Trying To Run Out From Under Me
I have a gelding i am finishing. He is REALLY smart and he tries to pull all kinds of tricks. Today i FINALLY got him catching is Right lead but them he decided he wants to run out of my arena and run off. I finally got him stopped after he almost jumps electric wire into the other horse pasture >.> i turned his butt around, rode back into the arena, and kept loping him and he kept doing the same thing over and over after that. Is this the right approach to get him to quit this behavior? Just pretend like he didnt do it and keep him working? Or is that too dangerous?
Do you have a round pen you can work in? Or do you just work in an arena? If you have a round pen I would try free lounging to try to get your lead down. If he's picking it up fine when you're on the ground then it may be a balance issue when you're in the saddle. I would try working in a smaller but taller fenced in area.
I don't think what you're doing is wrong. But then I'm not any kind of trainer. I'm a relatively new horse owner and I still work with my horse's previous owner/trainer on my and my horse's bad habits. My trainer always has me correct the behavior by ignoring the bad (except to reprimand initial behavior) and keep working until you get the desired behavior. Also make sure you make the lead you're wanting the easy thing to do. If he runs out on you make him work really hard. He may just be really weak on the side you're working on.
I'm not sure I'm helping but I hope it gives you some idea.
What you did was basically right, but I'd add a twist. Since he's taking off just to get nowhere, add a goal to it. Put a few cones or something in the arena that you can circle. Trot or canter him straight to the cone of your choice and circle him tightly around it at the trot about 5 times to where it's no fun for him. Then pick out another cone, canter over to that one and do the same thing, etc. The object of the game is to make it counterproductive for him to get where he wants to go quickly since the result will be endless boring circles. After he gets the hang of the exercise, start baiting him to run off by asking for the right lead or something that usually produces the bad result. If he takes the bait, make sure to guide him to something you can circle and trot him around it so he understands that A results in B every single time.
You said he's a smart horse...TB?
That sounds like something he would catch onto really fast. Ill definitally have to try it. My "arena" is basically a tilled up spot of land and my round pen isnt big enough to lope in. And he is a spanish mustang/tennessee walker gelding. He loves to pull pranks on me too. :lol:
I would just keep 'changing' directions...I really like doing patterns for a horse like that. My mare likes to wander off the rail, so when she does, I will just take her to an area of the arena that I may have some cones or barrels set up, and do like a spiral around the objects in the same direction (thus keeping the same lead). When I release her she is much more willing to keep the pace, as well as maintain her position on the rail.
Also if he wants to be 'at' the gate, let him drift there, then work his tail off harder AT the area he wants to be. He will eventually figure it out that the gate is nothing 'cool' for him and stop trying to drift there. Horses figure out the 'right' thing quickly when the "wrong" thing involves much harder work!
Good luck with him...
My mare is Walker/Quarter Horse cross
I'm glad you explained what your "arena" was…my first thought was why don't you simply close the arena gate so he can't leave the arena! LOL! At any rate… in my opinion, if he's doing the same thing over and over, all you are doing is reinforcing that behavior by allowing it to continue. Personally, I'd do what mom2 pride suggests as well as doing more transitions. And, if I'm understanding you correctly, he has no idea that he has to stay within the tilled area - you have no rails/barrier/fence to use as a guide to help him understand or work off of. I'm not sure what you mean by "he tries to pull all kinds of tricks" - but reading this makes me wonder if you are not over doing something to the point that he is "running out" in frustration and/or confusion rather than out and out disobedience.
He knows he is supposed to stay in the area. I never let him leave when i do anything with him. When i walk or trot its always within the same boundaries and i can TELL he knows. He doesnt just run straight out... He comes out of the corner on the straight and then just veers out toward the pasture suddenly. His tricks are just things like holding his breath when i tighten his saddle and trying to pull the reins out of my hands and things like that. I feel like he thinks that if he does this he can get me to quit riding him because he used to do things like than to me when i was just a "couple of times a year" pasture rider but ive been going to horsemanship classes and things since then and now i actually know what im doing and he is trying to see if he can get me off like he used too.
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