Problem going home! HELP! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Problem going home! HELP!

I have a 22 year old mare named Peach Fizz (Peaches). I am starting to retire her from showing because I have a new horse to show. I want to use her as my trail horse because of her calm and non spooky nature. She arches her neck and starts walking faster and pushes when we turn for home. I have never run to the barn ever, but she just has this idea she can. We have had her since she was 16 and she has always been good. I have done cirlces on the way back to the barn showing her she can't just run home, but I don't know what else to do. Even just riding in our yard, she wants to push to get back to the barn or pasture and will speed up whenever we are facing that way. What should I do? I want to be able to safely ride her on the trails as her retirement!

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post #2 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 04:55 PM
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Make the end of your ride not so much of a reward. Ie. we go for a trial ride and then we go and turn around and go out again or we go do ring work. Keep her guessing would be my advice.
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 05:12 PM
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There's been lots of discussion on this in the past but generally, lots of horses do this.

Reward good behavior and make them work harder when they have undesirable behavior.

We trail ride most every weekend and even at the places she hasn't been before she seems to sense when we're headed back toward the trailer.

I've tried several things and can't say I've had consistent success.

What I've been doing lately is instead of getting off when we get to the trailer I ride past it, then around it a few times, then back onto the trail and back to the trailer and repeat. I stop away from the trailer and loosen her girth and let her stay there for a few minutes before walking her to the trailer.

Some times I don't get the impatience at the end of the ride and have to admit, some times she still tightens the reins and tries to speed up at the end. I don't ever let her win and make her go slower when she does it.

My first suggestion is don't un-tack her at the barn and end your ride somewhere other than the barn. Also, after you end the ride leave her tacked up for 15 or 20 minutes. My theory is she probably thinks works over when she gets to the barn. So, make her work harder at the barn and by ending the ride at different places she really has no "happy place" to go to. Leave the tack on and there's no instant relief either.

Good luck, maybe someone more successful than I will chime in.....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 05:26 PM
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I went for a ride yesterday and when i turned around for home my gelding got all hypered up. Got spooky spooked at a car going by and just plain acting stupid. Wasnt much i could do to correct him we were on a icey dirt road. I just wanted to get back to the feild. Then i put him to work doing figure eights and trot to lope transitions.I didnt let him go home till his head got lower and he would walk calmly.The work out in the feild lasted 25 minutes before he settled down. Then when we got home he got to stand tied with saddle on for 2 hours no reward for being a butt head.
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post #5 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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Well, this being a mare and not a "yes maam" gelding, I'm thinking you will need to be very assertive with her about this issue. I'm assuming, since you've had her for so long, that you know how much you can push her buttons. I would think, in this case, whatever you do use as a corrective aid, be very clear and follow through fully with it. For example, if you decide to back her up four steps when she tries to jig home, make sure you get 4 full steps and not 3 1/2. If you make her stand still, make it completely still. You get the idea. FYI, do these lessons when you have all freakin' day to get it done. Horses always seem to know when you have a time limit.
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 07:06 PM
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She is still walking back home, correct?

If so, I don't think you could (or should ) do much about it. I think it is normal for all horses to walk faster going the direction they want to go. Now if she were jigging or trotting, etc. that would be different. But as long as she is walking, I don't see it as an issue? But maybe that's just me.

There are days my mare won't even walk coming home. I have a rule that she can go as fast as she wants as long as it is at a walk. So even if she speed walks home, that's still a walk and I consider it a success.

It may also get better with more trail miles. If I keep my mare well ridden, she walks coming home. If I let her sit for a week or more, I know I will have issues with her not wanting to walk.
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 07:09 PM
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PS. I also try to shoot for a loose rein coming home. I know if I have constant contact, it just encourages her to want to jig. Sometimes the horse won't let you give them a loose rein, but that is my goal.

Here is a good article:
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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She reared up a little at the walk so walking doesn't matter much at this point...I can control her gaits and I have tried figure eights and stuff but she just wants to get back to our place to see the other horses. I will try this stuff but I think she just wants to get back to the horses here.
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post #9 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 07:42 PM
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The minute she goes a hair to fast bring her nose around to your knee and work her in a SMALL circle. When she wants to stop push her for another minute. Slow her down to the walk in the circle and ask her to walk. If she walks tell her good girl. If she tries to go faster, back to hard circles!

Another thing you can do it ride past the trail to home, so she doesn't ALWAYS think she is going that way.

When you get home work her enough to make her puff, 20 min ish. This will tell her once she gets home its not time to relax.

If you feed her when you get home, DON'T! We made that mistake. We had a horse psychic talk to a horse who was rushing home (we didn't get the psychic for that reason, just happened to come up) that the horse always wanted to go home so bad because she was starved a few years ago and she is so excited to get back to her hay. I'm sure that goes for any horse. Now I make sure to untack brush, turn out, go inside pee, get a drink/food THEN I go out and feed. I make sure its at least 45 min.
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post #10 of 25 Old 12-19-2012, 11:35 PM
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My mare will speed walk on the way home and also when we are out in a new spot (she knows when we are headed back to the trailer, they have built in GPS LOL)..........she used to speed walk all the time but it took alot of work getting her to slow down, that we weren't in a hurry to go nowhere fast! Now when we go out she doddles behind at the rear of everyone LOL dragging her nose on the ground, when we head back if she speed walks it doesn't bother me so long as she stays walking.....she used to try to break into a trot or canter but I would do circles, make her stand, back and she soon got tired of that and sticks to the walk if that is what I want her to do......I think it just takes miles and consistancy, all horses get in a rush to go back.

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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