Trail riding Help please! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-18-2013, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by joseeandjade11 View Post
Wow those are all great advice!! Thanks everyone!!! and as for the bit, no worry i ride in a bitless bridle :) Also i am sure that making her work when we come home might just work to get her to slow down BUT when im trotting with friends, she gets competitive and goes fast what do i do then??
I think that is probably a respect issue. My horse loves to break out running when those around me do, and it's herd instinct to want to do that. You've got to work to get her to focus more on you than the other horses. Maybe talk to a trainer at your barn about getting her more responsive? My guess is that's the majority of the issue is her just not wanting to listen, because she'd rather go play with her friends!
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 12:54 AM
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I think your horse just needs a lot of miles. Some of the excitement wears off when they go out trail riding regularly.

I personally like to make them work (by trotting, climbing hills, etc.) on my way OUT on a ride. Get them good and tired and then ask them to walk back. Sometimes it takes several days in a row of this to settle my mare when she is ridden alone.

I personally have never had luck containing a really fresh horse to a walk the entire ride, especially if it isn't hours and hours long. I don't mean a "normal" horse, but a horse like my mare that is barn sour and nervous without other horses. It would never do me any good to walk her going out because the minute I turned for home her adrenaline would be up. So I work her going out and then make her walk coming home. Hopefully she has burned off a little energy by then. But walking the entire ride just isn't something she will do if she's really fresh. So I would rather burn some of that energy off on my own terms than fighting her all the way home.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with walking fast coming home. As long as they walk, I am happy. You are still getting the gait you want....a walk. That's better than fighting and jigging. I really think hours and hours and miles and miles on the trail is the only thing that really makes a good trail horse. I really haven't discovered a shortcut.
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 09:54 AM
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I love the suggestion to go for a nice long trail ride then rather than putting her up, head to the arena for some more work. It kind of reprograms the brain- sounds like it's worth a try!
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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I agree there is nothing wrong with walking fast going home but i like to walk slow and just relax :) it makes sense that she does need more hours on the trails, she is turning 6 this month so she's still young. I wish i had time to go trail riding every day but i don't so i will try to do longer trail rides when i go and when i get home, work her off in the arena, let's hope it works!
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-19-2013, 05:48 PM
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Catrinas idea is the one that works. That was exactly what I was going to suggest. Let her go back...then work her butt off. then go back out a little bit and get off there. She will soon get the idea that being out is not so bad!

You could also try working first...HARD, so that the walking trail is a welcome relief, and if she is still in a hurry to get home-work her again!

I change my routine every time. I never take the same way home twice in a row if I can help it. And we might be headed home-then turn horse probably thinks I am nuts, and I am fortunate to have miles of trails to work with at our barn.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by joseeandjade11 View Post
I agree there is nothing wrong with walking fast going home...
Yes..there IS.
Originally Posted by joseeandjade11 View Post
...but i like to walk slow and just relax :)
YOU are the herd leader and determine, in your little herd of two, WHAT speed to go.
2 experiences:
1) My old herd, who had been there and seen it all, would ALWAYS know how to get back to camp after a trail ride on paths that were new to me and new to the horse. This can be quite useful if you ever get lost on a trail ride, so I appreciated it.
2) I met a lady at the Black Hills horse camp that we like, with a 13yo QH that she had worked to death to pretty much JUST walk on the trails. Her horse would trot and lope for her, but EVERY TIME I saw her return from a trail ride, her MARE was "at the mosey."
JUST decide what you want from your horse, be patient but be persistant, with praise for effort, and don't settle for less than the best!
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 11:08 AM
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OP...You have lots of good information here.

I hesitate to single out a particular trainer but I have a book by Julie Goodnight, Goodnight's Guide to Great Trail Riding (see her website). It covers a lot of what you are dealing with. I have ridden for many years and I find this reference handy to go back to. Right now I have a green horse and I don't want to screw up the works with her. Many of the issues you are dealing with are exact duplicates of another horse I have. Methods mentioned in this thread and in this book greatly improved the situation. Just know that some of these issues take time, patience (boy, howdy) and consistancy to correct.
Good luck to you and your horse!
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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When you guys say work my horse hard, like what exactly should i do? Lots of circles (trot, canter), from halt to canter, and exercises like that??
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 12:13 PM
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I dont know much about your current riding conditions or where you ride. Im going to compare two of our horses though, my husbands and my primary riding horse. My mare is worked all the time at home around the barn. We do lots of ground work and saddle work. On a trail, she will never go any faster than I have asked her, period. If ten horses run by galloping, so be it. They go by she keeps walking. One the way home her pace doesnt change at all. If I say walk slower than a turtle she walks slower than a turtle. Now, my husbands horse. Only trail ridden. Never worked at home around the barn. He ALWAYS speeds up on the way back to the barn. Whether we are at home trail riding or gone on a trip, he always speeds up to a fast paced walk. This leaves me and my mare behind because she will not even attempt to keep up with another horse. I personally believe working at home around the barn has tons of benefits. Yes it may be a boring and only so many places you can go and do but the foundation on your horse is what counts. I dont believe in just trail riding. I love the trails, my favorite place in the whole wide world but they are not fun with an uncooperative horse. My suggestion would be to work her around the barn more or in the pasture. In my pasture in order for the horses to get back to the barn they have to come up a really long and steep hill so we practice on that. It only takes a couple times of coming up that hill and there is no fun to rushing to back to the barn. You will have to just work with your horse and figure out what works best for her.

Shorty * N * Opie
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-20-2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by joseeandjade11 View Post
When you guys say work my horse hard, like what exactly should i do? Lots of circles (trot, canter), from halt to canter, and exercises like that??
Keep her "mentally" busy and focused. By keeping their mind we are exhausting their physical state as well. So its not just running the hooves off a horse. You can physically wear them out but that doesnt mean they learned anything mentally. Keep her mind focused with lots of w/t/c transitions, turning, backing, leg yeilding, or whatever just to keep her attention and keep her focus on your cues. If my horses decide to quit paying attention to me we zig zags, transition, lots of leg yeilding, stoping and turning very quickly to regain focus then we go back to what we were doing.

Shorty * N * Opie
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