This is my… seventh? horse I’ve tried training. Varying degrees of prior training on those horses, but majority were either unstarted or very green broke.
Why is it that suddenly I have no idea how to teach Levi anything?
I’ve resorted to youtube videos.
How do you teach contact on a 10 year old horse that is dang sure the bit means pain? I’ve never dealt with this before, not to this degree.
I think I’ll have the vet out to do a thorough check of his mouth. His prior owner, my friend, had his teeth done a few months ago… but maybe something was missed? He’s not having any issues eating. The beefcake has put on about 200lbs since he got here. Never drops a lick of food. Chews fine.
I’m really struggling with teaching him that contact is not something he needs to fear.
I almost asked for ideas on FB, but I’m so frustrated by the “Did you have his anus waxed first?” type of unhelpful comments that I didn’t.
Old owner did it all. Chiro, massage, teeth, etc. and he was doing the same thing for her as he does for me.
For the last 2.5 months I’ve stayed on the path of letting him sort out his head and neck while trying to shape his body into the correct form (or as correct as I can get). He holds his head as HIGH as he can, in what appears to be the most uncomfortable position possible, and he doesn’t deviate from it no matter what.
I tried a new idea recently, thinking I’d just tell him where to put his head. Push him up into the bit and limit his forward. I was thinking if I made too high uncomfortable, and rewarded for lower/normal height, he’d realize that was his happy place. He simply ducked behind the bit. A nice false frame lacking any actual connection.
I immediately quit that.
He dropped right into a false frame, like he’d been trained for it. I don’t want to encourage that.
So now I’m back to forgetting the head/neck and working the body. I’m not sure what else to do. It’s always worked for me before. The fact that it isn’t with him is driving me nuts.
Usually by this point I can at least get a few strides of softer going here and there.
Not Levi. *sigh*
I’m stuck at this point in our training. Our leg yields are progressing okay, he’s getting better about moving off aa light aid (not great, but better), he’s getting more comfortable about moving shoulders and hips around while I’m on him, and he’s starting to understand the outside rein…. But, I’m limited when he refuses to accept contact.
He has improved some at the walk wth contact. I assume it’s because he tires himself out from the camel position at trot. He’s starting to touch the bit on his own at walk, and relax down.
Maybe he just needs more time.
Luckily, we’ve got plenty of time.