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Frustrating hack today...

Discussion in 'Older Riders' started by Orenoko, Nov 12, 2017.

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  1. Orenoko

    Orenoko Active Member

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    So I went out today for a hack and my share was his usual 'steady Eddie' self for the first - 15/20 minutes or so. Then he turned round as if to go home. I corrected him by turning him in a circle and pushed him on. All was fine. He's done this once or twice before and this technique always works. Then another 10 minutes or so later, he does it again, so I repeated the same technique, only this time I couldn't get him to move forward, he would just turn again, and again etc.

    In the end I had to give up and head back, I was really angry with myself for not being able to manage it as I basically gave into him. I just didn't know how else to get through it.

    I found out he'd already been ridden before I arrived by staff, which hasn't happened before (and shouldn't again), but I'm wondering whether in his mind he just thought he'd done his work and wanted to go home, or if this is a bigger issue with him not respecting me. He's generally good on the ground and has good manners, I've been riding him for about 9 months now, and he's good as gold - everyone at the yard loves him. I just wonder whether, because he's done this a few times now, he doesn't respect me.

    I definitely want to nip this in the bud before it becomes an issue so just wondering if anyone has any ideas of the cause and things I can do to try and solve it.
     
  2. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    I think you've probably worked out the cause.

    I don't know you or your horse so it's hard to give advice - horses respond differently & riders vary in what they can or are prepared to cope with. Some ideas, in no particular order, are:
    - ask him to move sidewards, once you've got some movement it's easier to move it into forwards
    - turn him so he's facing the way he wants to go but then ask him to walk backwards - not one to try if he might leg it for home or if he has a tendency to rear - and after a short way turn him round & ask him to walk on
    - walk him backwards in the direction he wants to go and after a short way ask for forward - as before not for a rearer
    - turn him in continual small circles until he's prepared to walk forward, up the number of circles every time he says no & make those circles small & brisk
    - growl at him with a very determined "walk on" , if necessary backing up with a whip
    - sit it out until he gets bored, don't let him do anything
    - get off, lead him forward & then get back on
     
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  3. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

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    It really depends on where I am and the weather.

    Mine has done this in the past and she will add in walking backwards which turns into a rear if you try and insist on movement.
    Everything is calm if I just hop off, lead a few steps, hop on and keep going. It doesn't create an issue at that spot as it's forgotten about, whereas getting her to go sideways or backwards does, she has down tools and won't be going by in any shape or form.
    Take a book, weather dependant. I will start reading and wait for a walker or car to go by and she will tag on. That though does confirm that its lack of confidence and she hasn't looked to me.
     
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  5. Orenoko

    Orenoko Active Member

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    Thank you both, I'll definitely try these things if/when it happens again. I don't have loads of experience dealing with stuff like this as he generally is well behaved. He's my first share as well, which is why I looked for something with his temperament. I just don't want him to think he can get away with it again! ;)
     
  6. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    I can't add much more, good advise there. I do believe if you give in you are more likely to have a repeat of the behavior at a later date, so persevering is always my preferred option, even if you only get another 20 yards along and then turn back when you want to (not because he is still trying to). I also find it useful to try to avoid any out and back routes where you double back on yourself (easier said then done in some areas) as I think horses learn you will stop and turn for home rather than home always needing forward motion like when doing a circular route :)
     
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  7. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    All good advice plus I too think he'd thought he had done his work for the day, which is probably the cause. Hope things are better next time.
     
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  8. squidsin

    squidsin Well-Known Member

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    Agree with what's been said, also if he's relatively new and you are relatively inexperienced, he'll be testing you to see how far he can push the boundaries. They all do it, however saintly! I'd growl, push on with leg and back up with a sharp tap of the whip. If you're not comfortable doing that, then get off and lead - anything so long as he goes forward, although my preference would definitely be to stay on.
     
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  9. Orenoko

    Orenoko Active Member

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    Thanks guys, I have been told I am a 'sympathetic' rider (probably a bit too soft) so I just need to have more faith and confidence that I can deal with these tricky situations. Hopefully he did just think he was finished for the day (he is a lazy lump :rolleyes:) but if I get any repeats I'll of course speak with his owner but also re-post on here for more advice!
     
