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New member with questions about the walk

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  • New member with questions about the walk

    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

  • #2
    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?
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Jun. 5, 2010, 07:09 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
      <>< I.I.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
        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!"
        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
        http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

        Comment


        • #5
          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.
          Appy Trails,
          Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
          member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org

          Comment


          • #6
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Hay

                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.
                Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jazzrider View Post
                  Well, there was definately a nicer way to say that Thomas, particularly to a newbie, but you are right.
                  Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post
                  God, you're freaking rude... "Unbelievable!"
                  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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chicamuxen1 View Post
                    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.
                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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!
                      Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                      Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                        http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chepora View Post
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by chepora View Post
                                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


                                (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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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).
                                  Last edited by brightskyfarm; Jun. 6, 2010, 06:24 AM.
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                                  OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.
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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                      So you might as well have a good time"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by chepora View Post
                                        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

                                        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.
                                        "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

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