Buddy preference on a trail ride or just "bad"?
 
 

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Buddy preference on a trail ride or just "bad"?

This is a discussion on Buddy preference on a trail ride or just "bad"? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How long did it take till you were confident horse
  • Is horses being buddies bad

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  • 1 Post By Darrin

 
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    08-03-2012, 11:45 PM
  #1
Weanling
Buddy preference on a trail ride or just "bad"?

My new gelding (just about a month owned) has had a good reputation for being good on the trail by himself. Several days ago my trainer and I took him and her new gelding, both 17 yo, off the property for the first time. It was just a walk down the hill, on the shoulder of the road in a rural area. It was fine, he was calm and interested, not spooky; the other gelding was a little jittery. We walked about 25 minutes out and then turned back.

Today another stablemate and I went for the same walk off property, this time a mare with my gelding. To my surprise at about 7 minutes out he tried to turn around to go home. I tried just sitting til he got bored, but I could not get him to move forward. He backs up when he's nervous. After messing around on the road we decided it was safer to dismount and continue walking up the hill leading in hand. That seemed fine. We turned around to come home, and I remounted.
I meant to walk past the driveway but this horse just kept getting more upset with me. Began backing into the fence, felt like he stopped using his brain.

I hopped off again and in hand, took him up and down the road passing the driveway about 6 times before I let him go home.

Do horses have favourite buddies they will trail with, or is it just a little too soon for him to get comfortable either with me or off property? We do a fair amount of groundwork and clicker training. Its helped with him not pulling back when he's nervous (sunscreen, flyspray). Otherwise, he is great.
     
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    08-04-2012, 12:00 AM
  #2
Trained
Try working him at the barn as soon as you get back and only relaxed walking on the trail. That makes the trail his happy place and will help rid barn sour habits. And if he acts up, figure eight him tightly and aggressively at the trot for a few moments then point him in the right direction and relax again. If he walks forward, don't mess with him. Give him a nice, loose rein, pat him, praise him, etc. Eventually I bet he gets over it...It works on my mare who previously would try to dump me on my butt every five minutes or so on a ride.

I don't tolerate buddy or barn sourness...Although I will let young horses go with a more experienced horse the first few times out. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a little attached to that horse too.
     
    08-04-2012, 01:11 AM
  #3
Green Broke
You and him are new with each other so this could be several things:

-He doesn't trust you yet to lead. Not an uncommon problem with a new horse.
-He's testing you. Not uncommon with a new rider and an experienced horse. Even more common when the horse has been used as a lesson horse as they learn all the tricks.
-He isn't nearly as experienced as you were led to believe. Not an uncommon situation for sellers to oversell their horse.

How to fix this? Take lessons to gain experience and confidence. Work with your new buddy so he gains trust in you. Only try to ride with experienced riders/horses for now that he trusts to lead your little herd on a trail ride. Once you've spent time riding together and gain trust with each other you can start working trails with the less experienced or solo.
Wallaby likes this.
     
    08-04-2012, 01:26 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Try working him at the barn as soon as you get back and only relaxed walking on the trail. That makes the trail his happy place and will help rid barn sour habits. And if he acts up, figure eight him tightly and aggressively at the trot for a few moments then point him in the right direction and relax again. If he walks forward, don't mess with him. Give him a nice, loose rein, pat him, praise him, etc. Eventually I bet he gets over it...It works on my mare who previously would try to dump me on my butt every five minutes or so on a ride.

I don't tolerate buddy or barn sourness...Although I will let young horses go with a more experienced horse the first few times out. I wouldn't be surprised if he is a little attached to that horse too.

I completely agree with you!!!
     
    08-04-2012, 05:48 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Trust has noting to do with who you are or how long you have had him. It has everything to do with respect.

Any horse that loses forward impulsion and backs up when you want him to go forward needs to be corrected, driven forward made to respect his rider.

In my experience, as soon as any horse learns that they can 'dummy up', 'stall out', or back up and can get a rider to get off and lead them, it is a fast trip downhill from there. When I trained for the public, many of the horses brought to me started out by losing forward impulsion. When that resulted in training a rider to get off and lead them, they just went quickly from bad to worse and ended up at my barn to be corrected and re-trained.

It is my opinion that you need to trailer to or find a place to ride that is not along a road and work it out with Dobbin until you are in charge, have his respect and are calling all of the shots.

If you are not a confident enough rider to do that, find a trainer that will ride him a couple of times and will then help you do the right thing so that he learns to respect you.

Miraculously, trust comes from that respect. You can not buy it with time, treats or leading one around and groundwork is useless except to get better groundwork.
     
    08-04-2012, 07:01 PM
  #6
Showing
You could always offer incentives by teaching him that there are goodies stashed along the trail. As he settles in the barn and herd mates are representing security. Try setting out a pan of treats just before where he got sticky and hand walk him there and let him enjoy. Do this several times and he'll start looking forward to going there. Then extend the distance. He has to decide whether the barn wins out or the treats. Most go for the treats.
     
    08-04-2012, 08:01 PM
  #7
Weanling
I wouldn't do treats. I do not allow my horses to eat with a bit in their mouth. When I'm riding it is my time, not eating time. When he stops and tries to back up, make him do tight circles or figure eights. He will learn he will not get away with misbehaving and going forward is less work than circles and figure eights
     
    08-04-2012, 08:48 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
Trying to 'coax' a horse to do what any well trained horse should do because it is asked to, is not 'training'-- unless you count the horse training the rider as 'training'.

I am not trying to be harsh but I am a realist and a trainer. What I try to explain is actual 'training of the horse'. Avoiding a problem, 'following' another horse or coaxing and bribing a horse does not produce a well trained horse. It usually just produces a well trained rider.
     
    08-05-2012, 01:18 PM
  #9
Weanling
Thanks Cherie, I 100% agree with you. If it weren't that the driveway was paved and there was little room to school or do figure 8's, I would have felt more confident driving him forward. The odd thing that happened - once he got to the driveway and I tried to push him past it - he refused. Then he refused to go DOWN the driveway. It's like he went into panic mode and his brain shut off.
He's a TB, formerly an eventer. My trainer is going to help me with this.
     

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