandeh Well-known Member

    Well some of you will know that Latte's been being a real pain for the past few months. First with the bucking going into canter (which did turn out to be saddle related... lesson from that, I now don't trust saddlefitters who say it doesn't fit perfectly but it should be ok) and then with the bolting off, spinning, napping etc etc etc

    It all came to a head about a month ago when he bolted towards the stable yard with me and almost chucked me into the fence. I realised I am not physically strong enough to haul him into line when he has a jointed snaffle in his mouth, and Mum suggested we try a kimblewick, which did work up until last time I rode him, when he was worse than ever.

    I got on him probably a week or two ago and tried to work him and he was really hard in the mouth again, leaning on my hands, refusing to go the direction I asked him to and then trying to bolt back towards home (one rein stop, made him go back the way he didn't want to and eventually got what I wanted). But once we were home and in his paddock, he stopped with the leaning and all that and was responsive again :confused:

    Normally, he's much worse in an arena situation than out, and the issue came to a head in an arena situation. There is one little thing I haven't mentioned yet that may have something to do with his behaviour out -- we got Edward and Sugar went to live next door, and on the above ride out Mum was riding Sugar and leading Edward (who he's really nasty towards). Therefore I think Sugar's presence was causing the problem, and back in his paddock he couldn't see her. But the trouble is, it's not fair to expect Mum to not ride if I'm working Latte, and Edward being so small, he can't take her weight for long periods - not to mention we only have one saddle between the two that I ride at the moment.

    Part of the problem is I'm scared of him now, and my fear frightens him, which makes him play up, which scares me more - it's a vicious circle, and one that's difficult to break. It got to the point where the butterflies took off in my stomach if I was to be expected to trot on him, in anticipation of his behaviour.

    When all was said and done I was ready to give up on him and pass him off to Mum for a couple of years. As much as I love him, and couldn't bear to part with him, his behaviour under saddle right now is absolutely beastly.

    But today I resolved to NEVER give up on a horse whose problems I have some responsibility in him having (some not all, Gaia did say he was hard mouthed when we got him). That means Latte and I will be working to get through this, one small step at a time. Starting, if necessary, with lead-line.

    Anything it takes - all the boring flatwork and embarrassing on-lead riding - to get my sweet, gentle, quiet slug back, I'll do it.

    Now, I know that not all of you will agree with us using the kimblewick, but the fact of the matter is, it is the only way that I can bring him into line gently if he's badly behaved. Mum has commented several times that I have the hands for using it - stable and soft - while at the same time knowing when to be firm. It has been suggested that we try a french link but Mum and I both really don't think it would work where a jointed snaffle failed. I've also considered bitless several times but because I want to event and do pony club with him it's not a feasible option and I'll only go bitless as an absolute last resort.

    We found a saddle that fits him well and are constantly checking his back to make sure it's not sore.

    I also wonder if he's just too full of beans and needs to let some of that extra energy loose before he can be soft, responsive and, most importantly, *safe*. Or at least as safe as any horse can be.

    Sorry for the novel. I guess I just really need to get all of this off of my chest and I don't have any other avenues to do that.

    As always, any advice is welcome and considered. Thanks guys.
  2. Gaia

    Gaia Gold Member

    Was never a pain here, ALWAYs look at yourself first, horse second

    I suggested you have him remouthed. Not doing that is NOT being responsible when it was suggested right from the start and you continue to say what a hard mouth he has??? Instead of using a stronger bit, remouth him!

    Get him remouthed and get some lessons. If things are still not working then sell him to someone you think suite him better than yourself because he will deteriorate if you don't, no matter how much you love him.
  3. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    No offence, but i think a kimblewick is just a bandaid for the problem.
    What happens when he gets to strong for that?
    Just chucking extra metal in his mouth doesn't fix the problem. (My pet hate is people putting more gear on a horse just because they can't control it)
    Why not invest in lessons.
    Even if you start on the ground, and than do lots of walk work just get him listening to you.

    At the end of the day though if you are scared of him and you are not having fun riding him than don't.
    Give him to your mum or sell him.
    Trust me it aint worth broken bones. If he is to much horse for you, or if you guys just don't click no one would look down on you for finding him a new home or letting your mum take him on.
    And it does sound like hes to much for you to handle.
    I made a choice about a year ago, that a horse was to much for me.. and sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  4. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    honestly Shandeh, for your safety and your horses well being it really sounds like the 2 of you would be better off without each other.

    If the snaffle used to work on him, but doesn't now - then it is not his fault.

