teaching alone trail riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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teaching alone trail riding

I have a 5 year old that is afraid when riding trails alone. What is the best way to get her to get over this snorting and looking everywhere? She will walk forward, but I cannot get her to trot!! I feel funny forcing her to move forward(trot) with my crop when she is acting afraid?? (Interesting she is not as "afraid" when heading towards home.........??????

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post #2 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 04:05 PM
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What works best in a situation like this depends a lot on you and your horses personalities. Is your mare always a little jumpy, sensitive and hot, or is she usually level-headed and a slow reactor? Are you a cautious rider, or a rough and tumble one who isn't afraid of being jostled a bit?

My mare acts like every new trail is a completely alien world and stares and snorts at everything when we ride solo. She's a hot and sensitive arab, and I'm a bolder rider, so I usually just ignore the show and ride along. As she gets used to the new routes she calms down a little, but never stops looking and snorting--it's just her personality.

Someone who is less confident riding forward in this situation can always walk the horse on the trail in-hand, because this removes the anxiety of falling off. Most horses will eventually get used to going out solo if their rider has consistent confidence.
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post #3 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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great help!! I consider myself on the braver side. When your horse is doing all that do you encourage a trot or just walk it through. i would like to encourage the trot, thinking she would concentrate more.

Thank you for the info, that she will eventually get use to going sole.
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post #4 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:06 PM
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Thats what you call 'booger pickin' she is lookin for somethin to spook at on purpose.

You need to make her pay attention to you and not whats goin on around her.
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post #5 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wow will they actually "do" that...ON PURPOSE!! Looking for spooky ghosts and acting like they are on LSD?? Amazing if true.....ok I have her number sweet Gracie.
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post #6 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:12 PM
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That is what training and the arena are for, to break your horse to obedience. I wouldn't ride your horse solo on the trail for the 17 trillion dollar national debt. She is an accident on the trail waiting to happen.
School in the arena until she is broke, and THEN, enlist a mature babysitter horse and rider to accompany you on the trails, and shame her into behaving.

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post #7 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:16 PM
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Best to build her confidence. Do a little trail ride, and then next time do a little more.

That's how I was able to get my big spooky boy (in the beginning) on trails that all sorts of things happened and I didn't die.
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post #8 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachluvr View Post
Wow will they actually "do" that...ON PURPOSE!! Looking for spooky ghosts and acting like they are on LSD?? Amazing if true.....ok I have her number sweet Gracie.

Yes ma'am.. Its all an act.. You know how you can tell its an act? They wont do it on the way home!

I used to hate riding horses that would do that.. best to get their mind off their surroundings and focused on you! When they would try to look somewhere- ill bump their bit to tell them 'look forward' they shouldnt be lookin around anyway- when you see their ears go up talk to them- bust a circle or do some leg work.

Only thing worse than a 'booger picker' is a horse that fakes being lame-- yup- they do that on purpose too! Lol.
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Last edited by toto; 04-18-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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post #9 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:30 PM
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Mine are 100% on trails......until you "move the furniture". Great on new trails-but on the ones we frequent-if a STICK is moved it becomes snort worthy. So silly. I just laugh and keep going. I have also found that mine will relax totally if he is following-but put him in the lead and he feels responsible for the world, including me. So, when we are alone he is really vigilant, and, I must say he has kept me safe more than once. So there is a fine line between being silly, and pushing them on, and really paying attention to them.

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post #10 of 82 Old 04-18-2013, 06:32 PM
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Great on new trails-but on the ones we frequent-if a STICK is moved it becomes snort worthy. So silly. I just laugh and keep going.

Hahah my horse does the same for the arena! If so much as a pole is moved.. he evades it like it's on fire. Actually the cause for one of my "near" falls.

At least they're smart and paying attention right? And provide a bit of comic relief haha
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