what would you do? trail question
   

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what would you do? trail question

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        07-19-2012, 08:03 PM
      #1
    Started
    what would you do? trail question

    Hello,
    So, this morning. Feeling like not doing ring work I figured I would take Mr. Vacation (4 yrs) out on the trail. He has always been good on the trail. A weenie in the ring but good on the trail. So, this morning, he was feeling pretty good, stepping out nicely. We get out on to the trail after 15 minutes of bushwhacking. I am about 1/2 way down the trail when he stops. He stands at attention and is looking around. I look around too and I don't see anything. I ask him to go forward and he does with out a complaint. We get four strides away and are about to go around a turn. Suddenly, he spins and fast trots the other direction. I get him stopped and turn around. His whole body is acting frightened, nervous and not wanting to go forward. I try to see what he was reacting to but I don't see anything. Yesterday, we saw a deer and he just watched it like "no big deal", so this is weird. I try to get him to go a few steps and he does but then he turns and power walks the other direction snorting. We stop again, I turn him towards the turn he spooked on and then I decided that we turn around. I worried because we had some ground recently torn up in our yard. Large rocks moved and I know that at 6:30 am this waterway and swamp is occupied by animals. I figured large predator up a head. We went back to the ring and did some ring work. He was a bit of a weenie but we worked through it and ended on a good note.

    My question is was this a ploy on his part? I was shocked because first I did not think he could move that fast. Obviously that sounds silly he is a horse and raced so he can move fast. Its just not his first choice, he is more of a leisurely stroll kinda guy. He has never spooked like this before. He has been on this trail a few times. I was riding him when we found 14 dead coyotes and he was joe cool about that. I am pretty confident that turning and heading back was the right decision. I just hate that he decided that we turned and left. I have ridden horses my entire life (20+ years) but this is the first horse I have been expected to "train under saddle" in any way shape or form. I have ground broken horses for the track but this is different. He is young and I don't want him to think that he controls where we go and when. Do you think this will be an issue on our next ride? What would you have done different?
         
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        07-19-2012, 08:10 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rookie    
    Hello,
    So, this morning. Feeling like not doing ring work I figured I would take Mr. Vacation (4 yrs) out on the trail. He has always been good on the trail. A weenie in the ring but good on the trail. So, this morning, he was feeling pretty good, stepping out nicely. We get out on to the trail after 15 minutes of bushwhacking. I am about 1/2 way down the trail when he stops. He stands at attention and is looking around. I look around too and I don't see anything. I ask him to go forward and he does with out a complaint. We get four strides away and are about to go around a turn. Suddenly, he spins and fast trots the other direction. I get him stopped and turn around. His whole body is acting frightened, nervous and not wanting to go forward. I try to see what he was reacting to but I don't see anything. Yesterday, we saw a deer and he just watched it like "no big deal", so this is weird. I try to get him to go a few steps and he does but then he turns and power walks the other direction snorting. We stop again, I turn him towards the turn he spooked on and then I decided that we turn around. I worried because we had some ground recently torn up in our yard. Large rocks moved and I know that at 6:30 am this waterway and swamp is occupied by animals. I figured large predator up a head. We went back to the ring and did some ring work. He was a bit of a weenie but we worked through it and ended on a good note.

    My question is was this a ploy on his part? I was shocked because first I did not think he could move that fast. Obviously that sounds silly he is a horse and raced so he can move fast. Its just not his first choice, he is more of a leisurely stroll kinda guy. He has never spooked like this before. He has been on this trail a few times. I was riding him when we found 14 dead coyotes and he was joe cool about that. I am pretty confident that turning and heading back was the right decision. I just hate that he decided that we turned and left. I have ridden horses my entire life (20+ years) but this is the first horse I have been expected to "train under saddle" in any way shape or form. I have ground broken horses for the track but this is different. He is young and I don't want him to think that he controls where we go and when. Do you think this will be an issue on our next ride? What would you have done different?
    I think horses smell and hear much better than we do, and I trust their eyesight more than mine. I would have probably listened to the horse. I know you don't want to let him get away with anything but, my old QH would NEVER say, "NO" unless it was unsafe. The one time my husband didn't listen, the horse actually dumped him and made him walk back. Turns out my hubby was asking him to walk into a quicksand bog, someone else's horse got stuck and had to be pulled out later in the day. So, I'd try it at a later time of day and see if he goes ok or if he's still wishy washy about it. Maybe take a gun or dog with you, just in case. You can always dismount and tie him to a tree and walk on ahead to see if there's really anything there (why I said take a gun or dog) and if not, get back up and ride on.
         
        07-19-2012, 08:11 PM
      #3
    Foal
    I don't think you'll know until the next ride. You might try taking him in a different direction and see if he does the same thing, if he does, he may have found a new trick to play. Otherwise, I would say his hink alert was going off if he is a normal steady Eddie. Our horses are steady Eddies and if all of the sudden they start acting hinky but not fussy, we'll listen to them. I'm not sure if that made any sense or not, but as animals sometimes they just 'know' something is up. Either way good luck with him.
         

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