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 Advice- horse suddenly not going forward?
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Holly
Gold Member

England

529 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  4:48:59 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Holly to your friends list Send Holly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My mare has recently starting planting her feet and refusing to move in any direction when out hacking and its becoming very annoying.

She is a very forward going, happy horse who has just turned 6years, was backed as a 3 year old and has been hacked out alone and in company with no problems and been to lots of shows over the past 2 years.

BUT my brilliant little horse in the past few weeks has started planting her feet usually only once on a hack and normally its when we go somewhere new or if she can see something and is unsure about it. She has completely refused to move forward despite my pleading, using leg and finally resorting to a smack on the bum.....she doesnt get excited or try and turn for home just stands there looking ahead...wont go forward, backwards or sideways...So i have had to hop off and lead her either for a few meters or past what ever it is that shes looking at, hop back on and off we go again which is fine as its obviously a confidence thing. But the last 2 rides that i have been on she has done it up to 8 times and i had to get off and lead her for about 15 minutes as everytime i got back on she just stood there. Shes also become obsessed with cows and when she sees them she just stands and stares at them for ages (think she would stare at them all day if she could. She never gets silly or wound up just likes watching but its becoming annoying and for the last 2 years she hasnt done it. Teeth, back, saddle all fine and she is happy and healthy so not sure whats wrong! Its almost like shes being lazy but it cant be that because shes always been super forward going. Maybe she just likes me walking at her side!

Am giving her the day off today but will take her out tomorrow afternoon and she what else she decides to stop and look at!

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geegee
Platinum Member


England
3682 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  5:08:12 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add geegee to your friends list Send geegee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmm, strange one

Just a thought - Have you ever just sat and waited?
If not, try it and see.....Don't ask her anything, if it is safe to do so, just sit and wait for her to make a move.
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leiat8
Gold Member


590 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  6:08:52 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add leiat8 to your friends list Send leiat8 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i remember being told about something similar at college called stargazing or summat like that.lol.will have a scour on the net and see if i can find some good info.


Casper, Hannah, Hector, Bracken, Fargo
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leiat8
Gold Member


590 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  6:11:25 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add leiat8 to your friends list Send leiat8 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
scratch that! we were obviously taught wrong at college.lol


Casper, Hannah, Hector, Bracken, Fargo
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Goldenmane
Platinum Member


United Kingdom
4964 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  6:23:16 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Goldenmane to your friends list Send Goldenmane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had this once with my mare, when she was 6 years old. Waited so long once for her to move on that people in nearby cottage came out and gave me a cup of tea!! Forward going company helped and also a more forceful rider who I borrowed (bless him), kind but not like me (making allowances for her all the time!) and after that no problem.


Edited by - Goldenmane on 19 Apr 2010 6:24:54 PM
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Fleas
Bronze Member


United Kingdom
142 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  9:21:17 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Fleas to your friends list Send Fleas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Highlands can do this a lot lol I think if she is not in any pain being the cause of it then you could sit it out (i wouldnt have the patience after 5 mins and would do what you are doing by continuing albeit led past) With my last Highland he went through a short phase of this, I found it helped by leaning back a little more in the saddle (hadnt realised i had crept forward at all) and by using a 'wip wop rope' (end of the reins worked just as well) just swung over both sides of neck in front of withers - go with any forward movement you get and hopefully this will work! I only had to do this about 3 times before he stopped with the planting, he just thought standing still was much easier than actually having to go anywhere - he was also a gazer at a good view so I could understand that lol

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Ari
Platinum Member

1657 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  9:59:51 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ari to your friends list Send Ari a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have to agree that arabs do like to have a look and when they feel confident they will go forward. My boy was very brave at 4yrs and then took a step back. I was told to be patient and watch; when an ear comes back to you they are looking to you as the leader and ready to go. It works.
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natntaz
Platinum Member

England
2919 Posts

Posted - 19 Apr 2010 :  10:17:24 PM  Show Profile  Click to see natntaz's MSN Messenger address  Send natntaz a Yahoo! Message Bookmark this reply Add natntaz to your friends list Send natntaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My old part bred used to do this, so i used to just turn her
round and back up till she decided to go forward. Strange but it
did work with her. Once she did walk a friend of mine backwards
for about a mile as it was raining so hard she didnt want her
face in it, i think i taught her a little to well to backup !



