PDA

View Full Version : New member with questions about the walk



chepora
Jun. 5, 2010, 11:22 AM
So I train trail and dressage horses for a living and the trail part is kinda new to me. I have a young gelding Morgan who I have finally gotten to stop spooking or jigging when he walks home from a ride. However, he is in training for use as a trail horse for kids and he is walking too fast when he is on is way back to the barn with other horses. He doesn't seem too barn sour and I often take him back out and turn him around away from the barn, at which point he walks at a normal pace on a draped rein (unless he feels spunky). I would like him to walk normally(slowly) but do not want to get in his face at all. The last person who rode him held him very tightly and this is what caused the jigging and spooking in the first place. He is great in the arena and on the trail by himself, and he is great as a dressage horse. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to keep his walk rhythm slower. I have been trying lateral movements, circles, and am getting a little frustrated.
Thanks

Thomas_1
Jun. 5, 2010, 12:24 PM
You train dressage horses for a living????

Unbelievable!

How would you build impulsion at walk?

How would your ordinarily get a horse to slow it's walk?

WHY would you want to slow a walk on a trail ride?

jazzrider
Jun. 5, 2010, 02:46 PM
Well, there was definately a nicer way to say that Thomas, particularly to a newbie, but you are right. Though out on the trail it's not uncommon for horses to get a little competitive headed back on that last stretch to the barn, particularly if they're riding with a somewhat unfamiliar group of horses. If you're riding with a folks who don't school there horses well in that area it can make your training more of a challenge. If you think that might be it, try going out with a few riders who you've asked to help you, who ride well schooled horses that can walk comfortably but also get a little competitive if they let them. With their help, you should be able to work with your horse to show him the right way to behave and walk in either situation.

Huntertwo
Jun. 5, 2010, 03:39 PM
You train dressage horses for a living????

Unbelievable!

How would you build impulsion at walk?

How would your ordinarily get a horse to slow it's walk?

God, you're freaking rude... "Unbelievable!" :no:

baylady7
Jun. 5, 2010, 04:09 PM
Chepora, maybe try some half halts off the seat (assuming you are working on the same in the arena) to get him listening. I do not have that problem with my guy but do stop along the way with clippers to clip leaves/branches, which makes him wait and relax on a loose rein.

HOOF123
Jun. 5, 2010, 04:35 PM
this may sound stupid, but maybe sometimes, you have to correct them, and i don,t mean ,what i am saying, use your voice, because i don,t like the other way at all ,and don,t want to see it, hitting your horse ,or how about some of these horse people ,use a western saddle ,you have the safety ,then use your other saddle ,you have to show a horse who is boss because they know it i think horses should be smacked with newspaper,or your hand on his butt ,anything else someone should call 911 ,horses should be treated like humans and the same rules . think about it.you can,t be afraid they feel it and know it. they smell and sense it . you want a great horse get a belgian

chicamuxen1
Jun. 5, 2010, 05:23 PM
Wow, I found a couple of those post just plain hard to read/comprehend!

OK, my take on things. I love a good fast ground covering walk. Jigging and spooking is not acceptable and gawd awful but you say you've gotten beyond that. Pl;ease don't try to ruin a good walk and make it SLOOOOWWWW. Ack, gag, choke! A Morgan isn't a brain dead lazy creature. They have been bred to be energetic, using horses. They should be marching down the trail at a good forward walk. This isn't the arena where too many horses have been drilled into the ground and turned into doggy movers with riders who fear decent moving. Please just accept a good walk.

I do agree with the idea of stopping to graze, trail trimming, hanging out, this is a good thing. Bet you haven't even considered letting a horse graze while under saddle? It's a GOOD THING, in spite of what all the traditonal slog around the arena people think. Lowering the head is a great relaxer for a horse. If you aren't familiar with trail riding then go out riding with some active trail riding people, or endurance people. Don't try to turn a good horse into a dog. Yeah, I know the horse is supposed to be for kids. May not be a good idea unless the kids learn to ride a horse with energy.

Bonnie

pines4equines
Jun. 5, 2010, 06:36 PM
My horse used to be a jigger heading home. I was able to fix this problem by doing this exercise over and over again. When we turn for home and he hops into a jig (or goes faster than I prefer without responding to a half halt or use of reins), I would turn him and trot him away from home as fast as I could. When I felt him give up, I'd turn and head home again. As soon as he would bounce (you know they sort of hop up into a jig), I'd turn and trot away from home as fast as I could. I repeated this every time I went out. Now, I have to do reminder courses every once in a while but he gets the picture.

My problem now is jigging in large groups and this exercise does not work for that. Just amps him up. I noticed someone posted on this, that's where I'm going next.

Thomas_1
Jun. 5, 2010, 06:52 PM
Well, there was definately a nicer way to say that Thomas, particularly to a newbie, but you are right.


God, you're freaking rude... "Unbelievable!" :no:

Saying something is unbelievably absurd or gob-smacking is not rude. It's an opinion.

I could have coloured it differently but it's still going to come out as total disbelief that a horse trainer that has customers pay to train horses to trail ride and do dressage is posting on a forum to ask a bunch of anonymous folks he/she doesn't know how to slow down a walk pace and to make a horse more suitable for children.

If "rude" grabbed your attention and conveyed the meaning then job done but If you find that difficult to cope with, then just put me on ignore.

Or then again you might fancy helping me by explaining how to make my horses suitable for novice children that pay me for a service and to have an enjoyable and safe experience.

“The citizen's job is to be rude - to pierce the comfort of professional intercourse by boorish expressions of doubt” John Ralston Saul

“No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute.” Paul Gallico

Ghazzu
Jun. 5, 2010, 07:51 PM
OK, my take on things. I love a good fast ground covering walk... Pl;ease don't try to ruin a good walk and make it SLOOOOWWWW. Ack, gag, choke! ...They should be marching down the trail at a good forward walk... Please just accept a good walk.
Bonnie

This.

mustangtrailrider
Jun. 5, 2010, 08:27 PM
Why on this green Earth would you want to s l o w down a horse's natural walk? My mare has a decent medium and slow walk. She can walk faster, but it isn't in her.

My old gelding wouldn't slow down. He had a great ground covering walk. I loved it, but I couldn't ride him with anyone.

Good Luck!

Huntertwo
Jun. 5, 2010, 10:28 PM
If people actually read the OP's post.... She is saying she this will be a child's horse in addition she wants to slow him down when in the company of other horses... i.e. Not riding up on another horses butt, possibly a little too fast for beginner kids.

Yes, I love a nice ground covering walk too. But I ride alone and don't have the need to slow my mare down to avoid a kick if we get too close to another horse's butt.
This is possibly the OP's concern.

OP, if my mare speeds up before I ask, I immediately and calmly ask for a side-pass for about 5 or so strides.

Give her rein and repeat when necessary. It must be consistent and done immediately.

After doing this several times, she realizes it will cost her more work when she speeds up or breaks into a jog.

goeslikestink
Jun. 5, 2010, 10:33 PM
So I train trail and dressage horses for a living and the trail part is kinda new to me. I have a young gelding Morgan who I have finally gotten to stop spooking or jigging when he walks home from a ride. However, he is in training for use as a trail horse for kids and he is walking too fast when he is on is way back to the barn with other horses. He doesn't seem too barn sour and I often take him back out and turn him around away from the barn, at which point he walks at a normal pace on a draped rein (unless he feels spunky). I would like him to walk normally(slowly) but do not want to get in his face at all. The last person who rode him held him very tightly and this is what caused the jigging and spooking in the first place. He is great in the arena and on the trail by himself, and he is great as a dressage horse. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to keep his walk rhythm slower. I have been trying lateral movements, circles, and am getting a little frustrated.
Thanks

this horse doesnt sound the sort you would use for novice riders
and as you tend to take him to the end of barn and then turn back what your actually teaching the horse is to stop right there and not go forwards later this might become a problem for the inexpreince rider as to move the horse on

this isnt something that any decent dreessage trianer would do

as for the walk if you was any good at your job then you would know how to use the half halt stride - as this is a stride and your best matey just like trot is

the half halt stride informs the horse something going to change via a direct command going from a faster pace to amore collected pace and visa versa
if one is a so called dressage trianer then one would know that already
and they would difinately us this baisc movement in there training plan

as it is one of the basic foundations of teaching a horse well
one would use it in all walk paces - from free walk medium walk and extended walk and one would use this during each transition one does from all paces of walk all paces of trot to canter paces to include counter canter

its vital when your training a young horse that you realise that they are at an impressionable age and therfore anything your teching it now will stay with them life long get it wrong and the horse will be deemed a git

this part for instance ------ I often take him back out and turn him around away from the barn, at which point he walks at a normal pace on a draped rein (unless he feels spunky). I would like him to walk normal

