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  • #21
    OP, I do feel badly that I grouched at you and do wish you the best of luck resolving this issue with your horse so you can both enjoy hunting!!! And I applaud your acknowledging and trying to resolve the issue!! I guess I am a little sensitive as I have a young horse I am teaching to hunt (with excellent but expensive professional help)and she is doing so very well and I really only have to worry at all when other horses are having meltdowns in her vicinity and she only does more than fret a little when they actually crash into her. I do think that horses that are behaving dangerously in the hunt field need to be removed until the problem is manageable partly for safety reasons and partly because a good hunt horse takes a huge amount of time and effort to make and bad experiences can undo months and months of hard work in very little time. I do my very best to keep us out of trouble, at the back etc as she gains miles but once in a while there is a horse or rider that is so clueless it is really frustrating...sorry I transferred that to you!!
    Kate

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      No offense taken at all! I completely and 100% agree that a horse disturbing the rest of the hunt (with bad behavior, dangerous behavior, or both!) should not even be in the field. Had my horse started off with the issue I would have probably not hunted again until we had it under control. My frustration is with the fact that he hunted perfectly multiple times and then started this... which I'm now realizing is because he likely mentally cannot handle it yet (my fault for not taking it slow enough).

      The last thing I want is to have "that horse" out in the field, but know (hope?) that my horse is capable so hoping to nip this in the butt quickly!

      Good like with your mount They all have to be young/green out there at some point! I'm blessed to belong to a club who is incredibly accepting and helpful with green beans.
      "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

      Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by kt-rose View Post
        I have a young horse I am teaching to hunt (with excellent but expensive professional help)and she is doing so very well and I really only have to worry at all when other horses are having meltdowns in her vicinity and she only does more than fret a little when they actually crash into her.
        Curious - what kind of bit are you using in the field??
        "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

        Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

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        • #24
          Originally posted by OTTBcooper View Post
          Today started day one of hacking out with a friend. He pulled the same stunt almost immediately and I repeatedly circled so that we were at several horse lengths and then would do the same thing every time he tried to run up on the other horse. Boy was he mad. By the end though he realized if he gave into the bit and moved forward it was actually more comfortable and less work. He definitely needs a stronger bit!! What would you suggest trying? I've always ridden in an egg but snaffle or D ring snaffle but obviously that is not going to be enough anymore.

          I can't recommend a bit. A bit that will work on one will not always work on another.

          However, I had good luck with the gag and my wife had at the same time an OTTB that went great for her in a gag.

          But I have seen other horses that would not go well in one.

          Lots of horses go in a Tom Thumb pelham. Others will not. I had a mare years ago that would run you out of the barn if you got near her with anything with a curb chain. No kidding. She would hear that chain rattle and go nuts.

          What I like about a gag, and I use them with one rein, is that as long as the horse is a gentleman, it is just another snaffle. When he acts up, he finds out very quickly that it is not just another snaffle.

          But you do need to stay with your horse over a fence with a good release.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by cssutton View Post
            I can't recommend a bit. A bit that will work on one will not always work on another.
            Very true. My horse hates any kind of gag -- sliding cheeks or three ring. However, he's fine with a curb chain. You have to see what your horse responds to best and never try a bit first in the hunt field.

            Personally, I hunt in either a Waterford snaffle, a kimberwicke or a short shank pelham. It depends on when it is in the season, how fit my horse is and where we're hunting.

            I would also suggest a running martingale if you don't already have one.
            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by OTTBcooper View Post
              Curious - what kind of bit are you using in the field??
              She is very soft in the mouth and I just need a Myler plain snaffle...and it is almost too much bit at times. But she is very quiet and happy in a crowd and gallops on a loose rein. Only thing that ever worries her is being really run up on -- like hit by another horse -- hence my fussing. In the past, with other horses, I have had good luck with the Myler Tom Thumb pelham. It sits quietly and comfortably in their mouths until you need it at which point you have enough leverage to make an impression. I also have always found ear plugs and ditching the spurs contribute to keeping a horse relaxed which all contributes to listening to the rider about other matters such as staying where you would like them.
              Kate

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                Very true. My horse hates any kind of gag -- sliding cheeks or three ring. However, he's fine with a curb chain. You have to see what your horse responds to best and never try a bit first in the hunt field.

                Personally, I hunt in either a Waterford snaffle, a kimberwicke or a short shank pelham. It depends on when it is in the season, how fit my horse is and where we're hunting.

