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Driving Blues:(

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Fanch

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Well, I'm in big time dumps. At the start of this year I wasn't sure were I wanted to go with my minis, and driving problems have made it worse.

I have a boy Rhino who you can tell loves to drive, as lazy as ever for anything else, but hitch him to a cart and BOOM! Which can cause problems, I can't get anything but speed out of him, by the time he does a slow trot, hes been going for at least 20-30 minutes. And counter bending is his favorite game, I have tried, but I just can't stop him doing it. I did have a trainer, loved her, but this year she wants to focus more on her own horse. I did only have a lesson a week, but I am fine with that. But it does leave me with out a trainer, so now I'm on a hunt for that. (Big breath)

It seems like I'll never get anywhere with showing, I'm just going to go to a show this weekend and embarrass myself. Has anyone ever had that, just not sure where they want to go with their horses?? Maybe the show driving isn't for rhino. He loves doing the obstacle, and games, loves the country. Doing all that stuff he dosn't counter bend and has a lovely stride. Bring him to a ring and
Am I just trying to hold on when my horse is trying to tell me he dosn't want to?? And I am one of those people, I want my horse to enjoy it too. Yes, everything has bad moments, but overall, I want to have fun with him. (Running out of those big breaths)

I hate to run on, but I just feel lost. I love the shows, but I just feel that when it comes to driving, he dosn't. Is it really as simple as not doing the basic driving classes? Should I tell him to suck it up, your going to behave and do it??

Maybe you guys have some suggestions for a confussed girl who wants to have a mutual love of what she does with her horse. Rhinos got the walk through fire attitude, he's walked through a puddle for me because I asked him too(and this is a horse that usually jumps over the rain water!) He's not the prettiest guy out their, but got a good brain, and a bigger heart! I love my boy, and want to find our thing!

The Boy of topic!

http://s218.photobucket.com/albums/cc111/S...ring2007022.jpg

http://s218.photobucket.com/albums/cc111/S...Show2007245.jpg
 
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JourneysEnd

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It seems like I'll never get anywhere with showing, I'm just going to go to a show this weekend and embarrass myself. Has anyone ever had that, just not sure where they want to go with their horses?? Maybe the show driving isn't for rhino. He loves doing the obstacle, and games, loves the country. Doing all that stuff he dosn't counter bend and has a lovely stride. Bring him to a ring and
Am I just trying to hold on when my horse is trying to tell me he dosn't want to?? And I am one of those people, I want my horse to enjoy it too. Yes, everything has bad moments, but overall, I want to have fun with him. (Running out of those big breaths)
I go to shows and let my horse embarrass himself all the time. I refuse to be embarrassed because he chooses to make an a** of himself.


How old is your guy and how long has he been driving ?

It takes some of them a while to calm down at shows. They do feed off our anxiety.

I had one it took an entire show season (10 shows) to calm down and be enjoyable to drive.

Hang in there.
 

mininik

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I didn't see it mentioned, so I'm curious if you've had the horse's teeth checked recently? Something could be wrong there, or it could be that he needs adjustments and/or massage. I wouldn't doubt there might also be something wrong with the tack. Have you tried getting the horse to work for you in a roundpen harnessed up before driving him to help him focus? It sounds like he could really benefit from working that way.

As far as showing goes, I won't enter unless I know I have a shot or the horse needs to enter to build confidence through experience. I simply do not have the funds to show horses who aren't prepared for what I'm going to do with them, especially when even the best prepared horses can still blow it.
 
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Fanch

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Answers first-

Rhino is 5 years old and has been in cart since August 06, ground driven for 6 months before that(I was doning it myself, took a while)

Both my horses just got their teeth check last friday, and the only problems were at the back of the mouth.

With the tack, I have a nice padded saddle, and the traces are in the proper placing, I have asked many people about the tack, but they see nothing wrong with it. The only one I see, is that the blinkers are close to his face, the wire won't bend to get them farther from his eye, could this be causing him discomfort? Counter bending to see???

Now my question is if anyone has any ideas on why he enjoys being out on the roads and country side, but hates when I start doing work inside the ring?? Even when I calm myself, I don't care if he's perfect, just as long as he makes some sort of progress, he stays as bad as usual. I'm getting to the point I might try and get someone to ask him whats going on, get it from the Horses mouth, so to speak.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Oh Paige, honey.
Take a deep breath! I know it can be really really frustrating but you can work through this. We've all been there!

I see that you're in British Coumbia, how far from the U.S. border are you? I live in Washington state and would be happy to help sometime if you weren't too far. Some of these things simply have to be evaluated in person because wonderful though the internet is you can't cure everything with a good explanation.
The counterbending thing for instance- the fact is, horses do not do this on their own. Barring physical discomfort they travel straight in their pastures, straight on the trail, and straight to the feed dish. The only time they counterbend is when we make them! This is a hard lesson but one I'm realizing the truth of more and more. Kody and I used to do it all the time, now we've got it mostly mastered at home and in lessons but when I hit the showring I tense up and fall right back into old bad habits. And funny thing...he starts counterbending! The minute I force myself to recognize what I'm doing and fix it it's amazing how he suddenly stops "being naughty" and goes back on the rail.
Now there certainly are times when the horse himself really is determined to ignore you and it's NOT the driver, but most the time it is.

If Rhino is running off when you get him going you need to get his attention and let him know that's not the way things are going to be. It is possible! The single biggest lesson I've learned from driving is that the only thing wrong with most misbehaving animals is a trainer who set their standards too low. "My horse won't stand while I hitch him!" "My horse is temperamental about taking the bit!" "I can't get anything but speed out of my horse!" Well, expect more! Always check first to make sure they aren't trying to tell you that something is hurting (for instance I can't blame many minis for not wanting to take the bit when most of the 3.5" models I've seen are practically torture devices!) but if that's okay then set your standards higher. EXPECT the horse to stand quietly for hitching and don't accept less. Quietly but firmly put him back in the same position as many times as it takes until he stands still. Then praise him! For Rhino's not listening the first 20-30 minutes I'd say start him on transition and figure work as soon as you're in the cart and keep doing it until he's paying attention and going at whatever speed you dictate. I know he feels good and I can't blame him for being forward for the first part of the drive but that's no excuse for not listening to his driver.

Now my question is if anyone has any ideas on why he enjoys being out on the roads and country side, but hates when I start doing work inside the ring??
I hate to say it dearheart but you just answered your own question. Horses are very straightforward, logical critters. Why on earth SHOULD he enjoy going around in little circles doing boring work? Going out on the road and countryside is fun. There's lots to see and experience and he's clearly going somewhere. Doing obstacle and jumper work is fun. There's a clear goal even the horse can see and many of them enjoy it. But driving in an arena is boring and there's just no two ways about it. Don't you get twitchy being forced to sit in a desk on a nice sunny day learning something you can't see the point of? Well so does he!

He may never learn to love ring work but it's your job to make it interesting for him. Don't just drive around and around but do different things and keep his mind engaged every second. Set up driven obstacles and let him work those. Then end every drive with a fun outing so he has a reward for work well done in the ring.

To some extent I do expect my horses to buck up and do what's necessary without complaint but I also understand where they're coming from and try to make it fun for them. This is a partnership and both parties should have a say in things and try to find compromises that work for both driver and horse.

DR is right though, I bet Rhino would really enjoy CDE!
There's plenty of them in BC and the Pacific NW area.


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