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Is it really that simple? And a question

This is a discussion on Is it really that simple? And a question within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        11-30-2011, 11:17 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Darrin    
    Alltheprettyhorses- Right now she's afraid of crossing the water.
    See, I'm not sure if she's really even afraid. She has crossed water before, she's crossed deep rivers with current (when she was still with the trainer)-she will go into the pond and the creek of her own accord when she's in the field. I don't get the feeling that she's afraid of it-I get the feeling that now that she's won (or thinks she's won) a few times, now she wants to, as Cherie would say "fight for the right to keep resisting".

    I will try to pony her off the older, broke horse and see if that helps at all.

    She will go through puddles and such, but she just tries to skirt around the edges whenever possible, which is another reason I don't think she's fearful. She WILL go, I just have to argue with her about it. The deeper and wider the water, the more she resists.

    Should I walk her back and forth across it repeatedly? Or, as many times as it takes until she's going quietly?
         
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        11-30-2011, 11:22 AM
      #12
    Showing
    ATPH, if she crossed for the trainer, then it may be her lack of respect for you. I would suggest going to your trainer and let him/her work with the 2 of you for a couple of lessons.
         
        11-30-2011, 11:33 AM
      #13
    mls
    Trained
    If it's not necessary to walk through the puddle - why do it?

    Seriously folks. If your horse crosses the rivers, walks into ponds and lakes, what is the big deal about making a horse walk in a puddle?

    I have former endurance horses with thousands of miles on them. I also have working cow horses that know to go where I point them. They will cross fast moving rivers but sometimes they step around a puddle. I don't ruin a trail ride by forcing them.
         
        11-30-2011, 11:43 AM
      #14
    Showing
    Sometimes that puddle is in the middle of the trail and the only way to continue is through it. Besides, it is a matter of who is leading who - I don't give my horse options. This is the way we are going - period. I don't want them to think that if they see something they don't want to approach or cross, that they don't have to.
    smrobs and AllThePrettyHorses like this.
         
        11-30-2011, 12:18 PM
      #15
    mls
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iridehorses    
    Sometimes that puddle is in the middle of the trail and the only way to continue is through it. Besides, it is a matter of who is leading who - I don't give my horse options. This is the way we are going - period. I don't want them to think that if they see something they don't want to approach or cross, that they don't have to.
    If the puddle is the trail, it's not really a puddle but part of the trail.
         
        11-30-2011, 06:54 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mls    
    If it's not necessary to walk through the puddle - why do it?

    Seriously folks. If your horse crosses the rivers, walks into ponds and lakes, what is the big deal about making a horse walk in a puddle?

    .
    I'm with you on this one. I don't get the idea that the horse has to be constantly following the rider's wishes when out trail riding. If we're just rolling along enjoying the scenery, my horse is free to walk zig-zag if he wants. I feel that many people don't give their horses enough credit for understanding when they're free to enjoy the ride and when it's time to pay attention. When we enounter anything in the distance such as an animal for potential obstacle to jump, the first thing my horse does it put and ear back toward me looking for input on what we're going to do.

    If the OPs horse walks willingly through water when she's not in the saddle, but won't when she's in it, the horse is putting her on. I would not get off and lead the horse across simply because you have much more control from the saddle than on the ground.
         
        11-30-2011, 07:17 PM
      #17
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mls    
    If it's not necessary to walk through the puddle - why do it?

    Seriously folks. If your horse crosses the rivers, walks into ponds and lakes, what is the big deal about making a horse walk in a puddle?
    I'm with Iride on this one. I don't force them to weave around to walk through every single puddle I see, but I don't allow them to weave around to walk around them either. I tell the horse where to go and if that includes walking through a puddle, then "no" isn't an option. If I planned to let him make the decision on what to do and where to go, why bother training him under saddle to start with? Getting a horse to the point where they will walk through whatever happens to be in the road, whether it's a mud puddle or a tarp or a funky looking patch in the road can save a lot of grief and even injuries later.

    The horse that so nonchalantly "skirts" the edge of the small puddle at a walk will dodge to the side to avoid a big puddle at the faster gaits. Not everyone can ride those and even those that can may not be able to ride them every time.

    To the OP. I also suspect that it's more of a respect issue with your mare. Lots and lots of proper riding and lots of exposure will make it better. To put it simply...yes, it is as easy as lots of wet saddle pads and buttloads of exposure. Of course, some horses, especially those with a natural nervous disposition, will always be a bit spooky or hot and many times that cannot be trained out of them, only managed. Most horses are not like that though, most get better and better every ride or every time they are exposed to a certain thing.
    churumbeque likes this.
         
        12-02-2011, 01:43 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    I had a real problem with not being in control of Mr. Big for most of our first year together. Yeah, he'd go more or less where I said, but only more or less. If he didn't want to go over or through something, he didn't. And I was too inexperienced to know any better.

    Then I spent a week packing into the Wilderness with a very experienced old Sourdough. He set me straight in a hurry! He said that I picked the trail, NOT the horse. The horse's job was to take me there by MY selected route. It really came to a head when Big wouldn't cross an easy log; he wanted to go around and I was going to let him. Old Sourdough called me up short on that one! Took maybe 10 minutes, but he crossed. And crossed every log after that. Still does--unless it really IS too high which sometimes happens.

    Fixing Big's bad trail manners took a combination of lots of hours in the saddle and a bit of instruction from someone who really wouldn't take "no" for an answer from a horse. Between the two, Big is now a pretty fine trail horse. OK, he's a bit slow, sometimes, but we're working on that, too!

    The one exception to going where I say is when the going gets REALLY rough and I let him decide if there is an easier way--after all, he's the one walking through it. But even then he has to get to the right spot. The spot I pick, not the spot he picks!

    Is it really as easy as just spending lots of saddle hours? Pretty much--but having someone who can push you, the rider, to make your horse behave helps a LOT!

    And about puddles in the trail. It's just plain bad trail etiquette to go around them. Going around tends to widen out the trail and that makes all the anti-horse people get their undies in a wad. And then they complain and try to shut down riding areas. Best to just let your horse get his/her feet wet!
    Trails and AllThePrettyHorses like this.
         
        12-02-2011, 05:48 PM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mls    
    If it's not necessary to walk through the puddle - why do it?

    Seriously folks. If your horse crosses the rivers, walks into ponds and lakes, what is the big deal about making a horse walk in a puddle?

    I have former endurance horses with thousands of miles on them. I also have working cow horses that know to go where I point them. They will cross fast moving rivers but sometimes they step around a puddle. I don't ruin a trail ride by forcing them.
    Because when you go around something in front of them then they try and go around things all the time so when you don't want them to go around it they don't listen to you and a fight ensues. You look ahead and go straight ahead.
         
        12-02-2011, 06:57 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Is it really that simple? Basically. Time and miles will improve both your confidence(...s?) and will increase your trust in one another. A confident rider helps speed the process along, but that will come with time and experience, and the more you do it.

    One mistake I always used to make when I was crossing or approaching something potentially scary is that I would always look at it and focus on it and think to myself "I need to get near this" or "We need to cross this". What I have learned helps far more is to look straight ahead and try to ride like there's nothing there, or nothing out of the ordinary so you don't unconsciously encourage your horse to freeze up and lock onto the thing as well. I always just use pressure-release to get horses across water. If you don't make a big, scary, stressful production out of it and keep doing it frequently and casually, your mare should learn to deal with it just as she will learn to deal with other things on the trail.
         

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