Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 3:59 pm Post subject: Horse with Hard Manners
About a year ago, I bought a seven year old Quarab (Quarter Horse bred with Arabian creates this breeding) gelding named Trooper.
He had been a pasture pet his whole life and only walked on trails for an hour, give or take, a few times in his life.
After getting him past the flipping over on anyone who got on, he started throwing his head everywhere and keeping his head in between his legs almost all the time when riden- however, for months I had him lessons with me and I got him to level one dressage and had started jumping with him. After this, he could go on trails with my friends riding him and he was very sound, even in minor shows I put him (he won twice and came in third one other time).
However, overnight, he stopped being any of this.
-head throwing/head between legs
-rolling on me
-not taking turns without a fight/trotting sideways (even with something in the way) when going straight
-bucking when I ask to faster than a slow trot
-rearing when standing on a trail
-swaying back and forth on his front hooves in the pasture
-spooking easily/crying out when away from other horses
-not stopping when I say to
-grabbing the bit so I have no control
-kicking when I use my legs
-backing up instead of walking on
-refusing to go where I want to go without my putting up a long arguement with him over it
It isn't the bit, I thought of it and tried different types, and riding without them- and the saddle's I use either don't touch his back (thick padding raises saddle a couple inches) or was custom fit to him.
I've even got him a chiropracter.
I did a lot of ground work and such to see if it would help any, and sometimes he starts bucking/bouncing/running back instead of working in the circle, but other times he panics and comes close to altogether breaking when I work him like this.
About a month ago, I tried it again and after he was perfect; for two rides. Then he went back to all the bad stuff.
I've never fallen off of him, and he never pins his ears- never; to be honest, his ears go up, and comes to see me when he knows I'm around- if I leave him behind when I take another horse out riding, he stands at the gate with big sad eyes.
So I don't understand what it is! He always seems so happy to be with me...
Does anyone know what I could do with him? It was going so well, and then he just seemed to decide it wasn't going any further any longer.
I've always taken good care of him and made sure he wasn't in any pain- most people have told me to get a cowboy and break him. But he had been trained by me without breaking uses and hides behind me (walks around me and lowers his head so I'm in front of him facing whatever) when someone else tries anything.
If you have managed to establish that nothing physical is wrong with him I can give you my opinion on training arab horses as I have trained a few purebreds and crosses.
Arabs are extremely intelligent horses. They are also extremely hard headed. They are much much harder to "break" than other breeds. I don't like the expression but when it comes to arabs breaking is really what we are talking about. You can do it i by using horsemanship - such as "join-up" to a certain degree but there will always be a "confrontation" with an arab. The best way to solve that is by being smart rather than hard - however the arab might be smarter than you! Because they are so smart they will always come up with something new and they love to play with you - ie. toy with you. You need to be a very skilled horseman to really get the trust of an arab. If that is what you really want you might have to go to extremes such as sleeping with it in the stable etc.
To be honest the cowboy version of training him probably might do him some good as he seems a bit spoilt and used to his own ways, as long as the cowboy is fair and knows when and when not to use strength against him.