Stallion Spotlight

C-Quito1

Real Estate Spotlight

104 Sparks Lane BR
  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

In gate anticipation/anxiety

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • In gate anticipation/anxiety

    You know, as soon as I run my mouth about this exact topic, here it comes up in my own life...

    Mare is an anxious animal. It's how she's wired, and we can manage to keep a lid on it 99% of the time.

    We are eventers, but she doesn't seem to have much of an issue with the XC start box... just comes unglued waiting for the bell in stadium - running sideways, flicking her head, very excited (first few canter strides are like bunny hops), won't stand or walk quietly.

    I recognize one of the triggers is me shortening the reins, so I spend most of my warm up going between a long rein, shortening to jumping length, waiting for her to chill out, then back to a long rein. It doesn't take her long to figure out to stay chill. But as soon as we go in the actual ring, she's in crazy-pants mode. The second we are done, I can put her back on a loose rein and she's fine, and in the warm up area I can shorten my reins and she doesn't care. ....smart mare.

    FWIW, it's not flatwork related - while we aren't world-beaters in dressage, we are nearly always in the 30-33s. She has no anxiety there, and is quite pleasant.

    I would like for her to be able to walk in a ring and keep a lid on it until it's game time. Right now her idea of when game time starts and mine are about 30 seconds apart from each other's. The show this past weekend, I didn't feel comfortable with the nice volunteer ladies putting ribbons on her, that's how uptight she was about being in the ring with the jumps.

    I was thinking of taking her to a jumper show and entering in all the pee-wee stuff to have lots of in gate practice, and then walk-trot the whole course so she doesn't get that adrenaline kick, or just go on past the 45 second limit if needed - you must relax before we can move out. I will fully admit that she is borderline dangerous in how she behaves when that fired up - I can feel how light her front end is, and she already isn't playing with a full deck sometimes I think. She is not typically a rearer, so that part of it isn't something I can easily recreate.

    While I have no problem taking her to a show with my humble suit on, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to do some work on this at home, or a specific way they've handled this in the past. I know she'll never be a lamb, and I appreciate that she's pumped to do her job, but she needs to keep it "in the box" so we aren't a nuisance. Especially at bigger jumper shows, when they send you in a good while before the previous horse finished, she needs to know how to handle this a bit better than currently.

    TL;DR - how to deal with in-gate anticipation? Exercises to work on at home? A new way to shut it down, and encourage relaxation? Do I just start trotting the second I get in the ring so she never gets that sucked back feeling of "going to explode"? (is that rude to the judge to just give a basic nod, and not a salute because I'm sitting on a keg of dynamite?)

  • #2
    *following* I dont have any answers but my mare is similar so you are not alone

    Comment


    • #3
      The only thing I could think of off the top of my head is just going to some schooling jumper shows and using the rounds to school her on relaxing a bit. Try different methods there, see what helps. If you set up courses at home, does she do the same thing? If not you might just have to go find some cheap shows where you can do a few rounds, it's pretty hard to simulate that whole environment at home.

      Comment


      • #4
        Most jumper judges at USEF shows don’t expect any sort of nod or salute or anything of the kind. They just want you to wait for the bell before you cross the start line. That doesn’t mean you have to stand still or walk until the bell. You can walk or trot or canter a circle (or ten circles) if you want to, as long as you don’t cross between the timers before the bell.

        If you cross the start line before the bell, you are eliminated. If you cross the start line after your 45 seconds are up, you are just more likely to get time faults by the end of the course. There is no other penalty.

        If you are doing an unrecognized show that does not follow USEF rules, they may do things differently.

        I would be much more concerned about the horse acting up around bystanders and other horses near the ingate, strictly for safety reasons.

        There are some horses that trot or canter through the ingate, but I am really not a fan of that practice, again, for safety reasons. It is just way too easy for an accident to happen. It only takes one inattentive person in the vicinity for someone to really get hurt.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post
          The only thing I could think of off the top of my head is just going to some schooling jumper shows and using the rounds to school her on relaxing a bit. Try different methods there, see what helps. If you set up courses at home, does she do the same thing? If not you might just have to go find some cheap shows where you can do a few rounds, it's pretty hard to simulate that whole environment at home.
          No, she can borderline be jumped on a loose rein at home, most days. Occasionally she's a powder keg, but that's maybe 1 out of 10 schooling sessions, and she settles down to something reasonable quickly.

          Ugh, I don't really have the time/money/inclination to show up at a schooling jumper show, but I'll look around at the local guys and see when they've got something going on. She's such a powerhouse, she will jump anything from anywhere. Just wish she would pipe down a touch.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by MHM View Post
            Most jumper judges at USEF shows don’t expect any sort of nod or salute or anything of the kind. They just want you to wait for the bell before you cross the start line. That doesn’t mean you have to stand still until the bell. You can walk or trot or canter a circle (or ten circles) if you want to, as long as you don’t cross between the timers before the bell.

