Rail Rider.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Rail Rider..

I started riding a new horse last week. His name is Luke, and he's a humongous black draft cross. He is an absolute perfect gentlemen under saddle, but he has one problem: he rides the rail.
The reason he does this is that his owner, who rides him everyday after I do, leans too much to the inside, pushing him toward the rail more. Luke, obviously, takes this as a cue to move outward and squish himself up against the fence. Now he does it just as a habit, as his owner is constantly asking him to do this, though not purposly.
So far I've tried leaning to the outside to push him off, using my outside leg, opening my rein.. everything. While he listens most of the time, since his owner is back on him right after me, there is no progress. Everytime I get back on him, he's doing it again, and I've got to ask him off. I'm starting to think there is no way I can break his habit! Every time I stop asking him off, he just goes back to the fence. I mean, right on the fence, as in my foot will hit the fence.
I really need help, because, honestly, I'd rather not have to be on him all the time about getting off the fence.. :\

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post #2 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 12:50 PM
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That is NO fun at all!!! Unless you get the owner (and all other riders, for that matter) on the same page, there likely won't be much progress. It might (emphasis on might) get to the point that he will learn that when you ride he can't ride the rail, but that will take loads of time. Have you tried talking to the owner? Why are your riding him? (if you don't mind me asking)


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post #3 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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His owner comes to the barn after I've left, so I can't talk to her. I'm riding him because my instructor uses him in the summer riding program during the day (9:15-around 4) and he's ridden for two hours in the morning, by me or a friend of mine. His owner isn't there during the day, so it works out nicely.

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 02:13 PM
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One of the horses at my barn does the exact same thing, and my instructor suggested that the girl who rides him warm him up a couple feet into the arena so he can't 'lean' on the rail. Maybe circles, serpentines, and figure eights will help him? I'm not really sure because I've never actually had a horse do this so I haven't dealt with that before...
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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We do figure eights sometimes during the lesson and they don't help him, but I'll try circles and serpentines.. :)
I keep him in the middle sometimes, but it's a group lesson and he's very slow, so when people want to pass it's diffacult to go around me.

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 08:25 PM
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You're never really going to get much accomplished unless you or someone else breaks the owner of their habit. It sounds like the horse is willing to learn as long as he's given consistent cues. I've tried training a horse that receives inconsistent training, and it didn't take me long to give up. In my situation, there was no way to fix it. I'm sure the owner can't be happy about having her leg squished constantly either. Maybe someone just needs to point out her faults.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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My instructor, also her instructor, told me she noticed but I'm not sure if she tried to help.. I hope she did/does soon!!

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post #8 of 9 Old 07-11-2009, 09:56 PM
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Since your instructor is hers too, you might mention it to the instructor. If she is cueing the horse to the outside and doesn't realize it, she needs to be made aware of the mistakes she is making. Unless the horse starts getting consistent cues, there is no way to ever get him over it.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-12-2009, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to ask her about it when I go to ride tomorrow (:

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