How To Get More Energy From A Lazy Horse? - Answering Your Polo Questions

answering your polo questions polo pony training Sep 05, 2020

You have to determine if your horse is frightened, or just lazy.

If it's the latter, I have some tips for you on how to over come this problem. You have to set boundaries for your horse, and here is how.

How To Get More Energy From A Lazy Horse?


If there's time for a training question, how do you get more energy from a lazy horse? Okay. So, interesting question again, because some horses don't like a whip. Okay. You hit them, they slow down. So, those horses, you need to be riding with spurs. Okay. But 90% of horses will.

I was actually talking to a friend of mine Sherif today, because he's got a young horse that he's just brought into polo, but she's decided she doesn't want to go to the plays. She's not lazy, but she just doesn't want to, actually, she sees a ride-off or something coming, and she won't run to go there.

And you can see him pedaling along with his hands and sitting in trying to pedal the horse along with his feet. It's not going to go there. For me the way I train it, because you're not allowed to actually, now the HPA rules, use a whip in one hand, but in a practice chukka and things, you need to learn, and it's something I think we need to show people, how to actually, if you've got the mallet in your hand, how to open those front two fingers, take your reins and put them in there and go like this.

And you take the grip back again, and you never lose the grip with your reins, but the horse suddenly realizes you're not just going to say, you know, I'll allow you to get away with that. You're going to say, do it. 

Because there's a time that you're going to have to say do it to a horse, you know, because those horses that won't do it, I'm never gonna, you're never gonna make plays on them.

And you only have to do it twice and they immediately know what's coming. So, you just kind of, and especially if you use your voice at the same time. Use your legs, you go and you pick the whip up and like this, and next, you, you kind of pretend with the whip and use your voice.

And they know. So, a lazy horse, that would be how I would do it in practice chukkas. Don't do it in a tournament game because you probably have a penalty blown against you. Yeah.

Just with training, so, many people have this, I think erroneous idea that you've always got to be soft and gentle and that'll make a great horse, but actually you've got to give clarity to the horse.

And sometimes you've got to get, you've got to get firm enough for it to mean something to the horse so that they know exactly what you want them to do.

Because if, nothing ever changes with you trying to get the horse to go to a certain place, or with you kicking and pedaling and trying to get it to go, it will never take that step forward. You know?

So, you've actually got to put that small ask in and then once or twice, make it really mean something. This is what I want you to do. And cause that's one of the big things that you've, you've taught me from start. When we training those horses at the basic steps at a walk is to do that.

Sensitizing them to the leg and to your voice. And that's from a tap on the button with the whip and it's leg on first, then the voice. And then if there's no reaction, it's a tap on the button.

And they learn so quickly that it becomes so much easier for them. And actually in the long run so much gentler and better for them to, just to teach them earlier on how to be responsive to your legs. And in this case, you have more energy and be less lazy.

The thing is that it's very difficult to do it in a game situation, that teaching them to ride off, and that kind of stuff. You've got to do it when you're under control, that you not trying to achieve your own ends.

You're working completely for the horse. Now, one of about one of the answers on Facebook the other day, talking about a gelding that wasn't riding off. And I can't remember who passed the comment, but they said, oh, we're going to have to go back and do it step by step, slowly at walk and whatever.

And you your answer was ride-off of a horse your leading. But also you've got to tell the horse to do it. So, without a mallet in your hand, in a practice, you know, in, on, on the field, you've got to get that horse to get into that ride-off and learn to win it.

And sometimes you have to tell it to do it. You know, everybody wants to be ultra gentle, and that's a really good thing, but there comes a point that you're going to say, listen, mate, I know you can, you're not frightened.

You actually just taking the piss here, and you're not doing it because you, you you're just saying I can get away with it. Nothing's going to happen. They have to be consequences. If you say no to your children, please don't do that. And I do it now, listen, darling, I told you to not to do that. It's the same story. You get these delinquent children that have no boundaries.

And if I'm telling you ride-off, ride-off, do it with the ride-off. And once they learned to do it, they suddenly do it with confidence and you don't have to repeat the lesson.

Now you're going to ride-off the horse, man. It goes in there and it wins the ride-off there's times that you've got to be really gentle and slow. And I think one has to really look at your horses and say, are you frightened?

Don't, you know, in which case I'll take time. Or do you know, you're not frightened, but you actually just not doing it because you don't want to.

In which case I'm going to actually put some boundaries in place and say, yes, you will. If you won't then you're not the horse I'm going to play. I can't be playing a horse like that who's everywhere. Yeah. Okay. Awesome.

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