Not much accomplished this weekend in the way of mileage. Spent an hour yesterday just trying to get some impulsion at the walk. Discovered in this process that she CAN walk almost 5 mph, she just WON'T loosen up and move. Friday I picked up a magazine with an article by Julie Goodnight that addressed my problem at hand. In a nutshell...ask with the leg for some impulsion, if you don't get it, follow with an assertive crop in the area where your leg made the initial cue. If the horse breaks to a trot, correct, and repeat until you get a snappy walk.
On another front I did some leadership exercises yesterday afternoon as well. I asked for a little hustle in her obedience rather than the passive response she usually gives me.
The balkiness in our rides is almost a deal breaker. Especially on the road where it is dangerous. I wish I knew why she does it, so that I could better address how to handle it. It is as though I have a horse with two minds, the charging, pulling, race brain horse (that got us into trouble at C.C.) and a balky, low confidence, semi-barn soured , easily spooked version (that is currently giving me a deep weariness of spirit). Phebes has made incredible strides in her ten months of trail work. But the relaxation factor is not there. She is always looking for something to pop up and eat her. Yesterday I got her past 3 big round bales of hay that weren't there the last time we rode, was patting her neck telling her she was good because we made it past in one piece, and then after the fact this huge spook, out of nowhere.
Since I have been the primary trainer of Phebes (since the "real" trainer couldn't handle her) ownership of the training results lie in my lap. What to do?
Sometimes handy tips can be found on the web for training methods that fit a specific problem. However, the balking horse issue didn't come up with much of use when I googled it yesterday. Today I'm going to sort through some of my horse magazines and see if I can find some more articles on the topic of impulsion, balking, and spooking. Perhaps I'll find something that I can work on in a concrete way in the arena, that will translate to the trail. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association