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Wallaby 03-05-2012 02:52 AM

Spooking/"veering quickly" at the canter?
I'm not sure why this is but Miss Lacey has been "working on" her veering left and right at "scary" things while we canter and I'm realizing my own inequity at dealing with this.

I'm not sure why she's doing this but I think it's probably due to her getting more comfortable at the canter and more balanced so now the canter, instead of being an awkward unbalanced gait that she does rarely, is a comfortable "one of the girls" for her, if that makes sense.

Anyway, today we were cantering along, I had picked up contact (thank goodness!), and Lacey decides that this log is out to MURDER her. She immediately ducked out to the opposite side of the trail and continued to canter (kinda proud of her for that! Usually she'll take any excuse to fall out). I had her stop and we went back and trotted past that log again just so she could see that it really wasn't as evil as she thought. Of course, she didn't spook a second time, just trotted along like NBD.

In any case, that ducking over she did was some pretty skilled work and something I was totally unprepared for. I stayed on relatively easily but if she had ducked any harder, my status on her back would have been a little bit more iffy.

My automatic thought response to this is that as soon as she started kinda looking at that log, I should have possibly taken up more contact with (the spook was towards the left, the log was on the right) with the right rein and put my left leg on with some feeling behind it.

^^Yes? No? If no, what should one do in that circumstance?

grayshell38 03-05-2012 03:40 AM

Subbing to hear answers. Thelma does this too. I was having a friendly race(At a full gallop, though.) with my old BO on a super nice straight away when we came up on a puddle. It wasn't very big or deep, but she wasn't risking it, apparently! Totally did a mid-air direction change. If I hadn't almost peed myself, it would have been impressive!

hoopla 03-05-2012 04:04 AM

Get your leg on and push her on and tell her off.

Do more work with her round 'stuff. You can just put loads of things in a field and long rein her in and around and ensure she is listening to you and going confidently forward.

Joe4d 03-05-2012 06:23 AM

I am fighting the spook monsters myself. At least he doesnt rear and bolt and spin any more, and I can get him moving forward. He does like to stop think and then turn though. Or like you at a canter he will either freeze in place or jump straight sideways. Makes it kinda nerve racking to ride fast.
Lately he has discovered a tremendous fear of small branches with pine needles or leaves still attached laying in the trail, Now these are trails in the woods with branches everywhere , but let one be broke and laying in the trail.
Some people do the stop and snff, thing, umm no. I dont want my horse stopping and sniffing stuff constantly. Also it doesnt seem to help on the next object just that one.
Next I tried pulling his head back straigh as he goes by looking at the object and healing him on.
Next I let him just keep looking and run head first into a few trees, that seemed to get him paying attention a bit better, but he still does the jump sideways thing.
Last time I rode I used a modified CLinton Anderson technique which seemed to get results.
Riding along any time he would spook Id spur his ass and one rein stop and spin him race back past the object, barrel race turn around, go by, repeat a few times then go by it at my original direction and pace. Any reaction to the object got a repeat. After a few of these episodes he seemed to get the hint. I few times I could see him tense up at an object but then you could almost see the gears in his brain going as he quickly remembered flinching or jumping got him running in circles.

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