Natalie Pix. Essex. Tariq ibn Radfan and Taroub
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Quarabian
Platinum Member


Wales
4340 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2010 :  09:06:47 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Quarabian to your friends list Send Quarabian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If getting off and walking for a little while helps her, why not? I dont think she is doing this to frustrate you. It is important not to show that you feel annoyed, she will pick up on it and make her more anxious.
Also dont forget it might not be something she can see. She could have smwelled something or heard something, so although you dont know what she is stopping for there might be a good reason for her to want to check that it is safe to proceed. You can help her best by being the calm one to reassure her that it is okay to go forward by taking the lead. She sounds like a lovely horse.
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joanna_piana
Platinum Member


United Kingdom
3935 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2010 :  09:11:19 AM  Show Profile  Click to see joanna_piana's MSN Messenger address Bookmark this reply Add joanna_piana to your friends list Send joanna_piana a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Can you hack out with anyone else to give her confidence? Also maybe check her saddle, does it still fit okay or could she have filled out and it might pinch her.


Harthall Rashida RIP, Binley Ishara, Bouchan
Chorleywood, Hertfordshire
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Karon
Gold Member

England
1411 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2010 :  10:15:10 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Karon to your friends list Send Karon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd check her feet, in case they're sore - one of mine will plant at the first sign of having slightly raised pulses. Also has a physio seen her to check she's OK - might be worth a try.

Otherwise, I'd turn her round and back her past the place she doesn't want to walk past, then turn round and try forwards again. You might have to do it for a bit but eventually she should get the message and realise it's easier to keep walking. If she's genuinely not sure of something, hitting her won't help as it'll give her more reason to be scared - no harm in getting off and leading her for a while then getting back on and riding again.

Could she just be bored with going on the same routes (and the cows give her something to look at for a change)? Can you box her to somewhere, or take her on some different routes - perhaps go further afield to places you don't normally ride.
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Holly
Gold Member

England
529 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2010 :  12:23:06 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Holly to your friends list Send Holly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your replys.
Its interesting that others have had this problem.

She doesnt nap at all and doesnt start to go backwards or anything...just stands there in a relaxed pose, ears are definitly listening and shes definitly listening to me (i talk to her all the time). i ride her in a rope halter and rope reins and have tried slapping the rope from side to side across her withers but she just ignores it...same with my leg no matter how hard i squeeze she ignores it.

I didnt mind her doing it as a youngster as i would lead her past scary object or for a few metres and then hop back on and she would be fine but at the weekend i led her for about 20mins and tried getting back on about 6 times during the 20 mins and again she would just stand there. And then suddenly she decided that it is ok to walk again and off we go completely fine and very forward going.

I did take her on a completely different ride at the weekend which was why i thought she was doing it as she didn't know where she was going. Im going to ride again tonight but just a 45 minute ride and one that she knows which has a canter andsee how we get on.

Ive never really had company and only occasinally have someone to ride with so she has been hacked out by herself over the past 2 years.

Shes a lovely horse, not nasty at all and obviously likes cows! She stopped outside someones house the other day and there were 2 old ladies sitting in the garden watching us. There was a car infront which a canvas cover over it which was what she had stopped to look at so i hopped off and walked her up to it to have a look and i could hear the old ladies giggling and saying 'our how sweet, she is showing the horse the car'. I like her to have a look at anything that is scary.

She is barefoot but seems fine...not footy unless on stoney ground. Saddle fitter was out last week to check all my horses and she actually comented on what a smooth strong back cristle had and how well her saddles fitted her.

will let you know how i get on tonight. I dont mind walking with her but i then worry that she will learn to expect me to always walk in front which might increase the problem. im not keen on all the mounting from the ground either as dont want to hgurt her back although she doesnt seem to mind.

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Nichole Waller
Gold Member


England
1168 Posts

Posted - 20 Apr 2010 :  3:50:10 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nichole Waller to your friends list Send Nichole Waller a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your lucky you can get on from the ground... I can't, and if Ozzy did this i'm not sure what i'd do. Lead him until i could find something to climb on i suppose...! Oh to be young and fit again...

