How to prevent an arena sour horse if I'm only comfortable in the arena - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 82 Old 03-27-2016, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
If the horse is just nervous of being out in the big wide world because its never been there it just has to get used too it and there will likely be some spooking and a bit of anxiety but as long as it knows how to respond to the rider when asked that isn't the same as not being properly broke?
As ever we probably get down to that lovely horsey argument/debate over semantics. To me a horse can be fully broke, and never be ridden outside, once they go out they are 'seasoned'

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post #62 of 82 Old 03-27-2016, 01:43 PM
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IMO the "broke" thing could go both ways. Maybe a more apt word rather than "broke" would be "well rounded"?

I have had the exact opposite problem with Oliver. He much prefers riding out and after a rather short amount of time in the arena (like 1/2 hour or so) that is when he starts doing things to let you know he is not that into it (losing focus).

For a person who is a 100% arena rider, I suppose he is not "broke", for me that is fine since most of what we practice in the arena can also be done out on the trails, which both of us seemingly prefer. Ride him out and he'll mentally be there right with you for hours, relaxed and focused so we get a lot more "done" out there than in the arena. Same stuff, different ambiance. We keep doing the arena riding because I think it is important for him as a jack of all trades, master of none, kind of horse to be well rounded to do many things well. Not competition perfect, but well and that includes being able to relax and focus in an arena. He will always be a better trail horse than an arena horse, but he can do both effectively.

Another point I'd like to make is a lot of people see trail vs arena as an either/or situation. Very few ever set out on the trails with the intent of practicing the same things out as in, they "just" go for a hack, but without any real goals in mind other than coming back unscathed and hopefully more relaxed. The trails can be a great way to give a horse who needs a "why" for doing things a chance to reinforce a lot of things first learned in an arena setting.

Eg; We ride ungroomed trails and we took a turn that came to an impassible dead end within a few hundred feet. Well it was a narrow game trail and the area where there would be barely enough room to turn around was a few feet back so we all had to back out thirty feet and then pivot on the hinds to turn around and come out the rest of the way forward. Good way to practice something we were working on in the arena (Roll back) with a "why" for doing it.

Trails don't have to be an either or, they can be a "both" but you kind of have to change the way you look at it and look for an opportunity to further train.

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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 03-27-2016 at 02:38 PM.
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post #63 of 82 Old 03-27-2016, 02:23 PM
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Seems to me a horse can be 'broke' for different things. Bandit was ridden for up to 30 miles a day in a flat, very open area. Mia in the area Bandit used to live:



Came here, and the Sonoran Desert looks like this:



Far worse, HUMAN neighborhoods look like this:



garage door openers. Weedwackers. Humans, walking around in the wild WITHOUT A HORSE! Garbage cans! Wind chimes! OMG, YGBSM, baby carriages!!!!!

He is getting pretty good in "just desert", but he still melts down at times from a "For Sale" sign blowing in the wind.

And Cowboy, the invincible desert horse? He HATES arenas! Bad memories of being a lesson horse, I guess. Very reliable in the desert. Very rebellious and hard to handle in an arena.

Guess I don't own a broke horse. Oh well. If so, then breaking them is part of the fun for me - how to get a horse to handle what it can't handle right now.

As for how? It seems to be a matter of taking small steps. The smaller the better, until the bigger steps work. But if someone doesn't want to trail ride, and they and their horse are happy in the arena...what is wrong with that? Ive got one (Cowboy) who is unhappy in an arena...melts down. But rock steady in the open.

It just depends.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #64 of 82 Old 03-27-2016, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I'm not really sure about this idea that a horse that doesn't go out on trails isn't properly broke
If its 100% responsive to the cues in the arena and does everything asked of it then surely its 'broke'?
If the horse is just nervous of being out in the big wide world because its never been there it just has to get used too it and there will likely be some spooking and a bit of anxiety but as long as it knows how to respond to the rider when asked that isn't the same as not being properly broke?
JayDee, Just like that.
Suppose you set out to do something new; say learn to paddle a whitewater kayak or something. The first time down the river, _you're_ gonna be a bit nervous aren't you? Doesn't mean you're not gonna give it a try, tho.
Maybe we need some kind of term for a "broke" rider; one who can support their equine partner thru scary times :-)

Steve
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post #65 of 82 Old 03-27-2016, 03:47 PM
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JayDee, Just like that.
Suppose you set out to do something new; say learn to paddle a whitewater kayak or something. The first time down the river, _you're_ gonna be a bit nervous aren't you? Doesn't mean you're not gonna give it a try, tho.
Maybe we need some kind of term for a "broke" rider; one who can support their equine partner thru scary times