            If you cross the start line before the bell, you are eliminated. If you cross the start line after your 45 seconds are up, you are just more likely to get time faults by the end of the course. There is no other penalty.

            If you are doing an unrecognized show that does not follow USEF rules, may do things differently.

            I would be much more concerned about the horse acting up around bystanders and other horses near the ingate, strictly for safety reasons.
            Totally agreed with the last part, though she does keep it together until we are in (for now, fully aware this can spiral out of control getting worse and worse until she's dangerous before we even head in). I just need "volume" button, or an "off switch" for her.

            At this show, a schooling mini event, it was specifically stated by the announcer that we are to acknowledge the judge and wait for the bell. I knew I wasn't going to do that from a standstill because this mare isn't a stander-stiller, I just don't want to do it from a skittering sideways either.

            So what does acknowledge mean, when the judge is on the second floor of a building behind super shiny glass and I can't see her face to know if she saw my acknowledgement or not!? Gahhh I don't want to be rude...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
              So what does acknowledge mean, when the judge is on the second floor of a building behind super shiny glass and I can't see her face to know if she saw my acknowledgement or not!? Gahhh I don't want to be rude...
              If you are sitting on a fireball, I would certainly think you could just nod in the direction of the judge. At the trot, if necessary.

              When the bell sounds, that means the judge saw your acknowledgment. The whole point of waiting for the start signal is to be sure that the judge is organized for the next round and has the timers set and ready. So once you hear the start signal, you are good to go.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by MHM View Post

                If you are sitting on a fireball, I would certainly think you could just nod in the direction of the judge. At the trot, if necessary.

                When the bell sounds, that means the judge saw your acknowledgment. The whole point of waiting for the start signal is to be sure that the judge is organized for the next round and has the timers set and ready. So once you hear the start signal, you are good to go.
                Ok, this seems much more do-able than getting her totally settled and 110% relaxed. She's a mover, it's how she releases her anxiety. She used to be like this in the warm up, too, but since we have more time to work on it (walk around and around...), we are totally cool there. I honestly don't even jump a warm up jump before stadium unless she feels a little sluggish.

                Next time I will try to immediately set her off on a long trot and see if that keeps the top on the can better. Maybe enter at the trot, whoa, back a step, nod, canter depart and wait for the bell.

                Stinkin' horses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                  Ugh, I don't really have the time/money/inclination to show up at a schooling jumper show,
                  Don't think of it this way. Think of it as you doing what you need to do for your mare to be better. You have the time/money/inclination to do events...this is just making you better for that. Like a dressage lesson, or a XC school.

                  I say that because I think it's your best bet on settling her and getting her more relaxed once she's in the competition ring. Honestly, if there is a difference between the warm-up and the schooling ring...and she's fine with a course of jumps while she's at home, maybe also think about how you, as the rider, are different in the competition ring. I would wager some money that she's feeding off of something you're doing, whether you know it or not.

                  Go to a local show that is a few days. School in the ring on the first day. Go in the ring, trot, exit the ring. Go in the ring, canter, exit. Go in the ring, walk around, exit. Keep doing different things so she isn't sure what to expect. You will also learn quickly if you are part of the problem. If she can go in a ring at a show with a full course of jumps to school, it will point to your energy setting her off.

                  Do ticketed warm-up rounds. Do regular rounds with your goal being a calm entrance/start of the course.


                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                    Ok, this seems much more do-able than getting her totally settled and 110% relaxed. She's a mover, it's how she releases her anxiety. She used to be like this in the warm up, too, but since we have more time to work on it (walk around and around...), we are totally cool there. I honestly don't even jump a warm up jump before stadium unless she feels a little sluggish.

                    Next time I will try to immediately set her off on a long trot and see if that keeps the top on the can better. Maybe enter at the trot, whoa, back a step, nod, canter depart and wait for the bell.

                    Stinkin' horses.
                    My bold

                    I wouldn't ever pass on doing a few warm up jumps. If you're not doing that your mare may be feeling like the two of you are going in cold turkey and unprepared and that could cause anxiety. As well she's missing out on the physical need to warm up those muscles differently than in a flat session.

                    A few nice warm up jumps beforehand are another signal to her that this is her next job and you guys are on it.
                    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                    William Shakespeare

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by RugBug View Post

                      Don't think of it this way. Think of it as you doing what you need to do for your mare to be better. You have the time/money/inclination to do events...this is just making you better for that. Like a dressage lesson, or a XC school.

