Riding on the roads
Hiya, my horse used to be fairly okay to ride out on the roads but 2 years ago we had a horse lorry behind us while we were riding and it kept tooting its horn at my horse. This obviously scared her and knocked her confidence on the road therefore knocking mine too. The only roads by us are main roads, so it's like jumping back in at the deep end so I always avoid riding on them. Does anybody have any tips on how I can build both of our confidence back to how it used to be? xxx
for me all i did was put my horse in a roundpen about 15ft away from the rode. after the first day i walked her up the drive way on foot and had my mom drive by with the car. eventually my horse settled to having a car pass us. we then added the horn after the horse settled and was comfortable.
then i tried riding him up and down the driveway while my mom drove by and even honked the horn.
eventually i had walked him down the rode and since its usually pretty empty had my mom drive by us. she did multiple passes. one being a cautious driver and passing slowly, then a faster pass , and then the all out a**hole driver : honk the horn from behind us as she came closer honked again and yelled and then speeded by.
once i was comfortable leading him thru all of this we did it on horse back. but only after we were both comfortable. which is all up to you guys no one can put a time frame on it.
but i will say boy am i glad i had my mom practice being an a**hole driver because it saved me alot of scares later on because i was already confident i could handle it and knew my horse could as well.
Good morning from New Zealand..
Around our riding area we have a major forest and in that we also have a lot of log trucks travelling back and forth some 20 hours a day, so we have a choice... ride and get the horses used to all this or not ride the roadsides and have to float the horses to somewhere else to ride.
We choose to ride our roads and a system we found that suits us... is firstly with a new horse I will ride out on an experienced horse leading this new boy, and keep the new fella between the experienced horse and the traffic...
For a while as a truck approaches, the new horse will be scared and jig around, but after a few outings the new horse starts to see that the other horse is not phased at all so in time it learns to take its cues off the experienced horse..
Next I lead the new boy on the outside and again some jigging etc but soon learns that these monsters dont hurt it. just big and noisy.
Next I ride the new horse and lead the other again with the other on the outside, so soon the new horse becomes used to the traffic..
I also do a lot of quiet talking to the boys to reassure them..
This works for me...
So you need to find and ride with someone who has a horse traffic desensertised initially ..
ps..... take the number of vehicles that honk horns etc and call the police.. I have done this a couple of times and the police folks are more than happy to go door knocking to have a word with these people... around here anyway..!
Hope this helps..
Cheers for now..Tony
Thankyou both so much for taking your time out to give me advice, I've had friends over to ride out with me as their horses are more confident than my girl is. I've taken a great look through your tips and will always use them for whenever I attempt the roads.
Thanks again x
Nice idea though, I think I'll give that a shot for my new girl, and pasturing next to the road works WONDERS, I kept my trail horse in the front yard right next to a busy country road where people fly (not just cars, trucks, construction, farm equipment ect) while she was young, and now she is a wonderfully traffic safe horse.
we dont get much in the way of traffic where we live, but we are situated near where the army practices landing helicopters in an open field 'touch and go' style. coming in very low and leaving very fast, often in groups. the best way i've found to get horses used to that is to progressively tie them closer to where they land.
all you need is for the horse to be able to stand tied in a relaxed environment (which every horse should know anyway), and the person to be responsible enough not to tie them too close too soon, risking a massive wreck.
works for me, and i've never had a problem with horses spooking at helicopters. even when they think it's fun to swoop me while i'm out riding.
i imagine it would work for roads and cars too.
eta for safety keep a fence between the road and where you might tie the horse.
Our horses pasture is out on the back side of our property, but there's a fence that follows along the road to come up to the water tank and to get grain at feeding time.. Its also where the hay is. We also live on a very busy gravel road with inconsiderate drivers in big, noisy trucks. That's one way our horses are introduced to traffic. If they want food, they get used to it. They all do.
After that I pretty much combine everything listed above, actually. I find its best to start in a controlled enviroment.. So my boyfriend/grandma/brother/mom/whoever is available will drive the car around the arena, gradually becoming more and more annoying and sneaky. Then we'll do it around the yard.
After that I set out with someone on a horse that is already traffic safe and I follow along. Horses will usually follow the lead of other horses.. After that its just a matter of miles. Some people are really rude and will honk and not slow down or get over.. Some people do these things on purpose. There's a lot of jerks out there.
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