reasons for going fast?

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reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Tue May 05, 2009 4:09 pm

we had a great time at our clinic with Len Judd. One of the things I'm trying to address is that Dancing goes too fast - at every pace. He suggested I try taking her on a ride and letting her do exactly as she pleased with no input from me at all (we're lucky here, I can do that safely). When I went out with another horse accompanying she walked a bit then just - took off at a gallop. go for a half mile, slow to a trot, gallop again, then walk, walk quietly with the other horse a bit then - take off again. The other horse never passed her and never instigated the increase in speed. there was no pattern I could see and it didn't depend on the ground - she walked on some grassy bits and cantered on tracks and down as well as up hill. The next day I took her out without another horse and she just walked the whole ride. What IS she saying? Any ideas? I'm stumped.
She's always been with me and is 20 years old. She's never been abused, although I did used to ride her in a strong bit before I learned better, I can always stop her in a halter (I could never stop her in a pelham!), it's not that I can't stop, just that she doesn't want to STAY stopped and is always asking to GO again.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by lightertouch on Wed May 06, 2009 3:06 am

Is it possible shes concerned about the other horse? Is it a field mate who bullies her or a stranger shes unsure of? I'm assuming the other horse followed her when she increased speed? Could she have felt it was a race, or that she was being chased, then run out of puff?

How do you feel when you go out with someone else? Do you find it more or less stressful than riding on your own?

What were the weather conditions?

Which routes did you take? Ones where you often canter, or mostly walk?

There are so many possible contributing factors! She may even have just been trying out how far she could push you, the first time out, as suddenly her normal boundaries were removed. Then she realised how much hard work it was, so just walked and/or was tired on the second hack?!

Do let us know if you do any more 'no-brakes' hacks, and what she does. Maybe you'll have an epiphany!

Good luck!
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Fri May 08, 2009 3:04 pm

the other horse was her daughter in this instance, but I don't think it has anything to do with who the other horse is. Kitty just followed at a distance and often gave up with keeping up as she is pretty lazy, so I don't think Dancing saw it as a race. Also if that was it why would she just take off when the other horse was walking quietly? And decide to trot or walk when Kitty was still following? I just can't figure it.
As for the route, we ended up a long way from where we usually go as we don't often cover so much ground! So it wasn't familiarity.
I can't ride her at the moment as she has a really bad rape pollen allergy, so the next instalment will be June. Thanks for the thoughts. The brakes work, it's just that the accelerator is stuck down, as soon as I release the stop she's off again!
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by Sydney on Sun May 10, 2009 12:28 am

I've had this problem thought it was basically a bolt, without malicious intent.
As I explained every time the mare I had a problem with would take off (and she had very reliable breaks too) I would make her run and run and run until she was practically begging me to stop. Reverse psychology right?
When I said stop boy would she ever. Each time she ran off less and less. Now she doesn't even try.
See it was her idea to run but there were no consequences to it before. When I made her run further than she wanted to it really made her think, is this worth running off because i'll have to do more work if I do. Of course you need to intergrade some galloping when it is your idea so she won't get the idea that all galloping is bad, it just has to be your idea.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Tue May 12, 2009 11:53 am

Sorry Sydney that doesn't work for me - making a horse do something until it gives in. My horses are my friends, I wouldn't do that to a friend I don't understand and I wouldn't do it to a horse, it just makes them resent you and 'obey' you with resentment.
I don't think a bolt has malicious intent - it's caused by extreme fear. And I don't think ANY horse EVER has malicious intent anyway, they don't have that kind of thought train. Thanks anyway for your input
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by Sydney on Tue May 12, 2009 12:41 pm

Ok I think I worded that last post wrong.

making a horse do something until it gives in. My horses are my
friends, I wouldn't do that to a friend I don't understand and I
wouldn't do it to a horse, it just makes them resent you and 'obey' you
with resentment.
Honestly there is no difference between giving a horse a consequence for getting in your space or giving a horse a consequence for running off so long as the horse does not get hurt, you do not get hurt and you come out of the situation in a positive frame of mind.
See theres a difference between true bolting and bolting out of fear. Bolting out of fear is only as long lived as the thing that scares the horse. It's basically spooking. Bolting because the horse wants to run and run right now is not caused by fear. I've been on enough true bolters to know the behaviour most of the time is worse than rearing, bucking etc. It's never fun. As riders we hope our horses listen to our commands and offering something that is not pleasant in the presence of a undesirable behaviour is what every single trainer, rider, handler in the world does. The difference is if the horse comes away scared and wanting to get away from you or calm and thinking about what you are asking.
I know very well there are no problem horses only humans that put saddles and bridles on them and ask them to do what years of evolution tell them no to. We challenge that every day by owning and handling horses. I meant malicious as in an attempt to unseat the rider, from fear, pain, whatever it may be when it comes as an attempt to cause harm to the rider it is. Of couse this applies to the above statement about us challenging their evolution.
I do not harm any horse or run them until they are completely exhausted as what I believe you thought I was trying to imply. I run them until they start to say "Ok, I want to stop now" then I ask for more. I certainly do not in any way make them submit. I want running/stopping/turning etc to be MY idea and not a 1000+ pound horse perfectly capeable of causing me bodily harm.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by bohohorse on Tue May 12, 2009 2:50 pm

It almost sounds like a bit of a stress response. I do think though that Len's advice was good, and as she walked the next time, maybe it did the trick?

