Rolling and bucking in harness, HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by Diva's Girl, Nov 27, 2012.

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk by donating:

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Alaska
    Hi guys! I started up Diva's training again since her leg is now fully healed(Such a relief! ) and she is back to her old sassy self. but now she has developed a bad habit of rolling and bucking while practicing groundwork in her harness. She thinks that every time she comes out of her stall/turnout that it is playtime no matter what we are doing and no matter what I try I can't get her to see the difference between work and play. I have been taking things slow but she just gets this mischievous look in her eye and I know I'm in trouble. She is playing with me, and we both know it. When she bucks I will give her a light pop in the mouth with one of my reins and her bit and when she rolls I will smack her rump with my crop and encourage her to move forward. She just stops and looks at me like 'What? I didn't do anything....'. [​IMG] I am afraid that one of us could get hurt if she rolls and gets tangled or if she bucks and kicks me by accident. Sometimes I lunge her before I harness her to let her exercise then I will put her to work in the harness if she seams overly hyper. I have tried everything that I know how to do and I have run out of Ideas. I feel so mean right now for punishing her but I don't know what else to do, please help me!

    I am using a standard harness with a padded tree, a lightweight western headstall without nose band, and a snaffle driving bit.
     
  2. Nov 27, 2012 #2

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Big Lake, Alaska
    I don't have as much trouble with Diva as my daugter does, but I can't train her in winter as much due to my hands and legs don't work as well in the cold. So my teenage daugter Diva's Girl does it. Diva challenges her , I have told her to make her mind but Diva just waits till she knows she can get away with it . But she is able to do things with her that I can't . Diva can be a sassy mare at times. We work together as a team to train her. Do to the ice and snow I don't want to take her out of the yard as we do in the summer. .
     
  3. Nov 28, 2012 #3

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Alaska
    If anyone can give use some advice it would be much apreshiated!
     
  4. Nov 28, 2012 #4

    Jill

    Jill

    Jill

    Aspiring Cowgirl

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    27,182
    Likes Received:
    519
    Location:
    Spotsy., VA (USA)
    Are you using an open bridle? If not, that would be my suggestion.
     
  5. Nov 28, 2012 #5

    CZP1

    CZP1

    CZP1

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    NC
    I would just push her forward and push and push..You get it. That is not acceptable in harness and she needs to know the difference when harness on and harness off. She us pushing your buttons. Minis are extremely intelligent. Don't give her a chance to roll and buck just keep pushing her until she gets it.
     
  6. Nov 28, 2012 #6

    MiLo Minis

    MiLo Minis

    MiLo Minis

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ON Canada
    First carefully check and see if there is anything about the harness that isnt right causing her to want to roll and scrape it off or buck and lose it.Once you are satisfied that nothing is bothering her and it is strictly high spirit and not redognizing work time take her to the round pen with the harness on but no reins. If she offers to roll or buck give her a crack with the whip and send her off for 10 laps - enough to make her work but still connect it as a punishment. Allow her to come back down and if she tries again give her another crack and 20 laps. The more she tries the harder she has to work - something that is tough to do when longlining hence use the round pen loose.
     
  7. Nov 29, 2012 #7

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Alaska
    Her tack isn't the problem, I have checked it several times in the beginning and before i take her out of the barn to make sure everything is nice and comfortable(nothing pinching, twisted, or otherwise making her uncomfortable). Open bridal? The one I am using is a plain headstall without blinders or nose band. It has the full brow-band, basically like a normal western headstall attached to a driving harness. I did not want to spook her too much at once with the blinders and the harness as she has never had them before I got her to my knowing. She will do her driving headstall too with the blinders but she is a bit more spooky with them on.

    I will try that on the long line. We don't have a round pen or a pen big enough to do loose. Our problem is that she does not respect me, I have done all i know how to do to discipline her without a crop(using body language and poping her) but she just ignores me. I am going to be picking up a small one soon that I can carry around with me. She is not afraid of the whips or crops but she respects them. I have been using my dressage whip/driving whip to drive her and punish her if she kicks or rolls at me while in harness but it is only the soft tassel kind and I might need something stronger. It doesn't hurt me to much when I tried it on myself so I know it must not hurt very much on her. She easily ignores it if she doesn't want to listen.