no doubt once back into the barn- and untacked you feed said neddy or turn him out into the paddock both are rewards in a horses mind but in this instance the reward of being back or being feed will instill in his mind - that if he doesnt go further than the back of the barn ------- he get his dinner /paddock
so what your doing is rewarding a potential bad behaviour that you created
your telling the horse this ok which can be very dangerous thing as the horse with an inexpereince rider might nap to go home thats either a rear or buck or spin or spook no kid or novice adult will have the strenght or the knowledge to alter that course of advassion---- and you have tuaght him that

chepora
Jun. 5, 2010, 10:42 PM
Ok so I guess I wasn't clear in my post, and if you can't utilize the english language don't bother replying. Thomas I'm sure you never ask anyone for help, but I'm not quite that egotistical, however I will ignore all your posts from now on so unless you have nothing better to do, don't bother :). Most of the 11 horses I ride SOLO 4 days/wk on several trails which frequently have bears, mnt lion tracks, and moose near or on it, do just fine including several who are just starting (moose are scary though:) ). As far as changing this horses natural walk...what he is doing on the trail is NOT his natural walk. It is a defiant march, which he has picked up because I believe he is becoming barn sour, or has leftover issues from the last trainer, who never let off his face.
Pines4equines, your suggestion is the most successful technique I have tried and I have even taken to trotting around the x-country course that is 4/5ths of the way home (2 hour trail) and within sight of the barn. Today he did very well until the last downhill to the barn...so off to the x-country course again. Half halts, leg yielding and otherwise distracting him from the barn seem to be working but he can sometimes get annoyed and try to duck behind the bit, tighten up, and jig. This occurs when I'm in a terrain trap and unable to turn up a hill, or trot away from the direction he wants to go. Halting for a bit also seems to help recoup his mind, although he can be very resistant the first couple times. The idea of stopping and letting him graze is a good one and I have some trail maintenance to do, so I could bring a halter and lead with me on the trail, I'll see how that works tomorrow. The reason I need his walk slowed down is because kids are going to ride him, and also I would like him to have a reasonable walk on the trail (he is a nearly perfect walker in the arena, never jigs and is very responsive to half halts and collection/extension at the walk). I wish there were other riders to help practice, I thought that was another great idea, but most of the riders are inexperienced (why I won't let him graze with a bit in his mouth) and it's only once or twice a month anyone is around to ride them but me. Anyway thanks to the people who actually took a sec and replied with coherent suggestions. I'd appreciate hearing more!

Goes like stink- I don't take the horse to the end of the barn and turn back...I go out on another trail ride, or go close gates with him, or go to the outdoor arena...Also don't insult me, you don't even know me and please learn how to use the english language or pick up another one you can be fluent in.

wylde sage
Jun. 6, 2010, 03:01 AM
Well it goes without saying,( but I will), "train wreck" coming. While Thomas may have come across as brash, I have yet to read any post of his that did not offer good, sound advice. This is a rather opinionated forum but if given a chance, one of the most brilliant to get true horsemens advice from.

Thomas_1
Jun. 6, 2010, 06:12 AM
Ok so I guess I wasn't clear in my post, Well actually I thought you were VERY clear. I'm also not seeing that you've added anything to the sum of my understanding.


Thomas I'm sure you never ask anyone for help, Well actually I do. I've a network of respected horse trainers and we often get together to discuss and talk things over and particularly when there's a challenging or unusual and unfamiliar problem.

Asking how to slow a walk though? Asking how to stop a horse rushing home? Nah! Not felt the need to do that since pony club days.

Asking how to train a horse so it's more suitable for children's trail rides? Nah! Not done that since I was deemed to be competent to have a licence and deemed fit to be able to train horses and keep my customers safe.


but I'm not quite that egotistical, My ego doesn't allow me to take customers for a ride! What about yours?

However, I think you mistake the definition of ego.

Clue: It doesn't mean the same as professional competence and basic knowledge!


however I will ignore all your posts from now on so unless you have nothing better to do, don't bother :). Suit yourself. Sometimes folks wonder onto bulletin boards expecting platitudes and sugar and sweetness. They're often disappointed. Try a candy store!


As far as changing this horses natural walk...what he is doing on the trail is NOT his natural walk. It is a defiant march, which he has picked up because I believe he is becoming barn sour, or has leftover issues from the last trainer, who never let off his face. So you've a professional trainer and that's a pretty basic and common problem so answer my questions and tell me how you started to try to address it and what you've already done. Help us stupid people that don't understand you by being clearer about how YOU actually train to build impulsion or slow pace. You try to be clearer and come across as having slightly more knowledge for a professional and I'll try to be nicer and add some suggestions that might make a difference.

But so far it sounds to me like you need a riding lesson NOT unpaid advice over a forum.


This occurs when I'm in a terrain trap and unable to turn up a hill, or trot away from the direction he wants to go. Halting for a bit also seems to help recoup his mind, although he can be very resistant the first couple times. The idea of stopping and letting him graze is a good one and I have some trail maintenance to do, so I could bring a halter and lead with me on the trail, I'll see how that works tomorrow. Trust me, do that and you'll just replace one problem for another.

Have you ever had to retrain a pony that's learnt how to stop and graze when there's small children on it's back?


The reason I need his walk slowed down is because kids are going to ride him, and also I would like him to have a reasonable walk on the trail :confused:


(he is a nearly perfect walker in the arena, never jigs and is very responsive to half halts and collection/extension at the walk). I wish there were other riders to help practice, I thought that was another great idea, but most of the riders are inexperienced So this sounds to me like a decent horse. Just not a decent horse for novice child riders on the trail!


Anyway thanks to the people who actually took a sec and replied with coherent suggestions. I'd appreciate hearing more! Funny but I was getting the distinct impression that you didn't!


Goes like stink- ... please learn how to use the english language or pick up another one you can be fluent in. GLS could indeed try to learn IF ONLY she wasn't severely incapacitated by the learning disability dyslexia.

What's your excuse ?

I'm off out now to buy popcorn ....... well actually to train a colt to lead and to stop pratting about. Don't worry though I don't need to ask how to put on the lead rope and where to stand and how to keep him at the pace I want. Funny but my customer is paying me with the assumption that I know and can do the job.

brightskyfarm
Jun. 6, 2010, 07:00 AM
I have to agree with wylde sage; and then Thomas posts a very nice *professional* statement. He even continued to add some excellent advice for you --- especially the grazing pony and children --- terrible habit! (although great advice and training for the advanced horse/rider).

I graze mine on the trail, use halter bridles, but my horses are also at the level of obedience that they know this is a REWARD and OFFERED, not to be taken at their will and whim at any time.

I know, and have ridden with chicamuxen1 (bonnie) and you couldnt have been given any better advice!~ Plus her posts are always accurate with simple easy-to-try techniques.

I find the critiques on the grammatical postings mild --- Thomas defended one who does the best they can, but otherwise, paragraphs and punctuations, as well as simplified statements are as basic as half-halts at the walk.
I too, struggled with this threads reading ...and honestly, found the errors took away from the starch of the question.

However, in the end, I too must agree with Thomas in that ...as your claim to your professional status --- the first and fundamental task is always a horses assessment of suitability to riding discipline & the riders skill level. In defense of prospects, you never really know until the training advances ... but this doesnt seem to be the case.
I would suggest that you go back and re-evaluate honestly this horses potential to meet the goals in mind.

Kids horses are made; through using them for lessons, with kids! and then more advanced riding, such as shows, trails, with kids ... its very difficult for an adult to make a childs horse since its (nearly) impossible to simulate the situation. Sometimes, kids just get on and go just fine, only because thats what they expect to happen -- go figure.

Finally -- the basic solution for your dilemma is: practise, riding with company that is willing to assist you...riding different positions, riding away, letting them ride away --etc, and lots of time and miles. Oh yes, and the first day Pony Clubers' 3-P's --- Practise, Patience, and Persistance.
Persistance defined as: the same consistant routine -- (horses eventually get it , its the riders that take a bit longer on this one). :)

tpup
Jun. 6, 2010, 07:17 AM
I must agree on the "learn how to speak English". Geesh.

I think what the OP is saying is that the horse in question is determining it's own speed, especially on the way home, and flips you the bird when you try to half halt or slow him down. I have two thoughts. First of all, I wouldn't want a kid on any horse on the trail unless he/she knows how to slow down a horse who wants to speed up, whether "naturally" or not. This isn't a huge problem, but it's one that I feel even a kid on the trail should know how to handle at least a little! I say this because this problem CAN get worse, turn into jigging and also sends message to horse that HE is in charge, and not the rider. There is a difference between a nice, ground covering walk - yes, you don't want to "ruin that" but in this case, sounds like the OP's horse is ignoring her aids to slow down. I know because MY horse does this also. On the trail he walks "medium" but point him in the direction of home, and he hustles at a big walk. The problem isn't in his walk, it's in his head.

