How do I deal with napping on a hack?

Native Lover

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How do I deal with Eva napping? After I had ridden Eva in walk trot and canter in the field last night my OH offered to walk out with me and Eva but he had our german sheperd with him. A few time she started to nap spinning round and planting but I got her through this and carried on down the laneafter about 10 mins she started to spin and back up I did keep turning back in the direction she was going but it was scaring me so in the end I turned for home. If my OH hadnt had the dog with him I wouldd have asked him to lead me for awhile till she calmed down. The six month I had given her off while I lost some weight means she has only been hacked twice in nearly 8 months:) and obviously no longer trust me:( out hacking. Any ideas or advice please
 

notpoodle

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if she used to hack out fine before (eg on her own), I suggest being firm with her eg. keep your reins on and use your legs to get her forwards and out of the spinning motion. if you really feel you're not getting anywhere, get off and lead for a bit - anything is better than turning home :)
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Apr 16, 2009
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NL you will get loads of different advise on this on from the NH way to us old school ways, here are just a few:

-Ground work to get some trust back,
-foot solider
-when she naps turn her to face the problem area and let her stand unti he relaxes than ask her to move on.
-Back, side ways just keep feet moving and then ask to move on the direction of travel
-small circles towards the problem area until passed
- get off and walk past then remount
- hit horse until it goes passed
- growl at horse and back up with leg/stick
-walk in hand out passed the area a couple of times.
-set yourself goals of where you will hack to and turn around at that point even if she is good then go a little further next tiem.

personnel when I got Chanter he napped like a bast%^D and dangerous with it. I tried that stand still and wait for him to relax 9that resulted in him running backwards. The only thing with him that really works is a good growl and quick kick and tap with my schooling whip, Needless to say he hardly naps at all now if ever.
 

sjp1

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Sep 14, 2009
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NL you will get loads of different advise on this on from the NH way to us old school ways, here are just a few:

-Ground work to get some trust back,
-foot solider
-when she naps turn her to face the problem area and let her stand unti he relaxes than ask her to move on.
-Back, side ways just keep feet moving and then ask to move on the direction of travel
-small circles towards the problem area until passed
- get off and walk past then remount
- hit horse until it goes passed
- growl at horse and back up with leg/stick
-walk in hand out passed the area a couple of times.
-set yourself goals of where you will hack to and turn around at that point even if she is good then go a little further next tiem.

personnel when I got Chanter he napped like a bast%^D and dangerous with it. I tried that stand still and wait for him to relax 9that resulted in him running backwards. The only thing with him that really works is a good growl and quick kick and tap with my schooling whip, Needless to say he hardly naps at all now if ever.

When Tobes naps in the yard, growling and backing up with leg/stick is what I do. In fact it was more than a tap he had, and it was more than one, and it was a crop, not a schooling whip.

I would love for him to be more NH'y and work off my thoughts, or get bored, but actually if his trailer loading of 'wait and he will get bored' is anything to go by, he just didn't get bored - an hour of lounging on the ramp with back leg cocked!!! Backing him up in that instance did work and because he found that unpleasant he went forward.

I guess try everything, and something will click.
 

devonlass

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May 20, 2006
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My cob naps to go out alone

I usually manage to get him out and up the road a bit ok and then he either belatedly realises he is has to go out alone or if he copes with that notion but sees something that bothers him he will plant and then goes backwards.
Sometimes he has gone so far backwards that we have ended up back where we started lol.
I just really nag him TBH.I use my reins as a wip wop (works really well I find as long as don't over use it),pony club kick and use my stick.Lot's of encouragment with voice,growl for the negative behaviour but OTT 'good boy' as soon as he does what I ask (even a tiny step forward get's my best sing song praise voice lol).He doesn't really do spinning (far too lazy),so can't advise too much with that,but try and get ahead of it and focus on forward would be my advice.

It obviously depends on the reasons for the napping,I would never suggest brute force on a young or scared horse or encourage anyone to nag if they weren't feeling confident,but with my cob for example I know it's just lack of confidence beause he has spent the last few months before I got him only hacking in company,and is generally happier in company.
I also know though that he is older and has been there done it and spent years before that hacking out alone fine (but always napped to leave the yard initially),so I am happy that he just needs to get back in the habit.
He always feels safe though even when being a twit,and I am confident that he wouldn't 'do' anything so I feel happy pushing him,would be very different story if I wasn't sure he was reliable though.

Pretty sure you mare has been with you a while and is a sensible sort though?? Would you be happy to just keep encouraging forward no matter what her responses??
Really think that is your only option if you know she can do it but has just got out of the habit.Or could try long reining out to start with if you think she would be more confident with you on the ground,although not sure as she still did it with a foot soldier??

Do you talk to her a lot generally?? I tend to waffle on as much to my horses as do on here lol,and do find that constant talking in a VERY exaggerated and positive manner the whole time we are out helps.Seems to reassure him that I'm still there and in charge and keeps him listening to me rather than looking for horse eating signs,leaves and such like.
 

chickflick1066

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May 7, 2004
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OMG I used to have some right nightmares with Stumpy napping and used to get so frustrated! But, I know you probably have ruled it out, it turned out her saddle was two sizes to wide and was causing discomfort. Once I had addressed the ill fitting saddle and had Bowen on her back she seemed a lot more keen to go forward.

