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Trained horse develops problems

I own a 3 year old quarter horse. When I brought him he was already broke and trained in reining. He has been fine for about a month and now he acting up by backing up and bucking when I ask him to trot or canter. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on how to correct this problem.

Thank you for your time, Hannah

Hi Hannah,

Thank you for your question. First off, how experienced a horse handler and rider are you? Usually, when a well 'broke' horse begins to act out it is frequently because of gaps in the handler's or rider's skills as the leader of the dance. As good horsemanship has similarities to good ballroom dancing (two partners who really know the dance well and one great leader), a partner can get frustrated if the leader has faulty or in appropriate leadership skills. Please honestly evaluate your experience as an equestrian and handler. If this horse were given over to me to train, I would take him back to the basics again. Something has shaken his faith and trust. Usually, this comes from a leader who is unsure. I would do a lot of ground work with him to get him moving forward again easily and confidently. Once he is really confident and well adjusted on the ground then I would go to riding him again. Do a lot of trotting and cantering on a long line. You could even have someone lunge him while you ride him. That would help a lot. Frequently folks forget the value in a lot of ground play and don't do it. Then the horse gets lapses in his conditioning and training. Sounds like this is what is happening to you.

Keep me posted. I am interested and here to offer help if I can.

Aloha, Franklin

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