View Full Version : Stopping a horse from jogging
26th Feb 2002, 10:40 AM
I was just wondering if someone can give me any tips on stopping a horse from jogging....
My share horse is a lovely old girl - a nice, quiet, calm horse - 99 per cent of the time. But when there are other horses in front of her, or sometimes when she is going back to the yard after a hack, she starts jogging and getting a bit 'wound up'. She has taken off on me a couple of times to catch up with other horses ahead of her, after having jogged and pranced about like a silly young thing instead of the 19 year old she is! Now when I say 'take off' I don't mean a full on gallop, but she has continued to canter when I'm desperately trying to make her walk.....finishing off with a canter on the spot when she reaches 'home'!
So any time she starts jogging now, I get worried and think she's going to take off or do something silly - I am a bit of a panicker at the best of times! I know the right thing to do is to stay calm, and I try REALLY hard to relax and sit into the saddle, and talk, and sing and all those other things you are supposed to do to calm yourself down (meanwhile, the heart is racing like mad and I't thinking of all sorts of horrible things that could happen!!!)...
.....but she still jogs - how can I stop her? Do I slacken the reins, tighten the reins, make her trot, make her go in circles - does this calm a horse down, or get it more wound up because it can't go forward?
Your advice, as always, would be much appreciated.....
26th Feb 2002, 11:11 AM
Couple of things might help. If you can find somewhere that will lunge you on a schoolmaster, so that you can learn to control a horse's way of going only with your seat, that will help - and will give you a lot more confidence as well. The German trainer I go to will not let you ride loose until you can ride her horses on the lunge through all paces without reins or stirrups and it has been a revalation for me.
If you can have some lessons on your jogging horse as well, focusing on things like shoulder in and leg-yielding, both excercises are very good at getting a jogging horse back between your hand and leg. You do have to learn as well, that the second your horse stops jogging you have to relax the rein a bit as a reward, to encourage her to relax onto the bit, rather than resisting it.
My horse did this all the time when I first got him - its exhausting. It does take time to cure them of the habit, but I have him now so that jogging is rare and usually limited to a couple of strides if he does forget himself.
Good luck with her.
26th Feb 2002, 11:20 AM
My TB is also 19 and does the same, particularly if he spots other horses in front, or we are on our own - we often come home sideways!!
Unfortunately I've not been able to cure him of this - the more you hold him up, the more stressed he gets - give him more rein and off he goes!! He totally ignores my seat and leg, so I just sit there and wait for him to calm down, which is normally when we are nearly home!! By the way, he is a very well schooled horse.
The real key is to remain relaxed - I know this is sometimes easier said than done. This is not a habit that can always be cured - it is a natural reaction for a horse - they are herd animals and for us to separate them from their herd and for them to allow us to do it is amazing really.
Also, if your horse has ever raced, this instinct will be even stronger, as they have been trained to get in front of the other horses. This is what I put my horses behaviour down to - I've just accepted it and deal with it as it happens.
i do agree that building up your confidence with your horse is essential - I am assuming you haven't shared her very long?
26th Feb 2002, 11:56 AM
My TB mare also does this - haven't cured it completely but she's a lot better now. we have a narrow bridleway that is one horse wide - when she started jogging, I put her behind the other horse and dropped the reins - she soon realised that she couldn't go anywhere and she was wasting her time jogging - now if she does it, as soon as I drop the reins she relaxes. Takes a bit of guts though!! I now ride her on the buckle of the rein everywhere (even cantering!) and she hasn't jogged in company for ages. Occasionally she does it on her own and I just give and take the reins - half halt to say listen then drop the reins - if she persists then I do the same until she finally settles into a walk. I also put my legs on a little, so she is walking actively and pat her on the neck when she is doing the right thing.
One last thing - confidence is the key - if I tense then she's off, and boy can she move! We've done sideways canter interspersed with rearing all the way home (canter as I give the rein, rearing as I pick up!!) before now and it's horrible. I take Rescue Remedy if I'm going out on my own, but have built up my confidence over time by doing all of the above in company first. Good luck.
26th Feb 2002, 01:22 PM
I'm wondering it this is a thoroughbred thing!!!!
Mine does everything but rear (must admit, that's one thing I really can't stand - I always come off!!)
Perhaps we should form our own Thoroughbred club on this site!!!! so we can compare notes!
26th Feb 2002, 02:20 PM
Piaffe - I agree! We should have a page dedicated to people with loony TB's so we can have a laugh about them!!
26th Feb 2002, 02:57 PM
My old girl is TB x Irish Draught....so maybe this carry on is her TB genes coming out! (She really is well behaved most of the time though - maybe that bit is down to the ID genes!)
26th Feb 2002, 03:28 PM
Guys, I have a Thoroughbred, and surprise, :D she does the same thing. We were out on a trail ride with three other horses on sunday, and she jogged the whole way. It did not matter whether we were in front, in the back, next to another horse, or on her own. She wasn't out of control and stopped at the slightest squeeze on the reins. She just would not walk. She jogged for the entire two and a half hour ride, but as soon as we got back to the barn, she walked like a little angel. She has done this since we have had her. It doesn't bother me too much since she is not out of control, but I would like her to stop it. We try to vary things on the trail so she doesn't get bored. We canter when we are on a smooth trail and jump anything we can find, so she might just be excited. I actually hope to do some cross country with her in the spring, but this would probably only get her more excited on the trails. If anybody finds a way to stop this jogging behavior, fill me in, but I think its just these nutty Thoroughbreds. :p
26th Feb 2002, 03:43 PM
See my earlier posting. Mine is a TB ex-racehorse, and yes, I have virtually stopped the jogging, bar the odd stride or two very occasionally. (he doesn't like it if we go past the local school playground when there are children there for example, but we're working on that as well) I am schooling him for dressage, and we have started leg yielding, shoulder in, and transitions after every 6-8 strides. As he has got more supple, and more accepting, and carries himself better, he has got easier to stop from jogging. I can now feel as he starts to try to come behind the bit when he is thinking of jogging, and a stride or two in and out of leg yield just pushes him back onto the bit again, he relaxes and stops. Its taken time though - must be about a year. I can only seriously school once a week in winter though (muddy fields so I have to travel to hire an indoor arena or to go for training). It would have gone quicker I think if we schooled more. It is possible to stop them. I think that TBs are just so intelligent and quick though that you have to keep their brains occupied with new things and keep their attention all the time, or they come up with mischief - not nastiness, just letting you know how they feel! I wouldn't swop my boy for the world though.
