Trail sleepiness?

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Trail sleepiness?

This is a discussion on Trail sleepiness? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        09-16-2011, 10:52 AM
    Question Trail sleepiness?


    I am new here, been riding just a year and a half and I love it. Not had a lot of bad falls yet, but its all waiting. I go out on the trails at least once weekly, and yesterday I was asked to ride a lovely grey boy, Ben. He's just 15.3hh, and usually works great in the arena, has a lovely jump, gorgeous smooth paces. I rode him around the arena a few times for a warm up, then set off on a hack with my friend. He was very nice on the 15 minute roadwork to get to the trails, very patient at having to have his top speed a trot. We got to the trails, a lovely 2.3 miles of open riding, with plenty of plantation, I just let him go for a good canter. My friend, who was riding a pretty bay called Clyde at the time, had got a nice canter going. I gave Ben a little nudge, and he broke into a trot. I nudged again, and nothing. It was then time for a little tap with my crop. He broke into a canter then, but it was very restless and he broke back into trot after a few strides.
    I'm a little worried, Ben is our stable angel. The saddler was here this morning, fitting a little welsh pony's saddle. There's no tack problems, and Ben is a happy healthy boy. What could have been wrong? Another rider has said she can't get him going either. Its not me that's doing it then.

    Any advice / questions welcome. Thanks!
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        09-16-2011, 06:21 PM
    He is just lazy and wants to not work that hard.
    He has learned that he can drop back and get away with it.

    If he is in shape, You may just need some more queing to keep him moving. That may be squeezing your legs, using a little spur or maybe the crop.
        09-23-2011, 06:52 AM
    This is probably off but could conformation be a small part of the issue?
        09-23-2011, 09:22 AM
    Yeah, I'd say that he's probably just lazy, but it could also be that he's sore. May want to have someone look over his muscles and limbs to make sure he's in tip top shape. It could also just be that he's unused to cantering. With my own horse, he had to be goaded into cantering his first year because the fastest he'd ever been at was a pacing trot. It could take some getting used to for him if the trot is the fastest he's ever been at, but be patient and work with him at it and do your best to give him both encouragement and praise when he does what you ask of him. Horses are sensitive, I'm sure you know, so they love to hear praise when they've done a job well. It encourages them to keep going.

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