I love Clinton Anderson's fix to this. If horsey speeds up you ask him to slow down, a.e. half halt. When he ignores, you simply put him to work. Trot small circles, side pass. I personally like immediate one rein stop and yield HQ several circles - a.e. HUSTLE. Then ask horse to walk nicely forward again. He speeds up, you half halt - he ignores, repeat "hustling". He will quickly learn it is EASIER to walk nicely than to ignore your half halts. You will need to train with other horses and have them agree to stop and wait while you hustle his feet, or they can walk ahead while you do it. If you really hustle him - make him sweat and work! It should be fixed in no time. Good luck!

tabula rashah
Jun. 6, 2010, 09:09 AM
I have a couple Morgans and have had several throughout the years- My first thought is that he is generally unsuitable for the job you want him to do. I do think Morgans make wonderful children's horses as long as it is not a timid child, but a child's hack horse- no way! Morgans have beautiful moving out, ground covering walks- why on earth would you want to get rid of that??? Heck my 14.3 Morgan mare calmly out-walks my 17.3h Westfalen gelding (even when I'm pushing him). Get a QH if you want a dead-head walk.

hitchinmygetalong
Jun. 6, 2010, 10:04 AM
So I train trail and dressage horses for a living and the trail part is kinda new to me. I have a young gelding Morgan who I have finally gotten to stop spooking or jigging when he walks home from a ride. However, he is in training for use as a trail horse for kids and he is walking too fast when he is on is way back to the barn with other horses. He doesn't seem too barn sour and I often take him back out and turn him around away from the barn, at which point he walks at a normal pace on a draped rein (unless he feels spunky). I would like him to walk normally(slowly) but do not want to get in his face at all. The last person who rode him held him very tightly and this is what caused the jigging and spooking in the first place. He is great in the arena and on the trail by himself, and he is great as a dressage horse. Please let me know if you have any advice on how to keep his walk rhythm slower. I have been trying lateral movements, circles, and am getting a little frustrated.
Thanks

How to slow him down?

Turn him out for 20 years :lol:

Sounds like the wrong horse for the job. That ground-covering walk IS normal for him. Trying to change it will only fry his brain, making him unsuitable for anything. I suggest you rethink your plans for him - perhaps allow him to do his thing with older, more confident riders.

calatar
Jun. 6, 2010, 10:08 AM
Get a QH if you want a dead-head walk.

My APHA (with QH breeding) has a much faster walk than my TWH cross, just sayin.

Every horse is an individual, and it sounds like a kids trail horse is perhaps not what this individual is going to excel at.

chepora
Jun. 6, 2010, 11:08 AM
So anyway after sorting through the various rude comments, I have found a couple that were really helpful so thanks for taking the time(except Thomas, please stop posting where you're not wanted, I don't care how much experience you have, you're an egotistical, rude, insulting person who obviously can't make a point without deriding and insulting me. You have hurt my feelings now please stop trying to talk over everyone else, I'm interested in what others have to say and would like to hear their opinions.). This horse is in training (as are all the rest, some further along than others:) ), so to everyone who is bashing me for putting kids on him...he is young and requires a little to much "riding" to have kids on him now. That's why he's in training. He will be used in the FUTURE for children and inexperienced riders. Tpup, the HQ idea is great, and you've nailed the problem. He has only been worked by me, (previous trainer quit b/c the job was "too dangerous") for 8 months now and he has improved tremendously, before he wouldn't just walk down hills and always jigged riding home, in fact he didn't even know he could relax his neck on the trail LOL. I don't have the option to train with other people (private ranch), but I do pony the older horses from time to time and they are great about stopping and standing. :) Hunter 2 thanks for your helpful post I appreciated reading it.

Why are some people so angry about me being a trainer ("if one is a so called dressage trianer", "claim to your professional status")and asking questions? I just get paid to ride and train horses, its not a big deal, like being paid to guide rafts, or track bears, or whatever else people are paid to do...why is that an issue?? It's just a job. I happen to like discussions about horses and I live in a tiny, tiny community where my resources are very limited, mostly ski bums who only "shred the gnar":). I have never used an online forum about horses before and I just wanted to see what other people thought, not get blasted by accusations, insinuations, and insults. I really just don't understand it at all but I do appreciate the helpful comments posted by everyone else.

hitchinmygetalong
Jun. 6, 2010, 12:16 PM
Chepora, the reason people questioned your "trainer" qualifications is that this is truly an elementary question that I would think someone who labels themself a "trainer" would be able to solve.

The horse appears to be woefully unqualified for a child's mount, given your description of jigging, spooking, and "too fast". The fact that you now state that it will be used for a child's mount in the "future" does not change the essence of the problem. It sounds as if you have a bold, forward-moving horse that you want to slow down. I maintain that this is the horse's normal way of going and trying to slow him down is not the route you want to take right now. If anything, basic walk, trot, canter and transition work is what you want to focus on, period. Get the gears sorted out and the brakes tuned. At the end of the day, facts are facts and not all horses can do what you are asking.

As for rude responses, perhaps you have not read the rules of the forum? They are posted in a "sticky" at the top of every forum and I would suggest you check them out, particularly rule #3.

goeslikestink
Jun. 6, 2010, 12:34 PM
So anyway after sorting through the various rude comments, I have found a couple that were really helpful so thanks for taking the time(except Thomas, please stop posting where you're not wanted, I don't care how much experience you have, you're an egotistical, rude, insulting person who obviously can't make a point without deriding and insulting me.
so your not then - people were stating an opnion


You have hurt my feelings now please stop trying to talk over everyone else, I'm interested in what others have to say and would like to hear their opinions.).

not doing that your doing that all on your own, i could very well
say that one was imtimidating towards me


This horse is in training (as are all the rest, some further along than others:) ), so to everyone who is bashing me for putting kids on him...he is young and requires a little to much "riding" to have kids on him now. That's why he's in training. He will be used in the FUTURE for children and inexperienced riders.


i hope you hvae plenty of public liability insurance
as this horse is not a novice ride--------
hes a 2nd horse for a more advance rider

wakey wakey your having problems with him so how the hell do you expect someone with less strenght than you less knowledge than you and
be in control of this horse

that apparently was to dangerous for the previous trianer !
(previous trainer quit b/c the job was "too dangerous")


for 8 months now and he has improved tremendously, before he wouldn't just walk down hills and always jigged riding home, in fact he didn't even know he could relax his neck on the trail LOL. I don't have the option to train with other people (private ranch), but I do pony the older horses from time to time and they are great about stopping and standing. :) Hunter 2 thanks for your helpful post I appreciated reading it.


its taken you 8 mths with this horse to get this far


Why are some people so angry about me being a trainer ("if one is a so called dressage trianer", "claim to your professional status")and asking questions? I just get paid to ride and train horses, its not a big deal, like being paid to guide rafts, or track bears, or whatever else people are paid to do...why is that an issue??


It's just a job. no it isnt

when dealing with children or other people lives at an important factor and to make sure that they are safe at all times
and that they are suitable mounted to a suitable horse / pony of size and weight and that there skills are suitable matched
ie having a horse or pony to matches the riders skills
not just any old pony or horse will do

its so easy to over the horse novice rider not just by the size of the horse but by the knowledge of the horse itself

what your doing is playing with fire - your putting up inexpreince people be which in this case would be children on a very sharp horse

if they fall off which if your teaching the horse to stop and graze
he only has to put his head dwon and if the child cant bring it up as they havent the strenght - then bang they go over the top

and you my friend are respsonsible as you trianed him to do that

be wiser in your choice of mounts


I happen to like discussions about horses and I live in a tiny, tiny community where my resources are very limited, mostly ski bums who only "shred the gnar":). I have never used an online forum about horses before and I just wanted to see what other people thought, not get blasted by accusations, insinuations, and insults. I really just don't understand it at all but I do appreciate the helpful comments posted by everyone else.



you obviously have a problem riding this horse so how on earth can you expect a child to be in control of a horse thats far more intelligent than what they are

the horse is what we deem here in uk as not a novice ride ie not for novice people children or adults

be it on your head - when the horse takes off with a child that cant hold him
or fall off when he stops at certain areas where you let him graze or stop


i hope you have plenty of public liability insurance

Thomas_1
Jun. 6, 2010, 12:45 PM
So anyway after sorting through the various rude comments, I have found a couple that were really helpful so thanks for taking the time(except Thomas, please stop posting where you're not wanted, You don't get to decide who posts on a forum. That's not the way they work.


I don't care how much experience you have, you're an egotistical, rude, insulting person who obviously can't make a point without deriding and insulting me.

You have hurt my feelings now please stop trying to talk over everyone else, Well seemingly I touched a nerve because I suggested that there was a difficulty correlating the fact you make a living from training dressage and trail horses and yet don't know how to slow a walk or train a horse for novice children to ride on trails.

If you come to a forum and invite honest opinion then chose to feel bad and even hurt by someone with no physical or fiscal ability to have any affect at all, then I'd suggest a visit to the health care professional might be overdue.

Don't worry on my behalf though because I'm not seeing any reason why I should respect or care less about your opinion of me.


I'm interested in what others have to say and would like to hear their opinions.). I'm still waiting for an answer to my first post. But again, don't worry I'm not feeling hurt by the failure to respond to it.


