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Erfellie 11-07-2011 03:07 AM

How can I get my horse to WALK??
Any suggestions on how I can get my horse to stop doing what I call the "jitterbug"? Unless she is just dog gone tired she just wont walk for me. She does this half walk/trot bouncy jog instead. I know horses are lazy animals in general and I would think that she would be thrilled to just walk at a slow pace but she just doesnt seem to want to do that for me. She will do it for my other friend who rides her just fine, but as soon as I get on her she jitterbugs. I assume it must be something I am doing wrong as a rider but I cant figure it out. Saddle, bareback, hackamore, curb bit, snaffel bit, all the same reaction. My feet dont kick her belly im not yanking the rains. Maybe its my sitting position, I dont know. Any suggestions? :)

usandpets 11-07-2011 05:20 AM

I am going to guess that it is related to your other post about lack of respect or lack of confidence in you. You said you had an improvement in her in the other post. This will be another thing you'll have to work on and will get better by correcting her. When she does it, stop her, back her up, make her circle or basically make her work, then go back to walking. She should figure out it is easier to just walk than have to work. When she has better respect for you she should listen and behave better for you.
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Erfellie 11-07-2011 12:41 PM

Thank you, your probably right. I was so happy to wake up and see sunshine this morning. In Oregon when it starts raining, it usually doesnt stop for a few months LOL and we just got into our rainy season so I figured I wouldnt be able to ride for awhile. My horse does have shelter from the weather but we dont have an indoor arena and once the pasture gets wet I usually dont ride much. YAY for sunshine!! Im gonna go work one her with some more of the techniques people suggested :)

farmpony84 11-07-2011 12:57 PM

One thing is ground work. Go back to the basics on the ground and then when in the saddle do tons of halts and backs. Do lots of circles and serpentines and directional changes but the halting and the backing will get your horse looking for the whoa.

It just sounds like you have holes in your training, which believe it or not, is very common....

Erfellie 11-07-2011 05:05 PM

I just now read your post, but actually just finished riding about an hour ago and did just that and she seemed to respond pretty well today :) Thanks!

Kayty 11-07-2011 06:46 PM

In addition to the above posts - some horses will jig jog if you are gripping or tense anywhere in your body. Take a big breath in, close your eyes and slowly let the air out through your nose, while relaxing your muscles and allowing your legs to 'flop'. You'll be surprised at how much tension you carry without realising it, and how much this affects how your horse travels.

bubbleslove 11-07-2011 07:42 PM

I agree with all of the above - one of my geldings had that problem, what worked best was to do a circle every time he tried to start jigging. As well, I kept him on a fairly loose rein, which seems counter-intuitive, but helped him to relax, as he wasn't so worried about what was going to be asked next. Eventually, the minute I loosened the rein, he would immediately relax because he knew that a loose rein=no need to rush or worry.

Work at relaxing your hips and legs, and slowing him down through your seat. While you try to relax your legs, you don't necessarily want them flopping around - a sensitive horse gets nervous if he's worried that you might be signalling for more speed. I would very lightly hold my legs against the barrel, almost like a loose hug, just so he would know where they were without worrying.

Erfellie 11-08-2011 02:07 AM

I understand why you say to loosen up and relax my legs, but I use my thighs to stay on her back and even though Im not squeezing her really, I feel as if I were to loosen up anymore I would just bounce right off. I do try to relax, ease up, and take deep breaths but that seems to be when she speeds up, especially if I losen the rein. I dont pull on the reins constantly but I do hold them somewhat taught (not tight though) and when she does actually walk for me I will then loosen up the reins but then she speeds up as soon as I do that. hmmm.
Well as I said we are improving lately, things have been going better. I really am enjoying all this information on the horse forum, it really has been a big help to me, thanks everyone :)

Kayty 11-08-2011 02:32 AM

Have a go at letting go of your thighs - don't know what discipline you ride, but in dressage, the balance comes from your seat only, and the upper legs merely support your balance.

bubbleslove 11-08-2011 06:30 AM

Remember also that the straight line is a reward - it's much easier than patterns and figures. With my gelding, any time he relaxed, he got to go along the rail. The minute he started rushing again, back to circles, serpentines, etc. If you're consistent enough and quick enough with the rewards, they pick up on the idea pretty fast.
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