From your post it sounds like she's trying it on a little bit or has lost her confidence a bit. I think the foot solider is a great idea and repetition. Good luck, keep us updated? :)
 

Native Lover

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She has always been ok to hack out both alone and in company. I am not tottally confident hacking out but I do push myself to do it.

I will try some of the ideas suggested, thanks for the ideas.

I did no it was wrong of me to give in and head for home but it was also only my second hack in 8 months. I think we have to start getting out and about again and both get our confidence outside our field. And maybe walking out inhand will give her some confidence before we venture out on our own.

Just another step to conquer on our journey together :) She has been brilliant with me while I have been learning to canter in the back field, stopping every time I asked her.

We will get there :) I will keep you posted.
 

sjp1

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She has always been ok to hack out both alone and in company. I am not tottally confident hacking out but I do push myself to do it.

I will try some of the ideas suggested, thanks for the ideas.

I did no it was wrong of me to give in and head for home but it was also only my second hack in 8 months. I think we have to start getting out and about again and both get our confidence outside our field. And maybe walking out inhand will give her some confidence before we venture out on our own.

Just another step to conquer on our journey together :) She has been brilliant with me while I have been learning to canter in the back field, stopping every time I asked her.

We will get there :) I will keep you posted.

Absolutely you will get there. They have a really uncanny way of knowing what you are scared of, in spite of you trying to cover it up - they just peel back that layer with no problem at all!!!
 

Dizzy Woo

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I am currently battling on and off with confidence issues due to Daisy's bad spin and nap last year when I injured myself quite badly, i just think we are getting somewhere when low and behold she did it again last week in the gateway of our field, we hadnt even got out when spin and bolt back into the field.
I felt it coming this time but instead of doing what I had recently learned (flexions till she relaxes then gentley move forward) I tapped her with schooling whip and that was obviously too much for her what with the scary gate and she spun.
Today we rode to the gate, nostrils flailing and she was obviously worried and tried twirling etc. this time I stayed gentle, flexions till she relaxed and then encouraged her gently forwards. After a couple of goes we were going out of the gate again - she has just become a nervous nelly where we havnt gone out solo a lot lately but I can see the gentle reasuring approach does work on her.
I can relate to the pushing yourself to do it and I do think they pick up on that too but am hoping one day it will all come back and I wont need to push myself anymore.
Good luck with your girl and your hacking :wink:
 

joosie

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Oct 28, 2004
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You will need a confident, positive and no-nonsense attitude for a start - whether she is napping from insecurity, stubbornness or something else, she will take her cue from you! Don't be afraid to get off if her behaviour unnerves you - staying on and getting worried will probably exascerbate things - she needs to be moving forwards and in the direction you dictate, but it doesn't matter if you're doing it from the saddle or from the ground. Far better to lead her than to turn home, which will just make her think that was what you wanted.

When she naps, your responses need to be immediate - don't take time to think, and don't give HER time to think either! Then when you get what you want, give her lots of praise. It's not just about telling her off for doing something wrong but also making it clear when she's done something right.

When she spins around or turns away from the direction you were going in, make sure to turn her back the opposite way. So if she spun around to the left, turn her back to the right. If you circle left she'll think that turning left was OK (it wasn't, because you didn't ask for it). As you ask her to turn, hold your hands nice and wide, I find this gives you more influence over direction than when your hands are close together. Then when she's facing the way you want, praise her for it.

As soon as she's facing the right way and has been praised for it, ask her to go forwards. Start with a small amount of pressure and only increase it if you don't get a response. So try a quiet leg aid first, and if she moves forwards from that you can carry on your way. If the quiet leg doesn't get a response then try a good old fashioned Pony Club kick first. Failing that, back up your kick with a smack on the shoulder with your crop, and/or growling at her if she's the sort that reacts to the voice. If you still don't get forwards put the reins in one hand and give her a crack on the butt - but usually you will get a response before it gets this firm!

I always try to build up the pressure, because if you START with a mahoosive smack and don't get a response, where do you go from there. The only exception is when the horse's behaviour is putting us or others in immediate danger (eg. misbehaving in front of a car or running into someone on the ground) - in those situations my IMMEDIATE reaction is 3 very hard smacks on the backside along with a massive boot in the ribs and a lot of growling. I have to say this has always been successful in getting them back in control. Am not advocating "giving it a good beating" as a first response to dealing with napping, but sometimes you have to be harsh for your own safety. I always hack with either a crop or a schooling whip for this reason if nothing else.

That's how I do it anyway, it is personal preference of course! I don't deal with napping issues by going back a step and taking them in-hand / long-reining / getting a foot soldier - I prefer, and find it more effective, to just keep hacking out as normal and deal with the behaviour as and when it happens. IMO if your mare has been good to hack in the past then there's no need to "re-educate" her as she already knows what's required of her. To go long-lining or whatever I would consider to be a step back that you don't really need to take.
 
