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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > Schooling > At wits needed!!

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May 12

Posts: 1

zoechicken says:

At wits needed!!

Hi Everyone,

I have a 15:3 Irish cob he is just 15.

I got him about 3 years ago, and his old owner didnt really do much with him just the odd hack out.

I moved yards 2 years ago and seen a completly differnt horse from the 'dope on a rope I bought a year back'

The problem I am having is due to illness I have not been able to ride him regulary for a couple of months so now he has all this built up energy and fire in his belly... if I take him into the school (nither of us like the school) when I put him into canter he does an excited buck..which the last time ended up with my over his head and on the floor!!

We both love hacking but with him how he is now he is far to excitible n spooky so I am reluctant to take him out till I have worn him out a little.

So I decided to try to lunge him every night after work..only problem his he bolts on the lunge, I can't use a lunge whip as he panics if he sees it, it is dangerous he is so strong and few times dragged me across the school or nearly breaking my fingers, question is how can I stop the bolting? I have tryed a lunge cavisan, his bridle and the only idea I have left is to try his dully head collar?

Does anyone have any ideas how I can stop this? I know he is doing this to try to get out of work.. but it is a dangerous sitution for both of us when he bolts and I usually have to end up giving up.

Thank you!!!!

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Sep 08

Posts: 4939

brook says:

Re: At wits needed!!

Hi Zoe, I don't mean to sound boring but have you done all of the usual checks ? Teeth, Saddle and bridle and his back. I would defo ask a qualified physio to look at him, your vet should be able to recommend one. Its obviously important to firstly eliminate any source of pain or discomfort. What is he being fed atm and does he have plenty of turn out ? Sorry for the questions but if you can let us know a bit more about his daily routine it will help. Is he settled at your yard ? 


Regarding your problems when lunging him, if he's not in pain then he might be using this as an excuse to have a hoolie ! I think that you would need an experienced person to help with this one as you have to think of your safety as well as his ! Speak to you again soon, Lyn X  

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Jul 08

Posts: 183

igglepop says:

Re: At wits needed!!

 if you have enough jumps put them across the school to create a smaller school just to restrict the size there is this will help teach what is exspected of him.

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Jan 11

Posts: 93

Rio186 says:

Re: At wits needed!!

Hi, I agree with doing all the basic checks first to make sure it's nothing to do with pain.  It could be pent up energy, but some horses also change with lack of handling because they begin to think of themselves as topdog (and this often makes them more insecure).  If you want to build up on his trust and manners first, I think that may help (it'll also exercise his brain), then I have a really good book 'Perfect Manners' by Kelly Marks, that I swear by!


If you want to lunge him, you can start by desensitising him to the whip.  Have you ever seen a Monty Roberts demo?  I think there may be a couple on youtube.  He usually uses plastic bags, but the principals are the same.  You can then lead him into the arena on a lunge line, and work in pressure training him, basically getting him perfect at leading (If 'Perfect Manners doesn't work for you then try 'How to Train Your Young Horse' by Robert Maxwell.  It is aimed at youngsters, but works on any age!)  so that he goes backwards, forwards, sidewards etc at the slightest aid.  You can also use pole work (but that can be tiring so never for long) to get him thinking about where his feet are going.

Then try to lunge him, by lengthening the lunge line so you are a few feet from him, and ask him to walk around in a circle.  Keep it simple, and if he bombs off, then let go of the rope, and wait for him to finish.  Walk quietly up to the rope, pick it up and start again.  Eventually, he will calm down and realise what you want from him, but I would definitely keep him in walk for the first couple of times.


Hope any of this helps, and that you manage to sort it out!  Best of luck.xx


P.s forgot to say, you don't need a whip for lunging - body language is often enough -  but I would still try desensitising him anyway!

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