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For those of you who have horses who tend to start out trail rides at new locations a bit hot and jiggy, what do YOU do? Do you make your horse walk slow until he calms down or do you canter and let him get it out of his system? My TB is always a little goofy for the first 5 minutes of new trail rides. By the end of the ride, we're cantering along on the buckle. It's just that first few minutes that he's just a jiggy ball of energy. I was just curious as to what you guys do in that case. I stay slow until he starts to relax, but would love to hear from the run them out crowd to see how that works.
 

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The more I mess with Nelson, the worse it gets. I have learnt to just sit quiet, relax, breath and just leave him alone.

He is a fire cracker out on Fox Hunts, and I have to remain safe with him because I cannot interfear with any of the Hunt Members and riders who are all there together, but I cannot mess around with Nelson either.

He is like that on Trail Rides as well with other riders who are with us, especially if they are infront, when Nelson wants to be the one infront. In casual trail rides with other riders, Nelson gets to go up front, he is quiet and at peace up front.

Unfortunately we cannot do that on a Hunt since the Elder riders who have far more seniority than I are up front, I have to remain in the back - so I circle alot, without getting in his face. I sit deep, relax, don't tense up and just sit. He jigs the whole ride, but there's nothing I can do to change that, so I just leave him alone.

I put him in check periodically, Pull relase, pull release action - but most of the time, his brain is out in left field in those high action packed scenario's.

Wish I could hold Nelson back - no luck for me.
 

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I do pretty much what you do MyBoyPuck. If he's nervous or jiggy I don't get tense or in his face, but I soften my seat and hands and ask him to relax. He rarely acts this way, but occasionally out on the trail he will, especially after a good canter or gallop.

When I finally get to take him XC schooling I will ride in the way that MIE described. Zeus seems to be very similar to Nelson in that aspect. If I get in his face he's going to get even more riled up. The most effective thing to do on him to to relax, do what you can to get his attention, and don't mess with him too much. I will be riding him in his gag, because if worse came to worse and he took off (not likely, but he's strong, and if he got it into his head to run, well, the rubber d wouldn't do a thing), I know I can shut him down in that if I need to. Hate to phrase it like that, but it's the truth.

But anyway. For the most part he's calm and well mannered on the trail.
Maybe a bit jiggy in certain situations.
 

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When we trailer them from home, it's usually for a nice long ride so I don't want Major burning up all of his energy at the beginning of the ride, especially if I'm riding on a trail that has lots of hills. The fastest I will let him go at the very beginning is a running walk. I really think that they are like kids and just excited to be someplace new.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really think that they are like kids and just excited to be someplace new.
Yeah, that a good way to put it. Once Puck gets over his initial "moments", he settles down and remembers that he loves trails. By the end we're running along like a pair of idiots on a loose rein.
 

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I don't go to other places to ride but sometimes my B.O. has very large (over thirty riders and 3-4 sleds) trail rides with riders coming in from all over, so the horses from our barn get exited by the visiting horses. Caleb doesn't jig at all. When he is exited and wants his way, he puts his head between his legs and pigroots. It gets very annoying and I usually have to keep him on a bend most of the ride to keep him preoccupied.
 

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I let them relax at the walk first, then trot a little bit, and ocne they are comfortable we start to really ride, loping and galloping on the appropraite places. Annie will turn saddle bronc on you if you ask her to run out right away, and Jester will just be really fresh and maybe buck once or twice.

However, Rico is better when you run off right away. If you ask hi to hold back and wait he gets all the more jittery. -shrug- I guess it depends on the horse.
 

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I push Cougar forward and give him something to do. Shoulder in, leg yield etc. Keep his mind occupied. He gets a bit fresh if he hasn't been out for awhile but most of the time you can ride him on the buckle at a all gaits if you chose to. He's settled down over the years and is very comfortable going out on his own or in a group. I'm lucky.
 

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I usually just sit still and quiet and get his or her mind on something else. Weaving around trees, going over dead branches, changing position in the group if we are with other people, ect. My focus is usually to get them to focus on me and tune everything else out.
 

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I normaly just walk em'. I have a perch/arab who just loves going on trails and will want to take of running a soon as we are out the barn gates. But after a few mins of me trying to get him to walk he calms down and just goes with the flow.....then once we enter the woods he decides that he wants to go the slowest pace known to man!!
 

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When I first took JR out on the bigger trail rides he would jig, crow hop, pull on the reins, even do a small rear. At this time I didn't know enough about him to just let him go relaxed.Because he wasn't. So what I did was circles. Every time he would get jiggy in a circle he went I would do atleast 3 quick ones then ask him to walk off.If he didn't we circled again. After me getting dizzy a lot..He now is safe enough for anyone to ride. Now when he's fresh he's funny now he will literally trot in place on a loose rein and won't take off unitl you ask him...:wink: After that hold on...:D
 

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I'm sorry to say that what I hear from most of these posts are riders that find a way to conform to their horses behavior rather then having a properly trained horse. In my opinion, allowing a horse, or rather, excusing a horse for acting improperly shows a lack of discipline for both rider and horse.

