|Missouri 7 year old Tennessee Walker with
Professional Training. Ridden in halter/bridle combo with a mild port curb
bit and western in round pen by intermediate beginner.
Question: This will be long. For that, I am apologize. I bought my TWH
in March. For four weeks, he was the perfect trail horse. He did anything
I asked. I rode him everyday for almost 3 weeks, usually with the same
people and horses. One Saturday, we went out with the usual crowd, plus
two horses that were trailered in. Everything started out fine, that day.
My gelding was good, as usual. Somewhere on the trail, he got separated
from the horses he knew and behind the strange horses. After that, he just
had to keep up. I should say that the ride got to be fast paced. Not my
idea but I couldn't get the leader to slow down. When we were almost home,
my horse tripped and almost went down. He
I did catch my horse and calmed him down. But instead of walking back
to the barn, the leader of our group took off at a fast gait and all I
could do was keep my horse from running. Two days later, I went out again
on a short ride. All my horse wanted to do was keep up with the other horse.
The next time we went out, I made my horse take the lead, hoping to slow
him down. He did just fine until we came to the woods then he bucked. I
kept his head up but, I think in doing so, pulled to much on his mouth
and he reared. Ever since, I have been trying to figure out what to do
next. I haven't been on him except for in the round pen and not on trails
since May. I don't think there is anything really wrong with him. I know
he's barn/buddy sour also part of the problem was me. Also, he and I didn't
A little history on him. He was bred to be a show horse in Tennessee. His training started at the age of two but because of inconsistencies, he was never shown. The reason being he bucked and reared before settling down to work. He was sold at age four. I've not been able to find out anything else about him.
I handle him every chance I get. He's got a sweet disposition, very
people oriented and friendly. There were several times with me that he
could have reared under protest but didn't. Can you help me and Cash?
From Panelist Steve
This is a very common story. You are to be commended for trying to find a solution. Cash is fortunate to have you as an owner.
First, some background. TWH show horses are rarely trained in any commonly understood meaning of the word. As long as the horse tolerates the rider and can go around a ring, that is all the time and effort most TWH show people are interested in investing. Their focus is on performance, not manners
What is happening with Cash is that this lack of foundational training is now becoming apparent when he is with other horses. Up until this time, riding alone, you were his "herd" and he went along with the flow. Walkers are notorious for doing this...fooling the owner into thinking they are dead broke. Actually, all they are doing is going along with the flow. Something eventually comes along...a cow, another horse, a car, a big fly on their butt, and the truth becomes apparent.
Since you can't afford to have the horse restarted, I suggest you do it yourself by applying Pat Parelli or John Lyons training when not with the other horses. Also, keep riding him as often as you can, by himself and with other horses. He probably has never ridden with other horses. The more you ride with them, the more the novelty of it will wear off.
I don't like horses that rear but I doubt it will be a chronic problem with Cash if you do as I suggest.
Stephen B. Chasko
From Panelist Liz
This sounds like a horse that may have gone back to an old habit that he used to do when he lost trust , confidence or felt pain.
This could take a lot of time to fix as do many horse problems. It seems
in most cases it takes longer to fix than make them. It sounds like it
can be fixed, but only if from the fixing point on the horse is ridden
by someone that can handle him and instill confidence to
From Panelist Bob
Sounds to me like you have a combination of problems. Mainly a horse that has never been taught to be rated, and VERY inconsiderate riding companions! The horse can be retrained to work at a consistent speed in the round pen. He also can be taught "doubling", (a simple 1 reined reversal of direction for a few steps) in the round pen as well. Doubling gets their mind off of what they were doing and back on you. We were sent a very herd bound/barn sour horse a while back. We took him out by himself and when he got a little way away and wanted to return I turnsd him back a step and immediatly turned him back in the direction I wanted to go. No yelling, no whipping, no spurring, I just talked quietly to him and kept turning him back in the direction I wanted him to go. He soon figured out that it was easier to leave the barn than it was to spend time turning, and turning, and turning.
My "secret" to horse training is to make the desired behavior easy and
I have never found a good way to retrain inconsiderate people!
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