Advice!! Before tomorrow!!

Huggy

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Am going out tomorrow, very early, solo. I want to start addressing Hogan's silly antics at his bugbear places - ie throwing head around, mini rears, mini bucks etc. I do sit it out most of the time, but have to change the route if I want to stay on, rather than get off and lead, which I prefer not to do. Should I take him on foot, do you think, and address one each time I go out on foot, or should I try a few each time? I really want to get him over this, as he's a dream in every other way, and it's time I got things sorted. I don't mind how long it takes, or how often I have to do it. Grateful for any advice! :)
 

Trewsers

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Leading him out sounds like a good plan. However! That's no guarantee he won't be arsey when you get on board and do the same route. Reason I say this is because I used to do this with Storm lots. She'd be fine in hand, such a good girl. Me on board on same route, total witch!!!! Eventually it worked out, but only after a lot of familiarisation with the same routes.
 
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Huggy

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Leading him out sounds like a good plan. However! That's no guarantee he won't be arsey when you get on board and do the same route. Reason I say this is because I used to do this with Storm lots. She'd be fine in hand, such a good girl. Me on board on same route, total witch!!!! Eventually it worked out, but only after a lot of familiarisation with the same routes.
Think that will be the plan - ride avoiding the bugbear, then lead next outing to get him so familiar that it won't register. More baby steps! By the time I'm 75 he should be bombproof lol!
 
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Huggy

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Also, does anyone have any strong views on leading with the lead rein through the bit rings? I don't have a connector, and he knows he can mess about with just a headcollar!
 

Kite_Rider

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I don’t know why people don’t like to get off, the easiest and by far the fastest way for Belle to get over anything scary is for me to get off and show her it’s fine, no drama, no silly antics, no me having a panic attack, just jump off, lead up to or past, jump back on. Takes us a few moments longer but I definitely feel over time it’s given Belle a lot of confidence in me so scary happens les and less.
So if I were you that’s what I’d be doing, don’t turn back though, keep going in the direction you wanted to go, get off if he’s scared, lead past scary stuff, get back on and keep going.
 

Jessey

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What sort of places/things are the issue? I would very rarely opt to get off or lead for something scary (I've always felt safer on a scared horse than leading it, mine have mostly been the sort to flail and tit about regardless of where you are), I tend to sit and wait out genuine fear to give them time to process the situation before asking them to go right up to it. Having said that if you feel safer off then I don't see any negative in doing it that way, and if you need a rope on a bridle to stay safe then that's what I'd do.
 
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Trewsers

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What sort of places/things are the issue? I would very rarely opt to get off or lead for something scary (I've always felt safer on a scared horse than leading it, mine have mostly been the sort to flail and tit about regardless of where you are), I tend to sit and wait out genuine fear to give them time to process the situation before asking them to go right up to it. Having said that if you feel safer off then I don't see any negative in doing it that way, and if you need a rope on a bridle to stay safe then that's what I'd do.
I think it depends on the horse too. I wouldn't hesitate to hop off Storm and lead her. But Zi ? no way. Much more control on board. Wouldn't want an argument with him on the ground - he's a good boy 99% of the time. But I know for a fact his sheer size would over whelm me if he was upset about something to that tune and I'd have more control on board than off.
 
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Huggy

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His biggest bug is a hill going down out of the inclosure, and obviously up going back. He's not afraid, I think he has some quirk in his brain, that makes him think we're going to gallop up it, and either he really wants to, or really doesn't want to. Not sure which! He's quite a handful on the ground, which is why I'm a bit hesitant, but at the same time, I don't feel safe sitting on him, aaaagh! He's just the same in company too. May be I should mix and match - ride part way, get off well before, and lead with reins, getting back on at the top.
 

Kite_Rider

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Ah ok, he’s not being scared then, just sounds like he wants a good old hoon!
I guess you could either try not using the route (but limit your hacking) or just make him walk up that silly hill every day until he’s so used to it he forgets to tit about? Is he ok going down the hill? Or is it just the coming back to the yard bit that hets him up?
 
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Kite_Rider

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Also I would forget walking him in hand if you are one bit hesitant, he may well be easier to deal with from on board if that’s the case.
 
