-- Posted by clipclop on Nov. 11, 2001
Further to the posts on whips and spurs
I thought I'd ask
for some advice.
My 16.1hh CBxTB mare is a darling to ride and handle most of the
time BUT she does have her moments. When leaving
the yard she used to nap ... ie no rearing just not wanting to
go forwards so dropping a shoulder or going backwards. She
has gotten over this now and only tries it now and again.
Most of the time a sharp smack with the schooling whip
will stop her or me just 'riding' it out so to speak. However,
what would you do if she started doing it when she doesn't
want to go past something in the school?
I've been schooling in the dark after school and if she won't go
past something she just walks backwards and WONT walk on.. I usually carry on with something else then come back to it but
what should I do? I don't want this to become a major
problem where she knows she can evade work by doing this.
As I say she is an angel most of the time and it is only this
that annoys me more than anything.
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!!
P.S. I have only had her since August.
-- Posted by JanetGeorge on Nov. 11, 2001
It COULD be worse - she could be CB x Anglo-Arab!! like my
old Bramble (his portrait in the logo of this message board is
NOT strictly accurate - his ears are forward, his teeth aren't
bared, and you can't see the 666 engraved on his skull!)
He was a TRULY horrible napper in his early days. Initially
I put it down to nervousness and was patient and tolerant -
then discovered (by accident) that getting on him in a FILTHY
mood worked wonders!
Working in the dark is testing her a bit - it certainly could
be nerves and in that case, being patient and asking her to do
something she will do is probably the right move.
But I confess that when Bramble wanted to walk backwards (that
was positive - normally he just reared!) I said FINE - and
made him walk backwards for longer than he wanted to.
I think you have to be the judge of this and decide whether
it's genuine nervousness of working in darkish conditions (all
those monsters and shadows) or whether she's trying it on.
Only then can you determine how tolerant (or otherwise)
you should be. But remember, mares do require slightly
more tactful handling than geldings.
-- Posted by DalesFan on Nov. 11, 2001
I find when Tilly is being silly that just sitting there and
not forcing her past is the best option. She's not
allowed to turn around and I'll grumble if she goes back, but
I don't make her go forwards. After a couple of minutes
I'll ask quietly again, if she still doesn't want to go I just
say fine and wait it out again. She eventually decides
to give it a go and trots past when I give her big pats and
cuddles. The first half dozen times we were there half
an hour or so, but she soon trusted me more and she'll now
stop, look and go past. I didn't go on the roads until
she was fine so there was no urgency. Tilly is also not
spooky, just likes a good look and likes to nap to get out of
work (she naps to the gate and then plants).
-- Posted by issyhotten on Nov. 11, 2001
I once spent a happy 45 minutes reversing from one corner
of the school to the other, interspersed with reversing down
to B or E, and then reversing back to the 'out-of-favour'
I was fairly petrified, as I thought I may get bucked off, but
we stopped when I got a (very small) win. He didn't bother
having 'no-go' areas after that!.
-- Posted by Ros B on Nov. 11, 2001
The trick to mastering the 'walking backwards' problem is
to turn her round. That way, she can walk backwards to
her heart's content, while you achieve your aim of going in
the direction you intended in the first place!! Once
she's fed up of going backwards, turn round and start
travelling conventionally again.
However, I do agree with Janet - your partnership is still
very new, and you both need to build confidence in each other.
I wouldn't force too many confrontations at this stage.
-- Posted by catherine on Nov. 12, 2001
I have got major napping/spooking problems with my TB - who
has a real 'blood' brain, i.e. anything he is not certain
about is a real threat to his life. We do a lot of backwards
work! But I find it really difficult to make him go straight
back and, because of the hacking being mainly on woodland
bridlepaths, we often bounce off trees (which has the desired
effect of sending him forwards!). Unfortunately a lot of the
paths have barbed wire fences running alongside them, we do
have problems in that we nearly collide with them and I have
to make him halt. I have now found that if I approach a
'hazard' (e.g. a twig on the path!) in trot, Cush will go past
it more willingly.
I have also used a home made wip wop thing (rope), whirling it
around him (he is quite laid back really!), a rolled up
newspaper slapped on my chaps, a big twig with lots of leaves
- all with some success. I always hack out with a whip, not to
beat him, just as a reminder.
When hacking with other, I tend to ask if we can lead past
hazards, just to increase Cush's confidence. If my daughter is
riding him, I have sometimes walked out with them if I know
there are new things on the hacking circuit. I am able to lead
him past most things, but would not recommend anyone do this
unless they are really confident and know their horse trusts
them. I have also taken him to a spook-busting session at
Contessa in Herts, which was very helpful. Other people, I
know, do lots of longreining work which I should persevere with
but I'm bit lazy!
I do find it a real pain hacking alone, and if I have a
limited amount of time, tend to do school work instead. On the
positive side - overcoming napping is very rewarding! I
recently returned from a solo hack totally jubilant because we
had negotiated loads of hazards successfully including jumping
a dead dinosaur which had thoughtlessly died lying across the
bridlepath. Other people on the yard thought I was
mad, but I was so happy we had succeeded in overcoming
problems which, to them, would not have existed.
-- Posted by clipclop on Nov. 12, 2001
Thank you for all your replies.
Janet-thanks-I know it could be worse but its just this
spoiling our fun!!
There isn't a lot I can do about riding in the near dark as its
like this when I get in from school-it's that or nothing
I think I'll try just sitting it out now as she only does it
in the school now most of the time- I can get her out with out
to many probs now! I must admit she tried it once on the
road and it was very half hearted!
One question...how do I make her keep walking backwards for
more than a few steps?
Another thing is she does this when I ask her to go out in
front for the first few minutes of a ride-then she normally
gets over herself and enjoys the ride!!