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Native Lover

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You will need a confident, positive and no-nonsense attitude for a start - whether she is napping from insecurity, stubbornness or something else, she will take her cue from you! Don't be afraid to get off if her behaviour unnerves you - staying on and getting worried will probably exascerbate things - she needs to be moving forwards and in the direction you dictate, but it doesn't matter if you're doing it from the saddle or from the ground. Far better to lead her than to turn home, which will just make her think that was what you wanted.

When she naps, your responses need to be immediate - don't take time to think, and don't give HER time to think either! Then when you get what you want, give her lots of praise. It's not just about telling her off for doing something wrong but also making it clear when she's done something right.

When she spins around or turns away from the direction you were going in, make sure to turn her back the opposite way. So if she spun around to the left, turn her back to the right. If you circle left she'll think that turning left was OK (it wasn't, because you didn't ask for it). As you ask her to turn, hold your hands nice and wide, I find this gives you more influence over direction than when your hands are close together. Then when she's facing the way you want, praise her for it.

As soon as she's facing the right way and has been praised for it, ask her to go forwards. Start with a small amount of pressure and only increase it if you don't get a response. So try a quiet leg aid first, and if she moves forwards from that you can carry on your way. If the quiet leg doesn't get a response then try a good old fashioned Pony Club kick first. Failing that, back up your kick with a smack on the shoulder with your crop, and/or growling at her if she's the sort that reacts to the voice. If you still don't get forwards put the reins in one hand and give her a crack on the butt - but usually you will get a response before it gets this firm!

I always try to build up the pressure, because if you START with a mahoosive smack and don't get a response, where do you go from there. The only exception is when the horse's behaviour is putting us or others in immediate danger (eg. misbehaving in front of a car or running into someone on the ground) - in those situations my IMMEDIATE reaction is 3 very hard smacks on the backside along with a massive boot in the ribs and a lot of growling. I have to say this has always been successful in getting them back in control. Am not advocating "giving it a good beating" as a first response to dealing with napping, but sometimes you have to be harsh for your own safety. I always hack with either a crop or a schooling whip for this reason if nothing else.

That's how I do it anyway, it is personal preference of course! I don't deal with napping issues by going back a step and taking them in-hand / long-reining / getting a foot soldier - I prefer, and find it more effective, to just keep hacking out as normal and deal with the behaviour as and when it happens. IMO if your mare has been good to hack in the past then there's no need to "re-educate" her as she already knows what's required of her. To go long-lining or whatever I would consider to be a step back that you don't really need to take.

I will try some of this but using whips would be a last resort to me as I try to ride without using them. But willl definately try to be positive and get her feet moving. So thanks for the advice :biggrin:
 

Native Lover

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I am currently battling on and off with confidence issues due to Daisy's bad spin and nap last year when I injured myself quite badly, i just think we are getting somewhere when low and behold she did it again last week in the gateway of our field, we hadnt even got out when spin and bolt back into the field.
I felt it coming this time but instead of doing what I had recently learned (flexions till she relaxes then gentley move forward) I tapped her with schooling whip and that was obviously too much for her what with the scary gate and she spun.
Today we rode to the gate, nostrils flailing and she was obviously worried and tried twirling etc. this time I stayed gentle, flexions till she relaxed and then encouraged her gently forwards. After a couple of goes we were going out of the gate again - she has just become a nervous nelly where we havnt gone out solo a lot lately but I can see the gentle reasuring approach does work on her.
I can relate to the pushing yourself to do it and I do think they pick up on that too but am hoping one day it will all come back and I wont need to push myself anymore.
Good luck with your girl and your hacking :wink:

I think she does pick up on my nerves because in the field I am confident and she rarely plays up there. I will just have to keep plugging away at our hacking till she gets her confidence back :) And till I can be more confident to.
 

eml

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I have had a few (mainly in for schooling or new purchases) that have really tried their luck. The sort that growls, kick and stick just make buck or even worse.

The best solution I have found is to take out a good book. When horse stops do growl/smack etc but if horse persists just insist they then stand still facing the way you want to go, this is where the book comes in!. After five chapters of Harry Potter the worst one decided to go forward and then stopped 100 yds later, two more chapters and we went on the rest of my planned ride. He never tried napping again!

Reading relaxed me, horse got bored, no pressure. We use the same technique with reluctant loaders ( not afraid but bolshy ones)..face the ramp, stand still and I am bored with you and am having coffee/ciggy/bun or whatever. I don't know why but it always works!!
 

Mary Poppins

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Don't beat yourself up about turning for home. Look for the positives. You went out there and did it and give it a try. Us fellow nervous hackers can appreciate how hard this is.

Ben can go through periods of planting himself and after spending many hours analysing the problem, he really was just testing me an wanting me to be his leader. I agree with everything that Joose said, but if you are feeling nervous knowing what you want/need to do is sometimes very different from what your body will let you do.

My advice would be to get off and lead her for a while if you find yourself in that situation again. It doesn't matter if you walk her in hand around the whole hack. If you feel more confident on the ground then that is the best place to be. I would try and build up your hacks in very small steps. Are there any fields you can ride in or any very short routes you can go round?
 
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