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czarsmom

I would like to hear your experiences

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I assume that if you are looking or posting on this board that you also ride the type of horses that most other people lable as "hot" or "high spirited". Seems that most saddleseat horses get that rap around here at least. Mine deserves that title. Does anyone else have experience reclaiming a "hot" horse that was previously mishandled by people that didn't really know how to make use of all of that energy? Do you have a horse that is just so high spirited, smart and energetic that they get into trouble if the energy isn't channeled properly? If so I'd like to hear your stories of how you turned your renegade around and made an honest citizen out of them. I really need to hear something positive right now. I am fighting an uphill battle but I am not giving up on him. I have a good trainer who assures me that although it seems difficult right now, it is not impossible. So please, if you have any encouraging anecdotes to share, post away!

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I remember at my old barn they had an SS horse with BAD ground manners, and he was hypper..He would like pull you around and be a big brat..Well the barn im at now, bought him and wow hes turned around. I mean hes a little touchy (sp) with the bit, but he looks alot better if you ask me. And i think his ground manners are better (never seen him being lead yet) but hes clamer in his stall. He used to hate stalls lol.

Good luck with you guy! Keep us updated.

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a horse I use to ride, although not a SS horse, she was absoulty NUTS! I would hear about her bucking off a younger student EVERY WEEK!! I started riding her and to tell you the truth I was scared crapless. But what happened is each time she tried to buck me off or take off i woud stop her and correct her. She finally gave up on trying to throw me. Although she threw one in every once in awhile. Then last year in about May i think it was we were cantering down the wall and all of a sudden she goes into a full blown gallop and yankes her head down really quick ripping the reins out of my hands. I went to reach down to pick them up and she did a HUGE buck! I flew over her head did a flip and landed on my head then slid for about 4 feet. She took off down the rail. So I went to get up and I was so dizzy I fell down on my lower back hard. They finally caught the horse she was fine I wasn't. When I fell I am guessing I did something to my neck and my lower back was all ready messed up from a fall prior to this. The only thing we did was lunge her after that.

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I used to ride a mare that WOULD NOT move forward unless she saw fit and if you dare ask her to she would having a full out bucking fit. She also had terrible ground manners and was always pushing me around. She also would walk me into low branches while I was riding her. She wouldn't lunge for anything, she would just walk in towards you. She was very vindictive.

All I got to experience on her was the bad stuff, she was sold shortly after she had been sent off to training for a month and haven't heard about her in over a year. But she made me a better rider.

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I have a hot Saddlebred mare, and while she has the sweetest disposition in the world, she jumps off her feet at the slightest provocation, whether on the ground or when I'm in the saddle. Longeing her before I ride her is a must. Sometimes I longe her twice--one free-longe, the other when she's all tacked up. She has DEFINITELY made me a better rider.

But I have to be honest here. Because she is so high strung, I made a real effort to keep our experiences as tension-free as possible. I described elsewhere about taking her to a Craig Cameron clinic for horses that were bad loaders. The very first thing he did was get in her face--toss the leadrope at her, make weird noises through his microphone, throw his jacket over her back, desensitize her with a longe whip with half a plastic bag on one end. When she stopped jumping and snorting and trying to get away from all this scary stuff, he stopped doing it. Her reward was that he left her alone. Ten minutes after that he had her longeing over a blue tarp and a piece of plywood. I could hardly believe my eyes! [Eek!][Eek!][Eek!] And then, finally, he asked her to go in the trailer. At the end, she was TROTTING inside!

My point here--sorry to be so long-winded--is that I spent a lot of years trying to protect her from the real world when in reality I ought to have taught her that none of the things that terrify her will hurt her--like blue tarps, plywood, plastic bags or ballons snagged on tree branches, etc.

If you want a more complete itemization of what CC did, I'll be happy to explain it in depth.

Good luck and let us know how you do!

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Joan, you hit the nail on the head. When I first got Czar I had no idea what to do with him because EVERYTHING was such a big deal to him. What Cynthia my trainer is making me realize is that I by avoiding the things that would make him blow up I was effectively losing my status as the leader of the herd in his eyes. I let him take charge and that was a huge mistake. That was where everyone else had gone wrong with him too. He threw fits and temper tantrums so people wouldn't dare ride him. He got his way. Now I have to re-educate him and some of the re-education is my own fault too. Thankfully I brought help in before things went too far. We'll see how it goes and if I have what it takes. I'm no spring chicken so hopefully he won't break me in half. [Wink]

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Luckily my mare trusted me throughout and is a very forgiving animal, which means that she'd shy--violently--but that was it. No bolting, no bucking. She still considered me boss mare, which is a **** good thing because I'm no spring chicken either. But she's been a lot more fun to be around and ride now that she realizes she doesn't have to be afraid of things that go bump in the night--or that blow in the wind off a tree branch.

Hang in there! [big Grin]

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To an outsider, I think my lessons would be kind of amusing. Cynthia has to act as mediator between Czar and I. He has such a strong, aggressive (not mean, just forward) personality and he knows how to keep trying to push my buttons and testing my patience. My mission is to calmly try to stay one step ahead of his antics without getting frustrated. I am getting better at it but he has devised many ways to try to take an inch on this intermediate rider. It's a hard truth to admit when your horse is probably smarter than you are or at least sneakier. This week she made us take a time out until we were both behaving better. I needed the break to relax my hands and shoulders and give up the tension that was making him worse, and he needed the break to wind down from the snit that was causing him to act up which in turn made me tense up which spiraled into a worse snit on his part etc etc. See where this is going???? Sometimes I feel like the parent of a rebellious teenager. Our exchanges go something like this "please trot on Czar." "NO! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!" "Czar, TROT on NOW!""FINE! IS THIS FAST ENOUGH FOR YA?!" as the head flings wildly and the body rockets off and the hind end comes off the ground and he flips me the finger. [Duh]

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You might try getting something like 101 arena exercises and modifying them to SS gaits. Small trail rides might help too. My more intelligent horses have needed much more variety in their workouts to keep from looking for ways to entertain themselves.

Hope it works out.

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He loves it when we set up the trail obstacles in the ring. Last week he kept trying to pull us over to them again and again. I had to keep telling him "No, You did it correctly the first time so you don't have to keep doing it!" There are two obstacles that we are struggling with right now, however. He hates the mailbox and he is a real bugger about stopping over a rail. I don't really blame him about the rail. I can see in nature how that would really put you in a vulnerable position if it were a real branch or something that could spring back and gore your belly. He really is a funny horse when I stop to think about it. It's like riding Dennis the Menace. [Crazy]

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I was trail riding the other day and all of a sudden our neighbor's three dogs ran down the hill towards us--a boxer, a German shepherd, and a chow. They were about ten feet away when my mare saw them for the first time. She immediately swapped ends and started back to her corral. Remember I said she's made me a better rider? I not only stayed on, I actually kept one rein in each hand and had the presence of mind to circle her. Also, luckily, the neighbor was there (sometimes his dogs just get out and he's nowhere around) and called the dogs off. Prim settled down immediately. What's that old saying about what doesn't kill us makes us stronger? [big Grin]

Anyway, sounds as though you're on the right track. You're going to have a wonderful trail horse when you're through! And I'm actually thinking about buying one of those big balls that Prim can kick or bump (or shy at). [Roll Eyes]

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