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tbrantley 01-08-2012 10:53 AM

A horse that wants to follow riders going the other way.
 
For those that may not know. I have a new seven year old TWH. I have had him for a little over a month now. A little back ground info. He was showed from the age of 3-5 years old. Then he was used as a stud until I bought him in Nov. and had him cut. He hasn't had any real trail experience until now.

My problem is when I pass anyone on the trail that is headed the other way he wants to turn around and go with them. He does a little bit of a crow hop and spins around. What I have been doing with him when he does that is just calmly turn him right back around and click to him. Then he will go on, but so far I have had other riders in my group so they are following him so he goes on the way I point him. When he goes the right way I reward him by rubbing him and telling him what a good boy he is. Then he settles right down and goes right back into the gait.

My concern is what is going to happen when I am by myself and we pass several horses going the other way. What should I do? I notice that each time I pass a group it has been easier about getting him to go back the right way (with my friends right behind me). The first few times that this happen we would have to do several circles and I would have to spir him to get him to do what I wanted. He has improved that it usually takes one circle and a click.

Is this something that is common for a young green horse to want to follow a group that he passes? Should I just continue riding the way I am and not worry about something that may not happen or should I have a plan in case it does happen? Has anyone experience something similar to this?

What would you do if your horse wants to follow other horses going the wrong way and you are by yourself? I think I need a plan just in case. :oops:

Thank you in advance for the info.

Joe4d 01-08-2012 12:13 PM

ive got a 9yo, does the same thing, just have to be prepared, he always spins the left so I keep ahold of the right rein and either keep him straight or spin him a full 360 to the left. Ive taken to using spurs to work on his case of "wontgoitis". Sometimes in the first mile he needs an attitude adjustment, as he likes to pretend to be afraid of everything. And jerks his head around too look at everything he passes. Yesterday I let him plow head first into a tree. Seemed to work pretty well in getting him to pay attention to where he was going.
All you can do is ride out alone more often. Get him used to your herd of two. If he turns either pull him back straight and heel him in the direction he wants to go or turn full 360. If he starts getting worked up get off the trail and do figure 8's around trees. If you absolutely must and he is getting dangerous get off and walk him the way you wanna go.

OuttatheBlue 01-08-2012 12:48 PM

It sounds to me like he might be barn sour and trying to find an excuse to head back to the barn. Does he try to speed up on the way home at all?

My horse did this, but without the excuse of other riders. He would try spinning to the direction of the barn at various points of the trail ride, and on the way back rushing (in his own way). He would also be fine if he was with other riders, but terrible on his own. The trails aren't that crowded so luckily we never had to pass anyone, but if we did I would have bet he would have tried following.

His problem was he is a lazy horse who knew when we got back to the barn, we were done, so the sooner the better. For him spinning the other direction, I would make him work and get him listening to me better. (After several bad trail experiences having absolute control on trails is essential for me!)

One trail ride, EVERY time he tried to spin I would let him until he was facing the wrong direction and then made him back five feet, turned him back to the original direction and made him long trot for 10-20 feet (harder work than just walking like before).
I also made sure if I wanted to go fast, I did it on the way out and went slow on the way back (so he didn't think I was in a hurry to get home) and when I got back to the barn we did some arena work (riding or groundwork) so he didn't think he was done as soon as we got home.After one trail ride, he quit spinning and rushing home!
Now I try to do at least some arena work when I get back to the barn, and we haven't had any issues. I can even ride him at a gallop in an open field right by the barn, something that earlier would have created a lot of fights!

Skyseternalangel 01-08-2012 12:49 PM

Well the other horse approaches, maybe you could do some lateral work to keep his mind busy (nothing too hard) or take him to a soft trot. If he's spinning, there has to be some small window of opportunity which you have to shut. I don't have any experience with spinners but I do have experience with barn sour horses (ones that rather be with buddies) and I always made sure to keep them moving forward and keep their minds on me.

tbrantley 01-08-2012 07:39 PM

No, he is not barn sour or even buddy sour. He is not heading back toward the house or horse trailer he just thinks if a horse is going the other way he is supposed to. We don't have the trouble when where are in a open field or a wide trail. It is only when it is a tight fit and I move him over to let the other horses pass. Then he seems to think he is suppose to go with them. He is not lazy at all and he likes to go.
The problem is only when it is a tight fit and several horses are all going the other way passing him.

