Equestrian Blogs > HorseLover1984's blogs > Can anyone help me?

Can anyone help me?

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I need some help in my Belgian gelding Duke's retraining.

When I bought him, he rode great at the stable where I got him, but when I brought him home and I tried to ride him, it took everything I had to get him to go where I, not he, wanted to go. In the end, the rides made me miserable. Recently, I've tried taking him for short bareback rides around the barnyard, but now he won't move at all.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can fix this? I don't want to have to hit him excessively with a riding crop and have him associate riding with pain. I'd really appreciate any help anyone can give me.
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So, are ou confused yet? This way or that way, add this, take away that. do it on the ground and get yourself a clicker?

Horses are horses and they do things  because they can and they do things because we cant.

Advice is one of the most freely given, confusing and some times confrronting things in this world where every one is an expert.



read this, do that and maybe walk backwards with a black cat? It all works in some one elses world and with some one else horses but the problem is that you and your horse are not them.


Now my turn to offer some advice, is the problem with you or is it with the horse? Do you understand your horse and does your horse understand you? Are you scared of going forward and does the horse sense this or is it a case of the horse not having the confidence in the rider to move forward without the need of a leader and if so why doesnt it relate to you as its leader?

Confused, yes I know and I do understand that you may be looking for the quick fix. Just remember that even the longest journey starts with the first step.

Be confident in yourself.

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ok well. this could help. iv had for horses with the same stuben habbite. this is somthing i dun. my one of my horses wear so bad with things hselled just stand and wouldent move. i tryed to get her from grownd walking telling her by command she dun it all. but when i tork her out of the lunging hard and to the rididng track on the famr things changed she stoped out of the blue and wouldent walk shelled just stand there and wouldent go by command. so i asked my mums mate she sed a good was is a wip. have it in your hand about sya as long as your arm. and give him the command or what ever you do to walk if he dasnt get the wip ready and tap it on his behind with the command to go. do it a little harder if it dasnt do anything not saying hard just as a tap and as he can feel it when he takes one step or move stop it and keep him with that go for a long walk. around all in diffrent places or wear he played up and do that. well hope that will help you any way good luck :)
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After reading all of your responses, I've decided that maybe my initial posting didn't give as much information as I thought.

Here's some more information about Duke that his last owner told me when I bought him. He was used as a trail horse at a place called Saddle Up Stables in Lake George, NY. He was never the lead horse, however--Duke always followed the horse in front of him, so maybe he's not used to being ridden without other horses around.

He also told me that Duke was ridden kind of hard over rough terrain while he was there. When I bought him, he had been treated for a abscess in his left front hoof, which, by the way, has since healed, so maybe Duke already associates being ridden with pain.

If this sheds some more light on the situation for you, maybe it could help find a solution. Respond to this blog and let me know.
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Sound like he was broke w/the basics & at the same barn & same routine up tho this point & is barn sour, not to mention prob had a lot of different people riding him & learned how to get out of working (I tried out a horse that was the same way as this one).

You must start from square 1 & work with this horse, not against him. Don't even bother riding him, just do groundwork using your hands as your leg cues on his side & your halter & lead rope to place his feet & body where you want them to go. Do some long line work w/a bridle, then get on & make him think he's making the decisions (if he tries to circle right when you want straight, turn him two steps right then ask for straight again-he'll prob do it)

