My mare has started napping. Help!

kfrew

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Hi, recently my mare has started napping out on hacks. She gets a little down the road then just stops, roots herself to the spot and refuses to go forward. If i kick or smack her she just starts rearing and walking backwards. Today i got off and lead her for a few minutes, once i got back on it all started again. I always hack in company with safe horses she likes. Its not like she is scared or worried its more like she just does not want to go and she would rather leave all the others and go back home on her own. Its driving me nuts!! Any suggestions would be welcome.
 

dwi

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Do you have an OH or supportive friend that will walk out with you and lead her if neccessary? D wouldn't hack out alone when I got her but she learned to do it by OH coming with us.
 

Moggy in Manolos

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My only suggestion is perseverance really, but not to the point you are in danger.My mare has always had a tendency to nap, but only ever tried the rearing thing once and never again, thankfully, but she can plant and walk backwards.
My trick is to get off when needs be and drag her, luckily for me this has generally worked.
If you can, then just walk her again and again as needs be, until she learn you will go out together alone and she needs to get used to it.

Not everyone will agree with this method or see it as ideal but it has worked a treat for me over the years when she has gone through her nappy stages, good luck and keep at it, and be safe.
 

spotsmum

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Above works for me with Marbles. If he starts napping and acting like a **** I get off and walk him. He soon learns that napping doesnt mean go back friends, it means a smack and carry on. When he first started it I led him and then rode him home, and progressed to leading halfway etc. Now we only have the odd protest!
 

corinnematthews

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Is she napping in company - or only on her own?
Perhaps get an expert to try long reining her?
I really think that it is giving in, if you jump off and try leading - for one thing double the danger, and the other, she knows she has won!
 

Cliqmo

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Obligatory health check question alert!!

Have you checked her teeth, back, saddle, bit etc for signs of discomfort? If you know it is not pain related perhaps it is boredom? Do you tend to stick to the same routes on the rides? Perhaps you could mix it up a bit for some variety?
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Moggy in Manolos

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I know its your opinion, but jumping off and making them continue being out and alone away from field mates, i feel is not giving in, it served me well enough when i have needed it the last 17years, its not ideal, but its certainly not giving in, as turning home is
 

corinnematthews

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Not so sure I agree with Puss.....is it a horse, or is it a dog...? Plus jumping off something large, that wants to go home - how are you really going to control it - if determined to return to field companions?
 

Moggy in Manolos

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We shall have to agree to disagree on this as i had thought.
I totally understand your point and it is not always ideal but it can work for many, i would advocate a walker as suggested by dwi ideally to help, but that's not always possible.

It really does depend on the horse as to how well this would or would not work, as the OP had already mentioned she had walked, this gave me the impression her horse is calm in hand, thus my answer to carry on trying, some horses would be too dangerous to handle this way,it depends on the horse after all
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Stateside

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Step 1 a pair of spurs ..
step 2 a good whip,
step 3 use them..
and don't get off, if it takes all day to get the horse down the road so be it but never never give in. but that's what I would do, in many years and many horses I have NEVER had one get away with this sort of dangerous behaviour.
 

corinnematthews

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Well done Stateside - I think we could agree on the approach! But it might need someone a little bit more experienced than the owner to take this stance? It seems that the horse enjoys being led in hand, but not ridden!
 

Peacelily

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Is there a different route out of the yard you could take to get her mind off it?
If she's passed all the health checks as suggested by Ali_M, then how about ....
Schooling and then just have a quick wander out to cool off so there's no pressure on the hack and you're feeling relaxed and she is too,
or how about setting out at a good brisk trot to get her mind in a forward thinking mood, so trot out the yard - firm reins but still relaxed and just push her for a really nice big open trot (not rushed, but energetic!) - it'll get you thinking about something else too so you worry less about her napping
or have another horse with you but you lead instead of her being allowed to follow in behind and have the easy life, and again trotting out together might help in being forward
or long rein her out and see if the problem is still there (if you feel happy long reining - take a friend - they can be quite useful..
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! )
Or for more effort - can you box her somewhere and have a hack in a completely different place, then box her home, or even if you have someone who could drive you - box out and hack back?

just a few thoughts...
 

destiny11

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My mare sometimes naps and will run backwards, if I jump off and lead her 50 yds she is fine and I jump back on. She leads fine and I don't think it is giving in at all. The horse is still going the way you want it too and not home.
 

