September 5, 2013 at 8:42 pmpmparke1 Original PosterTopics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0
My horse does not buck, but has been getting worse each year. She has pranced back to the barn for years, this year she has added head throwing, prancing sideways and going backwards. She is fine going out on trail rides but seems to know as soon as we are headed back to the barn. Right now I am taking her our and stopping and then asking her to go on every few steps. This does not seem to be correcting the problem. Any suggestions?September 6, 2013 at 9:29 amLeslieTopics Started: 1Replies Posted: 44
Do you take the same route every time? If you mix it up she’ll be less likely to know when she’s headed home.
Instead of stopping her I would make her keep going and make her do circles or patterns and changes of direction (if there’s room). This will make her have to focus on what she’s doing and not on “we’re going home we’re going home we’re going home.” If the area isn’t large enough to circle you can do other exercises like leg yielding, shoulder in, shoulder out, etc. – really just anything to make her think.
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I like Leslie’s response. Change things up a bit. Give her a job to do when she gets somewhere away from the barn. I had good luck recently with stopping my mare, getting off, and letting her graze in the area where she likes to try to make a break for the homestead. Each time, I stopped her a little farther along the trail. Now she’s got the idea that there might be something good waiting for her, but it’s never in the same spot twice. LOL Gotta use whatever works, right? I had a mare who flatly refused to even walk out of the indoor under saddle after a while. With that one, I started by leading her out on the trail, giving her a treat if she cooperated, then hopping up and riding her back at the walk. We got farther each time until we hit a mile (my limit for walking home in case the effort was a failure), then we went mounted both ways. It took about a month of that, but the upshot was a mare who was totally okay with going five miles alone to rescue a rider stuck in the woods during a rain storm, and I used her to pony new babies out on the trail. Nice switch from the mane-clinging, heart-stopping sit-n-spins we’d worked up to.
Be patient and work with her. She’ll get past it as long as you stop imagining the worst and tensing up for it.
Horses In the YardSeptember 6, 2013 at 10:10 amOTTBLOVERTopics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4
Many years ago my instructor had a young OTTB who didn’t know there was a world outside of the barn or track! When teaching him to go on the trails he would jig and carry on the entire way back home. She planned a really long day…took him out early on a nice long quiet ride and then on the way home, every time he jigged, she just turned him around and went back out on the trail and away from home! She said it took a few hours that one day, but he never jigged again!
Hope that helps!
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