Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
As you work through this, keep in mind that your training goal is to have your horse consistently focused on you anytime it is under saddle. The (very common) herd bound problem is only one specific situation.
- You're riding next to a pasture of horses and they get all wound up, kicking up their heels, and running around wanting to play. You do not want your horse to join in the fun.
- You're riding at a show and one horse starts acting up. You do not want your horse distracted by all the commotion of the other horses.
Our goal is always to reinforce the association that when the saddle goes on, it is my time to go and do what I want, every single time. When the saddle comes off, the horse can do as it pleases.
We do this by mixing up short rides, long rides, arena work, trails, times of day, different weather, etc., etc. The "work" can be as short as 5-10 minutes at times. The important part is not the work itself, but reinforcing the association of saddle=my time. You'll find that once you have achieved consistency with this, you can leave a horse in the pasture for months, saddle up one day, and have a "fuss free" ride.
On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.