Stop grazing on ride - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Stop grazing on ride

My qh tries to graze when I trail ride her. Really pushy and head strong, and I'm not always strong enough to prevent her from that. And it's really irritating to pay attention to prevent that constantly. The grass rein not going to work as I ride her in sidepull (meaning no bit to attach the reins). I try to work her right after the bite (kinda punishment), but as long as I'm paying no attention she low her head again to get to grass.

Any suggestions on how to stop that?

BTW, she's NOT hungry. :) And she's not skinny either.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 07:43 AM
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Re: Stop grazing on ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val
My qh tries to graze when I trail ride her. Really pushy and head strong, and I'm not always strong enough to prevent her from that. And it's really irritating to pay attention to prevent that constantly. The grass rein not going to work as I ride her in sidepull (meaning no bit to attach the reins). I try to work her right after the bite (kinda punishment), but as long as I'm paying no attention she low her head again to get to grass.

Any suggestions on how to stop that?

BTW, she's NOT hungry. :) And she's not skinny either.
my old arab used to do this. Very very annoying. He also used to grab randoms branches off of trees on the way past :roll: the only way I could deal with it was by giving him a kick as he did it. He was pretty sensitive so giving him a kick made him pull his head up and keep moving

Sorry I can't offer more suggestions but I've only ever had the one horse who did it and eventually he got sick of being kicked and stopped trying to munch on everything he saw. Btw, I never kicked hard just a little more than he normally needed. Good luck with it all :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #3 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, jazzy! :) I did try kicking but she doesn't care much. :( Only my yelling helped, but I can't imagine riding and screaming for the whole ride. Lol! May be I have to kick harder (usually I just squeeze).
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 10:09 AM
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You don't ever want to kick, never ever kick soft or hard that will make a horse dead sided. Use a whip and ever time he opens his mouth to grab a bite whack he will speed up but that's ok just slow him back down.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I tried using rope (not whip) and smacked her butt couple times, but she starts to buck every time (yeh, stop eating of course, but still). Frankly, I don't understand why she's so greedy for grass as they get grain/excellent hay plus I let them graze hour or so a day (not lately though as winter is coming and no grass on our fields). And she's perfectly fine in ring (even we have some grass in ring). I guess I will just keep trying to speed her up.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 03:03 PM
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I have been dealing with the same problem for two years with my stallion. He is pretty good if I keep driving him along the path, but if I relax at all or quit driving with my body, or stop paying attention, he tries to grab anything within reach (grass, leaves, sticker bushes, ANYTHING). It drives me nuts. Right now I am just waiting for the snow to cover everything so I get some peace :) When he does it I drive him faster or in a circle or two, but it doesn't really discourage him.

I keep hoping he will eventually get past it. Sorry I have no real advice, but I share your pain :).
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying B
You don't ever want to kick, never ever kick soft or hard that will make a horse dead sided. Use a whip and ever time he opens his mouth to grab a bite whack he will speed up but that's ok just slow him back down.
as long as it isnt overused or used too hard it shouldnt be a problem. Although all horses are different, it never effected mine as the kick was rare and not all that hard. Problems can arise if its overused or if you just lay the boot in

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #8 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 08:06 PM
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I train horses sooooo I'm on lots of different horses and I would never kick any of them it is not needed on any horse in the world.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-15-2007, 09:59 PM
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Here is an article that will help you out :)

Horse Eating Grass
It's a common scenario; long, lush, enticing grass everywhere, and we want to play with our horse. Let's consider two things; when don't you want him to eat grass... and, what you can do to stop him that is fair, friendly and uses psychology and communication rather than punishment?


When don't I want him to eat grass?
I often hear people say, "I never let my horse eat grass when I'm riding", and guess what...their horse is one of the worst! He takes every opportunity to lunge at the grass, even unseating the rider to get at it.

If we think about it from his point of view, he's surrounded by delicious grass and then gets punished for wanting to eat it. This is just like taking a small child into a candy store and expecting him to have enough self-control to ignore all that candy. It's a pretty tough thing to ask, right?

By being more considerate, we could give him some time to eat before asking for his full attention, then allow him to eat it now and then, but only when you invite it. Be sure to give permission rather than just letting him plunge his head down. Invite him by using the Porcupine Game... simply lower his head to the ground when you want him to graze. It's a great way to improve Game #2!


How can I stop him when he does try?
The first thing is to clearly establish your alpha position in his herd through the Seven Games. You've also proved to your horse that you're not an unreasonable person, and that you're considerate of his desires. This prevents any resentment from forming as you become particular when he eats grass.

Now, use cause and effect. When your horse lowers is head, allow him to start munching without even touching the reins or rope, then smooch and lightly begin tapping his hindquarters, becoming firmer and firmer until his head pops up. Stop tapping right away and rub.

At first it may be a surprised reaction and his head may go straight down again. Just repeat the smooch and progressively firmer tapping until his head comes up, then rub him again.

Very quickly, a quiet smooch is all it takes to ask your horse to lift his head from eating grass. Your horse will learn to graze when you invite him to, and to stand respectfully until you do. Your horse will now think first whether he's been invited to eat before just hauling you into the brush for a quick bite.

Be prepared to out-persist your horse on this once your phases of firmness and timing of the rub is effective, the change is lasting, and sure beats the old habit of pulling on his reins or lead rope, not to mention his building resentment from your lack of regard for his desires.

This combination of knowing the horses desire, establishing our expectation, and having the technique to communicate without punishment is very effective. If you feel yourself getting mad, remember that it's nothing personal, and he's been munching grass much longer than you've been asking him not to. Hang in there with him; smile, whistle, and have fun with this project.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-16-2007, 12:46 AM
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Awesome! I am going to start dong that, because I am tired of fighting with him and feelng like the bad guy!
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