hey everyone, so heres the thing, my horse is very hard to control, everytime i ask him to do something he starts tossing his head and starts being a real jerk. I recently just started using him in a hackmore and he seems to be 10 times worse, when i ask for him to back up, or to pivit or anything like that he, tosses his head, and rears and throws a huge fit. Also when i ask for a jog, or a lope he tries to take off out of the field, and pretty much just ignores all of my cues, (legs aids). Any ideas on how i can get him to listen better and under control, would be great....thanks a bunch

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So, has this horse always been this way or has there been some change? Horses often respond very negatively if their routine has been changed, usually negatively. Can you think of anything?
well all he wants to do is run and i haven't been letting him. I haven't done a lot of work with him, due to the loss of my best friend and riding partner. but i think he's just doing it to ounish me for not working him a lot in the past years. i'm hoping that once i can gwt out to the barn almost everyday, that working him more will help.
Stef, you are on the right track. But remember it is spring and he is happy to be out doing things especially with you. He wants to show you what he knows, it's like he's saying "hey remember when we rode last, I want to show you I remember!" Horses are eager to please us, they don't calculate to punish us, they are not human, although I wonder sometimes. Those "human" things we notice are learned responses when they are hanging around humans or are in training with humans. Your work with this horse will be better if you can remember this, you won't feel the need to be angry with him and blow what you have already accomplished. You will need to get off his back and spend time doing ground work with him to establish trust and authority with him. He needs to see you as the leader of your herd, "boss mare". If you watch a herd no matter what size, you will notice how there is a leader and if there is a mare it is her not the stallion or gelding. Watch how the mare deals with everyone and try to copy her style. In the wild the 'boys' are simply there for reproduction (stallion) and protection (stallion or gelding if no stallion). Anyway, learn to lunge your horse or get some horse training DVD's from Stacy Westfall, John Lyons, Pat Parelli, Doug Mills all these guys are on line. I don't know what kind of time you have but horse training takes time, getting on and going doesn't work with a horse that hasn't been schooled properly on the ground, all your going to get is what you are experiencing now. All is not hopeless, just need to spend the time. If you have show goals in mind, don't be in a hurry to blast out there and try to win everything, take your time make the last 2 or 3 shows of the season your goals to win everything, in the mean time use the other shows as training experience for your horse, until you feel him level off and behave unquestioningly.
I know this is an old post but I just found it.
Iagree that ground work is fundamental and excellent advise from Stef. I also wonder if there is something physically bothering him?
If it seems to be the mouth that bothers him i would take a look and make sure his teeth are ok - maybe time for a dental check up. If it only occurs under saddle then it may be time to look at your saddle. You local tack shop should be able to recommend a saddler or saddle fitter than can help to make sure there are no new pressure points.
Most horses DO want to please and most actually enjoy the challenge of being worked but not if it hurts them.
Just a thought!

My horse used to be kinda jerky, maybe not like you are describing, but he would rear and strike.... he's young though. I decided to work on myself..... and just hang around with him and let him be a horse with me and make sure MY ENERGY wasn't affecting him.. that I was a strong leader, that I did have control... .... until he was coming over to me.... he even laid down a few times and was really calm around me..... I do short lessons with him, about 3-4 times a day..... he thinks everything is a joke and he gets real excited to be with me.... when he is a jerk, I put him in his stall, lock him in and leave... usually he is turned out.... when his time out is over, he seems more willing to listen. Also, he doesn't get any food that would make him hot, he's not usually stalled and I've done a tremendous amount of groundwork with him at liberty, showing him that I can and will put him wherever I want him..... as in roundpenning...... also, I don't do more than I know will not cause him to be a jerk, or what I call escalating the situation... if Oliver is going to get away with being a jerk, I'm afraid he will continue to get worse and worse..... the INSTANT he improves, I get off his case and thank him for being so nice.... he has gone from a complete jerk to having really good manners.... once his manners are good, his attitude is right with me, then, we will go out and about.. until then, we are working on our relationship... :) Good luck!! Chris Irwin says, it's not where your horse goes but how he goes.... so I work on attitude and attitude alone before I ask him to do something more challenging.... and yes, maybe he's got a physical problem too.... my horse did... Iearned he has tmj... and how to see which days he's got a headache...

Just curious, did you get a new saddle?
Try bareback in an enclosed area and see if he is better.
Could be pain related.

Also, does he only do this when you ride or does he do it whenever he is ridden?
my pony used to be the same way! he would throw a fit every time i asked him to do something really simple! we changed his bit to something really soft and now he listens!
If your horse went from being good to bad for no apparent reason to you, the first thing is getting a really good horse vet/dentest to do his teeth. While most horses are good with their teeth being done once a year some may need it more ( I had a very large thoroughbred that got done every 6-8 months, while all my other horses went for a year). If after getting his teeth done ( if it's major, make sure you give him afew days rest after) try riding him again, if he still acts bad, then next have a good saddler look at your saddle fitting, a good horse chiropractor will also be able to check.

If after all this your horse is still being naughty then he needs some retraining. You did not say how experienced a rider you are. If this horse went well before for you then you must reconnect with him. He seems to have gotten the upper hand with you. You must in a kind but firm way become number 1 and him number 2. If you are lucky enough to live with him/ close by riding/ working with him 2-3 times a day for very short periods ( 10-15 min) is so much better then an hour session. If you find yourself losing your temper stop! Horses have very long memories and what a person can do in a few seconds of anger can take weeks, months or even longer to try and undo. Horses generally like hacking, so try and find someone who will go for walking/ calm hacks with you. Vary his rides and when doing flat work keep it easy and very slowly ask for a bit more. Always end your time with him on a good note.

Although I am an event rider and trainer I learnt a very simple training tool from an old cowboy and luckily have only needed it a few times ,it has worked with 3 different horses ( one mine, two for clients). Again this is for a horse that is backed and not a baby, maybe got the better of their rider. When your horse is about to rear buck etc. stop him right away and back him up. This is often a timing thing so you must be ready without being tense, sometimes hard to do! If you are sucessful at this it generally only takes the horse 2-4 rides before he gets back to work. Remember always make what he wants to do unpleasurable, without causing him pain, and what you want to do ( go forward) pleasant with lots of phrase. Good luck, Tilka


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