                      I say that because I think it's your best bet on settling her and getting her more relaxed once she's in the competition ring. Honestly, if there is a difference between the warm-up and the schooling ring...and she's fine with a course of jumps while she's at home, maybe also think about how you, as the rider, are different in the competition ring. I would wager some money that she's feeding off of something you're doing, whether you know it or not.

                      Go to a local show that is a few days. School in the ring on the first day. Go in the ring, trot, exit the ring. Go in the ring, canter, exit. Go in the ring, walk around, exit. Keep doing different things so she isn't sure what to expect. You will also learn quickly if you are part of the problem. If she can go in a ring at a show with a full course of jumps to school, it will point to your energy setting her off.

                      Do ticketed warm-up rounds. Do regular rounds with your goal being a calm entrance/start of the course.

                      Oh I'm sure I'm totally guilty of doing something that sets her off. Probably my leg is a little more "on" in the sense that I'm about to jump and will need the grip. Or my breathing changes, or something.

                      I don't really budget heavily for showing, but a few $15 classes I can probably swing, to test. To my knowledge, schooling shows don't do ticketed warm ups, but maybe I can find one with baby-baby hunter stuff and go make an ass out of us both in the hunter ring.

                      *cue someone telling me I can get dog care for the cost of an extra schooling show*

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by ohmyheck View Post

                        My bold

                        I wouldn't ever pass on doing a few warm up jumps. If you're not doing that your mare may be feeling like the two of you are going in cold turkey and unprepared and that could cause anxiety. As well she's missing out on the physical need to warm up those muscles differently than in a flat session.

                        A few nice warm up jumps beforehand are another signal to her that this is her next job and you guys are on it.
                        It does not help, it makes things exponentially worse, and she has already done XC that day so she knows what she's doing. I've tried it both ways, and no warm up jump before stadium is 10x better for her/us. This is beginner novice, 2'6", not the 1.20m or anything.

                        I don't think horses comprehend "cold turkey" the way you're describing it, personally. The muscle warm up, I'd argue that at such a low height she's borderline stepping over them, but when she over jumps by 2 ft, I would have to agree.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          By cold turkey I mean 'what is next?'. Horses certainly wonder that. A couple of warm up jumps are one more piece of that puzzle for them.

                          But if it makes her worse then maybe you can talk with a coach who is already onsite to help you guys work through the whole stadium process.

                          We've done that before when we've had the need. It helped mightily!
                          One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                          William Shakespeare

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Honestly, my first thought was just have her trot in through the in gate. I've seen people do it at shows. I mean, maybe it will make your problem worse, but maybe not? When you know you're about 2 out in warm up or something, just casually pick up your reins, maybe do another jump, get her supple at the trot, do transitions, do whatever to get her brain engaged and then when it's your turn just trot right on into the arena. Sometimes "forcing" them to relax has the exact opposite effect. Is she an OTTB?I find this with my mare, if I think "relax, DAMNIT!" then that's a surefire way to make her have a stick of dynamite up her butt. In our dressage warm up (our biggest struggle), I have to let her do lots of stretch trot work and strech a bunch at the canter before we can actually go to more collected work - if I try to make her walk too soon she just gets pissed.

                            It's interesting she doesn't have that same reaction in the start box though, so there must be something related to the stadium ring and going in there. At one event that I go to a lot, the stadium warm up is in a dark, indoor crowded chaotic arena and then the show jump ring is beautiful and open and bright and all the horses always go "woahhh WHAT" at first LOL. So I wonder if it's just anxiety over the difference between warm up ring and the actually stadium ring?

                            My first couple of shows I didn't even know you were supposed to formally acknowledge the stadium judge (oops LOL). After I learned, I always just nod to them - it's never been an issue.
                            Another Adult Amature and her OTTB: https://eventingottb.wordpress.com

                            Repurposed Racehorses
                            https://repurposedracehorses.weebly.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rnichols View Post
                              Honestly, my first thought was just have her trot in through the in gate. I've seen people do it at shows. I mean, maybe it will make your problem worse, but maybe not?
                              Just make sure to ask permission from and coordinate this with the gate person first. The angriest I’ve ever seen a gate person was when someone didn’t ask/give heads up on this - I can no longer recall if there were official show rules backing him up but he definitely threatened to have them scratched from the rest of the show if they ever pulled that again. Keep your gate people happy!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Redlei44 View Post

                                Just make sure to ask permission from and coordinate this with the gate person first. The angriest I’ve ever seen a gate person was when someone didn’t ask/give heads up on this - I can no longer recall if there were official show rules backing him up but he definitely threatened to have them scratched from the rest of the show if they ever pulled that again. Keep your gate people happy!
                                Just as a general FYI. It is specifically against the USEF rules in all hunter and equitation classes to enter or leave the ring at anything other than a walk. It is cause for elimination from the class on the spot.

