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  1. #1
    Old nag Kokopelli's Avatar
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    Unhappy Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    A lovely horse I'm riding atm has starting throwing some serious tantrums. Everything physical is fine and I know it is all just temper.

    For example out hacking I made him wait on the verge for a car he didn't want to so went up, I smacked him behind the leg and he went forward with a buck. That was fine I let him go forward for a little bit then brought him back to walk and made him halt until I was happy then walked on this time without issue. Later on in hack he throws a bigger tantrum because he didn't want to go through a puddle (couldn't go round) this involved fly bucking, rearing, plunging and just general being an idiot. I unfortunatly had to get off lead him through then got back on and made him walk back through puddle twice before I let him carry on with hack.

    In the school he's quite happy to plod along on a loose rein but when you pick him up and start asking for work he really throws his toys out the pram. The involves fly bucking, broncing, the odd rear and just bombing round the school. He'll do this for about 10mins then he does the most beautiful work for the rest of the session. When he misbehaves in the school I just sit still and pretend he's not doing it and continue to ask him to work into the contact. I ask by holding a light contact and pushing him into it. No black and decker sawing. When he goes up I will smack him but when he's bucking and being an idiot I just keep pushing into the contact until eventually he behaves.

    On the ground he has a similar temper he bites which I reprimand but it doesn't seem to work. The other day he bit me whilst untacking and I smacked him with the girth and he hasn't bit me since so I think that has done the trick. If he's in his stable and doesn't want to be he rears over the door and if he's out and wants to come in he jumps the fence (bloody huge fence) and brings himself in. If he runs out of food (doesn't happen often as is on adlib) he goes nuts.

    I just need tips on dealing with him, I really think that once he respects me on the ground he will be better to ride but I don't want to stop riding as I think some of the issue is lack of work. How would you deal with this horse? He doesn't frighten me it's just frustrating because he is mega talented he just has huge temper.

    On the bright side my lovely 14.2 dressage pony is being amazing! I love him!!

  2. #2
    Veteran ROG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    the idea of groundwork is good. If i was you i wouldn't ride him till the major issues were sorted. A horse going up on the road is lethal. My lad recently flipped on a girl schooling him. It only takes one time for you to be injured, crippled or dead.

    If i were you i'd work him hard on the long line, poles, shoulder-ins, yielding, reversing, halting . He will throw his tantrums but at least you'd be in a safe position on the ground so you can work through them.

    I understand the idea of riding through them, but then you naturally have to put yourself in a fight with them to stop them spinning, rearing etc. On the long line you can just stay passive and calm and let them fight themselves. I think its a much better way to help them realise they are only making it worse for themselves by fighting.

  4. #4
    Old nag Kokopelli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    LOL I wonder if she does horses?

    Quote Originally Posted by paddi22 View Post
    the idea of groundwork is good. If i was you i wouldn't ride him till the major issues were sorted. A horse going up on the road is lethal. My lad recently flipped on a girl schooling him. It only takes one time for you to be injured, crippled or dead.

    If i were you i'd work him hard on the long line, poles, shoulder-ins, yielding, reversing, halting . He will throw his tantrums but at least you'd be in a safe position on the ground so you can work through them.

    I understand the idea of riding through them, but then you naturally have to put yourself in a fight with them to stop them spinning, rearing etc. On the long line you can just stay passive and calm and let them fight themselves. I think its a much better way to help them realise they are only making it worse for themselves by fighting.
    Haven't tried long lining but is a really good idea, just worry about the bucking. Had to stop lunging him as he would get too close and buck but I suppose long lining I would have more control. Will give this a go though, cheers.

  5. #5
    Old nag soulfull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    You say he goes nuts when he is out of food. Lets himself in and out, maybe when the hay /grass has run out ???!
    I wonder then if he has ulcers??
    Some are worse on the right rein, do odd things with their mouth when food is coming. Not all are girthy my lad isn't but just scoped and he has them. Sometimes their behaviour is irrational. I wonder if you trying to get him to do something he doesn't want to is just the final straw.
    Does he bite more when he thinks you are going near his stomach?! My lad used to keep giving me his head or stepping back to avoid me being by
    It might be worth having him scoped as there is no other way of knowing and supplements won't help actually heal them

  6. #6
    Old nag soulfull's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    Oh just to say. You could try lunging him with nothing on his back after a small feed if chaff. And then adding saddle/roller gradually tightening the girth as you walk him.
    However If he does have them and they are bad you might not notice the difference. Just the faster work of trot can make the acid splash around

  7. #7
    Old nag Holidays_are_coming's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    When you say everything physical is fine, what checks have u done?? My mare got stroppy and sounds similar her tolerance level for everything just dropped my vet could see nothing so I got her sent to rossdales she was barely lame but had discomfort in her SI and hocks only diagnosed by a bone scan after treatment she has completely changed

  8. #8
    Old nag Kokopelli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    Ulcers was also my immediete thought when I was told about him but he was scoped andcame back clear. I'll write a list of everything that has been checked, he is not my own but I'm trying to sort his issues out of owners and sell on once I think he is safe but they got loads of health checks done before.

    Scoped for ulcers and clear
    Back checked by 3 diff reputable people
    Saddle checked also by a handful of people riding bareback also gets the same issues
    Teeth done by vet then re-done by proper equine dentist
    He has been nerve blocked I think (not 100% sure on the inns and outs of this)
    Scanned for KS
    Full lameness work up
    Have tried a variety of saddles/ bridles/ bits/ bitless bridles etc

    I really believe it is pure temper, he's been allowed to get away with it and now I'm challengin his behaviour he doesn't like it. He also brings himself in whenever he fancies normally when its 5 and it's time to come in (likes his routine) or another time is if it's raining.

    Have also put him on magnesium calmer and has made a slight difference but he's still an idiot, not sure if it's more of a placebo effect on my part.

  9. #9
    Old nag kerilli's Avatar
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    i don't think it's helpful to you to think of them as tantrums, tbh. he's reacting to something, if not physical then mental (not in the worst meaning of the word!) maybe he's just overreacting to you asking things of him, impossible to tell without seeing. I would be passively consistent. just ask nicely (tbh i would NOT hit a horse like this), and wait for him to do what you ask, however long it takes. ask again if you have to, but no stronger. just calmly repeat the question until he gives you the answer you want, then loads of praise. keep sessions short and sweet, that sort of thing. show him that life is easier and more fun if he chooses to work WITH you...
    a sharp and perhaps aggressive (biting) horse, long-lining? I wouldn't.
    "...and I whispered to the horse: trust no man in whose eye you don't see yourself reflected as an equal." - Don Vincenzo Giobbe (circa 1700)
    "Remember, the horse has no bad intentions, he only reacts." Dr Gerd Heuschmann
    "Only ignorance! Only ignorance! Don't you know it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness?" -- from Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

  10. #10
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Horse throwing tantrums- how to deal with it?

    Some horses (especially babies/ young horses, I think) do look for fights sometimes. Just to see what you'll do, as they're usually game for a battle... If you just sit it out without anything other than keeping him facing where you want him to go and asking very quietly until he gives in, he might not bother next time?

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