Question: I have been training my friends Appaloosa gelding, but I am having a very hard time getting anywhere with him.
I have noticed that he is head shy, and although he will eventually let me rub his head and ears it seems he doesn’t improve over time, in fact everything I try to do with him he doesn’t ever seem to improve on (except letting me catch him, even after he panics I can catch him easily now. I am guessing it’s cause he does have some light of trust in me, but not a whole lot).
This is the least of my problems though. Sometimes when I do something to help build his confidence he will do REALLY well, but then when I try to come back to it another day he acts as if I am asking him to do something he has never done before. And he reacts badly. As soon as he feels pressured or confined he spins away and slightly rears as he flings his head in the air. He has never kicked at me or tried to hurt me intentionally, but one of these days he is going to hurt someone or even worse, because of how badly he reacts.
Question: I have a small Appaloosa that was trained as a hunter. She has done novice hunter pony/horse competitions in the past. She was sold to the lady whom I bought her from 4 years ago when she was 4. They didn’t ride her much except for light trail riding. They wanted a pony for her girls. They quickly lost interest in horses and she didn’t get ridden much at all for the last 2 years they owned her. Now I have her and she is 8. I’m in the process of training her to do more Western riding rather than English. My question to you is, she has so much energy! I longe her every time before I ride her, and I longe her a good amount of time till she looks like she’s getting tired and sweaty. But then 5 minutes later once she’s tacked up, all her energy is back and all she wants to do is walk or trot or canter as fast as she can, and never settle down. She’s in a stall all night, but out for a good 8-10 hours in the paddock everyday. All she has to eat is grass and hay, I don’t give her grain or oats, so I don’t think that is where she is getting all her energy from. What do you think? I have a few parades coming up and I’m hoping that she will calm down before then. I will probably have to drug her for them. But just riding in the arena she is like crazy! She has no mean bone in her body, she isn’t trying to throw me off or bucking or rearing or anything like that. She is just so excited when I ride her. Do you have any advice?
Answer from April Reeves: This is quite typical of the Appaloosa breed. They often have a wonderful sense of ‘exuberance’ which can often last longer than you need it to.
Longing a horse like this is not the answer, since all you will be doing is making her more fit and energetic. The other problem with longing is that it really has no deep training level to it. Most people use it to burn off steam with their horses.
Question: I’m thinking of buying an Appaloosa for jumping and cross country. Is this breed good at jumping?
Answer from April Reeves: The Appaloosa can be a fairly good jumping horse. Let’s go over some of it’s attributes.
First, the original foundation Appy’s had really good bone. Their legs were almost indestructible, and because of their spotted coloring, they tend to have great feet. Their bone joints seem to take a bit more abuse than many of the other breeds, especially their back hocks.