I feel like giving up on this... - Page 3

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I feel like giving up on this...

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    05-18-2012, 12:47 AM
If she doesn't want to walk, then why make her? Honestly...you actually answered your own question here... Make the wrong thing difficult, and the right thing easy.

If you ride in an area you can work in, then if she wants to fuss and jig about, then put her feet to work. Then when you've worked her for a good while, ask for a walk again, and if she walks, then leave her alone. If she starts to fuss, put her feet to work.

My mare can get antzy in the arena, and on the trail; she has a busy mind. So rather than try to rein her in, I put her butt to work. I can send her anywhere, that is not a problem. So if there are lots of trees to weave in and out of, I will trot around those for a good while; if there is an open area where I can lope figure 8s, circles, serpentines and such, I'll do that...the key is, I make it hard for her to be antzy and 'unfocused', and I refocus that attention back on me, and I make sure to make her want to slow down and take in the scenery instead of rush through it!

I don't think you have to 'settle' for your mare not being a trail horse, you just have to figure out how to work her through it, and stick to your guns on it, because she may not 'get it' in the first couple of rides...
SorrelHorse likes this.
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    05-18-2012, 02:49 AM
Green Broke
Sounds like my rope horse. I can't just go for a nice sunday afternoon ride with her. She goes nuts, like you said, bucking and jumping around like an idiot. She needs a job. So, our rides out of the arena consist of: playing with cows, making random patterns in the field, things that she has to think about. If she doesn't have something to do, it's hopeless.
rob likes this.
    05-18-2012, 10:23 AM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Mls - If you look back I AM actually taking advice, even if it's not the advice you agree with. And my poor horse? I'm sorry but I find that extremely offensive.
It's your choice to be offended. You forget that a lot of us have been around horses for a lot longer than you have. After a few years you look at advice from both sides. Instead of being offended - take it in the tone it was offered.

MANY of us ride hot, spirited, competitive horses. Yet we still trail ride them. We just pick the folks/horses we ride with a little differently than those who want a slow, casual walk.

Yes - poor horse. You are giving up before you even try.
    05-18-2012, 10:42 AM
I'm going to take a slightly different tack. Selena excells in lots of different tasks. You were warned when she was purchased that she wasn't a trail horse. She obviously doesn't enjoy the trails. Who cares why? She isn't a trail horse. My trail horse isn't a race horse or a cutting horse. If you want a trail horse, get one. Don't try to make Selena into something she isn't.

It sounds as if her life has been lived in the arena and that's where she's happy. So let her be happy!!

It's a rare horse that can do everything. I'd treasure her for her talents and forget the trails.
SorrelHorse and rob like this.
    05-18-2012, 04:20 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
It's your choice to be offended. You forget that a lot of us have been around horses for a lot longer than you have. After a few years you look at advice from both sides. Instead of being offended - take it in the tone it was offered.

MANY of us ride hot, spirited, competitive horses. Yet we still trail ride them. We just pick the folks/horses we ride with a little differently than those who want a slow, casual walk.

Yes - poor horse. You are giving up before you even try.
Good for you that you have been riding for so long....Good that you can take your hot horse on the trails...Care to come try mine? You're more than welcome if you think you can fix this problem.

So all my attempts before this and the attempts I'm going to make with her starting today are "giving up before I even try"....?
ThealovesLondon likes this.
    05-18-2012, 04:24 PM
Update for those of you being helpful -

Today I plan on taking her out with Rebel and my Mom and starting off with some extended trots on the flat logging road. I'll do little things like changing flexion, pushing her hip around a little, counterarc circles if she gets really bad, figure 8's, weaving through trees, and see if she gets any better.

I think I'll do this a couple times and see if she gets better. My instinct says now that she wants to work, so I'm going to let her. Rebel loves to get out and move on the trails so that will be good to pair them together. Worst comes to worse, we pony her behind him on the way back. LOL.
    05-18-2012, 05:11 PM
Just don't get into a bind and do not get into a battle.
    05-18-2012, 05:48 PM
Good luck with her, it sounds like you're getting the right idea.

My mare likes to trail ride, but when I started eventing her, she hated leaving the warmup arena with all her "brand new best friends" to go out, even though she was fine was she was over the first jump and knew what to do, it was getting her over that first hurdle (literally and figuratively!)

My trainer at the time told me to start taking her up the dirt road away from the barn, and said "if she won't leave at a walk, then trot. If she won't leave at a trot, then canter, if she won't leave at a canter, then gallop". Which, I wasn't going to ACTUALLY go galloping down the dirt road, but that very thought helped me to keep her forward enough and be firm enough to get her to go out.

Now, she actually road rides better alone, although I'm not a fan of road riding. I trailer to the park to ride quite often but usually bring a friend. For cross country? Now I can barely hold her near the start box in the count down, she knows her job and wants to DO it.

And don't wait until she's old and calm, I've been waiting for my mare (THE NeuroticMare (tm)) to be old and calm. She's 16 now and more hot some days than she was when she was 4, it's just how she is. I don't mind it anymore and actually have found our best trail buddy is my friend's foxtrotter gelding because he moves quickly from being gaited so she doesn't get so bored waiting for others to catch up to her fast walk on trail. A nice trot and canter and occasional gallop (in a palce I know has safe footing) is usually in the cards too ;)
SorrelHorse likes this.
    05-18-2012, 11:05 PM
I ended up having to go out alone so I ponied her behind Rebel. I took a nap after riding Ruger earlier and just wasn't really prepared to fight with a horse, plus I didn't want to be caught alone on a dangerously behaving horse. We trotted up a dirt road and walked up the creek, then turned around and came home. She didn't even care. I'll try some other things later, and if it doesn't work out I won't beat myself up over it. She's a fabulous arena horse and isn't good on the trail. Rebel is a fabulous trail horse who doesn't really care for arenas....It all works out. Lol
NeuroticMare likes this.
    05-20-2012, 12:22 AM
Sorrelhorse, the posters who encourage you to work your horse are right on! Your horse is fearful of new settings, and maybe barn sour. The only thing I would add is to have a lead rope with you and if you feel uncomfortable or fearful on the horse because her tantrums are putting you in danger, GET OFF and make her lunge. Get after her butt and make her MOVE. Move her until she is ready to listen, then get back on and try again. This works for horses who refuse to move forward. I've done this as many as five times in one ride and finally the horse chose to listen. Again, it needed lots of work to do that occupied its mind, like serpentines, figure 8's, around trees, until it was ready to walk calmly. She still needs an occasional reminder especially if it's been a while since her last trail ride. Your horse can definitely be a trail horse. This is a training issue, IMHO.
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