Resistance with the porcupine game/yielding to pressure

Ryanc728

New Member
Nov 13, 2018
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#1
I have been working with my horse to do some of the Parelli games as we have had some rearing issues appear under saddle. He has been thoroughly vetted x rays, scoped, bloodwork etc, all healthy. When I put the whip still on his side where my leg would be to yield his hind end he will get generally displeased. He will start to flick his skin, quickly yank his head around to touch the whip, tail swish, ears back. So far I have been doing a lot of friendly game before and after asking him since I worried he was fearful of the whip since I discovered that Whenever the whip is still on him anywhere he has the same reaction. But now I am wondering if I shouldn’t be releasing pressure until he moves over and stops with the negative reaction. Currently I have been stopping when he moves over and then playing friendly game again as he seems almost offended. I am not pushing at all with the carrot stick just letting it be still. Interestingly enough he has a similar reaction to when you put your leg on him under saddle to ask him to move on and he will not and will rear if you continue. ( he was fine for the first 6 months of owning him but he is off the track so perhaps he has more baggage than I originally thought!) any advice would be great!
 

newforest

She's not fat, she's too short :-)
Mar 15, 2008
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#2
If he has literally come straight off the track with no racing to ridden horse education, he won't have a clue what you want.

Did you buy him as reschooled or are you attempting to do this yourself?

A racing whip to him feels different it means let yourself down in the last one to two furlongs, he's probably not pleased because he won't get the yields and the friendly game which is touching all over probably would offend a working racer that's not used to all that contact as they are not a pet and it takes time.
 

Ryanc728

New Member
Nov 13, 2018
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#3
If he has literally come straight off the track with no racing to ridden horse education, he won't have a clue what you want.

Did you buy him as reschooled or are you attempting to do this yourself?

A racing whip to him feels different it means let yourself down in the last one to two furlongs, he's probably not pleased because he won't get the yields and the friendly game which is touching all over probably would offend a working racer that's not used to all that contact as they are not a pet and it takes time.
Thank you! I should clarify he was ridden on a ranch for a few months before he was brought to a friend in my state who was riding him walk trot canter under saddle. When I bought him we predominately trail rode to increase strength and then spent a few months doing more detailed on the flat training ( leg yields collection etc ) so he has had training off the track but he has always been very sensitive to touch, pressure, and even flies.

He will gladly yield his hind end with no offense taken from a look and will yield with pressure he just is very displeased by it. I’m not sure if the displeasure will fade when he realizes that nothing bad will happen or if I need to keep asking until he gives me a non reactive face.
 

Pete's Mum

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
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#4
There's so many possible scenario's & things that could be at play here.

I assume you are playing on the ground & not riding, if he rears under saddle. If he doesn't 100% understand steady pressure on the ground, he won't stand a chance understanding it under saddle yet.

What's his horsenailty, how are your other games & his understanding of them, how close are you to him & how light is your phase 1? It should be a suggestion, rather than a 'tell' & it sounds like the ask might be too strong initially from first impressions.

How are you playing the porcupine game? If yielding sideways is problematic at first, ask something he can do.

Can he follow a feel on the rope? Ask him to lower his head or yield his neck for example or lead like a partner.

I'd get a Parelli instructor to work with you on the ground to help :)
 
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Ryanc728

New Member
Nov 13, 2018
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#5
thank you! It seems like you really understand the Parelli approach which I am new to so I appreciate any advice!

So correct, once he threw out two very large rears seemingly out of nowhere, I stopped riding ran a slew of medical testing and then recently started on the groundwork. I did a parelli clinic with him which went well so that is what lead me to this approach.

Originally, I thought he was a lbi, as the first few months I had him he never spoked, would trail alone, and was essentially a kick ride. however, this appeared to change over night ( reared, got very electric on the ground) as his training progressed into the situation we have now. From working with him with friendly game where he was very braced it took a very very long time playing for him to relax at all. I am now leaning more towards that he is RBI and that what I mistook for calmness and pokiness might have been him being more catatonic.

he does very well with the other games so far we have done: friendly game, yo yo game, circle game, and the driving game. He is not reactive to playing any of these other games it just something about the touch. I do not push at all with the stick as I think it would be a sensory overload. so I just rub the spot first then I hold the stick still and the reaction occurs he moves over I rub with the stick. Then I spend the next 5 minutes playing friendly game again because now he will have a brace again to even being touched with the stick. this response is the same for anywhere on his body in fact it is almost worse when there is any touch when asking to yield the front end ( to the point I don't even use touch I use the bottom of the rope halter. He will back fine from the pressure on the rope halter, he does brace a bit when you ask him to back touching his snout but hasn't tried to bite there, he gladly will lower his head to pressure. he will still try to touch/grab the stick when used to ask him to back via touch. The issue I am having is he will do all of these moves when not touched but in order to ride him I will have to be able to touch him to give him cues so I am not sure how best to bridge the gap.

gah. we live in a wasteland as far as qualified groundwork instructors in general. The woman who did the orginal clinic was from BC but I have sent a video to a parelli trainer a few states over. I hope to take video lessons with her or even consider sending to training depending how it goes.
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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#6
No advice, just wantd to add in - how complicated they can be! Just when you think you have them sussed - they can go and change everything. I have owned a warmblood for almost two years - and up until a few days ago he's been amazing both on the ground and ridden. However, this past few days he has been a challenge and like you have done I'll be ruling out any medical issues first. Then it is all down to staring groundwork and taking it from there with him. Good luck anyway, and hope you can work through things.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
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#8
I'm not very familiar with Parelli but I do have a pony who was over-sensitive to the whip when I got him. He'd had a bad life before me and couldn't bear to be touched with a whip, however gently. I spent ages desensitising him and he is now happy to be stroked with the whip, asked to move with it, directed with it, and also (once in a blue moon) batted with it if he is being exceptionally stubborn! He understands all the different things it can mean.

As well as all the other advice here I would suggest that you spend time just desensitising him to the whip everywhere - round his head, quarters, belly, chest and neck as well as his sides. And use several different kinds of whip - I have used a carrot stick, a lunge whip, a dressage whip and a raw hazel switch.
 
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