What does napping mean???

May 27, 2007
HI all

can anyone explain what napping means.

How do you know that it is happening.

What causes it.

can you stop it.

As i dont know what this is i hope the questions make sense.

thanks viks
Sep 29, 2006
Napping: When a horse, runs to the back of a ride, runs or drags towards the xit of the school or arenas, plants feet when taken out on own and refuses to go foward etc.
Or the horse stands still and refuses to move in reaction to a worrisome or unpleasant situation.

How do you know that it is happening:
The horse will try to evade you, will run towards exits, others horses ect. Depends on cause.

What causes it:
Misunderstadning/ poorly schooled, fear of being on own, not wanting to work etc. If the horse does it in a familiar enviroment you should check tack to make sure he is not in pain.

Can you stop it:
Yes with time and patience.

When trying to solve napping from fear, you should take the approach when working with a spooking horse. A horse that spooks needs to be treated kindly. He shouldn't be forced into stepping over his "fear boundary". You have to talk to them, pet them, and be patient.

So what do you do: Simply sit in the saddle. You'll want to give your horse enough rein to stretch his neck but don't give him so much that he can graze. Then you simply sit there until he decides to move forward. Don't let him go left or right. Don't let him back up or turn around and head home. Don't kick him. Don't yell at him.

You are telling your horse it's okay to stand still but he doesn't get to anything but stand there or move forward.

At some point the horse should move forward. When he does, give him plenty of reward.
May 27, 2007

This link should give you lots of information on what it is and how to stop it. If you need an more info just shout

Thanks for that do you think this is a case of napping ie

when i first get on nelly to go out for a hack she tends not to listen to me at all and walks backwards for a few paces but with gentle legs she will then walk forward, this only last for a few seconds. also when we leave the yard to go to the sand school she will not enter through the gate even with stronger legs and and tap with the crop and has had to be led thruogh buy my son or my husband.

I have only had her for 10 days and i know that is more likley to be me as im still a newish rider and i dont think she is anyway to blame do you think she knows this and is just testing me to see if she can get away with working???

thanks viks


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
Of course she's testing you, don't worry, the most important ting is she never gets her own way, so long as someon is there to lead her in, or even if you have to get off and leadher to where you want it's important you have your way in the end. ALWAYS!

Think forward, focus on where you want to be and use your voice too, the second you feel her stop moving forward in the direction you want to go back up your legs with a strong vocal command like " GET ON" or "A-HEM"
She'll soon see you as a leader.