Paddock Riding Troubles

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by AshleeandtheGhost, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. AshleeandtheGhost

    AshleeandtheGhost New Member

    My boy is perfect when we go out alone, no jigging, no pulling, sure he is stubborn, but when riding in the paddock, with his companion grazing close by, my horse doesn't listen to me, arks up with pig rooting and tossing his head, pulls like a tonne of bricks and is generally not pleasant to ride. This goes for any time we are riding with companions that either leave us(go for a gallop since I'm not at that ability yet, or we go to work "quietly" on flat work.) He will whinny and carry on and I am not quite sure what to do with him.

    Any suggestions? I love riding with others but find myself dreading it no matter how positive I try to be. Its to the point where I cant do basic flatwork in the paddock in the set out arena without carry on from him. I want to better myself, but I can't get him to focus. He is on cold feed.

    He is a 19yr old Anglo Arabian still young at heart. When he focuses he can take to anything.
  2. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    I don't know many horses (uh.. none spring to mind) that will happily stand still while other horses gallop away!

    How old is he? Does he (and you) know ORS for emergencies?

    If it was me I'd probably start of taking him out for very, very short periods of a time alone.. even if it's just 200 metres before you turn around and walk him home so he learns that he does return to his mates :) I'd be walking on a longgg rein and just focusing on forwards.. talking to him and patting him to try and keep him calm.

    That's just what I'd do though :)
  3. Debonair

    Debonair Well-known Member

    i would be asking whoever you ride out with to please not go off for a gallop. when we go out with 1 friend or a group, we always ride to what ever everyone/the other pace is happy at. makes for a much more enjoyable ride. if they want to go hooning they can go the next day, on their own :)

    my horses are terrible at shows if you take 2 together, they go to pieces when even worked appart... we do lots of getting them to focus back on you, transitions, turn on fore, turn on hind, moving off leg, and when the head really goes to go up and scream out, they get a little "flick" with the whip or that extra "oy!" nudge with heel.

    they have improved with this training, but still not hugely enjoyable, i try not to take 2 out together! **)
  4. LNT

    LNT Well-known Member

    yep agree with Lauren i dont know of any horses that like to be left either, my mare goes bonkers at endurance rides if a mate is doing an 80km (therefore leaving earlier) and she is left behind, so much so that if I'm just doing a 40km ride i have to ask if i can go out with the 80km riders to avoid this problem (its a pain in the bum but thats the herd mentality)

    i also ride/train with friends but we all agree to go at the pace we are all comfortable with, absolutely not on for them to just go galloping off and leave you behind.......i would stick to riding by yourself if these "friends" do that to you #(

    oh and by the way welcome to the forum......maybe you can find some new friends to ride with on here :)
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  5. snoopydoo

    snoopydoo Well-known Member

    I know a showie that takes 2 floats and parkes them at opposite ends of show grounds if she's taking 2 to the same show. Just so the horses think they're on their own and concentrate on the job rather than shouting out to their mate all the time. LOL

    I think Laurens advise is good. If you're not comfortable riding out even for short distance then get off and lead the horse out for a few hundred metres or so. lenghthen this distance until you feel happy that the horse will not "kick off" Then hop on but only go as far as you are comfortable then turn around and come home. Be patient but firm aswell. Learn how to do the ORS (one rein stop) this will be your best friend if you're not too confident.

    Good luck
  6. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Is there any way you can tie the other horse up so he isn't able to stir your boy up while you're riding in the paddock? Or a yard somewhere even...

    Agree with Lauren - especially the ORS...they can be lifesavers!!!!

    Also, when you go out riding with friends I think you should ask them not to gallop off without you - one of my friends did that to me on my quiet, easy horse (well she trotted off) and he really did not like that - so it's definitely horse nature to get upset about their buddies nicking off without them!
    I think it's especially mean if your friends are nicking off if you don't feel ready to gallop in company with your boy...makes it more of a stressful ride than it needs to be! :eek:

    Your horse sounds lovely :)
  7. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Most horses find it hard to work in thier own paddock with thier paddock mates there. I try not to work them in thier own paddock if possible. I equate to me having to bring home the nursing roster to do in the nurses quarters lounge room when all I want to do is crash out on the couch and drink chardy with my latest house mate:D.