Long slow retraining w/a professional would help this horse a lot, maybe even give him a couple of months off work before retraining to change his mental attitude would help too.
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I agree there isn't enough information to determine the problem...about the horse or your riding ablity. A well trained horse is sensitive to your body positioning and balance. He will take cues from how your body is postured in the saddle ie. if you lean forward he moves forward ...if you lean back he stops and backs etc. My finished horses can be ridden without a bridle with weight shifts so subtle you can't really see them. So if a finished horse walks off and you aren't riding him forward but just sitting on him..he pulls your hips forward but your top half leans back shifting your weight to the back of center and you have cued him to stop.
I see a lot of novice riders not "liven" up thier bodies when riding and instead sit like a sack of grain on a horse. They are looking to be hauled around like sitting in a pickup instead of riding thier horse. Your horse understands that if you don't want to work he doesn't either.
The gelding is either not understanding your cues or isn't very broke so either way you need to introduce the cues you want to use and start from the begining.
Usually on a sulled up colt if you put your cues on and hold it till he moves it'll get them thinking and moving. Lean forward squeeze and give him a direction with the rein ...say left at 20 degrees....keep the pressure on your thighs and the right calf pushing him to the left, body forward and the rein (one) not pulling but keeping his head angled to 20 degrees. If he doesn't move after a short period ...without changing your posture, quickly take his head to the right, left calf pressure pushing him right....although your changing directions you don't stop the pressure on your horse by sitting back down and readjusting just keep the pressure on and then switch quickly to the left again ...then right ..shorten the length of time you wait before switching sides until if need be its.. left right left right it will start making your horse anxious and wanting to get away from the pressure. The instant he starts to move release the pressure ..the instant he starts to stop reapply the pressure and the cues. The timing and release are most important.
Calf, thigh, forward weight , rein in that order but almost symotaniously.
Once your horse moves make big circles, not tight movements or lots of turn back or he'll quit wanting to move...and don't bump the bit while he's walking.
I've had really unsure horses that after trying this and failing I got off worked him around the pen then remounted and asked again. If he didn't move I got off and worked him again. The object being to make the right thing easy for him and the wrong thing work.
Horses, like people, are all different and without spending a little time with the horse it's difficult to determine what his attitude might be. The fact that he worked once for you then quit makes me believe the problem is yours not his. Also he didn't follow your cues so my guess would be your way too heavy on the reins and he's scared to move through the bit. You'll have to regain his trust by riding him correctly.
Kind of like if I asked you to step to your left..then when you did I'd hit you in the mouth with a left jab...then asked you to move to the right... when you did "POW"..wouldn't take long before when I asked you to move anywhere you wouldn't want to move at all. Ever watch a fly land on a horse and he quivers it off or swats it with his tail? Well if he can feel that fly imagine how a piece of metal jerked in his mouth would feel.
Training him to work from the ground and following your commands will also rebuild his trust in you.
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I agree with montana2007 give him more time to adjust to his new home and concentrate more on the ground with him first,good luck.
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hi the first person you should be speaking to is the the previous owner. if you buy a car and it won't start you take it back to the dealer. it does sound to me as if he is bluffing you. perhaps the person you bought him from would come to your barn and help you solve the problem. good luck.
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I agree with horsinaround2007. No one here knows enough information to be offering advice you should actually follow. Have someone experienced and preferably accredited come out and evaluate your horse. I like the idea of these Blogs, but they really should be used as opinions, suggestions at best, and never actually followed unless youre sure the information they offer is correct and best for you and your horse. Someone will always know more than you, so always seek the advice of a professional who can witness the issue in person.
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Im amazed at all the advice you have had from so little information. There are so many reasons why this horse could be misbehaving it wouldn't be responsible to give advice. Being particularly kind might be wrong and being particularly disciplined could be wrong. for sure check its physical well being but dont seek help from strangers who might know less than you, and dont know the history of the horse or haven't seen what it's doing. you need a professional horseman to evaluate the problem and ask the previous owner for some insight to the problem. if he doesn't want to be helpful I would question their integrity. Hope you dont mind my straight talking.
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get some blunt spurs, check the bit, question what they were using and be assertive
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when I purchase a new horse I always give then a week or so to get use to the place and new friends. I stall then for a few days and turn them out for a few hour everyday to learn there surrounding. Maybe he is not confortable with the new place yet. hope everything works out
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I had this happen with a horse at a riding stable in Victor Colorado years ago. NO WHIP though. The problem was that he didn't want to leave the area where his food was. Try leading him away from the barn until it is out of sight and then mount up. Please be sure to check all tack as others have suggested to make sure he is not in any pain or discomfort. You might also consider leading him through the area where you intend to ride and talk softly to him about this area before you try to ride him through it. Horses can be like people at times. They may not want to leave an area where they are well cared for and feel secure. Above all, give him time to adjust to new surroundings and a new owner. He needs to be able to trust you before he will obey you on first command.

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Could be he doesnt want to leave his mates behind?? Will he lead away from the barn or where you want him to go? or is he only being difficult when you are on him?
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If the tack change doesn't work. I had a mare try this so I tacked her up, got on and let her go where she wanted for about an hour. After that she let me tell her where to got. First take him away from the barn. You have to make them think that's what they want to do.
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Were you using the same tack at the barn you bought the horse from, or have you changed it? I've seen these issue specific problems that he describes quite often. It's a quick and easy place to begin your sluething.
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I worked with the mustang like that. Didn't matter who got on her she did not move...
Come to find out wrong bit. We got her without any gear (you would think that cars are sold with the steering wheel) and took us awhile to figure out the right one.
Shortly, check the gear. There might be something hurting him.
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This is way too much fun.Lol
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whew! I'm taken back by some training comments here. I agree, you need to try ground work first before riding him. Do leading, standing and asking him to move off a step at the shoulder, then hip, walk, stop, ask him to go forward with you standing still, etc. Let him feel confident in your cues, be clear and consistent all the time, and repeat over & over. Make it fun too! Then do baby steps once on his back, start with covering 1 thing only in a lesson until that is consistently done well. Good luck. good horse training takes time, not pain.
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Roper, you better hope I'm not around when you do that