Arena issues. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Arena issues.

Another issue I seem to be having with my gelding...

Whenever we're riding in the arena, he fights me the whole way going away from the gate, but wants to go full speed going down the rail towards it. I've tried mounting and dismounting on the other side, but he still knows where we exit. It's difficult just moving faster than a walk when we're headed away from the gate because he just jumps into the middle of the arena, especially at the canter, makes me nervous because even if I use my inside leg, outside rein, he still jumps into the middle, I've tried circling him and all.

Any tips would be fantastic.

"As we get older it gets more and more difficult to just believe. It's not that we don't want to; it's just that so much has happened that we can't."
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Here are a few things to try...

-NEVER stop your horse at the gate.
-Never dismount at the gate and leave the arena;
-never ride your horse out of the arena.
-dismount far away from the gate and lead your horse out of the arena, so as not to make him focused on the gate. (unless Im showing then I will sometimes get off in the middle of the arena after placings have been announced)
-you may even want to ask your horse to work hard at the gate (ask him to trot every time he approaches the gate) so that he associates the gate with work.
-ask your horse to circle and change directions every time he comes off the rail, he will eventually learn that the rail is not such a bad place to be because he doesn't have to work as hard.

Maybe just try these this at a walk/trot to start with. If you are feeling nervous at the canter he will too...

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
Angel_Leaguer is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 08:08 AM
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That is typical work avoidance and Angel Leaguer gave you some good suggestions. It is pretty much the same problem as a barn sour horse.

He may becoming ring sour and needs a change up in routine. Try taking him out for a hack on some trails.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

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iridehorses is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips! I've tried taking him out of the trails... he fights me the whole way away from the barn too, he's better with other horses though. The new place I'm boarding him at doesn't have the arena up yet so I've just been riding him in an area away from the barn and stuff but he'll still try to pull the same stuff as we're walking away from the area we walked in at. He's too smart for his own good lol!

"As we get older it gets more and more difficult to just believe. It's not that we don't want to; it's just that so much has happened that we can't."
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 12:44 PM
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depending othe type of gate...someone gave me a good suggestion (can't remember who) but to actually cover the gate with a blanket or something like that.
I'd start out doing groundwork with him in the arena to get his attention on you and to respect you more before going back to riding
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-08-2008, 11:39 PM
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Absolutely have to agree with Angel. Horse are lazy by nature, so use work to your advtange. If he is smart he will learn that he works a whole lot harder resisting you than when he does as he is asked.
Royal Freckles is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 10-09-2008, 01:15 AM
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Actually a lot of horses are like this. They're heard bound, so if he has other horses by the gate he will not want to leave them.
When he's balking to stay at the gate. USE YOUR VOICE; really get after him. Give him a smack with the crop, kick..whatever you can. MAKE him trot off. This will teach him that it's easier to just walk away then have to trot. Then praise, and go off like no big deal. Remember, this is for his own good.
When he's rushing to go to the gate, ask him to work. For example, do a 20meter circle, bending, etc. Keep him focused on something else. Keep yourself relaxed.
Good luck
Cheval is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 10-09-2008, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll give that a go. By the way, if I touched him with a crop or kicked him, he'd take off lol.

"As we get older it gets more and more difficult to just believe. It's not that we don't want to; it's just that so much has happened that we can't."
creepalurkin is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 10-09-2008, 10:17 PM
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my horse does the same thing, he actually has gotten in the really really bad habit of grabbing the bit and taking off like a bat out of heck lol
what i do when he does this is try to turn him into a circle if that doesnt work i reach down to his face and pull at the bit there to dislodge it then i make him do tight circles at a fast lope in both directions then i kick him all the way around the arena and towards the same spot and turn him again in sharp circles, thats what i did today and he clearly got the message and did not do it again, then i worked on stopping and starting because he was bein a butthead lol
um...i dont use spurs so when i say i kicked him all the way around the arena i just made him go the speed i wanted him too not his own pace that way he knew he was no longer in control i was.
also what i do is make him to circles by the gate so he assoiciates the gate with more work than is neccessary i do this everytime i ride probably not as much as i should though but if you stay consistant with it your horse should get the message
good luck!!!

Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears.
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