This horse is in training (as are all the rest, some further along than others:) ), so to everyone who is bashing me for putting kids on him...he is young and requires a little to much "riding" to have kids on him now.That's why he's in training. I think the best advice you can have is to get yourself to a trainer who can show you how to ride and then how to school and bring on a young horse and particularly how to manage a horse on a ride out and how to ensure the horse is under control.


He will be used in the FUTURE for children and inexperienced riders. And you know that now? :confused: Sorry but you're posting on an internet forum to ask how to slow a walk and how to be relaxed and confident on a ride out.

Basic stuff you know.

I'm struggling to imagine how you've decided that THIS particular young and forward going horse is going to be good for novice riders.


He has only been worked by me, (previous trainer quit b/c the job was "too dangerous") for 8 months now and he has improved tremendously, before he wouldn't just walk down hills and always jigged riding home, in fact he didn't even know he could relax his neck on the trail LOL. LOL :confused: Yep well this sounds like a great potential novice children's horse! NOT!

Well LOL to you. I hope you're not still LOLing when you've put some novice child on the young horse's back and sent them off!


Why are some people so angry about me being a trainer ("if one is a so called dressage trianer", "claim to your professional status")and asking questions? Well "angry" is not what was in my head. I was thinking "utter incredulity", "total disbelief", "you're having a laugh", "yeh right".


I just get paid to ride and train horses, its not a big deal, like being paid to guide rafts, or track bears, or whatever else people are paid to do...why is that an issue?? It's just a job. It's an issue because you mentioned it and made it an issue and because you went on to demonstrate you don't know the basics. It's a bit like the raft guide asking "where does the paddle go?" or the bear tracker saying "I'll let the children go first and shall we start in the woods or the city?"


I have never used an online forum about horses before and I just wanted to see what other people thought, not get blasted by accusations, insinuations, and insults. I really just don't understand it at all but I do appreciate the helpful comments posted by everyone else.
I've a strong feeling that you'll not like forums.

Just relax if you want to continue to hang here without being hurt or embarrassed. Other people can have differing opinions than yours and shockingly, the sun will continue to rise. Trust me on that

In real life advice and training is paid for. Here it's freely given and whether you like it or not good advice is good advice and bad advice sugar coated is still bad advice.

But truth be told in many ways it's not a lot different to the horse world off cyberspace. One question = 10 opinions. All strongly held.

I'm thinking you need to grow some hide if you're intent on being in the horse world let alone on forums.

Grataan
Jun. 6, 2010, 02:08 PM
You might want to lay off insulting other long term members of this forum, it is well known that more than one have disabilities that prevent them from posting in the fashion that most people do. HOWEVER, they are ALL very valuable and loved members and while we don't always agree with them, we respect their advice and especially their courage to post in the face of criticism such as yours OP.

Furthermore, we have members from all over the world-this is not Chronicle of the USA, it is Chronicle of the Horse, and members from any culture, language, or country are welcomed here.

tabula rashah
Jun. 6, 2010, 03:16 PM
My APHA (with QH breeding) has a much faster walk than my TWH cross, just sayin.

Every horse is an individual, and it sounds like a kids trail horse is perhaps not what this individual is going to excel at.


Yes, obviously every horse is an individual but all breeds have their characteristics that make them that breed. QH's (and other stock breeds) much more typically have the type of walk the OP is looking for than what a Morgan would.

CosMonster
Jun. 6, 2010, 03:18 PM
Boy, between the artificial aids thread and this, the trail riding forum has been unusually exciting lately. ;)

OP, I'm a little confused. Is the horse owned by people right now who want to have him ridden by children, or is it more of a situation where a currently childless person thinks they might want to use him for their kids in the future if they have any, or what? Your description of "in the future" is a bit vague.

The simple fact is that as a trainer, you should tell them that this horse judging by your description is not a suitable children's horse now and possibly may not ever be. He sounds like a nice horse for an experienced rider but not suitable for novice children (and slowing a horse down on the trail even when he doesn't want to is a pretty basic skill).

mustangtrailrider
Jun. 6, 2010, 04:22 PM
This horse is in training (as are all the rest, some further along than others:) ), so to everyone who is bashing me for putting kids on him...he is young and requires a little to much "riding" to have kids on him now. That's why he's in training. He will be used in the FUTURE for children and inexperienced riders. He has only been worked by me, (previous trainer quit b/c the job was "too dangerous") for 8 months now and he has improved tremendously, before he wouldn't just walk down hills and always jigged riding home, in fact he didn't even know he could relax his neck on the trail LOL. I don't have the option to train with other people (private ranch),

Good luck with this horse! We had one that wasn't suited for my husband. After much work, we decided that it wasn't a good fit. After being in work with a wonderful lady, he is now a young rider's mount, to which he is perfectly suited. He is under direct supervision and is doing wonderfully. It took teamwork to make and bring this horse along. It was the right time and place. Now this horse is doing well as a youth's mount. He started off as a rank yearling with the BLM.

I only state the above as the horse clearly wasn't suited as a basic trail horse for my husband. We found him a better situation. After many months, miles, and wet pads, he is turning into be a wonderful youth/beginner mount. He was started properly, ridden and trained to a solid basic level, but he still wasn't ready for the job being asked of him. Instead of forcing him to fit our mold, we found his ideal situation.

Training as you are doing will be difficult. Good luck. I fear that you will need it.

Getting this horse out on trail with other horses and other riders is going to be crucial to overcome this "habit" he has. Wet saddle blankets, many miles, and a lot of time will overcome this, but you may not change this horse's way of going.

Instead of having this horse fit the mold that is before it, finding a more appropriate horse will be a wiser idea.

jeano
Jun. 6, 2010, 07:02 PM
I'm wondering if this "trainer" is more of a wrangler for a dude string or a summer camp. Yikes.

chepora
Jun. 6, 2010, 11:29 PM
Boy, between the artificial aids thread and this, the trail riding forum has been unusually exciting lately. ;)

OP, I'm a little confused. Is the horse owned by people right now who want to have him ridden by children, or is it more of a situation where a currently childless person thinks they might want to use him for their kids in the future if they have any, or what? Your description of "in the future" is a bit vague.


He is owned by people who eventually would like to use him for trail rides, with more experienced riders at first and then with less experienced riders as his behavior and abilities warrant. He's a good horse and did very well today, I really like his willing disposition:) The horse has plenty of time. Well the rivers are high so I'm off to kayak for a few days. Hope you guys aren't bored without me:)

[QUOTE=mustangtrailrider;4908667]Good luck with this horse! We had one that wasn't suited for my husband. After much work, we decided that it wasn't a good fit. After being in work with a wonderful lady, he is now a young rider's mount, to which he is perfectly suited. He is under direct supervision and is doing wonderfully. It took teamwork to make and bring this horse along. It was the right time and place. Now this horse is doing well as a youth's mount. He started off as a rank yearling with the BLM.

I only state the above as the horse clearly wasn't suited as a basic trail horse for my husband. We found him a better situation. After many months, miles, and wet pads, he is turning into be a wonderful youth/beginner mount. He was started properly, ridden and trained to a solid basic level, but he still wasn't ready for the job being asked of him. Instead of forcing him to fit our mold, we found his ideal situation.

Training as you are doing will be difficult. Good luck. I fear that you will need it.

Getting this horse out on trail with other horses and other riders is going to be crucial to overcome this "habit" he has. Wet saddle blankets, many miles, and a lot of time will overcome this, but you may not change this horse's way of going.

Instead of having this horse fit the mold that is before it, finding a more appropriate horse will be a wiser idea.


Thanks for the reply. I think people have overblown his problem on this site, which is ok since none of you ride him and have little idea of what he is actually like. He's a great trail horse but young, and will get better hopefully. I just happened to start riding him after 2 former riders had cranked his neck up and never let go of his mouth for about a year. He has done really well on a looser rein and seems to enjoy most of the rides he goes on, I consider him to be a stable, young horse. Is he ready for a novice...no, that's ok he still has plenty of growing up to do and I'm very happy with where he's at. If he doesn't work out...that's fine too.
Since the horses are only ridden 2 days/week in the winter they tend to be a little spunkier this time of year (9000 ft here so its just now spring) so it'll just take some time, he has years :).

wylde sage
Jun. 6, 2010, 11:50 PM
I've been called "daft" on this forum :lol: it was a political discussion though...still funny to me! I think the "wrangler" situation might apply, now I'm curious!

Hopefully the entertainment will continue!

chepora
Jun. 7, 2010, 12:25 AM
Thomas_1
"It's a bit like the raft guide asking "where does the paddle go?" or the bear tracker saying "I'll let the children go first and shall we start in the woods or the city?""

Sorry I said I wouldn't but...
I just have to reply to this one b/c its really funny to me. First off I've had both those jobs, I'm an EMT and take guiding pretty seriously considering I have commercially guided class V (Gauley) and now occasionally still guide class IV. The boating community is amazingly supportive and full of wonderful people that share lots of important information with each other, including some great stuff about paddling techniques:).