    Mabey some join ups to make her respect me more as a herd leader will help? I havn't done one with her since early October due to her leg healing. I will try the ideas you have given me, it sounds like I am not pushing her hard enough and she is taking advantage of it.

    Thanks to everyone who replied! I REALLY apreshiate your advice!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2012
  8. Nov 29, 2012 #8

    shorthorsemom

    shorthorsemom

    shorthorsemom

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,386
    Likes Received:
    454
    How about some photos of your hook up (harness and hitched). Its amazing what you can see from a photo even if you have some one take the picture for you and you critique it yourself. Until my trainer took pictures of me driving I didn't really "see". With the photos I could see how I held my reins..could see my hook up and how level it is.. see the distance from my cart..see how the saddle was riding too far up on whithers etc. Kind of like working in an arena with mirrors..sometimes you have to step back and take a look. Have somebody photograph or video you and then take a look and see if you can spot what your horse is trying to tell you. Perfectly fitting harness that is hitched in certain ways can create downward or upward pressure on your horse. Also check balance of your cart it might be balanced differently with you sitting in it. I made many changes after I got driving lessons. Each seemed small in itself..but combined fixes made such a difference. Most animals that misbehave are trying to communicate to you something.. sometimes pain or discomfort sometimes. Just telling you they don't understand what you are asking of them. I was warned by my trainer about my lack of proper contact on my outside rein in a turn. It was this dropped contact and too quick of my adjustment that caused the buck that got the leg over the shaft that caused my wreck . One thing can cause a domino effect. Best wishes to you for s solution..I know you must feel frustrated trying to figure out what is going on.
     
    Katiean likes this.
  9. Nov 29, 2012 #9

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Big Lake, Alaska
    We don't hitch her yet, as we don't have a cart. We just put her saddle on her with a bride .

    I will try to post a pic of her saddled this fall. I will have to try to take her out to our driveway and lounge her with my daughter.

    I havn't had her in saddle myself, as my hands have a hard time holding the Raines in the winter , but I will try to do it to see if she will try it on me.

    She pulled the same thing last night when my daugter tried to blanket her for me. She is a brat horse right now. We don't have access to a round pin as I live in the woods in a very hilly area. Someday I hope to have a large padock for her at least .
     
  10. Nov 29, 2012 #10

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

    Margo_C-T

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,400
    Likes Received:
    104
    If a horse tends to be 'fresh', I give them a workout BEFORE asking them to do serious 'work' that requires them to pay attention. Lots of people don't have round pens--me included,now--so the longe line or a properly-sized 'regular' pen will have to do...and can, as long as the ground is decent(not too hard, too soft/uneven, or too slick), and the size is sufficient(I prefer at LEAST 40' for A minis, 50' for larger minis.).You can reinforce basic voice commands and other basic training while giving a horse a decent warm-up(start at the walk...a very important gait to develop, BTW, and safer to begin w/ in any workout to allow the horse to gradually 'warm up' to help prevent injury; then progress to trotting at various levels (you want a horse to learn to keep the CADENCE, but be able to extend the length/reach of the stride, as well as to 'limit' the same, to develop a good 'range' at the gait.).. prior to more serious work...then, once you put on the harness, check everything for proper fit and adjustment, and ask the horse for its attention, go w/ Minimor's advice if the mare tries the antics you have described!

    Open bridle(meaning, no blinders) is a good Idea; I alternate both during the entire training process.

    Margo
     
  11. Nov 29, 2012 #11

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Big Lake, Alaska
    We usually don't do the blinders as she gets realy spooky with them and behaves better with a regular bridle. I only have the road way to work her as that is the only flat area I have. I have been giving her alfalfa just a little one time aday, I will cut that out of her feed and just give her her free range hay and see if that helps. She was under weight but now she is in good weight again. She is enjoying eating when ever she wants and knowing that it is always there. I didn't want to work her due to the frozen ground but I guess we will have to as she is being a brat right now. I just didn't want to hurt her leg again. By road way, I am the only one who lives there so there is no traffic.
     