I've noticed a change in Ozzy over the last few weeks. He is spooking at things he has been walking past for the last 10 months... It's really annoying as i know he is not scared of them. I think he is getting a bit bored and needs more variety so i've booked some lessons with the first one on Thursday.

There is some good advice from others so nothing i can add, let us know how you get on.

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Karon
Gold Member

England
1411 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  09:26:17 AM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Karon to your friends list Send Karon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Barefoot, I think you'd feel straight away if it was footiness (I know I do with mine) - it does sound like she's just enjoying having a look around!! Arabs are nosey.....

I really don't think getting off to lead causes long term issues. I've done it all the time with mine (well, not all the time, I do ride them!) and, when they're younger, I spend quite a lot of time leading past things they were nervous of. I also spent a long time sitting doing nothing

I've also found mine get spookier as they get fitter until they reach a certain point when they are working enough to get out of it.
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pinkvboots
Platinum Member


United Kingdom
3290 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  12:24:30 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pinkvboots to your friends list Send pinkvboots a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Arabi is very nosy when out riding its like he forgets to walk he is so interested in something, I ride alone allot and find its worse then, he also likes to scratch his head on his knee and would just stand there afterwards just to look around if I let him.
I got of the other week as he was unsure of a small ditch, I have been over it a few times now leading him and the other day I asked him to go without getting off and he just stepped over it.so your not the only one I think getting off is sometimes the answer to give them confidence, I get on and off quite allot sometimes if he is worried by something. I have also tried the reverse method and it has worked on board and on foot. Good luck with you hacking.

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Holly
Gold Member

England
529 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  1:22:28 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Holly to your friends list Send Holly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well we went out for an hour last night and to start with cristle was slightly hesitant about being caught which isnt normal. The ride started off quite fast and she was really marching out but then we reached a steep hill and she went all sluggish which isnt normal and i had to keep leg on her to keep a good pace. Then we got about half way where we turn for home on to a bridleway and she just stopped and wouldnt move. There was nothing scary around us, no noise, no cows and she knows its the way home and we usually have a fast canter up the track and jump the ditch at the top. At the entrance to the bridleway we have to walk across about 5 meters of gravel before we hit the grassy track and im wondering if maybe her feet are hurting after all? I sat for about 6 minutes and she just relaxed and waited but still wouldnt move.....its not normal behaviour at all so im sure shes not being naughty. I got off and led her forward and she was reluctant to cross the gravel and i had to drag her a bit which again is not normal. once we reached the grassy track i hopped back on and she was fine so i asked for a canter but she wouldnt change from trot to a canter so i just let her go back to walk and she walked really slow. THe track is a mixture of grass, stones, gravel and mud so it could have been hurting her feet.She normally loves to canter up this particular track and i dont even have to ask her normally. As soon as we hit the tarmac lane at the other end of the bridle way she picked up the pace and marched all the way home.

So i think her strange behaviour is down to her having sore feet and shes been trying to tell me and i just havn't realised until she made it blatantly obvious last night.

I have increased her work load which would be why shes starting to hurt. Shes been barefoot since December and only hacked once or twice a week over the winter but in the last few weeks i have started taking her out on longer hacks and up to 4 times a week. am thinking will have to put front shoes back on as would like to increase lenght and amount of hacking even more through the summer.

i suppose my other option is hoof boots?

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Nichole Waller
Gold Member


England
1168 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  1:38:59 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Nichole Waller to your friends list Send Nichole Waller a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They are clever aren't they telling us what the problem is... A good lesson for us all to learn to listen more to our horses.

I hope this is the end of your problem and boots or shoes solve it for you.

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geegee
Platinum Member


England
3682 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  4:42:47 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add geegee to your friends list Send geegee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With the spring grass coming through, it wouldn't hurt to check her pulses regularly so that you know what is normal

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Holly
Gold Member

England
529 Posts

Posted - 21 Apr 2010 :  5:02:25 PM  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Holly to your friends list Send Holly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Without sounding stupid how do i check her pulse...thats something that i have never done before? what should it be? and what would it mean if it was higher/lower?

thanks

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