what would be the differences between a trail ride group and say a ACTHA competition group of horses? he is so darn wonderful at the competitions, and even when we did the endurance rides he was great. still in the lead, but in those events his position is not as important as his performance in those particular situations. now to just go ride say, on a camp trip to the mountains, be around other horse folks, and check out some woods, this horse does all kinds of nutty things, plus fight me. on regular trails everyone wants a turn to lead, be middle or ride at the end, through out the trail experiences. its not that we are just walking along ho-hum. areas we hit the twists and turns fast, or leap over small logs, or trot thru waters. some of these things my horse does at event groups, with no problem. but ….???
just to lay down in the middle of a trail ride? that’s odd, or to take up kicking or start a buck, or even kicking out at another horse behind him?
I got to thinking, this might be a habitual thing about him and trails and I might just give up on working it out? but I think not and yes I can be wrong on this, but he is so perfect, well mannered and gives willingly to everything when we are on a contest of some sort. he has never laid down, bucked, kicked up, or had any other fusses with me at an event, just the perfect angel all the way?
anxiety I wonder of too? its calm in the woods, on the trails, no traffic, no crowds of people, bright lights, parades, horse wagons and chains rattling, etc.
would his anxiety come because its calmer? that in my human thinking isn’t registering for me? so I wonder what is in his mind as a horse and horse thinking on this subject?
I do believe he is not going to be a trail horse for sure, being 5 years (got him at 5 and he is 10 yrs old now) of having to work through so much with him on this one area. he flew through all the training and exercises like it was nothing for setting up for competitive things to do, when we started out with each other. now we are more slowed down, less competitions and more group trail riding trips.
maybe this horse is so smart he learned to tune into me with the “lets go get boy, and try to win this thing” and maybe that is not what we are doing on trails and so he thinks something is not right? maybe? if horses could only talk and let me know what is bugging them about anything, I could be of more help to them, or at least this one horse.
9heritage I will try the relax product and see if that makes any differences at all. but its not just moods I want to work with him, its his actions too that I would like to understand and help him with, so that he does not have such a fit about things like he does.
some horse are quiet and hidden in their concerns, and not excessively reactive about it, just enough to give you feeling that things aren’t exactly right for them. then there are others that seem to yell it at the mountain tops and make it very clear that if you don’t understand then its just not going to work for you or them either. my horse is the one that yells at the mountain top when things bother him.
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results." - Kenneth Blanchard