                I would also suggest a running martingale if you don't already have one.
                Thanks to both! There is nearly one of every bit in our tack room so Ill start testing them out (at home!) =)
                "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

                Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue

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                • #28
                  When I took my mare for the first time (last weekend), I used her double bridle. It worked fine.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    If you let her/him get away with it, he'll eventually get double-barreled by some rude and undisciplined horse that takes exception to it. Both the kicker and the recipient both need correction-kicking at other horses in close company is absolutely unacceptable behavior and should be dealt with swiftly and very, very firmly. That is NOT ok- kickers on a hunt or on a trail ride, for that matter- are the bigger sinners than the excited newbie that hasn't fully learned to be rated.

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                    • #30
                      I ride and school in a plain snaffle but I hunt in a rubber Pelham. There is nothing nicer than only having to whisper on my reins and get an appropriate reaction. Based on your original entry and what sounds like an escalation in his bad behavior as the hunt progressed, I would also recommend that you examine your own tension especially as it relates to your hands, I see so many people who are having trouble in the hunt field start hanging on their horses mouths. You have to take then give when doing half halts, and horses relax on the give, not on the take. You might have to repeat your half halt a hundred times but you still have to give every time. If you only take, they will increase their tension and what ever bad behavior started you hanging in the first place will only get worse. Most people who are hanging on their horses are completely unaware of it. Just food for thought. Good luck to you. ( And stay the heck away from me in the hunt field!)

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                      • #31
                        I would have offered up what CSSutton posted in his first post. I will say that in 40+ years of hunting, mine have pretty much gone in either a plain old eggbutt snaffle or a pelham- rubber, plain steel or jointed. It's far preferable to me to 'bit up' a lot and have light feel and respect than to 'bit up' gradually til you see what works.

                        You posted good results with the basic principle of making the 'right' thing harder than the 'wrong' thing. Keep that up, and do some of the exercises that have been suggested. You'll get there.

                        I will also observe as a point of etiquette, and the fact that foxhunters are friendly people, that it is perfectly okay to approach someone and ask if they are okay with you being behind him or her, that you are unsure of your horse's tailgating and want to make sure you don't offend someone/upset their horse if your horse misbehaves and tailgates/makes contact. I've cheerfully done that for a few people when I've been on a horse that could take it, and someone asked me for the favor at the meet- it's a situation where simply asking for such a buddy in advance makes all the difference. (Better for newcomers/ first timers to come 'with' a companion/mentor for such contingencies but an acceptable alternative if you go about it in the right way).

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Another thing I can suggest is to go to as many group trail rides as possible. It's one thing to ride with friends (which generally is fairly controlled), quite another to go to an open ride and ride with lots of different types of horses and riders. It helps to desensitize your horse to lots of activity. Another thing you can try is judged trail rides where you are judged on obstacles. It helps your horse pay more attention to you and makes them more confident with obstacles (which could be anything from opening gates to crossing water). I had done the above with my Tb mare and when we went hunting the first time(opening meet with a large hunt-at least 20 riders in hilltoppers), she was fine and went in her regular choice of bit which is a hackamore. She was so mannerly that we were asked to ride with one of the long term hunt members.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Simbalism View Post
                            Another thing I can suggest is to go to as many group trail rides as possible. It's one thing to ride with friends (which generally is fairly controlled), quite another to go to an open ride and ride with lots of different types of horses and riders. It helps to desensitize your horse to lots of activity. Another thing you can try is judged trail rides where you are judged on obstacles. It helps your horse pay more attention to you and makes them more confident with obstacles (which could be anything from opening gates to crossing water). I had done the above with my Tb mare and when we went hunting the first time(opening meet with a large hunt-at least 20 riders in hilltoppers), she was fine and went in her regular choice of bit which is a hackamore. She was so mannerly that we were asked to ride with one of the long term hunt members.
                            A good suggestion, but not until you have mastered the smaller problems with friends who will adjust their pace to your needs.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I'd move up first to a D with a slow twist.

                              Also, you could school with four reins on your snaffle, one set through a running martingale. I do this with my horse. People claim that running martingales don't give leverage...ok well maybe not, but properly adjusted they work basically like a snubbing post and that's close enough to "leverage" for me.

                              If you have a second set of regular reins, you don't have to activate the martingale if you don't need it.
                              ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                                I warned her....eventually I bonked her horse over the top of the head with my whip lightly which caused her total shock! Good! She avoided me from that point on!! Message received! Grrrrrrrr!!
                                Awesome. Good for you!

                                I've seen the results of this following too closely and a friend of mine had an accident that could have ended very badly for her and her mare because of a horse flanking her *at a gallop*. >:\

                                Her mare had had enough, kicked out high, unseating my friend. She was clinging to her neck at breakneck speed (horse is an OTSTB and fast!) and eventually had to let go. Horse kept going across the field and down a paved road! Thankfully friend was generally ok, and horse was captured eventually, unharmed. But, could have been much worse!!!