When I get back to the horse trailer I always ride pass it a couple of times without turning in. He doesn't have any problem with that. I always ride pass the barn several times before I actually turn to my spot that I get off at. This doesn't bother him.

I think he just wants to follow the other horse. Keep in mind he is always the first horse and when I have to move over to let several horses pass he will stand there and wait to the last horse pass and then he will spin around to follow them. I just have to spin him around until he realizes he is not suppose to go w/ them.
I rode him today and he did great until we had a really small trail and I had to get off the trail to let the other horses through. He wanted to follow them and I had to spend him several times before he went on the correct way. I notice the bigger the group the more determine he is to follow them. I had to give him a good kick in the side with my spirs today to get him to go on. I took the hit from Joe4d to spir him and keep him moving. It worked and I was able to get him right back on the trail and he went right into a nice gait.

I think he just gets confused.

nherridge 01-09-2012 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tbrantley (Post 1299438)
No, he is not barn sour or even buddy sour. He is not heading back toward the house or horse trailer he just thinks if a horse is going the other way he is supposed to. We don't have the trouble when where are in a open field or a wide trail. It is only when it is a tight fit and I move him over to let the other horses pass. Then he seems to think he is suppose to go with them. He is not lazy at all and he likes to go.
The problem is only when it is a tight fit and several horses are all going the other way passing him.

When I get back to the horse trailer I always ride pass it a couple of times without turning in. He doesn't have any problem with that. I always ride pass the barn several times before I actually turn to my spot that I get off at. This doesn't bother him.

I think he just wants to follow the other horse. Keep in mind he is always the first horse and when I have to move over to let several horses pass he will stand there and wait to the last horse pass and then he will spin around to follow them. I just have to spin him around until he realizes he is not suppose to go w/ them.
I rode him today and he did great until we had a really small trail and I had to get off the trail to let the other horses through. He wanted to follow them and I had to spend him several times before he went on the correct way. I notice the bigger the group the more determine he is to follow them. I had to give him a good kick in the side with my spirs today to get him to go on. I took the hit from Joe4d to spir him and keep him moving. It worked and I was able to get him right back on the trail and he went right into a nice gait.

I think he just gets confused.

Please, never wear your spurs on a trail ride again. A horse should never ever ever be kicked with spurs. Spurs are meant to be an extension of your heel mostly for precise movements/high level training.

I personally would try a couple different things in this situation. If you see people coming, start racking (or gaiting, whatever you prefer to call it) and get him focused on performing his gait. He likes to go, so make him go and go and go and go right past them.

Another thing I may do is stop him. Simply just halt him and hold him. If this is a difficult task, maybe it is something to practice at the barn first.

How is he in an arena with other horses? I would try to work him in an arena with other people and have them go in all different directions, and do not let him follow anyone. As a former show horse ... that is all he did. Follow the other horses. I am not saying that is why he is doing this, but it is a possibility.

It really sounds like he just has some respect issues with you, which you need to take up with him personally in the arena. Good luck. And please, for both your sake, stay away from spurs.

kait18 01-09-2012 10:13 AM

i would use the spur and/or crop for your case. if he is confused he will need direct communication to get the idea. him spinning to go with the others can get dangerous if it continues. if you respond once with a clear cue to continue straight and he ignores then use the aids to get the movement needed.

i would also not do a fast gait or canter past the other horses in a tight spot... to much chances there for my liking :)

if there are trees along side the trail encourage him to weave in and out to foucs on your cues. since i think you mentioned he acted the same in or out of saddle when the other horses go through i would stay on him.

since you ride normally with others you all can practice together if they don't mind. you ride towards them they ride towards you. and just practice passing eachother until he gets it.

have fun with your project :) goodluck

pintophile 01-09-2012 06:23 PM

I would try spinning him, hard the opposite way, when he tries to spin on you. Say if he tried to spin to the left to follow the other horses, I would spin him several times fast to the right before going on. When he spins on you and you turn him around, always go the opposite way that he originally went. Even if you do a full circle in the direction he wanted, that's still a 'win' for him even if you end up facing the direction you wanted - always take him back the other way.