Steve
I don't think 'broke' is even the right word for that - I mean you can be a really experienced rider but still find some things make you nervous and as Darrin said if you're nervous that can make the horse nervous
To go back to my friend - she's been riding constantly for over 50 years, she's show jumped, hunted and done hunter trials but for some reason now finds riding on the roads on a horse she doesn't trust makes her nervous even though she could cope with more than most riders can.
I won't ride across or along anything with a steep drop to the side(s) because I'm afraid the gravity monster will reach up and drag me over so I get off and walk because I worry that my horse who isn't afraid will pick up on my nerves and start to think there is something to get worried about!!!
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post #66 of 82 Old 03-28-2016, 02:58 AM
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As ever we probably get down to that lovely horsey argument/debate over semantics. To me a horse can be fully broke, and never be ridden outside, once they go out they are 'seasoned'
A horse can also be show seasoned.There are seasoned trail horses and green trail horses, and neither is the same as a horse that 'can't ' be ridden out
Again, a horse not ridden out, because of rider confidence, is not the same as a horse that can't be ridden out, and I sure have seen some of those!
Horses that completely loose it, ridden outside of their comfort zone, to the point of becoming uncontrollable.
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post #67 of 82 Old 03-28-2016, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I don't think 'broke' is even the right word for that - I mean you can be a really experienced rider but still find some things make you nervous and as Darrin said if you're nervous that can make the horse nervous
To go back to my friend - she's been riding constantly for over 50 years, she's show jumped, hunted and done hunter trials but for some reason now finds riding on the roads on a horse she doesn't trust makes her nervous even though she could cope with more than most riders can.
I won't ride across or along anything with a steep drop to the side(s) because I'm afraid the gravity monster will reach up and drag me over so I get off and walk because I worry that my horse who isn't afraid will pick up on my nerves and start to think there is something to get worried about!!!
Now, we are starting to confuse rider confidence with the simple differentiation of a horse that can be ridden out, and one that becomes dangerous when asked to ride out.
I'll be the first to admit that at my age,, and double knee replacements, I'm not the confident rider i was in the past, and no longer will get on just any horse, have no more interest in riding studs, and I sure get a horse way more 'broke', then I ever did in the past, before riding that horse out .
I also would not think of now training colts, just in snowy fields, thus unsafe footing, as I did when younger.
That still have nothing to do as to whether that horse, with a good rider, can be ridden outside of some enclosed area. Has nothing to do with the confidence/experience level of the owner,, nor should that person feel that they 'have to ride the horse out, esp if that places them outside of their comfort zone,, thus making horse riding a dreaded task, instead of fun
I was merely defining as to what I consider a broke horse, and that has to be a horse that can be ridden outside of some 4 walls, if that rider choses to do so, without a major wreak!

Also trained for some discipline/ job, is not the same as just broke.
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post #68 of 82 Old 03-28-2016, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
IMO the "broke" thing could go both ways. Maybe a more apt word rather than "broke" would be "well rounded"?

I have had the exact opposite problem with Oliver. He much prefers riding out and after a rather short amount of time in the arena (like 1/2 hour or so) that is when he starts doing things to let you know he is not that into it (losing focus).

For a person who is a 100% arena rider, I suppose he is not "broke", for me that is fine since most of what we practice in the arena can also be done out on the trails, which both of us seemingly prefer. Ride him out and he'll mentally be there right with you for hours, relaxed and focused so we get a lot more "done" out there than in the arena. Same stuff, different ambiance. We keep doing the arena riding because I think it is important for him as a jack of all trades, master of none, kind of horse to be well rounded to do many things well. Not competition perfect, but well and that includes being able to relax and focus in an arena. He will always be a better trail horse than an arena horse, but he can do both effectively.

Another point I'd like to make is a lot of people see trail vs arena as an either/or situation. Very few ever set out on the trails with the intent of practicing the same things out as in, they "just" go for a hack, but without any real goals in mind other than coming back unscathed and hopefully more relaxed. The trails can be a great way to give a horse who needs a "why" for doing things a chance to reinforce a lot of things first learned in an arena setting.

Eg; We ride ungroomed trails and we took a turn that came to an impassible dead end within a few hundred feet. Well it was a narrow game trail and the area where there would be barely enough room to turn around was a few feet back so we all had to back out thirty feet and then pivot on the hinds to turn around and come out the rest of the way forward. Good way to practice something we were working on in the arena (Roll back) with a "why" for doing it.

Trails don't have to be an either or, they can be a "both" but you kind of have to change the way you look at it and look for an opportunity to further train.
Totally agree that you can work on training elements on the trail, and you can also allow a horse to relax in an arena, versus just always schooling him there
JUst riding down the road, or across an empty crop field, is one of the best places to teach good flying lead changes on the straight
Loping circles in afield, sure lets you know if you truly have 'guide' and control, esp on a loose rein!
Logs across trails provide a good opportunity to practice lope overs.
I will often ride down our road, half passing from one side to the other (when no traffic is there, of course! )

I think , though, if you have a horse that will lope okay, in control, in that arena, yet tries to go at warp speed out in the open, perhaps trying to run off, you have to consider that horse not truly broke. At least, that is my point of view.
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post #69 of 82 Old 04-01-2016, 11:57 PM
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Are your roads quiet with a decent enough shoulder? I regularly hand walk my horse in areas or trails he hasn't been on. I keep my eyes open for mounting opportunities like rocks, fences, etc. I used to walk with him tacked up, then mount for the way home. It was my way of getting comfortable with a new area especially if I trailered there myself. You could also do some ground work in the outdoor arena before you mount up...
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post #70 of 82 Old 04-02-2016, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Are your roads quiet with a decent enough shoulder? I regularly hand walk my horse in areas or trails he hasn't been on. I keep my eyes open for mounting opportunities like rocks, fences, etc. I used to walk with him tacked up, then mount for the way home. It was my way of getting comfortable with a new area especially if I trailered there myself. You could also do some ground work in the outdoor arena before you mount up...
They have an okay shoulder, but they are unmarked country roads (paved) and the cars go SO fast. I would have to think about it. The ditch may be okay, except I'm scared of snakes. Can you just tell what a fearless farm girl I am?
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