A horse question

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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How lovely to read posts from horses that dawdle and fall behind on the way home.

Is it age of rider? Or relaxation of rider?

Last summer I was presented with a mare (unknown to me) and was warned she didnt like to be behind. With me she became as ususal the slowest horse on the tracks. I think this is my "fault". I am an armchair rider and have neither contact or outline. We once opened up a fair gap between us and the horse in front. Instead of rushing to catch up she stayed in walk but quickened her pace. It was such a lovely active walk reaching forward and swinging - but of course there was no RI behind to admire it.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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I've been running with the dog, figure it's good for both of us and the dog was getting a bit porky since he was castrated. Dog hates running, he lags behind to the point where I feel bad for making him do it (he's a big dog btw, not a little short legged one). I get home knackered after dragging him the last few hundred yards on his lead. He asks to go straight out and shoots down the garden at warp speed chasing blackbirds. Think they just have us on sometimes!
 
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Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Slightly off topic but I find it really interesting that horses learn hacking routes through latent learning, so at the time they learn the knowledge they dont know they will need it, but once they realise that route leads to home or a nice place to canter they can then recall the memory and use it.

I walk everywhere fast ha
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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If there's something worth rushing home to I would speed up :) are they actually speeding up on the way home or dragging their heels on the way out though? Probably the latter (in Indies case for sure)
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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Slightly off topic but I find it really interesting that horses learn hacking routes through latent learning, so at the time they learn the knowledge they dont know they will need it, but once they realise that route leads to home or a nice place to canter they can then recall the memory and use it.
Is that right Ale? On my current yard we are obliged to ride a particular circuit and are not allowed to shorten it or deviate from it. The theory being that if a rider should fall off, the horse would return home.
But will it? I regularly fell off when learning to ride and only once in all those years did my RS horse set off for home. My experience is that left to themselves horses just start to graze.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Ive heard of a number of peoples dogs that have bolted up on the hill and they have returned home on there own. Often the owners are still up on the hill looking for there dog and give up and when they get home they are waiting for them at the front door.
In the early days of training chunky to carriage drive when i was still at the yard when he took off dragging the tire and lunge line just as i was leaving the yard. He could have gone anywhere. Miraculously he took a route round the roads that we hack regularly. The only bit i didnt understand was when he turned went up the main road to the hill (id only hacked up that particular bit with him a few times) then at my road junction he turned left, which is a sharp left turn off the main road. He could so easily have continued on up the main road. Why in all the routes to take did he make that sharp turn. Id rung my brother and he was on his way to the yard, but then phoned me to say he had caught chunky. Who he met as he drove down the road. My road is part of my hacking route but we very rarely in those days went near the end of it, as there is a shortcut through. Did he know to take that turn to loop back up to the hacking route, or was he heading for my house where he knew he could get help and safety, i shall never know.
Ironically now the horses are at home they do that bit of main road all the time.
I guess some horses would stop to eat. Mine didnt that day as he was on the roads, so housing estates.
My hack route also now entails a fenced in hill enclosure, so unless the horse jumped the gate or fence he would end up remaining in it if i came off in there. If i was this side of the hill or doung a road hack i think he would find his way home. If he was the otherside i dont think he would necessarily depending on the route as he'd get to the fenced hill and then couldnt get home so may turn round and after that who knows. If i was heading in the right direction, he could get home.
 
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newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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If there's something worth rushing home to I would speed up :) are they actually speeding up on the way home or dragging their heels on the way out though? Probably the latter (in Indies case for sure)
I am finding the time frame interesting.
One hour walk and it's active all the way through, hills, what hills.
One and half and it's long enough to physically push for that little bit more. Muscles are beginning to say, eh are we there yet!
Two hours is actually too long, both mentally and physically without stopping. I think the social distancing is mentally tiring and I could push people off MY pavement near home.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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I'd be grateful if he was dragging his feet a bit in walk at any point. At the moment I'm having to walk him out in hand due to an injury and I can really see why most horses struggle to keep up with him - his walk is fast from the moment he leaves the yard to the moment he gets home, it doesn't get slower and I'm not sure it actually could get any faster. I'm certainly getting plenty of exercise, but by the time I've walked up the steep hill home I'm blowing and in need of quietly walking off!
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I would definitely be going slower after two hours these days, I used to regularly walk 8 to 10 miles up hill and down dale when I lived up in Derbyshire, but I was a lot younger and a LOT fitter back then!
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I wonder how much fitter I could get at the end of this.
At a guess I am averaging five miles, it's a guess because I haven't found the charger for the GPS yet, something to do today then.
Though I don't want it to depress me by saying how slow I walk.
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I'd be grateful if he was dragging his feet a bit in walk at any point. At the moment I'm having to walk him out in hand due to an injury and I can really see why most horses struggle to keep up with him - his walk is fast from the moment he leaves the yard to the moment he gets home, it doesn't get slower and I'm not sure it actually could get any faster. I'm certainly getting plenty of exercise, but by the time I've walked up the steep hill home I'm blowing and in need of quietly walking off!
I walk faster than the cob does if she's with me. Sedate on the way out and on the way back.
I am forward going but safe. :p
 

carthorse

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I walk faster than the cob does if she's with me. Sedate on the way out and on the way back.
I am forward going but safe. :p

Can we swap cobs? If your liveries were having to walk mine out in hand every day they'd soon be begging you to come back!
 
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Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I wonder how much fitter I could get at the end of this.
At a guess I am averaging five miles, it's a guess because I haven't found the charger for the GPS yet, something to do today then.
Though I don't want it to depress me by saying how slow I walk.
I'll definitely be fitter I've gone from a desk job to 20k steps a day, feels much better than sitting at a desk all day
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Is that right Ale? On my current yard we are obliged to ride a particular circuit and are not allowed to shorten it or deviate from it. The theory being that if a rider should fall off, the horse would return home.
But will it? I regularly fell off when learning to ride and only once in all those years did my RS horse set off for home. My experience is that left to themselves horses just start to graze.
This is what I've been taught yes. Depends on the horse I imagine and why/how you fall off. I've worked at a number of yards and each one I've known a horse gallop home riderless a number of miles (along roads and bridleways) very scary. But many other people just fall off and like you say the horse just grazes
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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Can we swap cobs? If your liveries were having to walk mine out in hand every day they'd soon be begging you to come back!
Mine isn't being led out, she's roughed off for the foreseeable. But if she was, she's lovely to take out, doesn't mind if you stop for a chat. :D
 

carthorse

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@newforest stopping for a chat does NOT go down well! Even if I can find a grassy spot to plonk his nose in he won't wait patiently for long, instead he does a pony version of the hokey cokey with irritated squeaks and chunters. He was such a quiet youngster too lol
 
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