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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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yes. I mean let him go sometimes. So, he is not always held in. make him go faster than he wants to go. A good way to get some feel for "brakes" is to push the accelerator a bit, then after a bit try brakes again and see if the horse is more willing to stop. Some horses need to GO more often. it's not fair to constantly ask them to go slow.
 

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How good are your hands. Prin and I had a similar issuesa while back. I wasn't following as well as I should have been. My instructor suggested either long rein or full contact. Riding with a loose contact doesn't work for us.
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Discussion Starter #14
So, today I rode, and he jigged around for a while at the beginning, then towards the end, once he was worked down a bit and relaxed, he quit, and walked fine on a little contact. I think he just needs to get his energy out, like some said...he's full of it!
 

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My OTTB did this when I first got him, it was really annoying but it helped to realize that when he was on the track he was taught to brace against the bit and run through it.

You can try:

"Combing" your reins when you ride: Start while walking with a light contact during the warm up, ask your horse for an inside flexion (ride inside leg to outside hand and gently ask by opening up your inside rein. Opening up your inside rein will not allow you to "see-saw" at your horse's mouth creating even more issues). The moment he gives (back should soften and his stride will slow down) release your inside "forgiving" rein. Keep working on this and your horse will learn that contact does not mean "go" and that if he makes the contact he is rewarded by a release. Once you get this down at the walk, do it at the trot. This teaches your horse to "stand out" to the hand and accept the bit. Eventually you should be able to drop your reins and your horse should stretch his head and neck to the ground. Keep working on these until there is no difference in rhythm and pace between riding on a loose rein and riding with contact. He will stop jigging when he realizes that there is nothing to be anxious about when you pick up a contact.
 

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You have taught him that if he jigs, he goes fast.

So as soon as he starts to jig halt him. Make certain it is a square halt. If he starts to get antsy at halt a few steps of walk BEFORE he moves a hoof, then halt again. No trot work until he halts AND walks when YOU want him to - not when he wants to.:shock:
 
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