eating on a hack
 
 

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eating on a hack

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    06-02-2013, 03:52 PM
  #1
Foal
eating on a hack

So when I first got arthur I let him eat out on a hack because I was just so excited about having him. Now though he has become awful at eating whilst out, its dangerous because he swings his bum out at 90 degrees so if we are in a road cars can't get by and because he is so big he is the fastest out of the horses that come out with us so we end up being crashed into. He is so strong so I end up dropping the reins and have to keep kicking him onwards so I am scared that im going to ruin his mouth and desensitise (that looks wrong im crap at spelling haha) him to my leg aids, I have tried grass reins and he managed to snap them and he had a muzzle thing on the other day and he still kept trying to get it and we were out for four hours so I would have thought he would have learnt he couldnt get it. How do I fix my man?!?!? Xx
     
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    06-02-2013, 04:15 PM
  #2
Green Broke
You fix this by not letting him get his way on anything, when you are leading him, tacking, feeding or whatever. The more he gets by with elsewhere? The less attention he will pay to you out on the trail.

And be a proactive rider. He is telling you he is going to eat, you are just not paying attention. Watch his ears. When one goes forwards and one back? He is thinking about trying something. THAT is the time to pick up on reins, move him forwards with legs or tell him NO.

You can not outpull a horse once he has his head down. You have to stop it before it gets down.

And too, if he is grabbing grass when you lead him? Pop that jaw with the toe of your boot and tell him no. But again? Get being a decoration up there and keep on top of this.

And do not let him get by with anything, you need to be seen as leader period in his eyes.
     
    06-02-2013, 04:21 PM
  #3
Foal
Eating out on trails is a catch 22, I used to ride LD and the horses were encouraged to eat but eating "on the go". I will be doing LD's this fall (summer in The Deep South is not conducive to a lot of work) and my OTSTB is learning the fine balance between the ability to grab some mouthfuls of grass and digging his face in for a all you can eat buffet.

I would have a signal for my LD horses and they learned the tricks of long distance riding of drinking whenever it is available and eating grass along the way. Eventually they learn that outside of our mandatory stops, grazing is a on the run activity.
     
    06-02-2013, 04:25 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
First of all, does he get chances to graze when he is back at the stable? I mean, turn out with grazing time? This is really essential, in my view, to a horse's well being.
That said, he cannot be allowed to graze under saddle, EVER. That means that even back at the stable/yard, or whatever you call it, when you put the lead on him, he is at work and no grazing. Certainly not when you are in the saddle.
Don't allow him to eat, even if you are just standing there chatting with a friend. This is a bad habit.
Some horses will be ok if you allow them to graze under saddle, with rider up. Others will not. Personally, I no longer allow any horse I am riding to graze with me aboard.

So, start being very clear that when it's "work" time, he is never allowed to graze. This applies to leading him , too.

Work with him where it is more open, and less dangers of road traffic. When/if he starts to put his head down for a mouthfull, you immediately put him to work. Quick! Leg on, and if nothing, immediately put the crop on smartly. Get him moving forward. Then allow him to come back to a walk. If he makes that same choice, to go for a mouthfull, crop on! Work!
It's not so much that you try to pull his head up with both reins (which he will win that battle) but rather that if he chooses to eat, you will make that very uncomfortable , EVERY time.
     
    06-02-2013, 04:48 PM
  #5
Foal
He is out all of the time, I live on a farm and he is across the road :) but he's been jumping out of his field overnight! I had to go on a three mile hike to go and get him this morning!!! What do yours not get hay nets when your grooming etc? that's crucial for arthur to stop him getting bored and trying to wonder off and also I don't ride with a crop im still a bit of a novice and I always end up dropping it and I can't get off to pick it up because im not tall enough to get on without a mounting block
     
    06-02-2013, 06:30 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Your a novice but you hack out alone? Isn't that a bit of a challenge? I mean, I understand roads are narrow in UK and you better have pretty good control of your horse or you coiuld have real danger.

If you really cannot carry a crop (they usually have a little strap you can put around your wrist, one that is thin enough to break in the case of an emergency), then at the very least you can approach this is to pull his head up with ONE rein, not both. It will be very hard for him to resist your pull if you pull on one rein verses both.
All this is easier to deal with if you catch it at the first intant it materializes. Don't wait for him to get his head already down. Watch his ears and the minute you see him even thinking about putting his head down, bop him forward briskly with your heels or crop. Just don't yank him in his mouth when he DOES go forward.
     