To the second, I radio collared and tracked black bears for a URBAN (there were 9-12 FULL-TIME summer residents of a descent sized town) bear research project, so "shall we start in the woods, or the city"...not quite as obvious as it seems smarty-pants. You couldn't even trap a bear if you put a cage in the woods, but in the city it wouldn't take 6 hours.

So Thomas I'm sure you've had a diverting time, and you're right it is an open forum so feel free to insult away with all your childish vigor, I just blocked you.

Graatan-
"Furthermore, we have members from all over the world-this is not Chronicle of the USA, it is Chronicle of the Horse, and members from any culture, language, or country are welcomed here."

Not sure what your point is but as a RPCV and decent person, I would certainly hope this would be the case. I love traveling and meeting/talking people from other cultures so that sounds great. I'm trying to learn French right now for a possible future birding/kayaking trip to Africa...but we'll see how the wind blows and how well my French gets:)

Anyway the horses did great today, there are a ton of wildflowers out, and I love my jobs!!!
High water here I come! Wooohoooo just please let me get my roll!!!!!! :D

Thomas_1
Jun. 7, 2010, 05:30 AM
To the second, I radio collared and tracked black bears for a URBAN (there were 9-12 FULL-TIME summer residents of a descent sized town) bear research project, so "shall we start in the woods, or the city"...not quite as obvious as it seems smarty-pants. You couldn't even trap a bear if you put a cage in the woods, but in the city it wouldn't take 6 hours. Erm did I suggest I knew anything about trapping or tracking bears?? You missed the point!

I'm a horse trainer! A real one! I train horses and I train people to ride. I don't take people for a ride. There's a difference! Incidentally I do also act as an assessor for other trainers and for those taking BDS exams and as a professional independent witness for the likes of insurance claims and court cases and I assess such as training and competence of drivers and riders, quality of supervision, training and suitability of horses, harness and tack suitability and fit.

Call me old fashioned but if I ever feel the need to want to catch or train a bear, then I'd go to someone who had a clue. REALLY had a clue.

I tend to quite like my life and feel quite strongly that whenever someone is going to get involved in a high risk sport or activity that it's quite sensible to ensure that there's a high level of competence, good and appropriate equipment, great supervision and did I say high ability.



I love traveling and meeting/talking people from other cultures so that sounds great. I'm trying to learn French right now for a possible future birding/kayaking trip to Africa...but we'll see how the wind blows and how well my French gets:) I'd highly recommend that before you come anywhere near the UK that you might need classes in mastering the British insult and sarcasm. I highly recommend Oscar Wilde. He wrote a highly amusing treatise called "Impressions of America".

You'll find it challenging and hurtful but it's well worth perservering with.

Either that or Catherine Tate or the old classic Monty Pythons.

Indeed I was VERY tempted to quote Catherine Tate's "Nan"

Auventera Two
Jun. 7, 2010, 08:16 AM
chepora -

I completely "get" what you're asking - as the owner of a few super fast walkers myself! LOL.

Contrary to what some here have implied, I don't believe that asking for a slower, or more collected walk is going to ruin the horse's natural impulsion or big, swinging walk. A horse CAN learn to moderate the speed within each gait on the trail just as in the dressage ring. Asking a dressasge horse for a collected walk in no way ruins the free walk, so why would a trail horse's walk be ruined?

Last weekend I was on an organized trail ride and needed my mare to walk slowly because the horses in front of us were dogging it. When I asked her to slow her gait, she did. Tiny bit of attitude at first, but she did ;) I'm unclear why some here believe it is acceptable to run up the bumper of the horse in front of you so you don't destroy the horse's naturally forward walk. That seems silly, and dangerous.

What I've done for my horses is to use half halts, and even full halts, stand and wait, reverse and go back the way we came, serpentines, etc. Eventually they learn that just maintaining the speed I ask for is easier than if they don't maintain the speed I ask for because they'll have to work harder, and won't get back to the barn any quicker.

Another trick I've used is to turn around and head back out on the trail once you get back to the barn. No break! Walk up the driveway to the barn, turn around and immediately head right back down the drive and out to the trail again. A few times of this teaches them that going back to the barn does not = removal of tack and return to pasture! :D As a refresher, I pull this trick on them every so often. Mine are really good about not being barn sour or trying to race home. I've also tied them up to the tree in their tack and left them sit for 10 or 15 minutes, then mounted back up and did some circle work around the yard. Basically anything to teach them that going home doesn't mean they're "done" necessarily.

More later - have to run to work now!

wylde sage
Jun. 7, 2010, 10:48 AM
Thomas you are incorrigible! Auventera Two, nice explanation :)

Auventera Two
Jun. 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
How to slow him down?

Turn him out for 20 years :lol:

Sounds like the wrong horse for the job. That ground-covering walk IS normal for him. Trying to change it will only fry his brain, making him unsuitable for anything. I suggest you rethink your plans for him - perhaps allow him to do his thing with older, more confident riders.

:confused: A Morgan cannot learn the collected walk, or a slow walk without becoming "brain fried?" Does this mean there are NO Morgans out there competing in the higher levels of dressage where a collected walk is required?

One of the nicest little trail horses I've ever sat on was my mother's 13.1 hand Morab. She was as fancy and forward as a little sports car but could drop her head and plug along if a beginner was on her back. She came from a dressage lesson program and had never been ridden outside of an arena until we got her. We had her for a couple of years then she went to my aunt where she taught my little cousins how to ride. They trail rode her all over the place and she never hurt a kid, once. She would adjust her speed according to who was on her and what they were asking.

Transitioning within a gait from collected to medium to working to lengthened or extended is something that ALL horses of ANY breed should be able to do.

I agree that horses should be allowed to move out and cover ground as a reward. My Arabs are happiest when I give them a free rein to pick their own gait, pick their own footing, and just work without me getting in their face or micromanaging them. But they also know how to keep it slow if the situation calls for it. The mare was harder to train than the stallion, he's naturally more lazy anyway. But it was doable. At first I didn't fight with her and force her to go slow. I just wanted her happy and forward and working the energy off. But over time I starting asking that she have more patience. Now many of our rides are walk-only because I ride with several people who only want to walk for various reasons. The horse is absolutely fine with that. But yeah, it took training, just like you have to train for anything else.

katarine
Jun. 7, 2010, 11:38 AM
How does one equate a high-level competition Morgan horse in dressage.. with an inexperienced child riding a Morgan?

Apples, meet Orange.

or is it Nut?

tabula rashah
Jun. 7, 2010, 11:41 AM
Transitioning within a gait from collected to medium to working to lengthened or extended is something that ALL horses of ANY breed should be able to do.

.

Yes, this is true but there is a big difference between an experienced rider asking for this in the dressage ring and a kid on "hack" trail ride.
I don't think that Morgans can't do it- what I'm saying is that its like taking a TWH that has a beautiful running walk and teaching him to trot instead.

tabula rashah
Jun. 7, 2010, 11:42 AM
How does one equate a high-level competition Morgan horse in dressage.. with an inexperienced child riding a Morgan?

Apples, meet Orange.

or is it Nut?

Great minds think alike, huh? LOL:D

Auventera Two
Jun. 7, 2010, 11:59 AM
Yes, this is true but there is a big difference between an experienced rider asking for this in the dressage ring and a kid on "hack" trail ride.
I don't think that Morgans can't do it- what I'm saying is that its like taking a TWH that has a beautiful running walk and teaching him to trot instead.

Training a Morgan (or any horse) to walk a bit slower is not the same thing as trying to make a gaited horse do a gait that may not be natural to them. Not even CLOSE to being the same thing.

I maintain my opinion that any horse, with enough training, should be able to modulate the speed of a gait when asked to do so - particularly when heading back toward the barn. Go slowly, rack up the miles, work on the training consistently and eventually you'll probably get there.

If the horse cannot do that without becoming a brain fried fruit bat, then clearly they aren't suitable for a child. Maybe they will be with enough miles, and training. I didn't see anything in the OP's posts that this Morgan is a crazy fruit bat. He just needs training. No big deal.

hitchinmygetalong
Jun. 7, 2010, 12:09 PM
:confused: A Morgan cannot learn the collected walk, or a slow walk without becoming "brain fried?" Does this mean there are NO Morgans out there competing in the higher levels of dressage where a collected walk is required?


Of course they can be taught a collected walk. Of course they can change the tempo of their walk. I was referring to the jigging, spooking, fast-paced horse as described in the OP, whose trainer, per the wording in the OP, was trying to turn it into a trail horse for a child or novice rider. The story has changed since the OP, so please put my reply in the proper context.

And believe me, there are some Morgan bloodlines that are going to stress out if someone mishandles them and tries to force them into an unsuitable job.

