Turning round for home on a hack
I've just got a new loan horse and he's a 16hh tb so the biggest horse ive ever rode so generally i'm already nervous when i take him out for a hack usually when we get about half way up the road he starts turning round and trying to go home I've tried turning him in circles back to the way I want to go or standing him still but he just walks backwards or ends up trying to push me into a bush because it's on a road its also really dangerous and ive ended up getting off him every time so obviously now every time he keeps doing it until i get off, ive tried going out with other company, using a whip but I just cant seem to get him to keep going, any suggestions? :(
I'm fifteen by the way
Sounds as if he may be scared of something past there, Maybe? I am no expert so I have no advice, Sorry :/
There's a few things you can try. He's either scare or barn sour. Getting off and walking back is encouraging the behavior.
You say this is by a road - is it a busy road? Is there a grassy area? If there's a grassy area, make him do tight circles when he refuses. Accept any method of safe forward that he wants - if he wants to go out further walking sideways or backwards, let him as long as he's safe and going the way you want. Follow each refusal with a lot of hard work in small circles. The point is to try and make the right choice easy and the wrong choice hard. Accept small goals as a win (say like 20 feet farther out each time) then work him hard when you go back home so he doesn't see it as a reward.
If you can safely hand walk him a little further out then get back on, try that.
If you can ride with a group, stick a halter on him with his bridle and see if he will let himself be ponied out further.
Ask if someone experienced will try to pony him out without a rider.
You could of course try to battle it out with whip and spur but that could be dangerous and is best left for people who really know what they're doing.
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Thanks the roads not too busy but there's cars now and again and its mostly ditches and bushes on the side of the road, he's not scared of where we are going because i've been trying different routes and as soon as weve gone a certain distance it's like he's decided he's had enough. I also think he can tell that im nervous, but I don't know how to relax myself when the situation is so scary every time I ride him
If it makes you scared then someone else may have to work him through it. If its not fear then he's just a being a brat.
Not to be a jerk but if his height is scaring you then this may not be the horse to be leasing. His height isn't going to change and if you're going to be too scared to correct him, his behavior will get worse.
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I'm not scared of his height he's just the biggest horse i've rode, i'm scared that i'm going to get hurt when he has his little paddys
Fear is fear. Your options are the same-
1. Work him through it, with help if need be
2. Get someone else to
3. Stop trying
I totally understand that it can be scary when a horse is being a jerk but those remain the options you have available to you - and they would be the same even if he wasn't scaring you.
Someone else just started a thread about their horse refusing/napping and there's some other good ideas in there: http://www.horseforum.com/natural-horsemanship/can-natural-horsemanship-help-my-nervous-130432
Aside from the methods I suggested before, you could try a more roundabout way. Lots of groundwork and establishing yourself as his leader would change your relationship and make him more likely to obey you. I'm a big fan of Clinton Anderson and I think it would help.
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Okay thankyou will look at the other thread and will give your ideas a go, thanks
One thing I've done with horses that are a bit barn sour like this is to make them work, either right there in tight circles as was mentioned or.. if they are insistent on going home.. work the snot out of them once they get back to the barn either by riding or by lunging them. Then get back on and ride out again. They soon equate "turn around and go home" with more work and typically are more than happy to just happily hack out at a quiet pace.
I have had a couple I had no choice but to let go back home, but boy they got WORKED once we got to the barn, then I asked them to ride out again. One mare it took me doing this about four times with her in the same day before she got the point.. I was one tired soul at the end of that ride but she never tried it again.
I also make a point when i'm riding out to take a few minutes when I get home to work them a bit more, even if it's a few times around the arena before I dismount and get off. This keeps them from getting the mind set that "home = rest" and generally stops this behavior. Just some thoughts :)
I think the "work hard near the barn" idea is good. ON top of that, if there is a place that is "out" where you can let the horse graze for a bit, that makes "out" even more appealing.
If you do need to get off ( no shame in that) then walk him forward, away from the barn and past the "sticky" spot, get back on and see if he will continue. Do this a couple of times, if he still wont' go forward, then go back to the barn and WORK!!! then after the work, start out again. Let him turn around to go back, if he will. just go along with him but once back at the barn , go back to WORK! after 5 minutes of HARD work, go out again, letting him choose whether to go back to the barn or go forward.
This can be very time consuming, so be sure you have several hours to accomplish this, because you must go all the way through it. you must continue to work him every time he chooses to go home . the first time he does not choose to go home at the "sticky" point, you ride him just a bit further (because you have won the battle), turn him around, take him home, detack and put him away.
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