Horse bolts in the school?!

Discussion in 'Training of the Horse' started by Lucyb, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Lucyb

    Lucyb New Member

    My horse Giz, has never been good in the school, he is ex-RS horse but was always used as a hacking horse because whenever he was in the school he would bolt towards the gate. I have put it down to him being bored so i always try to keep the school interesting for him, but he still has such a low attention span. he will trot round a few times on each rein and canter MAYBE once round fully if your lucky before he darts towards the gate or opposite end of the school. I have tried lunging him a lot but the same thing happens, he gets fed up and will start bucking on the lunge, which has done my shoulder in because he will pull outwards suddenly. I really would like to be able to ride him in the school and not just on hunts because in the winter I cant really ride out much :(

    btw he is 18, incase its of any use.x
  2. xloopylozzax

    xloopylozzax New Member

    i think he is well and truly sick of schooling. no matter how interesting you try and make it he will never enjoy it because thats all he did day in day out at the RS, and thats why they had to make him the "hacking horse". especially with him been old he will be very difficult if not impossible to change him now.

    cant you ride out because of the weather, or time issues? if it is the weather get a decent waterproof coat and get out there! if you go hunting then rain, puddles and sludgy mud shouldnt bother him or you

    sounds blunt (and im not trying to be nasty) but if it because you want to be a 'fair weather' rider then i would think about changing my hobby personally.

    if it isnt the weather then sorry. i think this post sounds a lot harsher than how i mean it :eek:
  3. puzzles

    puzzles New Member

    I agree. I really don't think you can change his set attitude, especially with his RS experiences, his age and his reputation. To be fair to him I would not school - why not do it in a field or out hacking?

  4. Daffy Dilly

    Daffy Dilly New Member

    I presume his back, tack and teeth are fine? Does he have any long term physical problems which may have made schoolwork difficult for him? He needs to learn that school work can be good for him, that he can enjoy it because he gets rewarded in some way. If he finds it difficult, say for example he has had arthritis in one hock since an early age, then he will simply associate the school with something he finds difficult and potentially painful.

    I would forget schooling and lunging entirely for the time being, and focus on making the school a fun place to be where he gets rewarded. Have you considered trying something like clicker training? I would highly recommend Alexandra Kurland's book Clicker Training Your Horse or similar, it's about £15 on Amazon. It's easier to make a "cluck" with your tongue than to use a bought clicker. For rewards you can use whatever motivates your horse, I use grass nuts as Daffy is very food oriented.

    Start by playing games, if you use target training to introduce it, then hold the target high, low, out to the side, what happens if you leave it on the floor and walk away, throw it etc. Then things like "follow", "Wait", "back" can all be made rewarding, and you can progress to following in and out of cones, backing up and waiting etc.

    You can then use it under saddle, on the lunge and in the long lines. I would probably start in the long lines as you get a bit more scope than with lunging, but also you know he dislikes ridden schooling. Reward transitions, weaving in and out of cones etc, and build up slowly. Finishing off each session with his favourite game will make him think that "we do this, then we play".

    Unless I'm having a lesson, we don't stay in the school long, maybe 30minutes at most. We often start off in the long lines, then do some work inhand, then play, and Daffy stays interested and focused for the entire time, as do I! :)
  5. Lucyb

    Lucyb New Member

    oh no! it's not the weather or time! its that the farmer who owns the land where i keep my horses is an anal so n so and doesnt like me 'messing his grass up' when its wet weather :( so i cant ride round the farm when its wet. x
  6. Lucyb

    Lucyb New Member

    he has a little arthritis in his front leg, but thats something that has just begun due to his age, and the vet said it really is mild, for the time being, Thanks for your advice, i will try this, and definitely invest in the book you've recommended. I just want him to enjoy himself and realise im not going to shove him round in circles for hours like they did at the RS!
  7. wonkeywoody

    wonkeywoody New Member

    Why not turn the school into one enormous obstacle course! eg a barrel to circle round, a board to walk over, same with a tarp, something spooky to circle, some poles to go over or weave through, something to duck under, a small jump/raised pole to trot over, cones to weave through, a large parallel jump to 'squeeze' thorough......then ask for odd 'school' movements between each obstacle so he never knows whats coming next!

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