I'm glad you have had success in the past with training your Arabs. If I recall, your mare's education was not without some speed bumps. And surely you must agree that it was as much TIME that contributed to her mental maturing as it was training.

katarine
Jun. 7, 2010, 12:55 PM
Is your Arabian mare, Sweets, suitable for getting tacked up straight out of her stall and ridden by an inexperienced 8 YO on a trail ride without being ponied or led at any point or time? The child just gets on and goes for a ride?

Moderator 1
Jun. 7, 2010, 03:51 PM
Let's all avoid the personal commentary and engage in an informative, polite discussion.

Thanks,
Mod 1

sublimequine
Jun. 7, 2010, 04:08 PM
Let's all avoid the personal commentary and engage in an informative, polite discussion.

Thanks,
Mod 1

Your mother was a hamster!









(Please don't e-murder me Mod1 :lol:)

katarine
Jun. 7, 2010, 04:14 PM
good one ;)

I don't think one will be successful endeavoring to make a lamb out of a lion.

The horse in question sounds like a big moving go-ey type of horse who will be unhappy about being asked to just calm down, please, and carry these little children. That's a skill horses are born with, a predisposition for sweetness and quiet. This sounds like a fine horse, just not a beginner's horse, much less a little child.

Best wishes.

(how bout them apples??)

pines4equines
Jun. 7, 2010, 04:47 PM
sublimequine: You owe me $4.05 for my venti whole milk latte, it is now splattered all over the computer monitor.

Or am I going to get roasted for spending 4 bucks on a coffee?

sublimequine
Jun. 7, 2010, 05:13 PM
sublimequine: You owe me $4.05 for my venti whole milk latte, it is now splattered all over the computer monitor.

Or am I going to get roasted for spending 4 bucks on a coffee?

Thank you, thank you very much! :lol:

jazzrider
Jun. 7, 2010, 05:18 PM
...Or am I going to get roasted for spending 4 bucks on a coffee?

No, but in keeping with this thread folks will make all sorts of assumptions about what kind of coffee it is and whether you have the metabolism to be handling that much caffeine, or critisizing you for even suggesting that the coffee might actually be good without proving that you have coffee connoisseur credentials that match their own! :winkgrin:

Huntertwo
Jun. 7, 2010, 05:52 PM
No, but in keeping with this thread folks will make all sorts of assumptions about what kind of coffee it is and whether you have the metabolism to be handling that much caffeine, or critisizing you for even suggesting that the coffee might actually be good without proving that you have coffee connoisseur credentials that match their own! :winkgrin:

LOL.....:lol:

katarine
Jun. 7, 2010, 05:57 PM
Caffeine will make your hair fall out.

It's true. I read it on the internet!

sublimequine
Jun. 7, 2010, 06:14 PM
Caffeine will make your hair fall out.

It's true. I read it on the internet!

So that's why people keep calling me "cueball"...

pines4equines
Jun. 7, 2010, 06:24 PM
Wait now, I didn't say my coffee had caffeine in it.

I may have inferred it had caffeine but then again, it could have been half caf, half decaf but then again maybe I did mean caffeine when I meant to say decaf.

Huntertwo
Jun. 7, 2010, 06:56 PM
Wait now, I didn't say my coffee had caffeine in it.

I may have inferred it had caffeine but then again, it could have been half caf, half decaf but then again maybe I did mean caffeine when I meant to say decaf.

Well, does your tea have caffeine in it and is your tea okay for beginner tea totterers? That is what you implied, didn't you?

Went back an re-read that you had coffee....ah.. never mind.:D

dizzywriter
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:21 PM
I have to stalk H2.

Just doin' my job.

pines4equines
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:28 PM
No I'm afraid the coffee moves too fast (hence the caffeine) for beginner tea totalers. Or are they totaliers? [Said with a french accent.]

wylde sage
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:34 PM
Hamster headed horse people!! The visual is too much for my pea brain!

Huntertwo
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:36 PM
I have to stalk H2.

Just doin' my job.

:lol::lol::lol: You'll never be unemployed Dizzy!

dizzywriter
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:37 PM
Hamster headed horse people!!

Those might be mutangs.

dizzywriter
Jun. 7, 2010, 07:43 PM
:lol::lol::lol: You'll never be unemployed Dizzy!

Are you a vampire or some other type of immortal? Because that's not what I signed on for.

I may need a raise.

Huntertwo
Jun. 7, 2010, 09:44 PM
Are you a vampire or some other type of immortal? Because that's not what I signed on for.

I may need a raise.

A broke zombie.... :dead:

Ghazzu
Jun. 7, 2010, 10:26 PM
Is your Arabian mare, Sweets, suitable for getting tacked up straight out of her stall and ridden by an inexperienced 8 YO on a trail ride without being ponied or led at any point or time? The child just gets on and goes for a ride?

so long as the kid stays out of the portapotty....

mp
Jun. 8, 2010, 12:02 PM
Back to the original question:

OP, you slow a horse down on the trail the same way you do it in the arena. Use your body; if that doesn't work, add the reins. If you think the horse is tuning you out, ask for a little flexion every few strides. Not hanging in the mouth, just enough that he gives to rein and you can see the corner of his eye, then release him.

I have a little Arabian mare who power walks on trails. Personally, I like that much better than poking along. But if I feel her even start to tense up, I check in with her as described above. Because she can go from OK on a loose rein to wheeeeeeooooo there's something in those BUSHES!!!!!!!! in a nanosecond.

She's 15 and I've had her for 11 years, and that's just the way she is. Great in the arena; forward and a little looky on the trails. No amount of training or wet saddle blankets has ever changed it. You might want to talk to the owners of the horse and give them a realistic appraisal of the horse's leve of appropriateness for a child. Which right now, is zero, IMO.

PS -- train detective :lol: :lol: :lol:

CatOnLap
Jun. 8, 2010, 12:37 PM
Glad you weren't offended Dispatcher.
MP, you are just echoing a half dozen others in your advice. I too am the proud rider of a 21 year old horse who never learned to walk on the trails. Its piaffe, passage or full bore out of control gallop home. There are some who just will never be good trail horses. But as he showed FEI dressage until he was 20, I really don't bug him too much about it. Instead, I got a suitable trail horse. Two actually.

Appaloosas, if you must know.

You can call me crazy now.

But I can put kids, old people and dead novices on those ones and they will happily do their best dude pony imitation with slow walks and teensy tiny trots so they don't drop anyone.

And the FEI horse is dead safe even for a beginner as long as he has those tiny dressage fences around him.

mp
Jun. 8, 2010, 12:45 PM
Glad you weren't offended Dispatcher.
MP, you are just echoing a half dozen others in your advice.

And I'll also echo what a few other people noted: If a middle-aged, not so bold nor accomplished rider like me knows that, surely a trainer would. ;)


I too am the proud rider of a 21 year old horse who never learned to walk on the trails. Its piaffe, passage or full bore out of control gallop home. There are some who just will never be good trail horses. But as he showed FEI dressage until he was 20, I really don't bug him too much about it. Instead, I got a suitable trail horse. Two actually.

Appaloosas, if you must know.

Around here, appies are called "the Other A Breed." :lol: And, yes, some horses simply are not cut out for the trail. Period.

CatOnLap
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:11 PM
haha! MP- ""the other A breed" yes, there are times when I have a few other choice names as well.

You cannot say you are a real horse trainer until you've trained an appaloosa...or at least tried...

wendy
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:19 PM
don't believe that for a second. All horses can be trained to be trail-horses; some might take less effort than others to get there, but it's do-able.

As to horses who feel the need to jig/gallop/act like lunatics on the way home, that is a bit of bad manners that should be tolerated by NO ONE. The problem is caused by a bit of unfortunate training people accidently perform- horse rapidly learns that if he goes out on trail, he works hard, and if he heads for home he gets rewarded by rest, food, treats, buddies; so naturally he tries to head for home whenever possible, and tries to get there as fast as he can.
So from day one, teach him that going home does not predict good stuff for horsie. Take a short trail ride and then ride home and work his butt off in the ring. Do that the first 25 trail rides you take, and then do it 50% of the training rides you do thereafter. Keep him guessing. Try riding out, then riding back, and PAST the barn and just keep going on another, harder trail ride. Sometimes ride him out and get off and let him enjoy some grass, so he learns going away from the barn may be fun too. Or plant his buddies out there and ride out and meet them.

Moderator 1
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:37 PM
Again, we've removed some posts to keep the thread focused on the OP. Folks have slung some barbs from both sides, so please everyone just holster the verbal arsenal, stop dissecting who said what and how, and keep things focused on the original topic.

The forums are provided as an avenue for folks to get feedback and exchange ideas--you may not always like what you hear and users should feel free to give their honest opinion, but an effort should be made to maintain a courteous discussion.

My mother, Mrs. Whiskers, is deeply hurt by your comments. :p

Mod 1

mp
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:40 PM
don't believe that for a second. All horses can be trained to be trail-horses; some might take less effort than others to get there, but it's do-able.

Maybe what I call a trail horse and what you call a trail horse are two different things.

