Prancing during trail ride
Hello! My husbands 10 y/o Halfinger cross gelding prances during the entire trail ride. He gets himself completly drenched in sweat. We thought at first that he was nervous, but my husband took him down a seperate path away from the rest of us and he went without a problem and even calmed down to a walk for a bit. He has never spooked at anything on the trail - cars, trucks, bridges, water, random dogs, atvs etc... And he loves going - as soon as he sees the trailer he practically pulls you to it. He will trot, canter and even gallop with control, but ask him to walk or heaven forbid stand still and you get prancing, turning in circles and snorting. I worry that he will drop off a hill or hurt himslef. He is very high energy and my husband lightly (2ft max) jumps him which is his favorite thing to do on the planet. I just don't know why he gets so prancy and sweats so badly on the trail??
I endurance ride, an my younger Arabians do this. I am not an expert by any means... I usually just fumble around with problems until I fix them. It is my opinion that my horses did this because they were excited to be out and wanted to move at a faster pace than I wanted to. The only way I have ever resolved it was to make the horse do something it would rather not do if it starts up. My Arabs hate to back up, so if they start to prancing, I just back em up until they seem to really want to stop, then move forward again, repeat until the prance stops. Again, my disclaimer, I'm not a pro trainer... Just a trainer of my own horses...
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lol, is your horse related to mine? My fellow "Jigs" during our hacks, and especially when we are out Fox Hunting. It's because he is super excited, very happy, and wants to go, go, go :) He works himself up into sweats and lathers as well - and believe it or not, he's 21, turning 22 on the 23rd of April.
Nothing works for me, so I just sit quiet and I don't fidget with him. If he wants to jig, then fine - he can jig. But he's a Senior and you can't teach an old dog new tricks. If he were younger, I would work with it.
Asking him to walk and when he walked I would praise him and give him a reward by releasing. When he would merge back into jigging, I would repeat until he figured that walking was what I wanted.
I tried this, trust me. I did - but it didn't do diddly squat, lol, just made it worse. So I discovered with my horse, if I just sit quiet and left him alone, it didn't progress into anything worse, and he was happy.
The only thing that "works" for me is to turn him in a circle. That doesn't work all the time either. I have found with Soda it's more a of nervous thing though, so the more he gets out the better it goes. First time in a new place though.... He's a prancing jigging mess.
LOL My husband's horse, Sarge, prances on trail rides. Sarge thinks he is all of that AND a bag of chips. He will go anywhere, do anything, and loves to be in the front...Barry makes him go to the back and Sarge is sweating like a trooper and prancing to beat the band.
Barry makes him walk, turns him in circles or they sometimes go off by themselves, climbing hills, etc. which is what Sarge wants to do.
Turn him in circles, make him back up, etc. is what Barry does with Sarge. Sarge is pretty flashy looking while he prances along and he doesn't really ever misbehave except for fancy footsteps!
My Tenn/Saddlebred X was exactly the same, lots of prancing and sweating. He's settled down now which I think is a factor of age (he's 10 now) and experience. The more horses we're out with, the more relaxed he is. Also, giving him some real challenges on the trail has helped. Crossing some deep rivers, climbing steep banks with lots of poplar trees to navigate gets his brain focusing on where it should be and less time for silliness!
Pete was much better behaved the second trip out. He walked calmly up the hill to start but then the one biy dsmounted at the top and Pete does not like to stand still. The rest of the trip he was really anxious and prancy, but then he walked back down the hill at the end. So maybe a 50% improvement. I'm hoping with more time out he gets better and better, but he is a nervous wants to go type of horse.
My Haflinger Dolly loves to prance also, But of course she only does it when others are riding with us. Shes my little Miss priss lol!
lol, the horse i lease does this in the arena. I'm taking her on a trail ride next weekend, and hopefully she'll walk. Most of the time i can't get her to walk in the arena though, so we'll see how it goes =P
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