How can I teach my mare that hacking alone isn't the end of the world?

_Emma

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
4
1
3
24
Hi Guys, Sorry for the long winded post - I'm sat at home in lockdown thinking about a day when I may possibly be able to ride again!

I wanted to hear about other people’s experiences of horses that randomly decide not to hack alone please.

I have my girl for over a year now and she’s previously been fine alone, she does need confidence from her rider a bit more when she is alone but never had to ask her more than twice to carry on but lately she has decided that hacking alone is not an option… When she used to act up she did “bunny hop rears” which I can only describe as a horsey version of a toddler stamping their feet! A little persistence and calmly asking her to carry on used to work. Now I can’t even get her off the yard on her own.

In company she is good as gold, and she was also hoof perfect when someone was walking or biking with us as well, but that confidence seems to have gone now. Her go to response is rearing and spinning but she has only taken off with me once. Her rears are getting progressively bigger and she dumped me about 6 weeks ago for the first time. At 17.2hh there is quite a lot of horse to argue with. Unfortunately, after I came off I couldn’t get back on until I was back to my yard because she was freaking out, still rearing, and far too tall! When I got back on in the safety of the school she was good as gold.

I am not riding currently due to our yard being on lockdown and I have no intention of getting back on until its all blown over, and of course I will be lunging and schooling her until she’s settled down after a nice long holiday. She is good as gold in the school.
There is no one particular thing that I can say she is scared of and there hasn’t been any incident that could frighten her (that I am aware of).

Has anyone got any recommendations of what worked for them or what I can try to hopefully get past this?
 

_Emma

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
4
1
3
24
Have you tried walking her out in hand or long reining her?
I have never long reined, the thought of being on the floor behind her makes me worry I might not have control :( I had to lead her back after coming off but she was pretty stressed out then, perhaps I could start in hand leading around some of our hacking routes (we have some short loops we can do) with someone for moral support/safety in numbers. Do you think this could help settle her anxieties?
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,525
5,447
113
When did this start? I'm wondering if it could be related to spring and hormones rather than insecurity.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,564
14,942
113
40
Suffolk, UK
I try to make going out a positive experience, aim for a nice spot to stop and graze or pack some snacks for both of you and just rest a while and enjoy being out there together. The nice spot might be the end of the driveway to start with and gradually move it further away, taking things in manageable chunks is important because if there's a fight every time that sticks with you both rather than the positive. I also find it's important to do it regularly even after they're OK with it, it's easy to think it's fixed and not do it for a few months and you've back tracked which is frustrating.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Native Lover

_Emma

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
4
1
3
24
When did this start? I'm wondering if it could be related to spring and hormones rather than insecurity.

She dumped me around 20th Feb, and started acting up a couple of weeks before this

I have put her on a Hack Up bespoke supplement to hopefully calm her and settle her marish mood but it hasnt seems to have helped massively - that being said, its hard to tell without riding
 
Last edited:

_Emma

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
4
1
3
24
I try to make going out a positive experience, aim for a nice spot to stop and graze or pack some snacks for both of you and just rest a while and enjoy being out there together. The nice spot might be the end of the driveway to start with and gradually move it further away, taking things in manageable chunks is important because if there's a fight every time that sticks with you both rather than the positive. I also find it's important to do it regularly even after they're OK with it, it's easy to think it's fixed and not do it for a few months and you've back tracked which is frustrating.


Thanks, this is definitely something to aim for when I can actually get her away from the mounting block! We hadn't done as much hacking over the winter because of the dark nights, and when I did go it was always with someone so perhaps she just forgot about hacking alone being fun :) a little bit of bribery could help, her world does revolve around food!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jessey

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,564
14,942
113
40
Suffolk, UK
Thanks, this is definitely something to aim for when I can actually get her away from the mounting block! We hadn't done as much hacking over the winter because of the dark nights, and when I did go it was always with someone so perhaps she just forgot about hacking alone being fun :) a little bit of bribery could help, her world does revolve around food!
Try not to use it as bribery, just as a reward when you get to where you want to be :)
 

Frances144

Remember me?
Dec 21, 2011
5,886
2,552
113
Shetland, UK
www.myshetland.co.uk
Take her out in hand and talk a lot. Spend time with her just being you and her. Create a bond between you that is just your private conversation whether onboard or not.

and remember to relax and breathe. Mine turned into a planter. I refused to be scared. I just told him he was not begonia and keep going. We got thru it. Some are better than others about going out on their own.
 
  • Like
Reactions: domane

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
4,399
5,160
113
66
We could blend her and my boy! He's the opposite - great alone, throws himself around in company! Wish I could be more constructive, but nevertheless, i feel your pain! I'd agree, that maybe walking her in hand would help. (Someone with you though - that's a lot of horse if she decides to argue on the ground!)
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,437
1,805
113
London
have never long reined, the thought of being on the floor behind her makes me worry I might not have control
This is what was always done st the livery yard where I learned to ride.

