Horse trots to catch up when out riding and ignores me...
Just wondering if anyone can offer some tips that would help with controlling my horse while out riding.
i go trail riding every week or so with a friend and since his horse has quite a fast walk he usually leads. My boy tends to plod but once he gets 5 or so metres behind he always breaks into a trot to catch up - without my asking. If I try applying pressure to bring him back to a walk he pretty much ignores me until we have caught up and I find it quite annoying. He also doesnt pay much attention to where he is putting his feet when doing this and tends to trip a lot, I think he is more focused on catching up! I dont like pulling on his mouth but he ignores half halts, a couple of times I have made him circle and then go forward which tends to annoy him being held back - he will pop up on his back legs but doesnt get very far off the ground. Its hard because the other horse ambles but my horse only does walk or trot. He also breaks into a trot whenever the guy whistles at his horse which he does quite often to make her walk faster and that irritates me to no end :?
Any thoughts or ways that I can get him walking faster without trotting or to just pay attention to what I'm asking instead of how far behind he is?
He's one of those horses that plods along until he realises we have started heading home and then his plodding turns into a nice extended walk.
Try asking him to halt. If he resists, then circle him back and ask him to halt facing the opposite direction. Everytime he goes to move, you correct him right away. Ask your friend to stop so there isn't TOO much distance.
It's tedious but every time he tries to go before you let him, get after him right then and there.
Sky used to be a freakin' plow but then he learned mighty fast that when I say halt, circle, trot past the other horse, turn around and walk the other way.. he best do it.
Make him walk out correctly so he keeps up with the other horse - or do as Sky says.
Just like when you wean a foal, you need to show them or let them learn they will be ok not next to the other horse. You know they will be fine but they need to figure it out. It's just an instinct they have being a herd animal. There's safety in numbers. Alone, they are vulnerable. It is the same with a buddy/barn sour horse.
Can you ride out alone? Sometimes that will help.
Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. Put the horse to work, circling, sidepassing, etc next to the other horse and let the horse munch on some grass away from the other horse. When the horse gets jiggy, give him a job to do so he has to focus on you instead of the other horse. If he walks towards the other horse nicely, let him be. If he gets jiggy again, give him a job to do again.
Or you could do as Sky suggested. Turn the horse the other direction. When the horse behaves, turn back to the other horse. Just be careful turning the horse away. It could end up in a bucking spree. If you do trot back to the other horse, don't stop when you get to that horse. Trot past a little. Turn the horse and walk back.
Make your horse be out front. Keep ahead of the other horse. After a while circle around so you're behind the other horse. Or try walking on opposite sides of a road. If you're on a trail, veer off the trail aways and then go back to the other horse.
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Try a light tap behind your leg with a crop to get him to extend his walk. He will need a few reminders until he catches on. Squeeze with your calf muscles a little then if no response in 2 or 3 seconds, give him a tap, not to delicately but not a whack either. You need to teach him that the tap will follow when he ignores your legs. You are only trying to extend his walk. He may scoot forward the first time so be careful not to jerk his mouth. At least you got faster movement.
I would also work on his walk. Try it alone first so you can teach him a more extended walk, rather than a trot. He can obviously do it, so it's a matter of teaching him to listen to you.
Try Saddlebag's idea, but get it down pat at home, alone first. He needs to recognize two speeds of walk that are permitted and asked for. Then move it out to the trails.
Your "friend" also needs to stop encouraging your horse to misbehave.
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I would work on having him pay more attention to you, as others have mentioned, but also having your horse do that lovely "extended walk" you know he has.
Horse doesn't have any respect for you as a rider. He sounds like he is running through your hands, and you don't have the skills to stop him.
Going out alone might help but if you can't control him, would be a disaster.
You need to work him more in ring, or even on trails, as to his behavior, by stopping, turning, and circling, as well as groundwork with him, so that he listens to you better.
Thanks everyone for your advice! I really do need to do some work with him on it but its so hard being the middle of winter here and not having access to an arena/yard or anywhere on my little property that isnt a complete bog right now. So all of my practise will have to be out on the trails for now, unfortunately due to previous abuse I cannot ride with a crop - he is completely terrified of them or anything resembling one (He used to get hit across the face with a file) :-x. I will work on circling and halting and get my friend to wait while I'm doing this - I do get a little nervous holding him back as while he has never bucked it is my one big fear right now!
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