    Can you fence off a small bit of paddock so it is only used for arena work. That way he knows that he has to work in there and he is at his 'work place'. I seriously think it is dangerous of your 'friends' to bugger off on you if you are left with an uncontrollable horse. Even when I am competing endurance, if someone is having a real hassle as I trot past I will often stop with them for a few moments to gather themselves or even give them time to get off before I go past. It is just basic riding manners really and everyone has the right to remain safe.

    You may be better off to go out alone and not go with them at all. Horses have a great way of making you independant and teach you to stand up for yourself. Be brave, you have needs and the right to remain safe. There are some great threads on here about teaching your horse to go out on his own. You will find the bond between you will grow much quicker if you go out on his own because you become his companion.

    Your horse sounds lovely too. Best of Luck.
  8. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    I liked this!
    I always pen my other horses up when working one in the arena - not only is it distracting but they have a great habit of wandering into your 20 metre circle at EXACTLY the wrong moment.
    As for being a pain, jog jogging etc - yes your friends should be sticking with you but depending on how confident you are, a useful trick is to head in the OPPOSITE direction whenever the behaviour starts - turn 180 degrees and head SMARTLY in the opposite direction! Doesn't matter how you look but you must demand FORWARD and demand it NOW. Doesn't take them long to work out that jogging, reefing etc gets them exactly the opposite response to the one they were after.
    You do need to be confident though as you can expect a hissy fit the first few times, but it's easier to ride out a temper tantrum if you can use the FORWARD aid rather than just trying to slow them down.
  9. LittleTM

    LittleTM New Member

    just wondering if you do any ground work with your horse aka parelli or other natural horsemanship methods? I had success with my horse by actually doing this in the paddock... just some circles, and stopping when she consistently paid attention to me, even when relaxed.
    I just ignored the calling out and worked her until she was calm. might be worth a try... not saying it will work- especially seeing as my problem with my horse was she was pushy and disrespectful *all* the time
  10. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Its always tricky when you are trying to gain the focus and respect of an animal that spends most of its exsistense chilling with its fellow species.

    Then comes along the pink furless one........and suddenly it has to do stuff! when its told too!

    One of the best things to do if you stuggle to maintain respect and focus from your horse when around other equines, or when on your horses 'turf' is simply plan to make yourself more interesting, and worthwhile to be around than the others parts of your horses life. Be the fun one, be the interesting one, give the best scratches, and ALWAYS be the best leader your horse knows. You need to Win the popularity contest - consider the things that won this when you were at school? I can guarantee it wasnt the soft, kind, gentle Kid that was the most popular - it was the Calm, confident, Fun one that you all wanted to be like.

    Seeing as most of the time, the time spend with our horses is only about 10% of their life at the max - we need to make out time spend with them so profound in every way that they never forget that WE are more important to their life than the other herd members.

    So in all. When you ask something of your horse.

    Be clear in what you ask. Make it EASY for them to sucseed.

    Be the leader - and demand respect by offering it as the only option.

    I agree with what the others have said - start on the groundwork with your horse, and get him working on your turf.

    If you dont have enough space to exclude him from during the day - then try and only focus on groundwork with him, in the paddock around his mates if you are not able to ride out.

    The biggest challenge is maintaining his respect on his turf - around his mates, and it also comes from demanding respect FROM his mates as well. Start there first ;)

    And start demanding it as soon as you walk into the paddock, with all the horses.

    A good place to start is by refusing to allow him, or the others to approach you closer than 2 metres distance.

    If he comes into your space - send him away from you with either a long whip, tapping abruptly on the chest, increasing in force until he steps back. Cease sending him back the moment he steps back and praise him. Then Walk away to do something purposefull - like check the water trough.

    Re-approach and start again.

    He needs to learn that you control the movement of the herd - and him.

    When he has stopped approaching you. You approach him and calmy, gently and firmly give him a rub. Make it pleasant. Tell him he is a good boy. Slowly, firmly, and gently control his body movement from invading your space.

    Thats a start - in the meantime, research groundwork with your horse :)

    All the best with your challenge.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  11. supersezabell

    supersezabell Well-known Member

    Mine must be pretty awesome horses then lol, all of them have been worked regularly in their own paddock when I used to live on a property where we just had paddocks and that was it. Never had any issues whether their paddock buddies would follow us around or carry on/gallop off and they would even come to the fence and stand freely to be tacked up when they saw the saddle was carried out! I think for the 30-60 mins out of a 24 hr day that they are worked (and however many times a week) they can suck it up, but jmo.

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