Lots of leg movement and going nowhere, lol. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Lots of leg movement and going nowhere, lol.

Hello, I just bought a new horse in October. And because of abscess and bad weather she has not been ridden much. I am noticing now that I am riding her a bit that she has a problem with just chilling out and walking. She seems to want to prance (for lack of a better word). She seems a bit nervous because of all the new things and leaving my gelding and going out alone, (she can hear him call to her) so I have assumed that she will settle down when she gets more comfortable. I started thinking today that maybe with her dressage training this is maybe normal for her and if so how do I tell her to knock it off and just walk, lol. I have had her out with my husband on my gelding and she did walk fine so I know she can do it. I ride western and trails so so stepping a lot and going nowhere is not for me, lol. Guess I just wanted to share and see what you all my have to say. Thanks.
If someone was asking me I would say to give it time and things will be fine but the wanting the perfect horse side well, is unrealistic at times, lol. Oh and we had a come to Jesus meeting today when she kept wanting to turn around, and I WON! I got pissed and she knew it, we went my way, lol. So all and all I felt good but still wonder about the prancy walk.

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post #2 of 35 Old 01-01-2013, 09:55 PM
Green Broke
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I wouldn't think this was caused by dressage training since they do want a nice walk in dressage. Its most likely nerves. Are you sure all tack fits comfortably?

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #3 of 35 Old 01-01-2013, 11:10 PM
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Nope not Dressage training, we don't teach horses to 'prance' instead of walk ;)
Sounds to me like she's simply nervy, and possibly you are subconsciously gripping and feeding the issue.
Take a few deep breaths through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth. Let your legs completely flop, relax your torso and simply think walk with your body. By totally relaxing and dictating that you want to walk, you will be making it harder for her to jog than to just walk. Keep patient, she'll settle in time.
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-01-2013, 11:13 PM
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You could also longe or do a little ground control before you ride. Sometimes horses need to blow off some steam instead of being bottled up by the rider. If I didn't let my horse buck on the longe line before I got on in a new environment, he would get very strung out when I would try to ask him to concentrate.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-01-2013, 11:48 PM
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I think you are talking about jigging. So you want advice on how to stop a horse from jigging.

I am not sure what's best . I think you can either stop the hrose and back her up every time she jigs, or you could turn her in a circle and then give her a chance to just walk out, then return to the circling if she jigs.

Basically, it's doing some that's more work when she jigs, then offering her the chance to walk, if she chooses to jig, return her to harder work, then offer her a chance to walk straight forward and see how many times she will choose to jig.

Her anxiety toward the others is barn sourness or buddy sourness (same thing pretty much). there are a ton of threads on this training issue.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I didn't see hers as Jiggy but I guess there could be different gaits of jig, lol. My tb will get jiggy and when he does he is heavy on the reins, she wasn't heavy on the reins but just wanted to step in place of walking, almost like trotting but slowly. I bet it is nerves. She is not used to the lay of the land yet and probably remembers the llama experience she had down that way, on one of our first rides. And what is with this buddy sour-ness. Seems every horse seems to have some level of it. Gah! Well thank you everyone, I will give her time. I am really chomping at the bit, lol, to have warmer weather to really get into her training. Right now its hit and miss. What I wouldn't do for an indoor arena about now!!!

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post #7 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 01:00 AM
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What Kayty said.

A horse can jig and still be light on the reins. It's an issue of nerves or excitement making them feel the need to go faster than they are able to walk. Many green horses have this issue because they have not learned to really stretch out at the walk. So they feel a need to go faster, but in order to increase the speed without trotting off and disobeying you they must break into a short, choppy trot or some convoluted hybrid of walk and trot. The energy goes up instead of forward.

I have seen this with so many green horses that I almost expect it to be a phase of training we must work through. In my experience, it doesn't help so much to make the horse back or circle, because that often increases their anxiety about not getting where they are trying to go. Depending on how explosive their temperament is, this might not turn out well.

What usually works well for me is to try to get the horse to walk a single step, then completely relax and allow them to walk as fast as they want. It takes a few tries, but if they are pulled back to a walk each time they break out of it and then rewarded for staying in gait, they soon learn that the only way to get where they are going is to stay at a walk. You want to reward the true walk, and not focus on the speed of their forward movement. Once they learn to relax into the walk you can teach them to rate their speed within the gait.
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 02:23 AM
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I never, ever allow my horses to 'let off steam' on the lunge. No way! It might work a couple of times if they're a bit fresh, but then they learn to buck on the lunge, and get fitter so that it takes more lunging to wear then out each time.
My horses can play and buck as much as they like on the paddock, but when they are connected to me via a rope, they are expected to behave.
A horse that jig jogs out of excitement or anxiety will still do it even if you lunge them to exhaustion first. My 11 yr old gets terrible anxiety and there are days when I do feel scared to get on. If I put him in the lunge, he would get even more worked up. So I suck it up, get on and just ride walk leg yields on circles and serpentines until he relaxes and takes a contact. Sometimes it can take 40 mins, sometimes 5, but aiming for relaxation is the key. If I tried to work him hard everytime he started to get anxious, he would probably lose his brain and be a danger to us both.
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 08:00 AM
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I did not read all of the other answers, but we have always taken parancy and jiggy horses into the rough just off of a trail. They just cannot jig through brush, big rocks, over dead-falls, up and down steep embankments, etc. We head to the roughest ground we know of and leave them way behind the broke horse we take with them. Two or three hours of this and they have all figured out how to look where they are going and are tickled to walk there.

We always go where we can make a big circle so there is never a 'turning around spot'. That helps a lot on the going faster back home. Any time after that when a horse gets in a hurry, we just take it off the trail and into the rocks and brush. This is very effective.

Once they have figured out that they can walk flat-footed, we work on to transitions. We long trot for a ways and expect the horse to come right back down to a walk when asked. If they don't, it is back to the brush. We find an opening of smooth ground and practice loping circles and then ask them to walk on. You can get a really broke horse doing this.
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 11:10 AM
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What did she use to do before you got her? Because a lot of arena bound, speed event horses prance, and prance on end for hours. Usually barrel horses. I have a barrel horse, hes extremely hot, he prances and prances, and just wants to go faster and faster! You hold him back, he'll chomp at the bit endlessly and prance in circles. It's very painful. But since my owner ship it has gotten better, what I do is i'll let him walk and walk and walk, and if he wants to pick up speed ill pull him into a one rein stop, and then let him go off like that.. Its very boring but has helped him loads... He still prances but hes ran a lot, hes my top barrel horse and we always have jackpots and lessons and what-not. Hope this was helpful!
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