    No matter how much people can claim that their horses are naughty etc - it's just not true, horses do not have the genetic makeup to be nasty etc. He sounds like one very unhappy horse, and is trying to tell you something. You need to stop working against him and work with him - without regular lessons I can't see how anyone can achieve this. Listen to what your horse is telling you, stop trying to deal with the reaction you're getting from him and start assessing WHY did Latte just do that? What part did YOU just have to do with the tanty Latte just threw? And most importantly what can I do to fix the problem NOT the result. Putting a stronger bit in his mouth is fixing the reaction, not the issue. If you want a true partnership with your horse you MUST fix the issue!!

    Classic situation - Latte has bolted on you more than once, yes? Horses are flight animals, they react to the situation, if he has bolted it is not that he is a little s**t, he is clearly afraid or has had enough.

    watching some one far more experienced than you, (preferably someone who doesn't know the horse) ride and handle your horse is extremely valuable as they don't have the emotions attached to them as much as we do. I have countless time's in the past few months, gotten my instructor to hop on my horse so I can observe what she is doing and guage Jingles reaction, I can then get on and try to mimic this, and usually results in a soft round, forward horse.

    There are a few stockies down your way, maybe someone could hop on Latte for you and give you their opinion.

    Just an end note, if he is leaning on your hands, you need to sit deep (stirrupless?) and apply alot of half halts with your body, keeping leg contact and soften your hands right after the half halt. My girl did a season of Polo X when she was 3/4, so has the tendency to sit on my hands when she is feeling tired etc. Half halts to get her attention and get her back end to carry her weight has helped immensely!
  5. princesssparkles

    princesssparkles Active Member

    Agreed :S you definitely need someone to come give you lessons or even send him to a trainer for a few weeks to get him soft in the mouth again and work through his issues. Can your mum ride him for you for a little while, or ride him first and then you get on?????
    also, lunging and long reining him before you get on, and basics on the ground.

    Dont give up too soon, but too often a horse knows when he has it over you and you wont be able to fix the problem without getting some help and instruction.
    Goodluck :)
  6. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    Shandeh, you have been given some good advice already. Go back to the beginning and have him re-mouthed. Preferably by someone else, or at the very least get the Horse Problems re-mouthing DVD. If you "have" to ride him in a kimblewick to have some semblance of control - then he is too dangerous for you too ride. Using a kimblewick is not the solution to the problem, its just a bandaid that will 'fix' the problem temporarily but only make it worse in the long run.

    I'm not saying this to be mean, your confidence has been shaken (understandably) and Latte can feel that...his reactions and behaviour are fear/pain based and he needs to also develop confidence in himself and in you as his leader - he will never do that while he can sense your tension and nervousness because you are just re-enforcing to him that there is a reason to be afraid!

    Have him re-mouthed so that you can have the confidence to know he is soft and responsive and above all safe for you to ride (or at least as safe as a horse can be).
  7. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    After reading a lot of your posts I do not think Latte is the right horse for you. And I do not think you are the right rider for Latte.

    You have to learn to NOT blame the horse for everything. And you have to learn to take advice from people when you ask for it - it has been said many times over the last few months that you should get help/lessons. Instead of taking that advice things have just gotten worse with Latte.

    Saying you are not strong enough to ride Latte is the the wrong way of looking at things - I know that if I get into a tug of war with a horse there is no way that 65kg me is going to win against a 500kg plus horse. You have to ride smarter not stronger. And a stronger bit won't make any difference in the long run :(

    Sorry for the blunt post, but I think that if you will not get professional help you should stop riding Latte. Either rehome him or let your Mum have him.
  8. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    first of all, *hugs*
    it takes a lot of guts to admit when you're wrong (or wrong-ish, lol), and i do commend you for coming on here time & again & asking advice regarding latte's blossoming bag of problems. thing is tho mate, despite the VERY CONSISTENT message that everyone on stockyards has given you, you seem to be going about your relationship with this horse in very much the wrong way.

    everyone is pretty much sayign the same thing & have been for months. you need to either accept that you need some serious help (and not just from your mum - sometimes, as great as our parents are, they aren't always the best for teaching us; too many emotions & frustrations in the mix), or move on from latte.

    i know how hard it can be to eat humble pie & ask for help. For example, i thought i was king sh** with horses. riding since i was 3, broken one in at 14 & i didn't think there was a horse around who could shift me. BOY was i wrong, and i knew very quickly that i had to get help or else die trying, or lose the love for it entirely.
    in 3 short years i have learnt more about horses; communication, sensitivity, riding, balance, assertiveness, than i ever thought possible.

    and i asked for a LOT of help:
    ground work instructors, riding instructors, lots of different body workers, online forums, books, videos you name it.

    just reading your story it really sounds like your horse is crying out for a leader. the 'bolting' and then being 'fine' once home is a good indicator. he needs to have complete & implicit faith in you not to harm him or lead him INTO harm (regardless of whether you actually have harmed him in any way or not - a horse's perception is vastly different to our own). he's young & full of himself & needs someone to show him what to do.

    some ground work instruction could be so so so helpful & not just watching or reading up on monty roberts. naturally Horsey are down your way, and there's also a place in yallingup, if i recall correctly.

    go slowly & don't be in a hurry to achieve things. as others have said, your horse is not only telling you something, he's SCREAMING it out at you. it's time to pay attention & listen up.
  9. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    So totally agree with this.