Moggy in Manolos

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[ QUOTE ]
Well done Stateside - I think we could agree on the approach! But it might need someone a little bit more experienced than the owner to take this stance? It seems that the horse enjoys being led in hand, but not ridden!

[/ QUOTE ]

crazy.gif


An unnecessary dig devonlass1, call me paranoid if you like!
 

corinnematthews

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Not a dig at you Puss at all, just irritation with horses that take the P (and I have had a few over the years) and we try to find excuses, do lots of different things - but what they possibly, mostly need is a bit of strong riding, and a salutary lesson in being taught that they are there to provide us pleasure in equal measure for the love / expense that we devote on them!!
 

Moggy in Manolos

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Ah, i apologise, thats the fabulous internet for you, can totally misread these things so easily when written, as i have.
I agree they can be cheeky devils, my mare has tried her fair share over the years, they are sent to test us!
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Flame_

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I would try trotting out of the yard. As long as she's going forward, talk to her, keep your hands close enough into her neck to give it a tickle for re-assurance. Sit up, look up and ride forward with your legs on tight. If she even starts to back off or jam the brakes on, pony club kicks, growl at her, keep your stick stuck out so she can see the threat of it if she whips round. If she does manage to stop, you'll have much more of a battle, but if you can't win them, I personally let the horse walk back a bit towards home if it needs to settle/stop rearing, then turn it round and kick on back into trot or canter and try again. Good luck, hope this helps a bit.
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MrsMozart

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If using the stick elicits a scary reaction, try the Thelwell kick, works wonders
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.

If she plants, turn her head, turn it far enough round that she has to move if only to stop herself from falling over
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. The point is, your action is making her moving her feet, which is what you need. If she goes backwards, turn her and make her back up the way you want to go. Lots of changes of direction and transitions can get their attention
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.
 

Olga

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This is the problem with my latest horse. He will stop and walk backwards. I use one of the syces who will lead for a while and then back off and allow me to take over. It's so damned frustrating but this horse has a horrendous background and I am prepared to go the distance until he gains enough confidence to do it alone. We have come such a long way in the past year.

I re-schooled him myself but had a problem with napping and although it got much better, it still wasn't as good as it should be. So I sent him off for three months for further training. He has been home about a month and still tries to pull the old trick although he is much, much better.

Patience, patience, patience and some strong push seems to be doing the trick. Wish me luck!
 

algy666

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Turn small circles then ask her to walk forwards. If she refuses, more circles. This worked with my youngster, he soon learned that stopping didn't mean he got to go home, it meant he turned on the spot until he walked forward like he was asked!

(Not sure if I explained that very well ...)
 

diggerbez

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[ QUOTE ]
Step 1 a pair of spurs ..
step 2 a good whip,
step 3 use them..
and don't get off, if it takes all day to get the horse down the road so be it but never never give in. but that's what I would do, in many years and many horses I have NEVER had one get away with this sort of dangerous behaviour.

[/ QUOTE ]

this has always been my approach with nappers TBH...but i realise why people don't like to use this method...has always worked for me but isn't pleasant...to be clear though, i would only do this with a definite napper and not a scared baby that was just a bit unsure....clearly there is a difference...
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Stateside

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Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Step 1 a pair of spurs ..
step 2 a good whip,
step 3 use them..
and don't get off, if it takes all day to get the horse down the road so be it but never never give in. but that's what I would do, in many years and many horses I have NEVER had one get away with this sort of dangerous behaviour




Sorry but step 1 should be to determine weather said horse is Napping , Scared , or just does not understand what is wanted of them. and all three need treating different, But the question here was asked "My mare has started napping. Help!"

I did have one horse that would not go up a lane once and after 5 hours we did cheat a bit and used a powder fire extinguisher behind it, never ever had a problem again..
 

diggerbez

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oh i wasn't having a go stateside...but was just saving myself from getting jumped on for suggesting use of spurs or whip as some people on here tend to overreact if you don't make everything crystal clear
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kfrew

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Wow, I never expected such a huge response. Its nice to know im not the only one having this problem!!
In response to some of the questions, yes her back, teeth, tack etc has all been checked and no problems. So ill try out some of your suggestions next time this happens out on a hack and hopefully we'll be able to overcome the nonsense. Thanks guys
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