Eating on the trail. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-25-2013, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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You mean I'm not supposed to carry that bag of M&Ms in my saddle bag?

I would forget about addressing this with reins. Anytime she starts to grass dive, give her a kick and send her forward. Unless she's very talented, she can't eat and walk at the same time. She needs to know this is 100% enforceable and she is not allowed to do it. Make sure to reward her with release of pressure when she does give you what you ask for.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 03:16 PM
Green Broke
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You are missing the cues she is giving and reacting too late.

Horse may quicken its step, and more than likely is putting one ear forwards and one back to see if you are paying attention to it.

Be an active rider. If you feel her lighten up, then move heel against her, or tell her to knock it off. Take up on the reins. Stop her and make her back up a couple of steps. But quit sitting there and waiting until horse has its head down and then trying to fix it.

Once a horse has its head down, you have lost the leverage point. It is hopeless.

You have to do something before that head drops.

Watch the horse's ears, and when you see one forward and one back, either touch with heel, say QUIT, or stop horse and back...but you can stop this by stopping it before it happens.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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Since my horse has never been allowed to graze while a rider is mounted, ever for one bite, she never even offers to try.

I make sure she is not hungry when I ride. If I were to ride her far enough that she needed to graze, I would get off.

I don't have to stay alert every second worrying about getting the jump on her head down stuff. It just doesn't happen. Ever.

Carpe Diem!
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 04:46 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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I let my guy graze while we're out riding- he's kept in a dry lot, so that's the only time we see grass and I'm a softie who feels bad that my horse never gets to graze. He knows the command that he'll be allowed to eat (or drink) is "head down." He also knows that if he breaks stride to try to stop and eat he's going to get a solid kick and be run off. I do let him get away with grabbing a mouthful while walking or trotting if he can do so without breaking stride. He's gotten good at that.

He doesn't try to stop suddenly and eat, he doesn't try to pull the reins through my hands, and I very rarely have to do more than kiss at him to get him to start moving again. It also gives us an excuse to trot or canter when we "get behind" and have to "catch up." Some people let their dogs up on the couch, some don't. Same for this. Some do, some don't, as long as there are clear and respected rules/boundaries, neither is wrong IMO.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 04:48 PM
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I don't let my dog on the couch either. Lol.

You just have to decide what behaviors you personally can deal with and then enforce them.
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Carpe Diem!
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 04:56 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Surry, Va
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after dealing with a stop and eat refuse to move horse, I went the never let em eat route. Then started endurance and went witht he dismount route, all fine and dandy with a 15 hand horse, not so much with a 16 hand horse that turns into a 18 hand horse at around the 30 mile mark. I just started working on teaching Emma to eat on verbal command. Break time ! Break time !. seems to be coming along. Not perfect yet.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-27-2013, 04:59 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
You just have to decide what behaviors you personally can deal with and then enforce them.
I think you nailed it- know what you'll allow, be consistent and enforce it 100% of the time! You do that, and there will never be a mis-communication or issue.
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