Help with anticipating horse/won't walk - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Help with anticipating horse/won't walk

Here's my problem...my horse has done this since I first got him, but lately I think it's gotten worse...whenever I start riding in my arena I go a couple of laps around at a walk to let him warm up. I hold the reins in two hands, keeping a little contact but not much. He walks fine. Then I'll do some trotting on a looser rein to get him warmed up there. It depends on what I do from there-sometimes I'll work on transitions, I'll canter, trot, circles, serpentines...whatever. But whenever I come back down to a walk, he won't walk if I have two hands on the reins. If I put the reins in one hand and give him complete slack, he stretches his neck down and out, relaxes, and walks. But whenver I pick the reins up in two hands, even if I still have no contact, he notices it and starts to jig and get really antsy, like he anticipates I'm going to ask him to do something. But when he's like this I never let him trot-I'll keep two hands on the reins and make him walk around the arena until he quits and just relaxes and walks. This usually takes a few laps around, then he'll quit. So I go to trotting or cantering some more, but when I come back down to a walk he starts it all over again. I just don't know what to do. I want him to walk when I ask him to, with both my hands and a little contact on the reins.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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You have taught him that if he acts jiggy, he goes fast.

I would have turned him into some figure eights, circles, serpentines, or weaves and made him stop and back up at some point in my riding warmup. Every time he jigs, put him onto some figures. Maybe spiral him down from a large circle to a small circle and back to a large circle. Teach him that jigging does not equal getting to go faster.

Twice as much slow work as faster work.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I said if he acts jiggy, I make him walk.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 10:44 PM
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Oh my bad OP, I reread your post again. I swear I always read things that aren't there. I thought you said when he does, you go back to trotting and cantering.

So ignore the first sentence of my post and the rest of the advice will help if you choose to take it.

When my horse began to anticipate things, I'd throw him a curve ball like mid trot spiral and come to a complete stop and just stand there for 8 minutes. When I was good and ready to go I backed him up and then off we went back to work.

Maybe he gets jiggy because you haven't communicated what the cue to resume work is. Maybe he feels his walk isn't a break. Surprise him one day and after he settles down at his walk and isn't jigging anymore, instead of going back to work, get off and take him for grass. The next time, go back to work and stop multiple times in your warm up. Keep him on his toes.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Oh my bad OP, I reread your post again. I swear I always read things that aren't there. I thought you said when he does, you go back to trotting and cantering.

So ignore the first sentence of my post and the rest of the advice will help if you choose to take it.

When my horse began to anticipate things, I'd throw him a curve ball like mid trot spiral and come to a complete stop and just stand there for 8 minutes. When I was good and ready to go I backed him up and then off we went back to work.

Maybe he gets jiggy because you haven't communicated what the cue to resume work is. Maybe he feels his walk isn't a break. Surprise him one day and after he settles down at his walk and isn't jigging anymore, instead of going back to work, get off and take him for grass. The next time, go back to work and stop multiple times in your warm up. Keep him on his toes.
That's okay. Thanks, I'll try something like this.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 11:34 PM
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When you ask the horse to trot off, do not take up your reins. let them droop. once he has started trotting, you can adjust them to the length needed. He may be confusing the contact (or anticipated contact) with "go!".
So make "go" first , off the leg/seat, on a totally loose rein, then adjust. Never take up contact first, then ask for go. At least not until he lets go his axiety about the increased contact meaning "go!"
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I thought about that.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-24-2012, 11:39 PM
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it's good how you are thinking about the different things that might be making your horse anxious about this. mixing things up and you'll hit on something.

Also, does your horse get a good canter out from time to time, where he's not being held back and made to go slow constantly?
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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What do you mean?
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-25-2012, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Like do I let him go faster some times?
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