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Amlalriiee 09-11-2010 09:16 PM

Calming/Trust Exercises?
My horse is wonderful but she's new to me and tends to get agitated when asked to trot out or canter. (This happens with everyone, not just me) She gets tense and ramps up to a very fast gait. Sometimes, she'll toss her head or hold it really high. Usually though, she'll keep her head where it is but start breathing heavy and going as fast as she can at the gait I've cued for. I can always talk to her and calm her down and it does work after talking to her for a while, and I'm fully prepared to keep on doing this til it's the norm to be calm...but if anybody knows of any good calming exercises(ring/trail/ground work...anything) please post them! I'm not positive of her entire history so I'm not sure where this originated, but I just want her to be calm and happy. I have some speculation she may have been a gaming horse gone wrong...but that's just speculation. She's really an AMAZING horse...just needs some love and work.

OH...and trust exercises may be helpful as well. She trusts me, but they may enhance that and through that help her to calm?? Not sure, kind of willing to try anything here that could help this horse.

mom2pride 09-11-2010 11:37 PM

My mare was the same way, and is now finally starting to calm down and relax when in the trot and canter. The thing that has done it for her is simply this...miles. If you have to work on trot work for an entire lesson, then do it...concentrate on that, until she starts relaxing. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how calm the horse is on the ground, (my mare is really calm in ground work), it's just lots of wet saddle blankets that will help them start relaxing undersaddle.

Amlalriiee 09-12-2010 10:10 AM

Thanks, that is very reassuring. She hasn't had a consistent person or consistent work, so with me riding her 5/6 times a week, hopefully she'll be able to relax. I'm going to do some trot/canter work with her today. For you did it help doing extra exercises in there (poles, circles, dressage stuff?) or was it simply practicing that relaxed rhythm?

mom2pride 09-12-2010 04:45 PM

I would normally just do circles, and figure eights, and just kept her in a particular gait for as long as it took for her to start relaxing, and stop simply hollowing out and lunging forward into's taking a while, but we are getting there. Part of her problem was that she was really unbalanced as well undersaddle, having never been taught HOW to balance and carry herself properly. I think when she was ridden before, they didn't care if her head was up, and she lurched foward into gaits and never balanced herself well, which probably ultimately lead to her eventually bolting before they even got on.

Amlalriiee 09-13-2010 08:56 PM

So, since I've posted I've really been taking a good look at her. We've done some awesome ground work....truly amazing. She'll "join up" with me...which I didn't even know how to do, it sort of happened accidentally....and she followed my every step around the arena, running, stopping, backing up, circling.

Under saddle though, still anxious. I noticed that she's unbalanced as well, leans to the inside quite a bit...basically it sounds quite similar to the issue yours had! I'm trying to be patient and give her some time since she's in a new home. AND as I found out today, she's in heat. LOVELY. It turns her into QUITE the bucking bronco. :) opinions from anyone else? hoping for some neat exercises I hadn't heard of yet. haha...maybe I'm thinking into the future here.

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