  12. Nov 29, 2012 #12

    Reignmaker Miniatures

    Reignmaker Miniatures

    Reignmaker Miniatures

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    521
    Location:
    British Columbia
    How does this mare behave in hand? I think Diva's Girl is right on the money when she says she doesn't respect her. I would be inclined to use a chain under this horses chin and work on polite behaviour when being handled in a halter. When she will look to her handler for cues on when to stop, stand, walk on and trot then and only then would I consider going back to long ling her. Sometimes if a horse leads ok we don't worry about finesse and for the horses that want to be a bit bossy/pushy their lack of respect there is magnified when they are a bit further out from us. Just a thought.
     
  13. Nov 29, 2012 #13

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Alaska
    That is what she(as in diva) seams to be communicating to me. Her ears, face, and the rest of her body language is not stressed or frustrated, she just doesn't want to do what I am trying to get her to do( which at the moment is to just walk forward and turn in the harness, or let me be around her without her challenging me). I will try to work on ground manners between us but when she misbehaves and I punish her she does not even flinch when I smack her.

    I will have someone observe me driving her again and see if they can spot any confusion and wrong signal. She loves the snow and all she wants to do is play in it(in the summer it is just eat). She tends to be lazy and hates to work(playing is a complete different story, lol). I warm her up and lunge her before I hook her up to her harness, otherwise she gets real excited and is harder to control. I lunge her a lot to help her build her endurance and stretch out( this is also the time where I allow her to buck and goof around as long as she is still doing what I ask and not yanking me around after her. She is real good at not doing that. [​IMG] ). She is a real sweetheart, she just sees me as play and does not want to listen. When I got her in september she had a lot of bad habits and was treated like a pet dog and not like a horse for 8 out of her 11 years. She is used to having her way and throws a fit when she does not get it. She acted like a complete green horse(which basically she is, even though she has had training in the past.). She is just now starting to figure out that she is a horse and I am pleased with her progress so far. We have hit a little bump in the road but I'm sure we can work our way over it eventually, I'm not going to give up on her. ;) She only bucked once when I first put the harness on her and that was when I was running behind her and we transitioned from trot to canter. She got excited and gave a small one that was corrected and she never did it sense until now. It may, like some of you have said, take some time for her to figure it out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2012
  14. Nov 29, 2012 #14

    wildoak

    wildoak

    wildoak

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,563
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Texas
    It's harder to correct old bad habits than to start fresh with an untrained horse, so it sounds like you have some issues coming in. Even without a round pen, if she works on a longe line you can do what Milo suggested... when she misbehaves, push her harder for several laps. If you have a pasture corner you can work her in, that at least gives you 2 sides of a pen where she can't run out on you. The suggestion to work on her manners in hand is good - you can always go back to basics and ask firmly for her respect again.

    Jan
     
  15. Nov 30, 2012 #15

    Katiean

    Katiean

    Katiean

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    3,531
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    This is very true about seeing problems in photos. I was emailing a lady that was having problems with a riding horse that tossed her head. I gave her some suggestions. However, when I saw pics of her setup, I could give her a whole list of what could be wrong.

    My suggestion with the "rolling". If I am understanding right is she spinning so you can't drive her or is she actually getting down on the ground and rolling? If it is that she is spinning so you have no control, try a training surcingle. The loops are low enough that she can not get past the rein and will learn to drive striate.
     
  16. Nov 30, 2012 #16

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Rhondaalaska

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Big Lake, Alaska
    No she did spin last fall, but we got a driving whip and a bit and that stopped that. No she gets down on her knees an rolls. And she does this several times in a row. And when she is corrected she bucks. When we first got her she didn't respect either of us, she would push us over and not walk with us. She would even put all her weight on us if we were trying to do her feet. She is better with her feet for both of us, but better for my daughter, she no longer pushes me because the last time she did I pushed her back right off her feet. I think she realized I was bigger than her and she could not push me out of her way. My daughter is half diva's weight and is pushed all the time now, she wasn't this fall as bad when we worked her, but after the ice and snow hit and she was hurt we stopped working her.

    Now she is acualy worst than before.
     
