Problems when riding with another horse in arena - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By gigem88
  • 1 Post By kitten_Val
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-09-2011, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Problems when riding with another horse in arena

Gem can be a handful depending on her mood that day, but it is one of the reasons I love her so much. This behaivor is really starting to frustrate me though and I am at my wits end on my own. Whenever we ride with another horse in the arena she decides that she has to not only be near them but then it turns into a competition and she has to speed past them. She will be going along nicely working on serpentines, circles, figure 8s with me and she relaxes and it seems like she is paying attention when all of a sudden she relocates 180 degrees opposite where we were and heads off for the other horse.

I was in the outdoor hunter ring the other day and my husband was on his gelding at the opposite end when Gem decided to make a super sharp turn to the right and break into a canter to get over to them. It was all I could do to pull her up. After that I moved the 2 18 inch cavelletti I had out into a circle and had my husband stay at the far end and we stayed by the cavelletti. Any time she headed his way I turned her and made her go over the jump which forced her to pay attention again. We did this a few times until she calmed down again, but I could tell she always had her eye on them and never really focused 100% on me. I didn't know what else to do.

Anyone have any suggestions? It is with any horse in the arena. It makes me avoid riding when there is someone I don't know in the arena just in case she does something and it scares the other person. I am in need of suggestions for breaking her of this. She is perfectly fine when riding alone. She doesn't have a hard time leaving her pasture buddy to go in by herself, never makes a fuss about it. She is fine out on the trail with other horses and will even lead without a problem. I can hold her back to a walk while the other horses trot off and she is fine. It is just in the arena with another horse present. Any ideas??
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-09-2011, 03:47 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
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When your husband was riding in the arena, I would have taken the horse and worked her by your husband and his horse. I would only take her away from them to let her rest. After several times of this, she'll learn that being by another horse in the arena means work!
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-09-2011, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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I agree with gigem88 100%! Make it a LOT more work to be by the other horse, and start off with just riding with your husband and then work to having other people and their horses in the arena until your horse only focuses on you.

My horse used to do that, and another greenie I used to ride. I just made it extremely less fun to be by that horse and sometimes the other rider would shoo mine away by carrying a whip on the inside and just shaking it at the horse.

But I don't recommend this as I knew the horse and so did the other rider, and we were both clear on what was to happen..

More work = less likely to go near other horse.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-10-2011, 06:48 AM
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Both of my horses tried to do it. What I do is ignore it and keep working the horse. If she tries to speed up - great. I ask for more roundness than (as impulsion is already there) and make her go in circle asking for nice bend. Circles are always our best friend. Just make her work hard and keep focusing on YOUR aids, not other horse.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-10-2011, 09:59 AM
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When I rode a horse with this problem (he had a slew of other problems under saddle, but this was the most prevalent and the only one the owner didn't feel like fixing on her own) I had a few of my friends go to one end of the arena and ride 20m circles. I would ride him with them for about five minutes, keeping him as engaged as possible (changing speed of trot, transitions, inside/outside bend, etc) and then get him to canter for a minute the other direction (my friends changing direction with me). Then, after that I would bring him to the other end of the arena, let his head stretch down and have him walk around for three-five minutes while my friends stayed at the other end of the arena. After a week he didn't try to go to the other horses.

I showed the owner and still, to make sure it sticks, she rides near the other person hard for a few minutes, rests away from them, and then continues with her regular training. He's still fine. Something like this could work for you, but if it doesn't, then what kitten_Val said could work as well. I've seen that it depends on the severity of the situation and the personality of the horse...
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-10-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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Ok! Thanks! I will have my husband ride and make it a lot of work to be near them and a reward to be away. I will see how it works - she can be quite stubborn and is way too smart for her own good ;)
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-10-2011, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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no problem!

good luck and hope it works out! check back in after a few "sessions" and tell us if she's behaving or not. :]
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