    At some stage here an adult needs to take charge and make some decisions about the best future for the horse and safe being for the child.

    But then again, the hardest thing to open is a closed mind...
  10. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    There is always a REASON why a horse is "playing up" Be it pain or confusion or anything.
    If you have ruled out pain??....then please have a look at yourself.
    It sounds like your horse is tryign to tell you soemthing and you are not listening.
  11. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Shandeh I have to agree with the others. From reading your posts I don't think you and Latte are the right combination.
    A horse that's green and with and issue or 2 isn't going to improve in the hands of an inexperienced rider or trainer.
    IMO I think it's time you passed Latte on to a more suitable home. As it is, he's destroying your confidence and you his.
    Don't think of it as giving up. It's a just lesson learnt.

    Wise words Lauren **)
  12. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    ditto what Gaia said. This horse sounds like he needs to be remouthed. Go look at the horseproblems website. Did you get body worker look at him after the saddle fit issues?
  13. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I wish to thank everyone for their positive comments all intended to help my girl and her horse.
    We have come to the sad conclusion that Latte and Shandeh have a personality conflict. The problems flair up when Latte gets concerned or frightened by a new situation and his fear causes him to ignore his mouth. Then my girl gets frightened because he is not listening.

    So Shandeh is going to continue working with a pony that we have who is a real sweety and I will work Latte until we find the exact right home for him. He is a really sweet horse who just needs to find the right person who wont be scared by his fear.
  14. Kiwigirl

    Kiwigirl Well-known Member

    That is a really wise decision.

    Good luck with finding that right home for him, and good luck with the pony
  15. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    sounds like the best decision for both horse and rider **)
  16. Gaia

    Gaia Gold Member

    Yep, good decision. I know you will do the right thing and let any potential new owners aware that he does need to be remouthed and hopefully they will comply. I would really hate to see him passed from home to home.
    Goodluck with finding the right home for him. :)
  17. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    Is this the new pony that she posted about having to hit to make him get going because he was lazy?

    I really would love to hear that Shandeh is going to get some lessons with a good instructor to give her some supervised management/horsemanship skills.
  18. cavalletti

    cavalletti Active Member

    I know just howe difficult and heartbreaking it can be to move on from a horse you didn't quite click with, no matter how much work, time and effort you put in to try to make it work, and no matter how much you love them. I miss my girl every day but I know I made the right decision, even if I didn't have all this awesome helpful group to tell me that. I agree with Nanny, try getting some lessons to build Shaneh's confidence and skills, there are plenty of reccommened instructors. All the best,and goodluck!
  19. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    The issues with the new pony have been sorted. He is now quite happy to work and even happier to stop working lol. He particularly prefers to stand still rather then be asked to trot if he tries to nibble. so He doesn;t play so free adn easy with his mouth as he used to.

    Shandeh is supervised whenever she rides by myself (25 years experience with horses) who can teach her the basics as a good basis for good lessons from a more advanced instructor when we have spare money.

    She also attends pony club where she gets lessons from other instructors. She has not had the recent problems when she was working with more experienced horses but yes good instruction is always a great learning tool. Sometimes getting on a green horse can teach you you dont know as much as you think you do.

    I have to admit to being surprised that she had such troubles with this lad. Not that they are his fault.

    We have someone coming to look at him this weekend who sounds like a good home for him but we will see.
  20. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Further information for those who are interested. I talked to a parelli style trainer today. He believes that the problem is the relationship between horse and rider and that re mouthing wont fix the problem at all as the hard mouth comes up when the horse is frightened.

    He said to fix the relationship problem is a long term fix that would potentially take my lass years to sort and a heap of money and that she would be better off spending the money on finding a horse that she clicks with.

    So I am off to find him the right new owner and try to calm a very upset teenager *sigh*

    I would keep him myself and work with him as I think he is a wonderful horse but daughter cant face the idea of watching someone else work him and succeed where she has failed. She will be pleased to find him the right home but doesn't want to have to face that she and he didn't work out.

    I guess if I dont find the right rider for him I can always ride him when daughter is at school? Anyway latte has taught her a huge amount just a shame it didn't work out.
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