  17. Nov 30, 2012 #17

    shorthorsemom

    shorthorsemom

    shorthorsemom

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,386
    Likes Received:
    454
    Hi, I didn't realise you weren't using a cart yet. For the rolling... I start my horses with a soft surcingle I got from ebay. I turn them out with it supervised in the pasture. When they realise they can't buck it off or roll it off or bite it off, they ignore it. I don't attach any traces or try to ground drive until they are ignoring the surcingle. My harness has a nice saddle and I don't want it rolled on, the surcingle costs $25 bucks on ebay. For the bridle, I put on a plain riding bridle, rig it so it will break away if caught. My horses learn to eat and drink and wear the bridle with no reins attached. Supervised, pull up a chair, read a book and watch them. You learn a whole bunch by just watching. One boy I was training started to not respect my space. I was getting shoved, crowded and he was rearing and turning his butt and being a stinker when I tried to ground drive him. We started over, rebuilding the beginning. We also put a second person on his head, two lead ropes, two humans leading manners and teaching respect and respect of space. This is my space... you need to be in your own space. He learned fast. Then we went to ground driving but with the second person leading at the head too ... long process, but you can understand where I am going with this. I wasn't strong enough to regain the lost ground, so my experienced trainer became handler number 2 and between both of us we gained respect and trust and got the ground manners impeccable. Then we started the harness training again... piece by piece. We start in open bridle and then switch to blinkers and train both. I admit to having a driving boy that simply will not drive in blinkers due to a dog attack and runaway incident in his past. for those babies with a clean slate, take the time, and dont ever be afraid to go back to zero basics and rework the start. best wishes.
     
  18. Nov 30, 2012 #18

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    7,635
    Likes Received:
    3,658
    Location:
    Southwest Oklahoma
    I agree with this. I have a headstrong gelding and about every 3 years we have to do a few lessons with the chain. A couple of short walks, just like a dog in a training collar, and he is more respectful. It is much better to use a tool like this ocassionally than to constantly be discipling with a tool that isn't working properly, imo. Pretend your horse weighs 1100#. What would you put up with? Treat your little one the same way. She will "love" you more if she respects you. Trust goes with respect.

    Something it took me a while to learn is to quit putting down on the halter noseband all the time (or the bit). This puts pressure, and it could be making her angry and frustrated--like a child whose mother yells all the time but never follows with real correction. Pressure for unacceptable behavior, then release for reward for her as soon as she does what you want. I think it is something like 3 seconds? (One has to really pay attention and concentrate!) It doesn't take long for them to figure out the connection!

    If you have her respect, I think it is a huge help when you have trouble in harness.

    How fun for you both to learn together! That makes a bond you just don't get with any other horse.

    A forum member from a year or so ago who was very active in the American Driving Society thought training for Showmanship was a great introduction to driving. I have wanted to find out more about that.
     
  19. Nov 30, 2012 #19

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Diva's Girl

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Alaska
    Thanks to everyone who has replied!

    As it says in my name and siggy, I am her girl and she is my Diva. Even though we are having a rough spot at the moment, in the end we will be a stronger team together because of it. There is a reason her name is Diva. ;)

    I will try the new ideas you all have given me. She doesn't mind the harness it's self at all. and if I keep her away from the soft or powdery snow(like on the hard packed road or driveway) then she won't roll. As for the bucking I'm pretty sure now that that is either play and/or disrespect towards me. Another thing I just thought of is that she might be getting bored of going in circles. I will change direction often and do figure eights here and there to change things up but she is the type that gets bored easily. I will have my mom take pics next time I take her out so that I can post them for you. I like to video tape when I am riding so that I can review what I look like from a 3rd person's point of view, I will do that for my carting too every once in a while to see what I am doing wrong.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012
  20. Nov 30, 2012 #20

    Field-of-Dreams

    Field-of-Dreams

    Field-of-Dreams

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    2,569
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Springtown TX
    Do you use a check on her? If not, get one. If she can't put her head down, she probably can't lay down, either. You don't have to check her up tight, just normal head position. She tries to go down, drive her FORWARD, and if that means paddling her butt, DO IT.

    In all fairness, she sounds like she needs an attitude adjustment. She's got your number.
     
    Katiean and CZP1 like this.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page



arrow_white