                                It is not against the rules in jumper classes, but as noted above, it is a very good idea to communicate and coordinate with the starter ahead of time, just for the sake of safety.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We have a couple that are total fireballs, not eventers, just jumpers (surprise, they're all chestnuts!). Once they get past the in gate they can't walk or stand. Usually their rider will pick up a gallop, weave around the arena, stop them, back them, then go. Somewhere in that process the buzzer is rung. If you have a type you can't stop and back we have found weaving around some fences so they have to think about what they're doing helps engage their brains and prevents you from having a fight about just walking, which they will. not. do. Some of them just need to be mentally engaged the second you walk in the ring in order to contain their adrenaline.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                                    It does not help, it makes things exponentially worse, and she has already done XC that day so she knows what she's doing. I've tried it both ways, and no warm up jump before stadium is 10x better for her/us. This is beginner novice, 2'6", not the 1.20m or anything.
                                    My former mare did best with a flat warm-up and then doing her first jumps in the competition ring. She was a former hunt horse and when she came to live with me, she went from being in very large groups, to doing just about everything by herself. When she got to shows...she was so excited to be in company that a warm up ring could spin her out. It was best to be early in the morning for the ticketed warm-up and then do as little as needed in the warm-up ring.

                                    I've also used the minimal warm-up when their is bad footing in the schooling ring. Do as little as possible in that ring and build your classes so you can get some warm-up in the competition ring. 'Course this is all contingent on a show schedule that allows that to happen.

                                    So, that is to say, I support you doing what you need for your mare.

                                    All of our local shows have some sort of ticketed warm up or schooling options. Hopefully you have something around you that allows the same.

                                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      These are all some really great suggestions. I'll remember just the nod, and will not wait for the judge to acknowledge me back past the bell/buzzer. That alone will be a huge help in being able to just focus on the task at hand, which for 20 seconds is "don't die" and after that we jump like freaks.

                                      She was actually REALLY good after her little melt down. One of our more rideable, quiet rounds, with a really good flow - only one fence did she play the "liverpool" game on me (she takes landing poles as personal challenges, she prefers a close spot and landing further out), but there was a rollback right after which got her back without a fight. Just a little kink to work out at the beginning of the round.

                                      Thank you everyone, I am excited to try the suggestions. There is a jumper show this weekend with three peewee classes, but I'm not down to show two weekends in a row (yeah, I'm a wimp). I believe there is one next month a little further out - I'll look into it and play a little "trial and error" game with her. She's a sensitive gal but jumps her heart out. Annoying as it is, I know she's just excited so I can't be pissed. Just trying to make it safer for us both.

                                      Plus, that whole dance-dance crap won't be so funny if she has studs in and steps on herself.

                                      Thanks again everyone!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Rnichols View Post
                                        Honestly, my first thought was just have her trot in through the in gate. I've seen people do it at shows. I mean, maybe it will make your problem worse, but maybe not? When you know you're about 2 out in warm up or something, just casually pick up your reins, maybe do another jump, get her supple at the trot, do transitions, do whatever to get her brain engaged and then when it's your turn just trot right on into the arena. Sometimes "forcing" them to relax has the exact opposite effect. Is she an OTTB?I find this with my mare, if I think "relax, DAMNIT!" then that's a surefire way to make her have a stick of dynamite up her butt. In our dressage warm up (our biggest struggle), I have to let her do lots of stretch trot work and strech a bunch at the canter before we can actually go to more collected work - if I try to make her walk too soon she just gets pissed.

                                        It's interesting she doesn't have that same reaction in the start box though, so there must be something related to the stadium ring and going in there. At one event that I go to a lot, the stadium warm up is in a dark, indoor crowded chaotic arena and then the show jump ring is beautiful and open and bright and all the horses always go "woahhh WHAT" at first LOL. So I wonder if it's just anxiety over the difference between warm up ring and the actually stadium ring?

                                        My first couple of shows I didn't even know you were supposed to formally acknowledge the stadium judge (oops LOL). After I learned, I always just nod to them - it's never been an issue.
                                        She's a wicked smart mare, honestly. Anxiety is her vice, movement is the cure, and any attempt at throttling that is liable to get a reaction. We have gotten 100% better, but have 100% more to go before I'd say she's ok. That said, I know she is who she is, and while I could skin her some days, I love her all the same.

                                        I don't think I force her to relax, though the idea is on my mind so I bet I'm doing stuff subconsc iously. I did install a "head down" cue to assist, but in situations like my OP, too much fiddling around and she's going to let you know where to shove it. It's best to be still, quiet, and direct, while letting her have a little leeway in how she expresses it. This past weekend was a little further than I wanted as far as her expression, so I want to politely and tactfully contain it or direct it, without putting myself in the hospital.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X