Yes, most horses can be trained to get down the trail with a rider in one piece. But a trail horse, as in the rider can enjoy a relaxed hack without incident most of the time? No, not all horses can do that, and no amount of training will ever change them.

The mare I mentioned does fine on a trail for me, but I don't consider her a trail horse. It certainly isn't what she does best. Every spring, we have to have one or two de-sensitizing rides with a more level-headed beast (aka TRAIL horse). After that, she's pretty good and I love her power walk. But still not for a beginner. The OP mentioned a horse that is meant for a child to ride on trails. Certainly you don't think every horse can be trained to do that?

And why would someone like Cat On Lap try to make a trail horse out of a horse that
a) has other talents for the rider to enjoy
b) doesn't seem to enjoy trail riding and
c) could be a danger to his rider.

There are horses that don't like arena work. Do you think they should all be trained to school in the ring, no matter what?

tidy rabbit
Jun. 8, 2010, 01:56 PM
If the horse is inappropriate to the task, why on earth are you trying to force it?

Spending time and money to make a child safe horse, who from the sounds of it will never be a novice child's horse, is a waste of time and money. One of the most important aspects of being a trainer is being able to identify suitability of a horse to it's job.

If I had one that went 8 days without getting more suitable for it's "job" I'd be sending it down the road and looking for one who was suitable, not spending 8 MONTHS trying to make it into something it will never be.

Forcing a round peg into a square hole is not what makes a good horse trainer.

katarine
Jun. 8, 2010, 02:10 PM
don't believe that for a second. All horses can be trained to be trail-horses; some might take less effort than others to get there, but it's do-able.

As to horses who feel the need to jig/gallop/act like lunatics on the way home, that is a bit of bad manners that should be tolerated by NO ONE. The problem is caused by a bit of unfortunate training people accidently perform- horse rapidly learns that if he goes out on trail, he works hard, and if he heads for home he gets rewarded by rest, food, treats, buddies; so naturally he tries to head for home whenever possible, and tries to get there as fast as he can.
So from day one, teach him that going home does not predict good stuff for horsie. Take a short trail ride and then ride home and work his butt off in the ring. Do that the first 25 trail rides you take, and then do it 50% of the training rides you do thereafter. Keep him guessing. Try riding out, then riding back, and PAST the barn and just keep going on another, harder trail ride. Sometimes ride him out and get off and let him enjoy some grass, so he learns going away from the barn may be fun too. Or plant his buddies out there and ride out and meet them.

There's trail horses then there's trail horses.

Chip is fearless and perfect out alone on the trail, and only a bit of a brat in company about trail riding. He doesn't fret or get stupid about wanting to come home fast but that's taken a longgggg time to fix/apply repairs to. And he is routinely reminded he's being naughty if he pushes the envelope. I don't tolerate jack in terms of nonsense, Wendy, you know that lol...but he is going to check, every single ride, to see if he COULD just race home. Can I? Can I? Can I? So, he'll never, ever, never, be the dead-head any inexperienced 8 YO can safely ride on a trail. Ever. And that's possibly the sort of horse the OP is asking about. The horse that asks over and over Can I? Can I? Can I? How about Now? And Now? And NOW?

So I love my good guy but he ain't going to the Smokies next week. I'll take the Moo instead. Because she IS a good trail horse, God painted her that way.

Auventera Two
Jun. 8, 2010, 03:31 PM
don't believe that for a second. All horses can be trained to be trail-horses; some might take less effort than others to get there, but it's do-able.

I agree that all horses should be able to walk down a trail on a hack without losing their brain and jigging all over the place. If they are misbehaving, they are not under control of the rider.

But not every horse will be a great trail horse - as in - being sure footed, looking out for their rider, handling the heat well, negotiating obstacles, etc. A great trail horse truly is a blessing. But walking politely when asked to do so is absolutely trainable. If not, then go back to square 1.

I own what used to be one of the jiggiest horses I've ever met and she DID learn to walk when asked to. At first I did not force it, and I didn't fight with her. If she wanted to jig and bounce and piaffe sideways down the trail, then I put her in a trot and let her "trot it out." When she got the edge off her energy, I'd ask for short stretches of walk then reward her by letting her trot or canter. I learned from one of my endurance mentors that fighting with the horse wastes your energy and theirs. Put their nose forward on the trail and let them work the edge off in a productive, forward gait. Hanging on the reins and forcing the issue makes things worse. The horse is frustrated that you're hanging on their face and your body gets tired from all the motion that is going nowhere.

I love the John Lyons quote - "There are no cues to tell a horse what NOT to do, but only cues to tell the horse what TO do."

If she didn't want to flat walk then fine, lets trot or canter but we are NOT going to jig and dance and jostle me around in the saddle until I have a cramp in my gutt. We are going to do one gait or another but jigging isn't a gait. Or if I didn't want to go 3 more miles down the trail, I'd put her to work on a serpentine or circle and show her that jigging just equals more work. Horses are smart and they figure things out.

I can't tell you how many people told me my mare would never be suitable for trails. She was too hot, too sensitive, too drama-queenish, too whatever. Well, she did become a damned good trail horse. I feel safer riding either of my Arabs than I feel driving my own car. She will negotiate anything and say "Yes ma'am" to anything I ask of her. There's a teenager who is a beginner rider, but loves the trails. I put him on Sweets because my QH's gaits are too rough for him. Sweets takes care of him! :yes: :) She loves him, she is absolutely obedient and he likes riding her smooth as glass gaits. We go down the side of the road, we canter in open fields, and he's swam with her in the river. He grabs some mane now and then when he's unbalanced but she has NEVER tried to take advantage of him. She is honest as the day is long and always tries to do the right thing. But yeah, 3 years ago it was a different story. It takes miles and training. I wouldn't say a jiggy Morgan cannot ever be a child's horse. Maybe they won't, but maybe they will.


As to horses who feel the need to jig/gallop/act like lunatics on the way home, that is a bit of bad manners that should be tolerated by NO ONE.

I would rather make a horse trot and focus their energy on a real gait than allow the jiggy piaffy stuff. I'd rather work the edge off and then ask for walk a bit at a time.

I was taught by my old dressage trainer that the trot is the easiest gait for the horse to learn at and my experience has seen that to be true. Add the walk later when you've refined your cues at the trot.

And I agree with you also that people create this monster because barn = reward. Turning around and heading for home = food, buddies, pasture, rest. As I posted earlier in this thread, I had to work with Sweets and Andre both on this. Going home to the barn or back to the trailer at the trail head doesn't necessarily mean you're done. :cool: It took the stallion a LOT less time to figure this out than the mare. By nature he's more lazy anyway. A couple times of turning around and heading back out and he was like "Oh man, alright you win."



The problem is caused by a bit of unfortunate training people accidently perform- horse rapidly learns that if he goes out on trail, he works hard, and if he heads for home he gets rewarded by rest, food, treats, buddies; so naturally he tries to head for home whenever possible, and tries to get there as fast as he can.
So from day one, teach him that going home does not predict good stuff for horsie. Take a short trail ride and then ride home and work his butt off in the ring. Do that the first 25 trail rides you take, and then do it 50% of the training rides you do thereafter. Keep him guessing. Try riding out, then riding back, and PAST the barn and just keep going on another, harder trail ride. Sometimes ride him out and get off and let him enjoy some grass, so he learns going away from the barn may be fun too. Or plant his buddies out there and ride out and meet them.

CosMonster
Jun. 8, 2010, 05:13 PM
I agree that there is trail riding and there is trail riding. We ride some really challenging trails quite often and I own several horses who just aren't suitable for that because of their temperaments. It isn't even to do with how spooky they are--my Arab mare who can be a bit of a loon is also the horse I would count on the most in those tough situations, whereas I have a TB who never spooks at anything but just can't seem to remember where to put his feet, which is not something you want to deal with on a narrow trail with a 500 foot drop right next to you. :lol:

A lot of horses also just don't enjoy it enough for that to be their career. People don't question it when someone says their horse doesn't enjoy jumping or doesn't have the temperament to be an upper level dressage horse, but they think every horse should enjoy trail riding. Doesn't make sense to me. I mean, I don't think I've ever met a horse who can't learn to enjoy a nice relaxing hack as a break from work, but going out on the trails every day and possibly being asked to do some pretty technical trails isn't for every horse.

Huntertwo
Jun. 8, 2010, 05:29 PM
Maybe what I call a trail horse and what you call a trail horse are two different things.

Yes, most horses can be trained to get down the trail with a rider in one piece. But a trail horse, as in the rider can enjoy a relaxed hack without incident most of the time? No, not all horses can do that, and no amount of training will ever change them.



Totally agree - and it bears repeating. Yes, you may be able to get the horse to go out and come back in one piece,
BUT simply not every horse is cut out for to be brave enough to go out for a nice relaxing ride.

Just as not all are cut out for WP, Eventing, Dressage, etc.

Some are just worry worts, period.

