Scared when riding on new tracks.

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by luckyboy22, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. luckyboy22

    luckyboy22 Well-known Member

    Hi, I have a 11 yr old welsh stock pony and I'm 12. I live out in the country.
    My mum doesn't ride horses anymore but I'm really good at riding now. My pony gets scared on new trails but i can control him it's just getting frustrating.
    Should i approach and retreat?
    but the real problem is new trails that he doesn't know. He's fine in a group of 3 and more but on his own he's a chicken. Any suggestions?
  2. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    First of, check hes not sore etc... some times thats a way telling you they are sore. My horse wont walk into the arena if hes got a stiff neck or sore back.

    If hes not sore and you have ruled it out... what is it thats topping him?

    My boy doesnt like white signs (hes a bit odd) and new things he hasnt seen before.

    If I cant get him past that point, he seems ok if I get off, and lead him past it and let him have a good look and sniff while walking past it with lost of praise and nose scratches :)
  3. luckyboy22

    luckyboy22 Well-known Member

    he isn't sore. Checked him, he isn't lame either. He's just scared of new things i want him to be curious not scared. How do i make that change???
  4. Wizard

    Wizard Active Member

    you cant really just "change" it. You might just have to keep going out on the unfamiliar trails until he is use to it. But if he gets to much for you dont risk it. Keep to the group rides where he is ok and in time he will become use to it. Ride him through his "scary" moments and once he settles down reassure him hes ok and give him a good pat.
  5. Brew

    Brew Well-known Member

    How often do you ride? If he is ok in a group then maybe go to new places with the group until he settles. It is very difficult to advise you without knowing the pony as all sorts of things play a part - such as feed keep rider ability etc. If you can then get an experienced rider to go with you and give you tips. Remember that riding alone can be very risky and ponies can do wierd stuff without warning !!! I have been riding for over 40 years and I still avoid riding out alone !
    No matter how good you are you should never take chances with horses or ponies bedause things do wrong very quickly.Have fun but always think about what might happen and how you would deal with it. Falling off on a strange trail a long way from home is no fun and can send a lot of people into wild panic - Always think before you ride and then it is fun !!!
  6. Rosinante

    Rosinante Active Member

    All good advice luckyboy22 - time and persistence without getting angry with your pony is important. Also, make sure you ALWAYS tell someone where you're heading when you go for a ride on your own. And have fun **)
  7. NumidianHorse

    NumidianHorse Active Member

    Sounds like a lovely pony - and good on you for getting on here to ask a question about solving a problem ... lots of people just struggle along on their own! **)

    Just wondering - have you thought of doing groundwork games with 'rascally pony' to get him really focused on you? That might help lift his confidence and confirm to him that you're the brave one and if you say "walk on" - that it must be ok.

    If he is really listening to you on the ground - and then you go out riding and you "ignore" the new things and ask him to keep going (cos it's not as important as you) then he might be more relaxed.

    Also - if he's a bit snorty about something (like a section of shady trees or a stream) maybe you could make him walk around that area (on left rein, then right rein, moving forwards and backwards) until he gets quite bored. Then when he's obviously relaxed, just stand quietly for a few minutes to let it 'sink in' before walking on. That might help "prove" to him that it's a nice place for a quiet rest for a few minutes. I know that things like that have helped one of my horses.

    Hope that helps - and I agree with what everyone has said - make sure someone knows where you're going and when you expect to get back - and ride out with other sensible people and horses when you can because that will also help 'rascally pony' ...

    Let us all know how you go :D
  8. Floggadog

    Floggadog Guest

    You could try giving him something else to think about.
    Instead of plodding in a straight line look for things to do. A shrub to circle or a stump to walk up to. Even just zigzagging from one side of the trail to the other if it's wide enough.
    If you can find 3 shrubs or trees in a triangle you can ask your pony to walk a clover leaf pattern around them.

    But before you start giving him these things to do try it within your group.
    When riding with your group of friend let them know you plan on trying a few different things as suggested above & even suggest they try the same. It gives each horse a sense of staying within their mob but moving slightly out of their comfort zone by walking through the bush a few metres away rather right next to each other.

    Keep his mind on what you want & not on just following the mob. Hopefully in time the two of you will become more independant & riding trails alone will become easier. :)
  9. LNT

    LNT Well-known Member

    you could always try going along the new trail for a bit and when pony gets nervous and wants to go home, ask him for just 1 or 2 steps forward......when he gives you that give him a big pat and go home.......when you get home another big pat and a well done boy.

    you could try increasing the distance each time you go until he becomes more confident, it worked for my young horse when we started riding on our own :)

    good luck!
  10. luckyboy22

    luckyboy22 Well-known Member

    Thanks for the advise. He is a good pony. I love him. I ride every weekend and in the school holidays maybe every second day.
    I do do groundwork with him just not lately. I will try all of your advise. Thanks. I'll tell you how it works out. :) Thanks for being soo nice
  11. NumidianHorse

    NumidianHorse Active Member

    You're welcome - You seem like you're a very "listening" person - Rascally Pony is lucky to be with you! **)

    Some owners would simply get snotty with their horse, not caring that the animal doesn't like or doesn't understand something - and rather than simply riding out with your fingers crossed and hoping it's ok ... You're trying to find a way to make real progress = maturity and leadership **)**)

    We've all had situations where we (or our horses) are a bit "stuck" ... it often helps to ask - cos someone's bound to have a good suggestion.

    Look forward to seeing photos of you and Rascally Pony having fun on a trail ride.
  12. luckyboy22

    luckyboy22 Well-known Member

    Thanks. I went on a trail ride today and He was FABULOUS!!!! I put his mind on grass then made him go sideways then I just relaxed, looked straight ahead and was calm. And I also went trail riding in a group yesterday and he was great he is usually A bit worried but not much, but this time he was completely relaxed and he moved better and he was totally 'with' me.
    So thanks everyone for all your great help!. I'll post some pictures on Monday when I get batteries for my camera. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend too. Seeya guys!

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