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Irish Rider 09-26-2013 03:40 PM

Why is my horse lazy in an arena?
I have owned my mare for 4 months now and she is brilliant, but she has one flaw whenever i go into an indoor arena or outdoor with her she is very lazy. She is not like this when i ride in a paddock or on a trail at home i do flatwork and jump in a small paddock similar in size to a medium arena, and she is great.
Its not hard to get canter or keep it,in an arena but there is no impulsion and i find it hard to jump on a forward stride why is this?
I do not have this problem at home.
Could it also be that i am the only rider when at home in the paddock whereas when at the arena there is always at least one other rider as i take lessons there. Although when i drag hunt or cross country in pairs she is not lazy!!
Any ideas?

Bagheera 09-26-2013 07:13 PM

Boredom maybe. Lots of horses have a ton of energy when they are out in a field exploring something new. When they get to the same bland arena they always go to, they lose that excited energy. Don't allow the horse to lost its energy just because it is in the boring arena, rather than outside. Your horse should respond in exactly the same manner, no matter where you are. When you ask for a response, the horse had better give it immediately. If it doesn't, you will need to get after it. Don't nag and keep kicking. You will only make the horse annoyed and even more dead to your aids. Cue the horse. Expect a response. If you don't get it, cue again and give the horse a solid whack with the whip at the same time. Let him respond by going forward. That should solve your problem. It is a respect issue.

mrstorres2566 09-27-2013 12:12 AM

My guess is in the arena you're mare is bored. However, my gelding is WAY better with other horses working around him then when he is alone. When we are alone, I have to work to get a trot, but when other horses are around trotting and cantering, I have to hold him back.

tim62988 09-27-2013 06:43 PM

I would second the boredom, the 2 horses that were used to give me lessons one was fine for teaching me how to ride as far as position, hand/leg ques, how to tack a horse ect.... but in the ring you really had to make her work to go faster than a walk

the second horse was really good at going into a trot or canter when asked in the arena

outdoors on a trail the first horse will walk trot canter without thinking twice and will take care of you, the second horse isn't nearly as good for a beginner

SlideStop 09-27-2013 07:02 PM

I 3rd the boredom. Many horses become arena sour or lazy, really how many people do you know that want to do 30-60 minutes of cardio? Does she do anything else, like drag you into the center of the ring or out of the gate?

Try not riding in the arena for a few weeks, work her in the pasture and trail. Walk her out in the arena and indoor.

Another thing you might want to look into is maybe increasing her feed to a performance feed? Something that will give her a little more energy. How old is she?

horselovinguy 10-01-2013 06:20 PM

Boredom...I agree too.

Change up the routine... go ride in a field like you would in an arena.

Change of pace and scenery keeps her interested when out on need to make it interesting in the arena now too.

Carry a bat/crop, wear spurs if you know how to use them correctly...if she is sulky and unresponsive in the arena wake her up...Squeeze, again and make her step lively...if she doesn't respond to your asking nicely, ask a second time with a bit more force...if she still whoop behind your leg with your bat/crop will wake her right up.
You need to show her you mean business and she needs to comply to your request when you decide for is called respect...something right now she is lacking in giving to you with her attitude.

**do remember when you strike her she is going to respond with a start, bump, bounce and move prepared and don't pop her in the mouth and pull back as she will not understand the reprimand and discipline for complying with her "stronger request" of a swat.**

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