My horse Naps (refuses to go/backs up) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-07-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Midlands, UK
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Unhappy My horse Naps (refuses to go/backs up)

Hello everyone,

I was just wondering if I could have some help with my mare. When we go out on a trail she "Naps" (now, I'm pretty sure that's just an English term, so for a horse to nap, means that the horse with stop, refuse to go forward, back up, and in some cases do anything in their power not to take one step forward, and it's usually due to them being herd bound or not very confident)

Luckily, Indi doesn't do anything stupid, like rearing Etc, she just refuses to go forward, and often backs up too. It's because she hates leaving her beloved Dancer (a 24 year old OTTB, who's owned by someone else, so I can't even have someone lead her, and Indi follow, just to get her started) Dancer makes the situation worse by neighing to her frantically, and galloping back and forth (there are 2 other horses over the fence so I don't see her problem lol she still has company )

Indi's ground work is pretty good, and generally before we go out, we do join up & follow up, and she seems to trust and listen to me on the ground. And she also works fine when I'm riding her in the school. It's when I try and take her out. I don't really have someone else to ride with, and when I have someone walk with me, she still refuses.

I end up getting off, and leading her right up the field, away from Dancer. Then when I get on, she still naps (but not as bad), until the part when she realises we're heading home, when she becomes a normal, forward going trail horse. When we're part way through, she's not too bad, and when she naps, I apply pressure with my legs, ask her to go forward, and as soon as she steps forward, I release the pressure, we do this a few times then she gets the idea to go forward, as it's easier for her. But when I try this at the start of the trail, she just refuses, no matter how often I try, and it makes me so annoyed (I know that's the last thing you should get, but my patience just dwindles after a while, and I get so frustrated, as I know she can be good when we get half way through the trail )

Anyhoo, if anyone can help even slightly, I'd really appreciate this. (By the way, selling is NOT an option, because, despite the napping, I love her to bits)

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Midlands, UK
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Also, I've done some lunging in the fields where we hack, and she did really well, stopped trying to go back to Dancer completely.

So, I'm at a loss :(
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 04:20 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
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I often have this problem with my horse in the school and on hacks. Try pulling one rein around so your horse HAS to turn that way and move. Doesn't matter which way as long as she is moving! Then once she is moving forward, ride her in the direction you want to go. Try tapping with the whip a little as well so she understands what you want from her. Don't let her go where she wants ever! Or it will get worse. Good luck x

Keep your feet on the ground when your head's in the clouds.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 07:32 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeast Texas
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Biscuit would do the same thing. He still will on occasion....I turn him in circles and pop him with a quirt. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't and he will refuse to go until another horse leads out. Then, perversely, he will go ahead and take the lead. This is generally when I am leading and playing spider polo to clear spiders out. 3 weeks ago he was refusing to go forward, he ended up backup UP a hill. He realized that wasn't much fun.

Consistently make him go forward even if you have to get off and lead him...done that quiet a few times a few weeks ago. I wasn't going to let him get away without going forward. Pigs had ran across the path about 75 feet ahead and he wasn't too sure about going that way!!!

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-11-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your help guys, I've tried the circles, but once we've finished the circled, she just refuses to go forward. And I do just end up getting annoyed, jumping of, and marching her up the field. I'm working on her, so maybe she'll start to get better... hopefully :/
Again, thank you for your help
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-12-2011, 11:56 AM
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-12-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Wow Pinto, thanks so much for that video. It was really useful, and I've got some good, solid ideas in my head now of what to try. Many thanks for everyone's help, and I'll keep you all posted
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-13-2011, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hello everyone, I'd just like to say a massive THANK YOU!!! Your help and advice meant that Indi and I had the best hack we've had so far today! I didn't have to get off her once (which is the first time ever!) I actually trotted her away from her friend, and she was as GOOD as GOLD! Thank you soooo much everyone, I appreciate your help so much!

To anyone having the same problem, what I did was carried my crop out with me (like speedy advised me to do) When she first refused I did circles (like QOS suggested), which did help a teeny bit, but then she stopped again, I used my crop on her, once v. lightly, the second time firmly, on that time she walked forward, I praised her and made a big fuss. Then whenever she stopped, I'd whack the crop on my boot, just so she could hear and see it, without hurting her, which made her go, and did a lot of praising again. I did a lot of back and forwards work, going through her very sticky points, like the video pinto posted. I didn't have to get off her once, she was so good!

Many thanks guys!
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-15-2011, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Midlands, UK
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By the way, it may be beneficial to add, that 3 days prior to me hacking out, I had Indi's teeth done. I don't know if that will have made a difference, but I know they were in a bad way (I've only had her a month, and before that, she's never had them done, so you can imagine what they were like!) So that may or may not have made a difference. Anyhoo, I now have a lovely hacking horse -touch wood!- Many thanks for the advice
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backing up , nap , napping , planting , refusing

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