No brakes out hacking

SeeingSpots

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Is there a way of fixing this without resorting to various bits or are some horses just of that nature and will always be strong and have no desire to stop?

Pony is a little star in school, quite sharp and responsive now due to the schooling we have done, goes lovely, little outline (although doesn't always hold it but it's coming along nicely), good brakes and generally a pleasure to ride. Sometimes he's a bit nappy and strong when other horses are in the school but you can control that by doing things like shapes and making him think. Ridden in an eggbutt snaffle (Neue Schule) with grackle noseband as he crosses his jaw - although I could probably downgrade to a flash as he doesn't do it as much now, just haven't bothered as he goes well in the grackle.

Out hacking, not as good. He will stop but you have to haul at the reins to make him stop. He doesn't bolt, buck, spin or rear, he's just very forward and doesn't like to stop. He doesn't want to stand and wait for cars, he wants to be off. Occasionally jogs when you're trying to walk and I don't dare canter him to be honest. He doesn't scare me but all the same, I don't want to be riding a coiled spring that won't stop when I ask.

In the process of trying a few different bits for hacking but ultimately I'd like to keep him in what he is in. I don't know if this is an option though. This year (hopefully) I plan to get a trailer and do my licence as I'd like to take him to the beach and there are some fab hacking places including some with little XC stuff which I'd love to have a go at but rather than be excited, I'm starting to worry about it as I'm not sure he will stop. Course I can whack a strong bit in and I'm not heavy handed, I ride with quite a soft contact and soft hands but just wondered, can a strong horse be made to chill a bit on hacks without the use of bits?

Any ideas are welcomed.
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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I up my bit when I hack in as I like my life. Ginger pony is an ex racer ridden I'm a sniffle for everything but hacking.

To me its kinder to have a stronger bit used softly rather than a kind bit used with force
 
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CharliesAngel

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Jan 15, 2010
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If you dont dare canter him at all on hacks it sounds a bit worrying. Part of me wonders whether maybe he just needs a really good blast?

that thought aside, if it were me Id make a plan for schooling on hacks. To me, it’s very important they learn to stand at peace and wait when out and about. If they can’t do this then the whole experience of hacking becomes one of impatience. So, Id take him out inhand / longrein and with treats in your pocket. Ask him to walk on and stand to your voice and reward him for standing. Allow time for him just to stand, admire the view, scratch his withers, stand & check your fb or whatever but he has to wait until you are ready to move on. NB I had a couple of ground work lessons from an RI I respect greatly and we did this with one of mine - the first thing she said to me was not to hold on so tight! It shouldnt be a battle to see who can be in front. Make him walk nicely with you at his shoulder and if he goes to rush past or be more forward than you want then spin him round quickly, ask him to stand and then try again. Always hold your reins or leadrope loosely. There must be no tension. I would progress from this to being ready to hop on and ride a section of the route - doing exactly the same thing.
 

MrC

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Perhaps he needs a pipe opener? Nice big stubble field or fallow field you can just belt round? If he's not spooking or shying or bucking then I'd open him up or get someone more experienced to do it.

Are there any gallops around you? Always great for a safe blast even if you take a friend along
 

SeeingSpots

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He sometimes spooks but it's nothing major. He just jumps lol He's pretty good to hack in that respect.

Unfortunately not. We have fields but they're sheep fields and have been quite slippy with the recent rain. Maybe you're right, I just worry about pulling him up lol
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I like @CharliesAngel 's approach. Ziggy is very like your pony. He has good days and bad days, but on a bad day he's on a mission and I have to wrestle him to a standstill. Loads of groundwork has made him much more sensitive and obedient.
 
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SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
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I like @CharliesAngel 's approach. Ziggy is very like your pony. He has good days and bad days, but on a bad day he's on a mission and I have to wrestle him to a standstill. Loads of groundwork has made him much more sensitive and obedient.

He is a very dominant pony. Took over his field on the first day and asserted himself on the herd, taking the boss man place and has held it for almost 2 years. We've had horses come and go in his field and they try it with him and get nowhere. He gives a warning once and if they don't move, they're getting double barrelled. As a result, they don't go near him and if a new horse comes in, he seperates them from the herd until HE allows them in. He tried this with me when I got him and I panicked and immediately sought the help of my yard owner/riding instructor and he is a different pony. Rather proud of how he's developed if I'm honest. He still has his moments but he knows when he can get away with it and knows he can't with me.

His ground manners are just fab now. I have worked really hard on the little things. I won't let him snatch his head when I remove his headcollar, he's not allowed to use me as a scratchy post and we have established firm ground rules for dinner times and he now knows that when I bring his food over and say BED that he has to go and wait patiently on his bed for me to put it down. No patience, no dinner. He still tries it occasionally but I put a cross face on and growl and he shifts pretty quick. He will also stand beautifully at a mounting block, even when he is at his freshest, he will still stand. He will stand to be mounted and once you are up there, he won't move until you ask him to. He will also wait patiently at gates which he never used to. He really is a little superstar. This is why it is so frustrating because I'm proud of him and want to take him all over eventually. He just sometimes gets it into his head that he wants to go and I struggle.
 

Jessey

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It sounds like you have already done a lot of work on discipline/manners, and its worked, so what ever method you have used just needs to be extended to hacking. A stronger bit might be a good option to stop him using his strength against you while you establish the new rules for hacking, hopefully once established you will be able to revert to your snaffle safely :) If he gets strong in the school with others, I'd be inclined to use this to learn how to manage him when he gets strong whilst in a safer environment :) arrange some group schooling sessions just for this reason, exposure to these things often helps them settle with repetition :)
 

Jane&Ziggy

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I've had a few threads recently on the groundwork my RI taught me to do with Ziggy, in case you might like to give it a try. It has made a small but significant difference to his lack of manners and tendency to run through me out hacking.

http://www.newrider.com/threads/things-only-my-nr-friends-will-understand.249113/#post-3028972

http://www.newrider.com/threads/fun-with-loading-practice.249169/#post-3029802

http://www.newrider.com/threads/fun-with-loading-practice.249169/#post-3029775

Two of these are from the same thread, by the way!
 
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SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
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A stronger bit might be a good option to stop him using his strength against you while you establish the new rules for hacking, hopefully once established you will be able to revert to your snaffle safely

This is what I am hoping!

If he gets strong in the school with others, I'd be inclined to use this to learn how to manage him when he gets strong whilst in a safer environment :) arrange some group schooling sessions just for this reason, exposure to these things often helps them settle with repetition :)

That's a good idea, thank you. Never actually thought to do that! He isnt scary but he's a flippin pain in the rear end when he does it lol


Thank you @Jane&Ziggy that's really helpful!!
 
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