Lots of leg movement and going nowhere, lol. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 11:13 AM
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post #12 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
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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I would never longe to exhaustion or to wear them out. And I do expect them to behave, but you can diagnose some problems with moving forward and transitions before you get on. I can completely knock out several problems on the longe line. If the horse bucks every time I push him into a transition on the longe, then he is not ready for me to ride. He needs to learn to push through even if he bucks; something I may not be able to comfortably sit. Then once he accepts that bucking will not get him out of work, and he does the transitions well, it's time to ride.

And for two other horses that I have owned in the past, they are cold-backed and need just a minute to adjust their spine to the saddle, otherwise they will be very grumpy and uncomfortable.

Longing for respect is what I'm getting at, not longing for nowhere.

Although I have quarter horses and paint horses, so maybe that's a thing.
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post #13 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 11:23 AM
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Yes, I find that longeing can often be useful for getting a horse's "head in the game", when used correctly.
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post #14 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
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.
Thank you but I know this is not it. She is more than finished but just nervous I am sure. I have had her in a walk moving faster than she was at this time, lol. Gah gotta love her! And backing into the hot wire lever probably didn't help at the beginning of the ride either, .

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post #15 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
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.
Good idea on taking them places they have to think more about. I will try this when possible. I am really (now that I have had time to think) thinking that she was nervous, everything is new and she had not been out for 3-4 weeks riding due to this HORRIBLE rain that didn't stop for a month!!!!!!!!! I don't mind riding in the cold but rain, heck no!! I hate to be cold and wet! Nothing good comes from that!

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post #16 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the answers and suggestions, I will try a lot of them. As far as the round pen. Well, its probably really slick due to the weather so I have not been using it. I also really do not want to have to do that before I ride either. Going to take her out today with my husband on our gelding will report back after.

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post #17 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 03:53 PM
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My oldest mare has always been a 'jigger' - with her its excitability and lunge work would definitely not wear her out even though disciplined lunge work is something I do use on a couple of my horses at times to just get some focus and knock the steam out of them a bit if they've had time off
Flo did some dressage early in our partnership and she was always fine - same in the show ring but out on a trail she wants to fizz up, jig, prance sideways and leap about - I find that the best thing to do is to not react at all but sit very still and relax deep into the saddle, I encourage her to ride on a fairly long rein and light hand and if anything gently push her into the bridle to lengthen her stride rather than try to hold her back - the shorter the stride the more likely it turns into a jig so getting her to stretch out and unwind has better results
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post #18 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 05:15 PM
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I like Cherie's suggestion. Some horses just need to learn to conserve their energy and focus on their job. I have a green mare that is a little jiggy. Walking through lots of deadfall makes her focus.

I've tried other things with varying results. Different things will work with different horses. I think you just need to find a way to make her focus on what you want. Maybe challenge her more. Lots of other decent suggestions on this board, too.
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post #19 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 10:10 PM
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I like Cherie's suggestions, too, but our terrain does not allow this much where we trail ride. We go on fairly narrow trails with trees, stumps low bushes, vines and hiddne menaces all underfoot. There is no safe offroading.
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post #20 of 35 Old 01-02-2013, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
I never, ever allow my horses to 'let off steam' on the lunge. No way!
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Taking a "fresh" horse into a small arena/round pen, or longing them, and working them until they calm down and stop bucking, or bolting is a completely appropriate way to deal with a young or fresh horse. Doing it properly teaches the horse to become obedient sooner and sooner until its no longer needed.

Some horses are not safe to ride before working off the extra energy/tension. But this is different from letting the horse control the situation with unwanted behavior.
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