How to prevent an arena sour horse if I'm only comfortable in the arena - Page 8 - The Horse Forum
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post #71 of 82 Old 04-02-2016, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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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.
I actually have no idea what he'd do as I haven't tried it, and I'm not sure he has, either. I would say he is still relatively green, though. Once I got his pedigree and stalked, I mean Googled, his past owners, I found that he really only spent 1 year off the track with a woman who trained him to jump before going to live with the owner before me--a beginning teen. This teen kept him in training for a couple of months, then decided to bring him to her house, and then he ended up not getting ridden much for a couple of years. He is currently in full training though, and he'll stay there until I feel (and his trainer feels) he's more solidly trained. He has never, ever given any indication that he'd take off. He's so gentle and responsive on the ground and while being ridden. It's just that he has the anatomy to do some serious running if he wants to and I'm a little intimidated by that. I always say he's like an unsprung spring. Maybe in 6 months when he and I are both more experienced, we'll be ready to attempt leaving the arenas!
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post #72 of 82 Old 04-02-2016, 01:02 AM
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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?
I.m with you on snakes!
Luckily, we don't have them here. One blessing of cold winters!
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post #73 of 82 Old 04-02-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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I.m with you on snakes!
Luckily, we don't have them here. One blessing of cold winters!
We have cold winters, too, but apparently not cold enough. I can't imagine not having snakes at all! That would be amazing. I see them so rarely that they really don't affect my life much, but the thought of the possibility of a snake is startling at times.
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post #74 of 82 Old 04-02-2016, 04:06 PM
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I haven't read everything, so I'm responding to whether leading your horse out is helpful. I say a resounding YES.

In my case, as a somewhat cautious rider, when riding away from home for the first time, on ANY horse, my partner comes along on foot. Gives me confidence; gives the horse confidence. Bring a halter if you think you'll need it.

Horses get arena sour when they aren't challenged. You must keep your exercises interesting. On the other hand, there are horses who enjoy a rhythmic, relaxing bout of trotting without being interrupted. The main thing is for the horse to feel better after the ride than before. Horses like that nice, tired (not totally wasted!) feeling, just like we do.
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post #75 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 02:54 AM
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I just wanted to mention, that in a few earlier posts, more than one person remarked that trail riding is "boring" and arena riding is somehow more challenging.

There is no law that saws you just have to walk at a slow pace out on the trail and bore yourself to tears. You can still ride at all gaits providing you have decent footing. And you can teach horse horse tons of stuff, backing, side-passing, opening gates, weaving around trees. Jumping small obstacles. Getting used to wildlife and cars and dogs and things flapping in the breeze. You can do just about everything you do in an arena out on the trails. So there is no need for it to be boring.

Actually, what I love most about trail riding is just relaxing in nature and maybe seeing some wildlife. But if you want to make it exciting you can. There is no reason not to trot, canter, practice your turns, side passes and leg yields. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Now if you don't like it or have some lingering anxiety, I totally understand. But I don't understand how it can be labeled boring because you can do just about any of your arena training outside the arena as well. It can be as challenging or exciting as you want to make it.


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post #76 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 09:43 AM
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Now if you don't like it or have some lingering anxiety, I totally understand. But I don't understand how it can be labeled boring because you can do just about any of your arena training outside the arena as well. It can be as challenging or exciting as you want to make it. :wink:
Hi All!

What TrailHorse sez.
Georgie and I were out for a ride with the club yesterday. We had 15 riders, 12 horses, and 3 mules. It was a gorgeous spring day, following several weeks of cold and heavy snow. There was snow on the trail in places, some a foot deep or more. There was lots of slippery-sloppy mud. There was a shallow water crossing. We encountered numerous hikers, several mountain bikers, and one grumpy trail runner. There were downed trees to hop over, and rocks to scramble over (or walk around). There was eye-popping scenery. Parts of the trail have side routes with cross-country course style jumps set up; we didn't ride any of these due to the slick trail surface. With this many riders, cantering is pretty much out of the question, but we got in some trotting.
Not to diss arena riding, but you would be really hard-pressed to find that sort of variety in an arena.
Steve
foto: The Cavalier Trail Riding Club at Dawson Butte Open Space park, April 03, 2016
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post #77 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 10:03 AM
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Jan - Your horse is an OTTB - have you ever looked at all the stuff those horses have to deal with at a racecourse?
I've had quite a few OTTB's over the years and even the one's that were on the 'hot' side were as close to being bombproof as it can get
Take him out for walks if that will help your confidence levels - and if you do decide to ride him out and feel worried then I see no shame in having someone ride with you on a good reliable horse that can 'pony' you a few times if you start to feel you aren't coping
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post #78 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 11:53 AM
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Steve, so beautiful, I'm envious!

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #79 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 12:03 PM
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The first few times my daughter rode her green horse out, my husband walked with her. We kept the rope halter on under the bridle, he held the lead rope but very loosely. Then the next few times, the lead end was tied off on the saddle and he walked like he was leading the horse, ready to grab it if an issue should arise. Then we ponied, then she had complete control.

That process gave my daughter the confidence in both herself and her horse to eventually ride out without help. This way she got a chance to see what made him nervous and how he reacted to the situations and any necessary "corrections" as well as things that still needed more work in the arena, but knew that if things really got out of hand, she had some backup from the ground which he was very well schooled to respond to.
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post #80 of 82 Old 04-04-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Jan - Your horse is an OTTB - have you ever looked at all the stuff those horses have to deal with at a racecourse?
I've had quite a few OTTB's over the years and even the one's that were on the 'hot' side were as close to being bombproof as it can get
Take him out for walks if that will help your confidence levels - and if you do decide to ride him out and feel worried then I see no shame in having someone ride with you on a good reliable horse that can 'pony' you a few times if you start to feel you aren't coping
Yeah, he is not spooky much at all. He did spook while I was loping in the arena the other day, but it was super windy and the power had gone out, and my instructor thinks he saw something out the window. The horses are all a little goofy when it's that windy outside. Other than that, he's never blinked an eye at anything going on in the barn or the arena. Maybe when it's nice out and we have more time we'll start with some walks.
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