    06-02-2013, 06:50 PM
  #7
Trained
It's ok to let them if the horse has manners and only eats when YOU allow him to. Most horses can't control hoggish ways and will eat when they feel like it without asking the boss (you) first, so if this sounds like your horse, do not allow it ever, tough luck.
     
    06-02-2013, 07:08 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel    
so when I first got arthur I let him eat out on a hack because I was just so excited about having him. Now though he has become awful at eating whilst out, its dangerous because he swings his bum out at 90 degrees so if we are in a road cars can't get by and because he is so big he is the fastest out of the horses that come out with us so we end up being crashed into. He is so strong so I end up dropping the reins and have to keep kicking him onwards so I am scared that im going to ruin his mouth and desensitise (that looks wrong im crap at spelling haha) him to my leg aids, I have tried grass reins and he managed to snap them and he had a muzzle thing on the other day and he still kept trying to get it and we were out for four hours so I would have thought he would have learnt he couldnt get it. How do I fix my man?!?!? Xx
I learned to ride on a Belgian Draft in Colorado. She is a weed diver. I spent my first few days having my arms pulled out of my sockets trying not to let her dive. I could barely ride at the time and they put afeedbag on her and that was it. She'd try but only halfheartedly. THe next year I said no feedbag! I'm going to ride her properly now that I know a little about how to ride. So second day out I'm feeling all on top of my game thinking my neck reining was stopping her from doing anything. But wrong I was.

They had a serious draught last summer but some rains the week before I came so the grass was green and high one fine day as we were riding a beauitufl straight patch by a stream. We were doing a nice trot and she's going along and (I can still see this in my mind's eye) she looks over to the left at a tasty patch of weeds and her head dips, she falls over herself, I go flying over her side and she's down and I'm airborne. While in flight I'm thnking "You stupid $*$% horse! You've killed us both!!"

We were lucky. She did not kill herself or hurt herself. Or hurt me. I got back on, my heart broken that she could be such an idiot. Can you imagine? She intended to EAT WHILE AT A TROT!!

I was told DIRECT REIN the girl. Watch her ears. Watch the direction of her head. YOU find those weeds before she does. The minute she even looks in that direction, POP her good with one rein. And press her on. And I did. I'm sure there's other moves I could have used, but that worked. We had a great week after that.

Take BOTH reins, keep your boys head where you want it, tolerate no diversion, but not in anger. Never in anger. He thinks he owns the world. Its not his fault. He's a little spoiled. You have to remind him that no - it's YOU that owns the world but you'll share it with him when he's good. And praise him lavishly when he is good. He'll get it.
boots likes this.
     
    06-02-2013, 07:13 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
I want to restate that if you want to resist a horse that is trying to pull the reins out of your hand, pulling back with both reins will only give the horse some to lean into. You must use one rein much harder than the other, and if he resists that, pull that rein straight UP, not back toward yourself.

You may have equal connection on both reins as you ride along, but if he dives, you use ONE rein to break his pull. If he's trotting along, this will make him come to a stop and move into a tight circle, so sit up straight in the saddle and be ready for this. When he stops leaning on the bit, you give him some rein and ask him to move on.

Don't do trots or canters out on the hack until this issue is a non-issue.
wild old thing likes this.
     
    06-03-2013, 03:01 AM
  #10
Foal
They had a serious draught last summer but some rains the week before I came so the grass was green and high one fine day as we were riding a beauitufl straight patch by a stream. We were doing a nice trot and she's going along and (I can still see this in my mind's eye) she looks over to the left at a tasty patch of weeds and her head dips, she falls over herself, I go flying over her side and she's down and I'm airborne. While in flight I'm thnking "You stupid $*$% horse! You've killed us both!!"

Arthur does this which is why I thought enough, taking the piss now, I ended up sliding down his neck so it wasnt as serious, this didnt phase my trusty old boy though, he just carried on eating!!!!

One rein harder than the other I havent tried that, I've always done both, I've learnt to lean into his shoulders now when he stops suddenly because reins in the mane and all that :)
     

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