Strong horse and lost confidence! help!

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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:18 pm

Strong horse and lost confidence! help!

Postby Princessnaynay01 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:19 pm

I am having control issues with my 13yr gelding. He is a very sensitive and complicated boy and can be very strong, but not consistantly. I lost my confidence a bit as he does often tank off and it takes a while to get him back, I only know he will stop for sure if the other horses do and I am panic stricken he will get in front and I may not be able to stop him as I am fighting him to steady up throughout and I have to use all my powers of persuasion to do that. Even on narrow grass behind another horse he will barge past all of a sudden. then other times in a wide open space he will sit happily behind another horse. I ride him in a hanging cheek snaffle but was considering changing to a slightly stronger bit until I feel more confident with him and know how he ticks as I have only had him since feb, but I don't know what to try because I don't want anything too harsh incase he won't accept it and I also don't think he needs anything strong all the time. any suggestions? if anyone has any idea of how else to deal with it instead or along with changing his bit that would be great help too!

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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:55 pm

Re: Strong horse and lost confidence! help!

Postby greyhorse » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:43 pm

I know how you feel. My horse was very strong and bolty when I got him. He was a rescue with mouth issues, and I didn't want to frighten him more when he was tanking away, so I spent a few months trying to slow him with my voice, at speed around the common. It wasn't very effective, and it took me getting bashed into a tree (knee, owwwww!)for me to finally decide that enough was enough. Luckily we have a huge hayfield, and I spent a lot of time working in it at all paces and really got to know how he felt just before he was about to bolt and worked with him in that moment. We were also able to gallop safely in the field, for me to push him into full gallop and bring him back and send him forward again. As you know, once in full-flight, your power of negotiation is limited! We also had to adopt a 'workman-like' attitude to hacking, and spend as much time trotting as possible. The worst thing for us is walking for ages, especially in groups and then asking for a canter - too exciting, too much anticipation! We are still a basket case when we are leading on a hack - the sound of horses behind makes him a bit hysterical and then he is very hard to hold. We're in a Myler with a port and a curb strap - not terribly different pressure to a hanging cheek. I know how you feel - hang in there!

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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Strong horse and lost confidence! help!

Postby buckingbronco » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:50 pm

Hi there i know how you feel i have an 11 year old dartmoor and while she doesnt sound difficult she is. i recently broke my elbow about 2 weeks ago and ive had several other falls i lost my confidence quite badly when i first got her, she bucked me off and it was my first fall and now ive got it back shes got into a lot of habits she doesnt want broken :D i was completely desperate for a while and had no idea what to do but i found actually getting a different more confident rider on her back who was heavy enough to sit through her bucking really helped.maybe you should try a trusted riding buddy with alot of confidence that will just sit through his nonsense and really hold him back. also you should try abit of riding maybe on an easier horse i found that helped so i knew it wasnt my riding that was bad id just let her get away with alot. bitwise i can only suggest a dutch gag i know it sounds evil but its not its just a plain snaffle with two extra rings so if hes getting difficult you just take him down a ring which is abit stronger.

i really hope you can sort it out let me know how it goes


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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Re: Strong horse and lost confidence! help!

Postby hessy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:26 pm

Thats a good idea buckingbronco has for getting a stronger/more confident rider on her. I know a lady who has a spooky horse and she was very nervous on him but she said since she has started getting a more confident rider on him it has improved. Not really the same situation but you will know yourself if this idea might work.

What sort of noseband - if its just a cavesson, consider changing to a drop, flash or grakle. Flash might be the handiest option as you can just buy the attachment and the strap to give it a go without having to go to all the hassle of buying a new noseband. Again you will know if this might work - if he opens his mouth and sets his head its worth a go.

As for bits, mouthpieces - you could try a french link or dr bristol mouthpiece.

After that you are probaby going to have to get a stronger bit for sure.
My aunt bought a small cob for her daughter and he was in a plain eggbutt snaffle when he came but he had no brakes with this bit. He used to take off down the road and they had to ride him into the hedge and when they were jumping they could never get him stopped. So they popped him in a bubble bit (dutch gag) and ever since he has been perfectly in control! Solved.
However - well this story is probably an exception - i bought my 2nd pony and she came in an eggbutt snaffle. Now she had pretty good brakes, but only if you asked very lightly - in canter, the more you pulled the faster she went, so it was a bit hit and miss whether you would get her stopped. Anyway, people said she was very strong but i didnt think so, i couldnt really describe it. Anyway, we sold her in the end because she would have ran you to Dublin if you couldnt get her stopped - we had to start riding her into the wall/fence etc. In the end we sold her as she shattered my confidence. Her new owner rides her in a pelham and after a while of being a headcase and bolting randomly i have reports that she is settled back down to how she was when i got her. But i dont really think that story was any help as i dont think the bits made any difference lol - she was just weird. lol!

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