Dilemma: when to turn back on a trail ride... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Dilemma: when to turn back on a trail ride...

So my plan is to take my girl for a much needed (for me at least) ride on the road tomorrow morning.

Now my quandary is about when to have her turn back. The road her house is on goes for about half a mile (in the longest direction) after her house and then there's a super quiet T-intersection. The last time I rode on the road I had her turn back right at the intersection and the time before that I had her turn back about 100 feet front the intersection. I'm thinking that this time I should have her go through the intersection, no matter what, since she might be forming a habit of always turning back right there in her head...
Bad idea/good idea? If she's really having issues, there are some mini's on one of the corners that I've never seen her reaction to (for instance) she might be fine with them though, who knows, should I turn her around? She already has issues with eternally being too focused on turning to go home but at the same time, I don't want to push her too hard...yknow?

What do you think? She forms patterns really easily and fights pretty hard to get her way so I'm wary of letting her form that sort of pattern...
Help? =)

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 03:47 AM
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I would never let her choose when to turn around. I'd go way beyond the intersection if possible. But definately past the point of her trying to go home.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 07:39 AM
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I always do loops. Go around a block. I never dead end a ride, well almost never except if I run out of trail.
A 1/2 mile jog down the side of a road is nothing. Try doing a loop so there is no turn around to go home.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 08:44 AM
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Agree with CheyAut and Rios. I also ride loops rather than turn back on the same trail. However, of course that is not always possible all the time for a variety of reasons. So, if you have to turn back, you pick the point as CheyAut said, not the horse. If the horse decides to try to "let you know" it's time to turn, put him/her to work right there. Then, ride a little farther, and choose when to turn.

I also have a horse who "knows" the trails by heart. She likes to give me her opinion about a couple, only because she knows what/where they lead to. But, after a very brief "discussion", and sometimes it is only my calves on her and sometimes it's a verbal growl, we are back on track. You see, although my girl is very steady, she does so love her pasture, deep sigh.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 08:59 AM
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I'd go back and forth - from home to the intersection back to home then back to the intersection then back to home - all in one ride. If you can go back PAST home for a short distance, that would be helpful too.


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Perfect Jin N Scotch - 2004 APHA Palomino Overo Gelding - Western Pleasure and Showmanship

Hanks Rainy Sky - 1998 Black and White Tobiano Paint Gelding - relaxing rides and blazing trails
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly, I can't go in a loop. There's only one way to go on a loop but the road next to half the loop is very busy and fast moving and since Lacey isn't completely comfortable with the road yet, I don't really want to create a hazard. haha

Oh yeah, I never let her turn around when she wants to. Even if she's trying to mention to me that she wants to turn around (she looks at my leg, walks diagonally etc, we've mostly gotten over turning around before I ask) and it just so happens to be right where I want to turn around, I make her go at least 5-10 steps more, then I turn her around myself. No worries, she does not get away with being bossy, ever.

I have made her walk past home a few times. I should do that more often though. It was hilarious, she kept giving me the "Mom, something is wrong with you, no doubt" look. Haha

Thankfully she doesn't fight me so hard anymore. She's finally realized that she is not in control when I'm on her back, even though she may be unable to see me.
I'll let you guys know how it goes! =)

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-22-2009, 11:45 AM
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Yeah, it is defintly a good idea to change the place you turn out at, or she may develop a bit of a napping problem. Vary it as much as you can and make sure you are deciding when you are going to turn - not her. It's not advisable riding a loop, but as long as you are in charge and change the turning place regularly, then you should be ok.
It sounds like you are making great progress with her. (:
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