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  10. DaisyAM

    DaisyAM New Member

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    Were you riding on your own? My girl will go out on her own but much prefers being with others obviously and on occasion when I've ridden alone she's tried to turn back probably to get back to her mates. I can feel it start, so give lots of leg and a firm voice and she reluctantly gets on with it. Completely feel your pain though, I'm really hard on myself when stuff doesn't go to plan ☹ x
     
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  11. Skib

    Skib Well-Known Member

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    Dont take it personally - some horses nap whatever the rider.
    And you dnt have to be a strong rider.
    Carthorse said
    "- turn him in continual small circles until he's prepared to walk forward, up the number of circles every time he says no & make those circles small & brisk
    - growl at him with a very determined "walk on" , if necessary backing up with a whip
    - sit it out until he gets bored, don't let him do anything."
    I did the first and third of these. The owner and RI with great authority growled and used the whip. You dont need to change your character nor forfeit enjoyment just because you are on a horse that sometimes naps.
    Yes, I could have used more authority but I didnt want to provoke her. That mare could spin and gallop for home - staff had fallen off her - I go gently with horses so yes, you were riding gently and the horse felt you were giving him a choice. But as you ride him more and more, he will learn that in the end napping does not bring an advantage. Because you have a more powerful brain than a horse.
    And I myself didnt even circle briskly. I viewed it as tedium for the horse, not demanding. It makes the horse think?
    The only draw back is that other riders and pedestrians seeing you think you cant ride. You can. You just do it differently.

    Print out Carthorse's list and put it in your pocket. Next time it happens dont feel demoralised. Sit quietly and get out the paper. You can read and the horse cant. Relax. You can work out what you want to do.
    But the napping wont necessarilly go away altogether.
     
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  12. Orenoko

    Orenoko Active Member

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    Thanks both. @DaisyAM we were out alone, he is usually fine alone (tbh I usually hack out alone as I prefer it too lol), I'm out this weekend with another rider but next time I ride alone I'll be interested to see whether he tries it again.

    @carthorse thanks for the further advice, there were members of the public nearby and they were giving me funny looks, so perhaps I bottled it sooner than I otherwise would've because I was being 'watched' so to speak.

    It's all good learning I suppose, he is normally really good and has very few vices, which was a huge factor in me starting to share him in the first place given my experience level, but it's good to be challenged from time to time!
     
  13. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

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    The from time to time suits me. Mine is 95% fine but she gives me that 5% that encourages me to actually ride and stop looking at the view. :D
    When I first started hacking her had I viewed her instead of owned her, I wouldn't have wanted a second ride!!

    Today's hack due to one route being impassible I had already decided we would go out and have to double back. We had only been out ten minutes when I knew she had the wants to go back feel about her.
    I pulled into a gateway to let a car go by and she thought that the cue for where we were turning, um no a bit further on please. We did head back but it was when I decided, after a halt and half turn on forehand, I don't just turn back.
    You might get that same feeling off yours, sometimes it's just a very slight glance behind with the eaf flick that tells me she isn't confident.
     
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  14. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about what other people think, the chances are that unless you start doing major pony beating they won't even notice! n the past I've viewed having people around as a plus - if it all goes really wrong they can pick up the pieces of me & hopefully catch the horse! But I'm hoping yours isn't the type where you start thinking that way.
     
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  15. Orenoko

    Orenoko Active Member

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    Haha no he's definitely not, he's a favourite at the yard because of his temperament so I feel very lucky to get to ride him :)
     
  16. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    I rode a strange pony on Monday, and she napped several times because I was new to her and she was trying me out. I used to be very sympathetic (=soft) but I didn't take any nonsense from her, which made me feel more confident about my riding! I kept my reins short so she couldn't whip round, and when she did little bunny hops instead (I think she was too lazy to buck) I gave her a smart Pony Club kick and said "walk on". After the 3rd time she didn't try it again and we enjoyed the rest of our outing.

    It's awful when people are watching you, but you have to believe in yourself.
     
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