26th Feb 2002, 05:44 PM
It's not just TBs I ride an 11h3 welsh pony (i'm only 5ft and dont weigh much) who is the same. The reson I ride him is that he jogs constantly with his usual rider (my cousin, but not her pony - comlicated). He jogs non stop. She tenses up. He gets worse. She shortens reins. His head goes up in the air and VOILA - GIRAFFE!! When I ride him he doesn't even try. I recon it has to be a nerves thing as when I ride my friends horse she jogs and I have difficulty stopping her. But I am nervous on her as she is 16h!!
When Demi (my cousin) does get William (11h3 pony) to walk it's by taking the reins and then immediately giving. If you use to much rein the horse just gets frustrated and jogs. Once she settles I "make" her ride with loose very reins and he is an angel! But be this point she has settled herself.
If you give with the reins as soon as the horse starts to get wound up and then alternate with give and take (only taking if the pace changes) he WILL stop jogging eventually.
The other alternative is to make him trot and only let him stop when YOU say.. At least that way you are dictating the pace not him! Once he is a bit more tired he may settle easier
Soz for waffling
27th Feb 2002, 08:48 AM
I know how you feel - I wouldn't ever get rid of my boy!!
We haven't done any schooling for months - just not possible due to weather etc.
I've had mine (ex-racehorse) for over 5 years now and although he is much calmer than when I first got him, he still has his moments - but I just call that character!! He'd be a little boring without it!
I guess that's why we opt for thoroughbreds!!
27th Feb 2002, 09:19 AM
Wouldn't swap my lady either (although I've threatened to swap her for a gelding in the summer when she's being a TB AND a tart!!)
I agree about keeping them occupied - if we're doing the same route again, then she starts trying to find her own entertainment - ooh, look mum, I can spook at that and look how fast I can do it too :D Bless her!
I also have trouble schooling at the moment cos our woodchip surface is really boggy and horrid, and we don't have floodlights. We can do leg yielding down the quiet lanes though! The take and release thing does work with mine most of the time, but if she genuinely gets upset about something and just wants to go home then nothing works - she even lathers up into a white sweat. Trust and relaxing as been the key to her, but just like people, she's never perfect all of the time!
1st Mar 2002, 06:42 PM
Hey, Kal could be the president. She's the maddest TB I know!
Sometimes I can stop her from joggin by askign for walk and then immediately slaking the reins, oter times I can't unless I make her stand and then make her walk with a firm hold on the riens. Other times I can't stop her at all and have to wait until she wears herself out (that takes ages though!)
The last time she jogged for ages was when we went round a corner over Hankley common, and there was loads of army people with machine guns!
(Hankley is a army training ground..ur supposed to have passes but they never stop and check...besides, I would just gallop off if they did!)
1st Mar 2002, 07:00 PM
It's not just TBs that jog, my old Haffy used to jog all the flippin' time, used to drive me mad. Yet he didn't do it in harness! He would do it on the spot, piaffe it wasn't, irritating it was!:D
I did manage to get him to give up with a series of half halts and encouraging him to walk forward, but it was not easy and I HAD to be consistent and never allow him to jog.
It was his only real fault and in the great scheme of things not a dangerous problem, .....but annoying!;)
2nd Mar 2002, 12:34 PM
I do like your new signature!!
2nd Mar 2002, 04:33 PM
It's one of my uncle's fave sayings, I have to say I am fond of it too!
19th Mar 2002, 02:30 PM
It certainly isn't just TB's that do it. Infact my friend used to own a TB mare who used to happily walk along the road before and after any kind of exciting work - then there is me!!!!
I have a 14hh 15 YO New Forest Mare who on the site (or sound) of anything exciting (other horses - blade of grass) she jogs/trots off!!!!
I have tried everything - pulling her back, bridging my rains dropping them (resulting in taking off)!!!! different bits, different other contraptions like market harboroughs (she has various other stopping issues as well!!!!) :rolleyes:
At the moment I am schooling her quite a bit on the lunge and turning tight circles when ever she starts trotting/jogging with out being asked and it is slowly working!!! Thank good!! So fingers crossed eh!!
31st Mar 2002, 07:06 PM
I ride a TB gelding who jogs all the time when you ask him to pick up his canter and he doesnt pick it up so you just have to come back down to the walk and retry. He jogs all the time and it gets really annoying since he doesnt listenin to my hand aids when he jogs and its hard to use your seat to ask him to slow down (beides tightening your seat muscles). He also sidesteps and jogs at the same time which gets annoying.
1st Apr 2002, 06:45 AM
Its not just a TB thing. Many breeds do this as a result of somewhere in their upbringing they were allowed to do something like this. At any rate, the technique that works for me is a pressure and release use of the reins. When the horse moves faster than I want, I pull back, keeping the reins low, and when he responds and slows, I give him freedom from the pressure with slack in the reins. If he picks back up, I do it again. In a short time, most horse get the idea and will hold the pace you want. Happy Trails!
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