Eating on the trail. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Eating on the trail.

I've finally gotten out on the trail with my mare and loving it. One problem though. She is constantly trying to get a bite to eat. Yesterday we had to cross a large grassy meadow and I was having so much trouble trying to keep her from eating. At one point I pulled her head up and kicked her to go on and she crowhopped. I kicked her again and she went forward. She also will grab anything to eat. One day she grab a tree branch and was trying to chomp on it.
She get plenty to eat. She is actually a bit over weight.She will even stop on the way down a hill to grab a bite. Not only is it irratating to me it a bother to whoever may be behind me is she stops suddenly to get a bite.
I ride her in an eggbutt snaffle. She is 8 years old.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 05:36 PM
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Just keep at it. It sounds like you will have to stay on top of her for that one. If you can catch her before she puts her head down that may help you. Just stay on top of her and do not allow it
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 05:42 PM
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If you ever let a horse eat while you are riding them, that is all they want to do. I never let them take even a bite while I am mounted. If my horse needs to graze, I will dismount. Just keep on not giving in. Don't let her do it. She should get better if she figures out you are not going to let her graze.

Celeste
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 05:49 PM
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What is now an irritant could become a danger. We had a pony who was cantering down the trail, they come out on a grassy area and she stuck her head down to snatch a bite and she flipped. Luckily her rider was ok, but that could easily have gone south.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 06:04 PM
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don't ever fight with her pulling her head up with the reins, either go with a more leverage bit, spurs or a crop,
Like most things 1,2,3. I use verbal, light cue, heavy cue, IE HEAD UP, pull on reins, tap with spurs.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 06:06 PM
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Joe has a point. If you are tugging on the snaffle with no response, it might be time to find a different bit.

Celeste
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 06:56 PM
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I thought this thread was about the RIDERS eating on the trail, lol. I like to take a bran muffin.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 06:59 PM
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I switch to english reins and hook them over the horn. Horse drops his head and horse punishes his mouth. It takes 4 or 5 times to realize his method isn't working. I just sit there and wait it out.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
If you ever let a horse eat while you are riding them, that is all they want to do. I never let them take even a bite while I am mounted. If my horse needs to graze, I will dismount. Just keep on not giving in. Don't let her do it. She should get better if she figures out you are not going to let her graze.
It can be that is all they want to do but it doesn't have to be. I let a horse graze but I make it MY choice when they eat. I even train a cue for them to know when to eat.

Letting them graze when you are half way into the ride, they look forward to going out instead of fighting to go back.

I am going to disagree with Joe. I would not go to a more severe bit. Take the horse to an area where they would try to eat. While on the ground, work the horse a little then stop. If the horse tries to eat, put it back to work. Rinse and repeat. When the horse stops trying to eat, push down on the neck in front of where the saddle is or would be. Hold pressure until the horse puts its head down to eat. Let it get a few bites then bump the halter or reins to cue the head to come up. If/when it doesn't, go back to working the horse. Rinse and repeat.

If I'm riding a horse that likes to stop and eat, I have another technique. I use split reins and western saddle. I'll tie a knot in the reins (I don't want a chance of dropping one rein). I put the knot where I can put the reins on the horn but the horse can't reach the ground. I'll let them try to eat. They put their head down, they create their own pressure. Once they quit, I lift the reins off the horn and cue them to put their head down. This can also teach them to be lighter on the bit. Usually only takes a ride or two before the quit pulling the reins out of your hands.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
I thought this thread was about the RIDERS eating on the trail, lol. I like to take a bran muffin.
That crossed my mind too. We prefer beverages instead of eating. But that's another topic.
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