I usually have a horse or two at the farm that come to me for conditioning or for a tuneup. Many times over excitement when first ridden is common and one of the first things that I fix. It is a sign of a horse that doesn't understand that once the saddle is on, he has to go to work and nonsense is not permitted. An advantage that I have over some is that my horses are on 24/7 turnout but even a horse that is stalled needs to know that sillyness is not permitted - sometimes a horse like that needs to be lunged a little before saddling but only for a few minuets, not 1/2 an hour. I don't lunge with a saddle if he is too fresh because I will not allow a horse to buck with a saddle. A saddle means all nonsense is over and it's time to work.

When I first got Hollywood, about 4 or 5 months ago, he was that way when first saddled, jiggy and pulling the reins. That was the first thing I worked on. Due to weather and a back problem (mine not his) I wasn't able to ride for ~6 weeks. I saddled him up yesterday (no lunging) and mounted up. He rode off like he was just ridden the day before. No jigging, bucks, rearing, pulling on my reins, just a loose rein and off we went.

In my training, that is the way a horse needs to be 100% of the time.
 

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I'm sorry to say that what I hear from most of these posts are riders that find a way to conform to their horses behavior rather then having a properly trained horse. In my opinion, allowing a horse, or rather, excusing a horse for acting improperly shows a lack of discipline for both rider and horse.

I usually have a horse or two at the farm that come to me for conditioning or for a tuneup. Many times over excitement when first ridden is common and one of the first things that I fix. It is a sign of a horse that doesn't understand that once the saddle is on, he has to go to work and nonsense is not permitted. <snip>
Good point, but just what methods do you use to fix this?

For me, my horses are usually pretty good. Sometimes the greener one will give me some attitude and I have found that for her, doing "arena" type work for 5 minutes or so is a good reminder for her to listen up and never mind that nonsense. I would not go out on a group ride with a horse that is misbehaving, except with a friend or two that knows I may be training on the ride.
 

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I really don't want to hijack the thread but if you posted the question about jigging on the trail or something similar, you will get quite a few responses - I know I would respond and we have a good number of other horseman (not just riders) who would contribute.
 

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Isn't that what this thread is about? Albeit, she specified at the start of the ride -- but still on the trail, right? So, do tell your secrets Iride! :)
 

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To begin with, I'll start a horse that wants to jig, alone. I don't want to interfere with any one else's ride. I'll lunge him before saddling just to take the edge off (after I'm comfortable with his progress, I stop lunging). Once he is saddled, I'll flex him in both directions then mount. Once I've mounted, I'll flex him several time in both directions from the saddle. I'll have him stand for several seconds but as he gets better at standing, I'll increase that time. If he starts to get anxious, we do circles and serpentines then stand. I keep that process up until he stands for a few moments, only then do we walk off.

We will walk off several times and then return to our starting place. If he starts to jig or get anxious at any time it's back to circles then stand still. There is no set time as to how many times I need to do this and it's isn't surprising to have him all lathered up the first few times. Never will I pull on this face or jab him with my heels. Everything is done slowly and without anger. It is simply a pressure and release.

Once I have him standing and walking off without jigging, I'll introduce another rider. The rider I'll have with me knows that this is going to be a training ride and we may not get 1/2 mile from the trailers. We do the same thing as before but the 2nd rider will stop when I stop.

As his attitude improves the second rider (this may be several training trips latter) will ride a little further away and my horse is expected to follow but not get anxious to catch up. If the jigging starts, the second rider will stop and wait while we do some flexing and circles then we both move off, allowing me to slowly catch up. Again, this may take several trips to get it so that he does not get anxious when another horse gets ahead of him.

The long and the short of it is that this process may take a few trips or 1/2 the summer. What I want is a horse that is disciplined and at ease with being anywhere in the group I ride with.

There is no magic to this method and I'm sure everyone has heard it before but the reason that so many horses are a problem is because most riders want only to enjoy a trail ride and allow their horses to get away with things that shouldn't be allowed. I would rather spend a month or two fixing the problem so that the horse will be a pleasure to ride anytime I saddle him up.

Time and patience.
 

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I just sit tight and releax, I go very quiet with my hands also I soften them up in his mouth!I dont get to worked up about it! if I stay relaxed then He will relax soon enough! You kinda have to think what hed be thinking! I imagine they would just be saying" Oh let me go mum let me go play with my freinds" If you get all worked up over him being a little excited then he is just going to make a bigger deal of the situation then it really is because he feels your excitement and thinks Oh well it must be something big coming! I would just relax and laugh it all off! he should be calm soon enough when he realises theres nothing to get all excited about!:)xx
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well this thing morphed a little since I was last online. I do agree with iridehorses that time under saddle is supposed to be no nonsense time. That being said, it's easier with some horses than others. I'm lucky in that my horse calms down within the first 5 minutes or so, but until that point, it does bother me that he pulls that crap at all. As each new trail riding season comes, my experience level goes up and my confidence along with it, so I am quicker to correct anything he does I find inappropriate. While I find the first 5 minute thing seem to happen with a lot of horses, I won't go on trail rides with horses who continually act up on trails. It's just not safe for fair for other riders. Occasionally you just get one of those days where all the horses are spooking at everything that moves, but I agree there's no place for horses who are not suited for trail riding.
 
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