Napping

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
Anyone have ideas on napping? Or have a horse who is napping in this heat?

My old share napped but at only a couple of places on the hack. I knew how to wait it out and overcome it. Her owner was far stricter than me and would use the whip for napping.

The new share is napping very badly. The mare has been much sprayed with insect repellant at the yard but it seems ineffective.

And since she is kicking away the flies, her back legs are coming under her belly when she naps and it feels as if she is trying to unseat me (which she is not). Like at the old yard, the YM waved a whip at the horse and even hit her on the bum to send her off.

I wasnt proud of my riding, subsequently having a massive argument with a mare who got to the first junction and then wanted to turn home. Rashid says it take 13 minutes for a horse to work out a problem. And she did indeed trot on (away from home) within 13 minutes. But one feels an awful charlie using those 13 minutes to turn the horse (stop it heading home) and wondering if one can even ride at all.

The solution for me once we got going, and she was listening to me, was to make her trot, as the flies all go and she is back to her usual self. But the heat makes it hard to trot her? And maybe unkind?

It is very hot and by napping she forced another rider to bring her home after 15 minutes. So napping has proved a successful gambit for her.

Now I have found out this, I dont feel so uncertain. Because I did not let her go home! But the question is whether the heat and the flies are really making her life on hacks uncomfortable. And I too ought to concede and let her go home? I did feel at some moments that it was she who was calling the shots, not me. And that is new to me and I dont like it. So I was quite nasty to her in return and made her go on with the hack. Being mean. And got back not loving her as much as I used to.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,358
5,295
113
I'm not sure from your post but do you think the flies are the reason for this behaviour or is she nappy anyway? If you think it's purely flies then you can get ride on fly rugs that may help.

If I know something is inclined to nap I ride positively forward from the outset, the slightest hesitation or backward thought is met with an even firmer send forward and a growled "get on" - or sometimes somethin a little less ladylike. The key is to get it before it turns into a proper nap, if you feel a hesitation or a brace in the step or a muscle tighten do whatever it takes to get forward immediately. I find it also helps if I know what form the napping takes, so if the horse is inclined to whip round I'll focus on keeping to straight and firmly between leg and hand, whereas if it's inclined to rear I'll keep the hand light and at any thought of resistance get a bend in the neck sharpish as that makes going up a lot harder and send forward. Running backwards will get a good smack behind the leg, though this one is a pain to deal with if you're riding on roads and don't want to end up causing an accident.

By all means go home early if it's too hot for you, but assuming she's reasonably fit an hour or so steady hacking shouldn't be a problem for her and she needs to jolly well get on with it - I wouldn't say making her carry on was at all nasty of you!
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,358
5,295
113
@Doodle92 sadly quite a lot of racers are never taught to go out on their own, they just go in a string up to the gallops. And some of the riding is pretty rough and ready, certainly not the type to inspire a horse to trust a rider. That being the case I'm not surprised you couldn't overcome the problem, it was probably more deep seated than simple napping :(
 

Doodle92

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
800
619
93
Yep not just a simple case of napping which is why I deleted. He was bloomin beautiful but the scars from his past were evident. I can’t believe he has been gone over 6 years. In true style he went out with a bang.
 
Last edited:

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,358
5,295
113
@Doodle92 just because it was a more complicated case doesn't mean you had to delete it, sometimes it's good for people to know not all problems can be solved, and that a horse can refuse to do some disciplines yet still be wanted and valued.
 

Doodle92

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
800
619
93
Fair enough, thanks. I just didn’t want to be seen as taking over the thread.

So short story. Horse never learned to hack. Racing from 2-4yo. I tried all the normal things and battled for years. At times giving up then trying again as I felt a horse *should* hack. He did the job I wanted very successfully, which was dressage, so I gave up as hacking caused him so much stress (and big vet bill) that it was not worth it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: carthorse

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
I'm not sure from your post but do you think the flies are the reason for this behaviour or is she nappy anyway? If you think it's purely flies then you can get ride on fly rugs that may help.

If I know something is inclined to nap I ride positively forward from the outset, the slightest hesitation or backward thought is met with an even firmer send forward and a growled "get on" - or sometimes somethin a little less ladylike. The key is to get it before it turns into a proper nap, if you feel a hesitation or a brace in the step or a muscle tighten do whatever it takes to get forward immediately. I find it also helps if I know what form the napping takes, so if the horse is inclined to whip round I'll focus on keeping to straight and firmly between leg and hand, whereas if it's inclined to rear I'll keep the hand light and at any thought of resistance get a bend in the neck sharpish as that makes going up a lot harder and send forward. Running backwards will get a good smack behind the leg, though this one is a pain to deal with if you're riding on roads and don't want to end up causing an accident.

By all means go home early if it's too hot for you, but assuming she's reasonably fit an hour or so steady hacking shouldn't be a problem for her and she needs to jolly well get on with it - I wouldn't say making her carry on was at all nasty of you!
Thank you for a long and very helpful reply.

I think the flies are the reason as I have not had her nap before (though was warned she could nap).

But lots of things I dont know, both about her napping and summer riding in high temperatures. I rarely rode in full Summer, as OH and I went on holiday late July-August and RSs were glad not to have us in the school holidays.

My first August sharing her I was still new to the yard and rode her following the YM in a group. No problem. She is a lead mare and a speedy follower.

Another thing I didnt know was whether she would whip round or buck me off. So I was reasonably nervous and went back to the yard to ask. Once I knew she wouldnt chuck me off, I set out again but that could have aggravated the problem as horses never like returning and then setting out again.