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Bodshi

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I think it depends on the horse too. I wouldn't hesitate to hop off Storm and lead her. But Zi ? no way. Much more control on board. Wouldn't want an argument with him on the ground - he's a good boy 99% of the time. But I know for a fact his sheer size would over whelm me if he was upset about something to that tune and I'd have more control on board than off.
So true - I would always hesitate to give advice for a situation like this because horses can react so differently. I've had two (my old loan and our Jack) for whom the best thing is a smack and a loud verbal bollocking at the very first hint of hesitation. Raf is very much a 'sit and wait' type - trying to force him past the scary object only increases his panic and if given time to assess the situation for himself (assuming his rider isn't bothered by the 'object') his curiosity will eventually overcome his fear or at least he will pluck up courage to scuttle past.

I wouldn't like to say what would work best for another horse, for fear of putting the rider in a dangerous situation, especially one going out on their own. We had our RI go out on foot slightly behind OH on Jack so she could assess the situation and instruct OH how to handle it. Once Jack discovered that he wasn't going to get his own way every time he refused to go past something he stopped being nappy and got on with it. Every now and then we come across something that he really doesn't like (pigs/goats etc) and I have to be firm with him again, but he seems to get his confidence from knowing his rider is no pushover!

Good luck tomorrow and I think you are already well on the way to succeeding - determination plays a huge part in a battle of wills between horse and rider. Whatever the method used I think once horse realises you are not going to give in you are well on the way to winning the battle. I often wish I had more conviction and determination!
 
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Huggy

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He's pretty lousy going up or down! I know he may struggle because of his weight! I thought perhaps, as it's a 3 sided hill, so to speak, I could do a few down one side, round the bottom, and then up the other side, and the vice versa?
 

Jessey

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Ah yes not scared issues then, what does he do if you trot him up it? I'd probably go with the repetition tactic you mentioned (so long as he's physically able) and bore him silly until he settles, maybe take a book or sarnie and find a pue until he's totally chilled at being there :) and be prepared to repeat it on future rides until he tackles it without pissing about.
 
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Huggy

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Ah yes not scared issues then, what does he do if you trot him up it? I'd probably go with the repetition tactic you mentioned (so long as he's physically able) and bore him silly until he settles, maybe take a book or sarnie and find a pue until he's totally chilled at being there :) and be prepared to repeat it on future rides until he tackles it without pissing about.
Well, as far as trotting him up is concerned, I haven't tried, I'm a real wimp, but we've just started getting a forward, willing trot on the flat, without threatened buck/rear! However, I went up to do the field, and thought what the heck, I'll walk out now with him. Led him with just reins, no saddle, and little beggar walked up as though not a care in the world! Didn't go again, as wanted to quit while I was ahead. Will do again tomorrow, but will ride to just before the dreaded spot, and lead up again. Watch this space. Any more suggestions still gratefully received!
 
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chunky monkey

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Ride, get off just before if you must, then get back on.
My preference would be to not get off but I would ride, then just stop and stand then a few more paces, then stop etc. Then next ride extend the number of paces before you stop. Let the horse just look around and go at it's own leisure. Remember to keep praising every time horse moves forward to encourage and comfort.
 
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carthorse

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I'm generally of the view that if the problem is under saddle you resolve it under saddle, particularly if it's naughtiness. Rarely, if there's something a horse is genuinely scared of and you know it will follow you safely, then getting off and leading is an option. I also think there's a better chance of keeping or regaining control riding, in hand it's too easy for them to pull away or go over you if there's a problem. Would it work to take someone on foot with you?
 
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Jessey

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but we've just started getting a forward, willing trot on the flat, without threatened buck/rear!
From this I take it this has happened in other places just for a trot previously, you could well be right that he's physically finding the hill hard and this could be his default I don't want to response, if so it could just be a matter of time and his increasing fitness and decreasing weight. Could also be why he's better without a rider, might not be too but I think you'll have to trust your gut on the why to try and decide how to combat it.
 
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Huggy

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Ride, get off just before if you must, then get back on.
My preference would be to not get off but I would ride, then just stop and stand then a few more paces, then stop etc. Then next ride extend the number of paces before you stop. Let the horse just look around and go at it's own leisure. Remember to keep praising every time horse moves forward to encourage and comfort.
That sounds good. I can usually feel if he's going to start. I'll see how tomorrow goes, and whether doing this is feasible.