It sounds like he just needs time and work, and that he's already improving.

tbrantley 01-09-2012 08:11 PM

"Please, never wear your spurs on a trail ride again. A horse should never ever ever be kicked with spurs. Spurs are meant to be an extension of your heel mostly for precise movements/high level training."

Let me clarify things a little better. This trial was very tight fit, we had a ice storm a couple years ago and we have a lot of trees down. I am talking about a very dangerous situation. I am trying to get out of the way so horses can go through. This paticular situation that I used my spurs, I had moved my horse up against a tree truck w/ vines and low limbs hanging down, trying to get out of the way for a group of horses going through. When the last horse went through my horse tried to follow them. I click to him first and direct rein him the correct way on the trail. This horse rears up and spins around. I am sorry but this situation is very dangerous, I spun him around the other way, he is still trying to get his head so that he can rear up. Yes, I spured him one quick kick and I would do it again. We were putting ourselves and other people in danger. The one quick kick is all I needed to let him know that he was making a wrong choice and he was not going to get by with it. I only use spurs when I truly feel it is necessary. This is a horse which has been a stallion for seven years of his life very strong and is still trying me. I have only ridden him about 5 times now. I know that he needs to know that I am his boss and can not let him get by with things. If a spur in the side now, can prevent dangerous situation then a spur in the side he will get. He quit that silly rearing up and spinning like he was doing and went on the way he should have.

I have tried him in arena no problems. I have practice with my friends them going one way and me going the other, again no problem. The only time I have problems is when it is a very tight, close in area that I have to move over and have him to stand still while others are passing us. He stands there patiently until the last horse goes through and then he does a quick spin while rearing up to follow them. I always click to him and direct rein him to go the correct way but he ignores that and tries me by rearing up and spinning around. So, that is when I will direct him around the other way. If he refuses to go, he will get a click for encouragement and if he still doesn't follow my cue, then he will fill more encouragement with a gentle nudge in his side and then a more demanding nudge in his side.

"Spurs are meant to be an extension of your heel mostly for precise movements/high level training." I believe this would be considered a precise movement and high level training.

I have broken all my horses (5 horses), to ride usually at a young age and never had any trouble with this type of disrespectful attitude. As you can tell, I am not going to allow him to get by with it either. He is too nice of a horse to allow him to get by with things. If he gets by with this, then he will try me on other things. I have had a broken patella, femur and tibula all on one leg, which is held together with screws and bolts. I can not afford to let him get by with anything or we both could get hurt. I love riding horses too much to quit. Just think how hard horses kick each other, believe me that little kick did not do anything but get his attention.


I will continue to practice with my friends setting him up in tight situations and practice having them to go one way and us to go the other. Hopefully, I can get this stopped really soon. This could be very dangerous. I am still hoping for some more advice or information on other ways that I can use to help me fix this.

nherridge 01-09-2012 09:51 PM

"I believe this would be considered a precise movement and high level training.

I have broken all my horses (5 horses), to ride usually at a young age and never had any trouble with this type of disrespectful attitude. As you can tell, I am not going to allow him to get by with it either. He is too nice of a horse to allow him to get by with things. If he gets by with this, then he will try me on other things. I have had a broken patella, femur and tibula all on one leg, which is held together with screws and bolts. I can not afford to let him get by with anything or we both could get hurt. I love riding horses too much to quit. Just think how hard horses kick each other, believe me that little kick did not do anything but get his attention.


I will continue to practice with my friends setting him up in tight situations and practice having them to go one way and us to go the other. Hopefully, I can get this stopped really soon. This could be very dangerous. I am still hoping for some more advice or information on other ways that I can use to help me fix this."

Really? This is a precise movement/high level of training? 0.0
You do realize spurs are not meant for kicking, right?

I was/am not trying to be mean in any way ... you should be able to do this without your "tools".
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