                                Riding on the tail/hip of the horse in front of you is DANGEROUS and should not be tolerated. Ever.

                                Great suggestions by all. Best of luck to you in training your horse to be safe in the field!
                                http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

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                                • #36
                                  Absolutely true, Wateryglen.
                                  True true and more true.
                                  Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                                  Yes what they all said for sure! You have to TRAIN a horse to do this sport just like any other. It's a process. I have a green bean that's working me to death right now that she's figured out some of it. I take her back. She CAN'T run up on others. I will pull her teeth out if I have to!! Too bad if she jigs or throws her head around. This is MY call; not hers. She's got what I call "Close-up-itis" that is knows' she's supposed to stay up but is anticipating being left behind or some decent spacing between us and the horse ahead. The rule of thumb is one horse length at all times! More with speed, imho. I'm gradually biting up as she gets fitter too. I suspect this is anxiety and will abate with experience. They do learn to conserve themselves....eventually!!!
                                  Horses following too close will step on the heels of the one in front and cause terrible cuts/slasshes. Seen it. Can even pull shoes. I once had a woman on a horse keep bumping into me despite my cautions and my horse threatening to kick. Over & over I tried to avoid her. I warned her....eventually I bonked her horse over the top of the head with my whip lightly which caused her total shock! Good! She avoided me from that point on!! Message received! Grrrrrrrr!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I haven't read most of the replies, but jigging and sidestepping are the name of the game for some horses for a while -- maybe a whole season. My horse has the best manners of any horse I've hunted on, so I tried using just a snaffle a couple of hunts ago and it was awful. I suggest using a gag, this makes a world of difference.
                                    Yes, I know how to spell. I'm using freespeling!

                                    freespeling

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                                    • #38
                                      Next time.....

                                      I thought there'd be horrors for bonking that horse that ONE time! I WANTED to bonk the rider actually!! If I ever feel the need again; I think I will raise my whip/crop and look deeply into the other riders eyes with a menacing look and say....."don't make me use this!!"
                                      Or something like..."If you get too close; you WILL get kicked and I will not be responsible for the outcome"....Or something like..."Whoa, getting a little too close there! I'd avoid her hind end if I were you!"
                                      And you know what.....when my horse threatens to kick in situations like that....I won't discipline him. I'll growl at him. But I won't hit him if he's being appropriately scared and using horse language to warn the other horse to stop bumping. I look at the rider and say...."My horse does not like your horse so close; he may kick; I suggest you keep some distance from us!!"... This is different from a genuine, unwarranted and unannounced kick that warrants a "come to Jesus" moment!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                                        I thought there'd be horrors for bonking that horse that ONE time! I WANTED to bonk the rider actually!! If I ever feel the need again; I think I will raise my whip/crop and look deeply into the other riders eyes with a menacing look and say....."don't make me use this!!"
                                        Or something like..."If you get too close; you WILL get kicked and I will not be responsible for the outcome"....Or something like..."Whoa, getting a little too close there! I'd avoid her hind end if I were you!"
                                        And you know what.....when my horse threatens to kick in situations like that....I won't discipline him. I'll growl at him. But I won't hit him if he's being appropriately scared and using horse language to warn the other horse to stop bumping. I look at the rider and say...."My horse does not like your horse so close; he may kick; I suggest you keep some distance from us!!"... This is different from a genuine, unwarranted and unannounced kick that warrants a "come to Jesus" moment!!


                                        I would be more careful than that.

                                        And I would be especially careful about what I said in public.

                                        A horse kick is a very serious thing. You might even call it a deadly weapon.

                                        There are many many stories of broken legs, rider's and horse's, as a result of a horse kick.

                                        I had the meanest, nastiest mare you can imagine when I was in high school...8th grade, maybe.

                                        She kicked a horse in the windpipe. Infection set in, filled the lungs and I can still hear that horse's last breaths...like a kid with asthma.

                                        In the '40's, 1942 or maybe '43, the veterinary profession was not what it is today. There was a huge gap between human medicine and veterinary medicine and there were no drugs available to combat it.

                                        The owner was a girl my age, their property backed up to ours, so I was in their barn the night the horse died.

                                        Not good for making good neighbors.

                                        There are better ways to solve your problem.

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                                        • #40
                                          Yes, a kick...no matter how well deserved is still a dangerous thing. And many times the offending horse's chest/legs are missed and the rider's legs get the brunt of the kick!! Not a good thing. The rude crowder is the cause, but the innocent front horse gets all the blame. Best to nip the problem in the bud...out of the hunt field.
                                          www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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