My interpretation now is that she was distressed by the flies. I may talk to the YM about a different spray or buying her an anti fly hacking rug. I did not know they existed.

I am quite a touchy feely rider and dont find the authoritarian solution comes naturaly. But each time she turned her head to go back home, I made her turn full circle, then circle the other way and then back up. The Richard Maxwell "corrective" I use out hacking. She did that obediently each time I asked. But was it that which put an end to the napping? I dont know.

One trainer, Brannagan may be?, thinks control of the horse involves dictating where the four feet are placed. On one of my first rides when she was on auto pilot and I didnt know the tracks, I diverted 2 feet from the path and at once she gave me control.

So I am not at all sure at what point and why and how this particular horse naps? But for both our sakes I need to cross the road to get to shadier rides next week.
 

PePo

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
2,027
2,164
113
Is she better when you get off and lead and re-mount?

This is ultimately what helped Pete overcome his nappiness. He had quite a repertoire - he'd start by running through his shoulder, then he'd plant, then he'd buck and if none of the above worked, he'd spin and pee off in the other direction.

There are still some things I have to be careful about - I don't mount at the yard for example, I get on just outside the yard & I need to be mindful of his triggers whilst out - but he goes miles and miles happily now and it's rare he'll try to nap anymore. If he does I just hop off, lead for a bit and get back on.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
18,973
6,952
113
61
Surrey Hills
I haven't had or ridden a serious napper, I'm happy to say, so have no experience to contribute. But all the training methods my RI has taught me are about making it easy and comfortable for the horse to do the right thing, and difficult and uncomfortable for it to do the wrong one. So I would probably do much as you did, @Skib, and use circling and backing up to make the whole napping experience hard work and tiresome for the horse. No hitting or other abuse but no giving in, either.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
8,345
1,762
113
London
Is she better when you get off and lead and re-mount?
Unfortunately this horse is always held when I mount and dismount at the yard. It is health and safety as I am a Granny rider. I have been riding 20 years and only once dismounted when out hacking solo. That was due to Police cars potentially spooking my horse.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
TiddlerandButters Gelding throwing tantrum and napping towards mare in season Cafe 4
I My horse won’t stop napping! Training of the Horse and Rider 24
Flipo's Mum Napping, lack of enthusiasm or old age Cafe 17
Dazzle Loan horse keeps napping, won't leave the yard Training of the Horse and Rider 7
KP nut Napping Nightmare :-( Training of the Horse and Rider 33
GaryB Napping Training of the Horse and Rider 16
C Napping at competition? Training of the Horse and Rider 5
S Pigs and napping Hacking 14
joellie Napping advice Training of the Horse and Rider 36
L Napping at Shows Competing 13
S Napping Training of the Horse and Rider 8
C Napping Cafe 14
sjp1 Horse Reluctant to go Forward/Napping Training of the Horse and Rider 38
Native Lover How do I deal with napping on a hack? Training of the Horse and Rider 32
Flipo's Mum Napping with an Open Mouth - Help Needed with my Awful Riding! Training of the Horse and Rider 41
Skib Napping - Recovering lost ground? Training of the Horse and Rider 28
R I gave in to horse when he was napping - what do I do next time? Training of the Horse and Rider 36
beakysian Nipping napping in the bud - follow-up Training of the Horse and Rider 9
beakysian Help me nip napping in the bud! Training of the Horse and Rider 11
annareeves0 Napping - what is and isnt acceptable Training of the Horse and Rider 12
popularfurball Psychogy of ("double") napping... Training of the Horse and Rider 10
G How to deal with a Haflingers napping? Training of the Horse and Rider 22
trieste First Jump X since napping last time out Cafe 8
M Napping/green horse Training of the Horse and Rider 15
S Getting some help for the napping Training of the Horse and Rider 1
S Can NH really help with napping? Training of the Horse and Rider 8
A nasty napping Training of the Horse and Rider 2
minkersmum please define napping bolting and planting. Cafe 23
Native Lover Newish Horse,New rider ..Napping.. Cafe 24
chickyd444 napping! Training of the Horse and Rider 37
BindyB Napping - Am I being too fluffy? Training of the Horse and Rider 11
J napping help! Training of the Horse and Rider 2
caroline/halle follow on from napping thread... Training of the Horse and Rider 20
J napping First Timers 11
'SillySkewbald Napping Horse Training of the Horse and Rider 4
F Napping Older Riders 14
KP nut Napping - what to do? Training of the Horse and Rider 9
T Napping Please Help Im Getting Desperate!! Training of the Horse and Rider 35
J napping please help!!! First Timers 5
ncharibo65 Napping...advice appreciated. Training of the Horse and Rider 5
yasminphorse Napping & rearing.. please please help Training of the Horse and Rider 14
RRA Help needed again - Napping this time....! Training of the Horse and Rider 8
S spooking/napping - what are you supposed to do??? Training of the Horse and Rider 8
G Napping during individual show Competing 3
Fabio's Filly! Napping - update! Training of the Horse and Rider 1
lauraandharvey why has he started napping / spooking Training of the Horse and Rider 19
J Planting and Napping ! Training of the Horse and Rider 4
Fabio's Filly! New horse - napping problems Training of the Horse and Rider 13
Aimee-x Napping Training of the Horse and Rider 6
S Napping Training of the Horse and Rider 16

Similar threads

newrider.com