You start the long reining training to hack, with a second person walking at the head of the horse. Each day they drop further and further back. Till the two of you are walking side by side behind the horse.

The next stage is for one of you to ride and the other walk near the head and again drop back bit by bit each succeeding day.

It is a good idea to hack with another person too. One person stops and the other rides ahead and stops and then the other rider follows and goes right past and then stops in turn. So you are alternating who goes first. And the two horses altho together are independent of each other.

This is to train horses. But in fact the long term result was that I learned to hack solo because I was riding first so much of the time. The same would work with horses. A horse who leads is more likely to learn to hack solo than one who always follows.

My experience now of hacking solo on a horse that is used to following another horse, is that one needs a lot more leg to start with on one's own. And the more restriction one places on the horse through rein and leg (to reassure oneself) the harder it is for the horse to move freely forward.

If you dont feel safe, it is better to ride relaxed and loop round and go home and then set off again and again return in a clover leaf pattern than to have the horse tense and rear.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
lamprellsarah flying changes how do i teach my mare!! Training of the Horse and Rider 3
N How many riders teach their horse walk to canter? How many riders get taught in lessons? Training of the Horse and Rider 12
Native Lover How to teach a pony to travel alone Transport and Travelling 10
Ale Do you think I could teach Ale to longline? Training of the Horse and Rider 13
N Blurgh, That'll Teach Me (photos) Cafe 13
Bodshi Can you teach a horse to not spook Training of the Horse and Rider 15
domane How to teach "stand"??? Training of the Horse and Rider 8
Ale Help me teach my boy to canter nicely please. Training of the Horse and Rider 18
R Rather embarrassing - but how would you teach better manners ? Training of the Horse and Rider 8
R How do I teach turn on the forehead on the ground Training of the Horse and Rider 4
Praecelsus How not to teach a horse to drive Other Disciplines 14
juliecwuk You CAN teach an old horse new tricks!!! Hacking 8
fairlady That will teach me, one step forward, two back !!! Cafe 3
W how to teach walk pirouette? Competing 6
eml Riding schools...what should they teach?? Training of the Horse and Rider 32
beakysian Teach me transitions from halt Training of the Horse and Rider 4
N Would You Let Your Child Teach Their Pony To Rear? Cafe 6
G Teach me all you know (NH) Training of the Horse and Rider 4
SavingGrace How you teach the young horse to long rein! Training of the Horse and Rider 5
G How to teach a horse to hack alone? Training of the Horse and Rider 19
KP nut Does Parelli teach 'feel'. Training of the Horse and Rider 8
J How do you teach a horse to neck rein? Training of the Horse and Rider 6
J is 12 yr old horse to old to teach? Training of the Horse and Rider 3
T someone's coming to teach me Parelli! Training of the Horse and Rider 10
Bronya How to teach a horse where to take off? Competing 9
C How do you teach an ex racer to stand at shows? Training of the Horse and Rider 5
J where to teach canter Training of the Horse and Rider 5
S Are you allowed to teach if your not Qualified? Training of the Horse and Rider 3
N Is it easier to teach an extrovert or an introvert? Training of the Horse and Rider 10
Zani How do you teach a horse to ground tie? Training of the Horse and Rider 13
L So whats the best way to teach a horse to jump? Training of the Horse and Rider 6
S need help to teach horse!!!! Training of the Horse and Rider 9
tetleyteabag need help to teach my new horse to stand Training of the Horse and Rider 6
emmathechief Please help! How to teach a foal.... Metabolic 4
Bangers & Mash How To Teach Flying Changes... Training of the Horse and Rider 4
Jenny2502 how to teach canter?? confusion.... Training of the Horse and Rider 7
F Instructors - do you teach different methods for different types of horses? Training of the Horse and Rider 2
H help to teach to jump ? Competing 7
ina.click Little pic tribute to the horses that teach me to ride General 4
laura jeanne How to teach side pass? Training of the Horse and Rider 3
A How do I teach my pony to back up on the ground? Training of the Horse and Rider 6
Shannon_Clover What to teach a 2yrs old? Training of the Horse and Rider 7
P whats the best way to teach an outline Training of the Horse and Rider 13
Sarah_Sayers How can I teach him to be good without smacking? Training of the Horse and Rider 27
wickesy1 Should I let other half teach me to jump ?? General 6
P How do you teach your horse to poop in a bucket?? General 4
T Would he be ok to teach to drive? Other Disciplines 3
B Change bits to teach Natural Horsemanship? Training of the Horse and Rider 3
HorseManiac How to teach percy to work ' on the bit' Training of the Horse and Rider 7
HorseManiac How to teach a 12yo horse to canter on the right leg. Training of the Horse and Rider 11

Similar threads

newrider.com