Heck my DH is a total city boy...
If I take him on a hike in the woods, his eyes look like this - :eek:
Been married 10 years and he still looks like this - :eek: He ain't gonna change no matter how many times I tell him a hawk isn't gonna swoop down and shred him... or there are no grizzlies in CT.

I went through one or two of these before I found my mostly steady eddy trail mare. They just don't feel comfortable in the confines of the woods all alone, or even with company.

Like people, some are just more anxious than others.

chaltagor
Jun. 8, 2010, 10:57 PM
As to horses who feel the need to jig/gallop/act like lunatics on the way home, that is a bit of bad manners that should be tolerated by NO ONE. The problem is caused by a bit of unfortunate training people accidently perform- horse rapidly learns that if he goes out on trail, he works hard, and if he heads for home he gets rewarded by rest, food, treats, buddies; so naturally he tries to head for home whenever possible, and tries to get there as fast as he can.

First time a horse goes on the trail ever, he wigs out, and it's because he knows he's going to get rest, food and treats when he gets back? How does he know this? And who trained him to do this when the said horse lived on the track for eight years? No trails there.

calatar
Jun. 9, 2010, 12:49 AM
First time a horse goes on the trail ever, he wigs out, and it's because he knows he's going to get rest, food and treats when he gets back? How does he know this? And who trained him to do this when the said horse lived on the track for eight years? No trails there.

His stable mates gave him the low-down. :winkgrin:

CatOnLap
Jun. 9, 2010, 12:02 PM
And why would someone like Cat On Lap try to make a trail horse out of a horse that
a) has other talents for the rider to enjoy
b) doesn't seem to enjoy trail riding and
c) could be a danger to his rider.

Oh mp, we'll just let those folks have their little fantasies until they get some more experience! They will eventually meet the horse who convinces them of the following truth:

Not every horse can be made into a safe, sane, trail horse.

To be fair to that particular horse, he came to me having unseated every professional rider who'd ever tried him and although he won his dressage section at the 100 day test he was at in Germany, I got him at a deep discount because of his bad habits under saddle. (to the point where his previous owner, who lived in Alberta, considered selling him to the Calgary Stampede bucking string).

And when he was seriously injured at age 9 with a hind suspensory partial tear, and not expected to be competition sound, I tried every day for a whole summer, first in hand and later under saddle on the trails, to desensitize and habituate him to be a trail pony but it was really no fun. And while I can ride him on a trail ride walking slowly and sanely, it is every bit as much work as doing an FEI dressage test and not nearly as much fun for either of us. Plus, riding a nearly 18 hand high horse through the forest wore the velvet off the front of my helmet. ( low branches)

:lol:

JollyBadger
Jun. 9, 2010, 03:20 PM
A lot of horses also just don't enjoy it enough for that to be their career. People don't question it when someone says their horse doesn't enjoy jumping or doesn't have the temperament to be an upper level dressage horse, but they think every horse should enjoy trail riding. Doesn't make sense to me. I mean, I don't think I've ever met a horse who can't learn to enjoy a nice relaxing hack as a break from work, but going out on the trails every day and possibly being asked to do some pretty technical trails isn't for every horse.

^^This! :yes:

I frequently see ads for horses that, for one reason or another, didn't "make it" in whatever discipline their owner hoped to compete in, so they're advertised as "trail horse." It seems as though the horse industry thinks all horses have some kind of "default" setting that would automatically make them trail horses if they don't work out in anything else.

As others already said, there are trails (wide, flat, well-groomed bridle paths), and then there are trails. A horse should be able to walk under-saddle, in the open, outside the "safety" of an arena, away from the barn, without its brain exploding. However, some horses just don't have the temperament to be reliable enough to safely carry a novice (or nervous) rider on trail. They just don't.

My boyfriend has a TWH like that. The previous owner initially screwed him up by walloping on the horse and jerking on the reins every time he tripped or stumbled, and always tried to out-gait the others in the group. :mad:

By the time my boyfriend bought the gelding, he'd get very nervous in tricky, rocky footing. . .to the point where he didn't really pay attention to where he was putting his feet, so he'd stumble and then have a "meltdown" where he'd either freeze in one spot, start bouncing in his front end, or lunge forward in a panic.

My boyfriend has a "primary" trail horse already, and rarely rode the "problem" horse except as a back-up during longer camping trips to give the primary horse a break. He couldn't, in good conscience, sell the horse. There's not a mean or rank bone in the gelding's body, but his brain was just so fried. Even if you trailered him to a park for a day ride, he would break into a nervous, lathered sweat before he even got on trail.

That gelding has come a long way, and these days he is generally calm, willing, and level-headed on trail. For all of his drama, he is not the slightest bit "spooky." When you open up his gait and ask him to move out, it's an incredible ride. Then, when you want to shut him down, he comes right back to a flat walk without a problem.

But. . .he's a very strong horse physically, and he still has his "brain freeze" moments. They are few and far-between these days, but they happen. A patient, confident, sensitive rider would be fine with him. His temperament just isn't suited for someone who is hot-headed, impatient, nervous, or inexperienced. . .and I would never expect him to be a good "kid's horse."

mp
Jun. 9, 2010, 04:10 PM
I tried every day for a whole summer, first in hand and later under saddle on the trails, to desensitize and habituate him to be a trail pony but it was really no fun. And while I can ride him on a trail ride walking slowly and sanely, it is every bit as much work as doing an FEI dressage test and not nearly as much fun for either of us.

And fun is what it's supposed to be about, is it not? Fun for horse and rider.


It seems as though the horse industry thinks all horses have some kind of "default" setting that would automatically make them trail horses if they don't work out in anything else.

And "endurance prospect" is generally the default setting for an Arabian with too much energy and no brakes.;)

wylde sage
Jun. 9, 2010, 06:56 PM
"My mother, Mrs. Whiskers, is deeply hurt by your comments."

Best Ever!! Thanks for a great laugh!:lol:

showhorsegallery
Jun. 9, 2010, 07:28 PM
As to horses who feel the need to jig/gallop/act like lunatics on the way home, that is a bit of bad manners that should be tolerated by NO ONE. The problem is caused by a bit of unfortunate training people accidently perform- horse rapidly learns that if he goes out on trail, he works hard, and if he heads for home he gets rewarded by rest, food, treats, buddies; so naturally he tries to head for home whenever possible, and tries to get there as fast as he can.
So from day one, teach him that going home does not predict good stuff for horsie. Take a short trail ride and then ride home and work his butt off in the ring. Do that the first 25 trail rides you take, and then do it 50% of the training rides you do thereafter. Keep him guessing. Try riding out, then riding back, and PAST the barn and just keep going on another, harder trail ride. Sometimes ride him out and get off and let him enjoy some grass, so he learns going away from the barn may be fun too. Or plant his buddies out there and ride out and meet them.

This is a great suggestion! It think it's always a good thing to keep 'em guessing. Doing the same thing everyday is boring for horses too, keeping things mixed up works their brains.

Cartfall
Jun. 10, 2010, 11:38 AM
this may sound stupid, but maybe sometimes, you have to correct them, and i don,t mean ,what i am saying, use your voice, because i don,t like the other way at all ,and don,t want to see it, hitting your horse ,or how about some of these horse people ,use a western saddle ,you have the safety ,then use your other saddle ,you have to show a horse who is boss because they know it i think horses should be smacked with newspaper,or your hand on his butt ,anything else someone should call 911 ,horses should be treated like humans and the same rules . think about it.you can,t be afraid they feel it and know it. they smell and sense it . you want a great horse get a belgian

What? A bit rambling-- and please use more than one sentence!:confused: Can't understand you. I am not the punctuation police by any means, but lordy, make some sense.

goeslikestink
Jun. 10, 2010, 04:06 PM
What? A bit rambling-- and please use more than one sentence!:confused: Can't understand you. I am not the punctuation police by any means, but lordy, make some sense.
re above post

haha i thought i was bad , now i know i am not at the bottom of the class but the next one up lol

op---find a job suitable for the horse you have hes sharp so get a rider that can perhaps realease that potential he has hidden away find someone who might like him as a sj, as he has loads of energy and bounce dont try to cap that but try to find an advance rider to match him and can use that skill and turn this horse around and in having a decent home a better life and and more importantly a job
hes not a noivice ride and never will be

Cartfall
Jun. 10, 2010, 06:36 PM
re above post

haha i thought i was bad , now i know i am not at the bottom of the class but the next one up lol

op---find a job suitable for the horse
hes not a noivice ride and never will be

No gls you may not use a lot of punctuation:lol:, but at least you are understandable. :yes:

And I absolutely agree with you that this horse needs a job he can enjoy. We all too often try to make horses do a job WE want them to do not something THEY might excel at and enjoy. And if a horse does not enjoy what they do, then they will not be a happy or safe ride.

suz
Jun. 10, 2010, 07:29 PM
what wendy said.
what else works is to trailer out for a few rides--preferably to places the horse has never been. worked great for my jiggy mare years ago.