Question: Hi April, I have a quarter horse that is 7 years old (gelding) that walks, trots and canters. Turns on the forehand, sidepasses. For the last 4 weeks he has been doing the strangest direction change at a canter. He will all of sudden decides he doesn’t want to go that way and will change without any notice. Only tends to do it in one direction. He also has started around the same time running into the corners of the arena. We have no idea why he is doing this. I have started lunging him more then usual since this began and he is fine when I do it. I walk with him up and down the center of the arena when lunging and he doesn’t do the sudden change at all. But as soon as I ride him he does it. I have tried putting alot of leg on him at the same point in the arena and pulled on the rein but he manages somehow to do it anyway. There is no other reasons we can think of why he has started this. He does it with our trainer as well. I was wondering if there is anything else we can do to control this sudden turns and running into the corner. Thank you.
Answer from April Reeves: Hi Cindy, That is one of the strangest things I have ever heard, but I may have an explanation.
Posted in English Riding answers, Equine Behavior & Problems, Western training answers
Tagged Arena, behavior, Canter, Dangerous horse, Equine Behavior & Problems, horse training, lunging, problem horse, Trot
Question: My horse is a bit “hot” so I lunge him before to take the edge off. Some say I have to, and some say I will only get a hotter horse as she gets fitter. What is your take on this? I read about your sending exercise. How does this differ from lunging? I keep getting mixed answers but no real advice as to why you would choose one technique over another.
Answer from April Reeves: Oddly enough, a well-mannered hot horse comes down to good ground manners, not time on a lunge line. I often see some of the hottest horses that are still safe because they have been taught the skills to know how to channel the “heat”. Ground manners are everything.
I do not lunge a horse that is quiet, as I don’t need to and like to have the energy in the saddle, not burned out around a circle.
If the horse is hot or not joined with me in the work, then that horse is put to work until his lungs catch up with his brain. They all have a “breaking point” where they finally exhale and chew. Then you can go to work and learn something.