disagreement out hacking - did i do the right thing?

daydreamer

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Hi,

I went out for a hack on my share horse this morning and we had a slight disagreement along the way! Someone had cut some long grass down, it was lying across the path and B decided it was going to eat him so did a swift about turn. He didn't go to run off or anything so i turned him back around. Kicking on resulting in going backwards then a turn. So we turned back around. I tried waiting for a bit and then going forward but that didn't help. After a couple of about turns I hopped off and led him over it. He was absolutely fine to lead not concerned at all. I then got back on and carried on like normal.

But i'm not sure I did the right thing! Should i just have given him a whack and shouted at him and tried to make him go over it. He is a mature gentlemen and usually good out hacking, just a bit spooky sometimes. Is getting off reinforcing the behaviour? Or is it better that we got past without a big argument (that i might have lost if i tried to force the issue)??

Answers on a postcard please!
 

JoBo

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Well you did exactly what I would have done and have done in the past! You do what you need too to keep the situation safe and calm, if that means leading past then so be it!
 

blackislegirl

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Sounds to me like you did fine. I seem to recall Kelly Marks says there is nothing wrong with leading a horse past something scary. The important thing is that they go past with you, whether you are on board or on foot.
 

AmyMay

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Getting off doesn't reinforce behaviour - and can help in certain situations.

I probably would have just sat there for a bit and then asked him to get on with it. Sometimes it's just about giving them the chance to have a little look see and understand what it is that is bothering them.

My horse very rarely says 'no', but when he does it's a genuine worry, as he is a very genuine horse. Letting him a little look usually does the trick and off we go again.
 

3Beasties

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I also think you did the right thing but I think I would have been tempted to give him a tap with a whip before deciding to get off. My horse can be quite spooky and sometimes a little tap will get him going forward again.

The other thing I would do is if I have to get off to lead past or over something I would get back on and get them to go over it whilst being ridden, just to help build their confidence up with out someone being by their head.
 

jesterfaerie

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I think you did the right thing, when I first got mine he sometimes said no to going past things and he ended up stressing out and making himself worse. Getting off and leading him helped but I always then went back and went past it ridden and he would usually always go past without a problem.
Sometimes they just need reassurance and you being the lead can do this.
 

Chico Mio

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I think you did the right thing, as it is, you got off, you got on again and your hack continued with neither of you hurt or agitated. My two are so unused to mud and lying water that they wouldn't walk through the huge mushy puddles in the woods. We got off and led them through, got back on again.
 

Weezy

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Now I never advocate getting off, I have always been a staunch believer in staying on board for however long it takes....BUT!!!! My new horse has a complete breakdown about doing things alone and I have to lead him to the school. He literally holds his breath and cannot cope, and I have realised that sometimes they DO need our help from the ground.
 

daydreamer

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Thanks for all the replies I feel better now
smile.gif


If there is a next time I think I will try and ride over/past the problem after leading past as some of you have suggested.
 

Eaglestone

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I am quite happy to get off and lead them past something, if the situation occurs ..... I would rather us both be safe and happy and relaxed. So yes I would have done the same thing
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megwan1

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i've walked 45mins of an 1 and half hour ride as my mare wouldnt go forward with me on board but she never did it that bad agen as i think seh realised she still had to do the whole ride whether i walked or not!!!
however i think it depends on the horse - my old pony used to grow with confidence the minute i jumped off and lead him but would freak out if i stayed on but fliss generally is better with a good telling off from above lol
if it worked u did the right thing!
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Janah

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I have done the sames as you a handful of times in 8 years with my boy.

My boy will pass anything with me leading him and I see no point in upsetting him unduly. He only does it when genuinely scared.

I often get off and lead for ten minutes or so on a long hack. He doesn't associate my getting off as any thing unusual. Just normal for us.

Lots of people tell me I'm wrong to get off and I just ignore them. I think you are doing the right thing.

Jane
 

Abbeygale

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If it was right for your horse - then it was the right thing to do. When I first broke my old mare she had issues with a whole range of things out hacking (but never traffic - mostly invisible monsters, people walking dogs... silly things) and I knew, especially when meeting people walking dogs the best thing to do was to get off and lead her past. Saves me hurting myself, saves her hurting herself and saves hurting the person and dog we were trying to get past. She did improve eventually to a point where I would very rarely get off her out hacking. However, I knew that if she started having a stress about something her first response was to go up and spin and around - so it was always safer for me to get off and lead her past.

My current mare is completely opposite - and i will do everything that I can before I get off. However, her response to scary stuff is to just stand stock still. Granted sometimes this is in the middle of the road - but she never does anything other than stand there!!!!
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I have hacked her out over the last 18 months in a wide variety of places, and the only time I have had to get off her out hacking is when she had a twig stuck in her hoof boot one day!!
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That's perfectly fine, in my opinion, getting off and leading the horse by is better than getting aggressive, and you are still achieving the same result - continuing on your hack and passing the scary object but you are doing this calmly and without ending up in a fight with your horse. I do this with my pony if he gets worried about something as he is sometimes more confident to follow me on foot by something to give him confidence.
 

Pearlsasinger

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[ QUOTE ]


If there is a next time I think I will try and ride over/past the problem after leading past as some of you have suggested.

[/ QUOTE ]

My RI suggested a version of this when I was telling her about an incident when I had to get the horse we were out with to give us a lead.
I think you did the right thing but like you will ask the horse to go back and try again when we've gone past once and found that we didn't get eaten.
grin.gif
 

puddleshark

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If it's a really, really spooky object I'll get off, as my mare takes confidence in being led from the ground. If it's only a bit spooky, then I'll use the 'one-step' technique -I'll make her take one tiny step towards the spooky object and then reward her by halting straightaway. Then another tiny step and halt. And another. Eventually she says 'Oh for goodness' sake, get on with it!' and takes me towards the object herself.
 
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