It sounds a bit like Bill Dorrances advice. I've been reading his book 'True Horsemanship through Feel' where he emphasises riding by 'feel' and riding 'one step at a time' - this is as opposed to 'blurring' where we ride the horse like it is a car, moving in a flowing way. Whereas a horse only can move one step at a time.

So he says, if the horse wants to gallop, and it's safe, let it. You won't have the 'feel' of your horse as it was her idea not yours. But make sure you are following that gallop, every step till the horse 'gets the feel of you'. Then when you ride to a walk, she does too.

I don't know if this makes sense. I 'get' it but it's hard to explain. It certainly beats fighting!
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Mon May 18, 2009 12:20 pm

Yes I've read Bill's book too but I think most of the horses he talks about run because either they are scared or they think that is what the rider wants and he is talking about retraining them. I think Dancing runs because she likes to.
She is certainly not bolting - I don't have any problem stopping her, it's just that she wants to go again and we tend to spend the whole ride asking her to go slower, and she doesn't want to. I never feel the slightest bit unsafe when she does it, it's just that sometimes I don't want to do it and I can't get through to her...Sydney, sorry I can't agree with you, when the horse asks to stop that is when you should stop, surely? Also I don't mind doing things that are entirely my horses idea. I'm beginning to think that she simply knows I'm OK up there, and she wants to run.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Sun May 31, 2009 11:15 am

I rode Dancing today for the first time in a month - on her own. She went out ears pricked and I knew we were in for a fun time. She marched up to the top of the hill (it's a big one, and steep) then took off at a trot (that's a Welsh Cob trot) and all over the hill she trotted and walked top speed and cantered and trotted... she jogged most of the way down the hill and marched back through the village fresh as a daisy. I never touched the reins except to steer.
Can a horse just like to go fast for the hell of it? She seemed to be having such a good time because I wasn't telling her to slow down. But this doesn't solve the dilemma of riding out in company, when I want to stick with the other horse. Rolling Eyes
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by Sydney on Sun May 31, 2009 1:39 pm

Can a horse just like to go fast for the hell of it?
Sure they can. Especially horses kept in smaller paddocks or stalls for a portion of the day.
My professor was talking about the small differences people rarely put into consideration when training such as how horses that are stabled for even part of the day can show post inhibitory rebounds. He said it explains why horses in stables often exhibit unwanted behaviors during training compared to those at pasture. The most common one being horses wanting to take off (wanting to go faster than the rider wishes and often at random intervals not connected with any outside stimuli such as a threatening object) It may not necessarily be horses stabled either, just ones that are in isolation from other equine companions ex: can't touch other horses but can see them or can't see other horses at all for periods of time etc. A lot of the time these horses are not herd bound but they feel the need to cover more ground when they are by themselves possibly and most likely connected with a heightened prey response by being alone. It hasn't been extensively studied but I think I know what you are getting at now that I have more information. It's not bolting at all.
Indigo is like that. When we are riding she wants to trot, canter, gallop, etc when I ride with contact. She fights it, always has and always has been happiest with loose rein. When I ride with a loose rein she looks in all directions all the time and stays the speed I want her to. Thats just her though.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:07 am

It' not any of those responses I think - she lives out in a big field with company and never shows any sign of being bothered by being alone - also she goes just as fast on the way out as on the way home! I do know lots of people who have the problem though, the livelier their horse gets the more they restrict it and keep it away from others - bonkers.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by Jo on Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:03 am

I have been following this with interest - it sounds to me that your girl just enjoys life! I recently moved and now am living with the horses - Trelawny, Archer a retired hunter and two ponies. Having them outside my window means I can sit and watch them - when I get the time - and its very interesting how they live in their herd - Ginger one of the ponies is a total nutter - gallops around everywhere - ignores fencing and is a proper little minx - but taking children out on the lead rein he is as good as gold - if still green. Lucy likes to think she's in charge - although Archer is in reality - and she follows Trelawny around like she's his very small shadow. and laid back Trelawny - even he was charging around the field the other day stirring up the sheep - despite it being 26 degrees C!
In reality Trelawny is contented to walk everywhere - but he has his moments - and its fantastic when he canters! Archer has always done everything at the speed of sound - and Lucy is the same - but both are still very safe.
I know this is a bit of a sidetrack - but like I said it sounds to me like she just enjoys life - although I have just had a thought - its not because she's over anxious about getting home again is she?
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:27 am

I don't THINK so...she does go even faster coming home but what horse doesn't? But she never shows any reluctance to go out of the yard or go anywhere and she's not the type to neigh for her companions even if she is left in the field alone. She used to love endurance competition and liked exploring new ground. Maybe she does just like to go fast - now how do I get through to her that I'd rather not, sometimes? scratch
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by FlorayG on Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:04 pm

Today we went out, with a friend riding the Kitten with us. Dancing was MAD as usual, wanting to go out in front and get a move on. After about an hour out, it was hot, she was sweaty, she put her head down while we were trotting quite fast and shook it and...the bridle came off and fell on the grass.
One moment's panic on my part then - I just stepped down from the saddle to the floor. As she felt me leave the saddle she stopped dead.
I just love that horse. She is so safe even though she is mad. She stood quiet while I retrieved it, put it back on and tied it up with a bit of string. Then I got back on and we were AWAY again.
I don't think I will ever fix her mad habits.
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Re: reasons for going fast?

Post by Cyndi on Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:08 pm

What a great horse!!! I love how you say that she's mad!
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